Can Truth Set You Free?
Ephesians 1:1 HCSB Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will: To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus. 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this verse we immediately have presented to us that Paul's apostolic calling was "by the will of God."
How did his apostolic calling come
Ephesians 1:4 HCSB For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. 5 In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.
Who are the us? The believers
When are believers chosen? Before the foundation of the world.
Paul's apostolic calling came through his salvation which was determined before the "foundation of the world."
What does the word Chose mean?
It means every one who comes to saving faith in Jesus Christ was chosen by God before anything or anyone existed.
I as a believer did not make a "decision for Christ." I did not come to Christ. I had nothing to do with my salvation. Salvation is a supernatural miracle of God's grace.
Life before salvation
Psalm 14:1 NASB The fool says in his heart, "God does not exist." They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God. 3 All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.
Romans 3:9 NASB What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, 10 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. 11 There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away; all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good, not even one. No one seeks God on their own. No one decides that having faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ of their life is an awesome step to take.
There are many verses in the bible that state God has chosen who will belong to Him. So,..
How does one come to God
John 6:44 NASB No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 14:6 NASB Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
No one, means no one, has the ability or power to come to Christ under their own thinking, reasoning, or abilities. It is God-the Father who pulls a person to Jesus and Jesus-His Son who leads the way to the Father. It is the Holy Spirit Who is;
John 16:8 NKJV And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
The Holy Spirit stirs the heart to its wickedness and convicts a person of their sin of unbelief.
There is so much false and unsound doctrine on this. We are now a society of I'm a good person and I'm okay so I deserve for God to save me. That is not true in the eyes of God. No one except God is good therefore your righteousness is in Jesus Christ.
Without Christ Jesus
Ephesians 2:2 NASB And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens,the spirit now working in the disobedient.3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.
Everyone is born:
1. Spiritually dead
2. Separated from God because -
a. transgressions- deviation from truth and uprightness
b. sin- self-originated (self-empowered) nature -i.e. is not originated or empowered by God (i.e. not of faith,...) (both HELPS Word-studies)
3. We walk in agreeance with the culture and worldly ways
4. We walk in agreeance with Satan
5. We are people of disobedience to God because we are under the dominance of Satan
6. We live in agreeance to our flesh by acting upon and carrying out its lustful desires
7. We are,from birth, children of God's wrath because of our inner nature
This is the who, not what, of every person born. Our inner nature is evil, debased, and hostile toward God. There is nothing in our nature that will, can, or wants to seek God. God says, He has chosen His own before anything existed. This is the doctrine of election.
What I Learned
Love came to me. God's gift of grace, mercy, and faith filled and satisfied the deepest longing of my heart. I was called by name and told I was loved, not like mankind's love, but a perfect and holy love that makes my heart burst with joy.
I was not looking for God, just truth. Isn't that ironic. As I write this my heart sings with all I have been given through grace.
God-the Father, God-the Son, and God-the Holy Spirit chose me before the universe was created, before I was born. This means I had no input into my salvation. It was decided for me. This has been one of the most freeing doctrines I have been given because salvation belongs to God. My old dead nature messes with me every chance it gets and sin is the result.
Romans 7:21 NKJV I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
But, it is Jesus who keeps me until the last day. With saving faith came the gift of a new heart that beats to show God my love and gratitude which is shown through obedience. Who knew obedience could be about love.
There are many verses where God declares He chooses. I do not have full understanding but after almost fifty years with no hope and no God I am well acquainted with evil and lies.
Do not believe the cultures lie you are a good person and you are okay, because until you receive faith, by grace, you are not able to meet God's requirement of good.
This I know without doubt;
Psalm 14:3 NASB All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.
Psalm 53:3 NASB All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.
Abram was called out of a society that worshiped idols and many gods. Abram was not a Jew. He was a Gentile and God called him out to be the father of many nations.
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going.
Believers are called out of their heathen lifestyle and the worship of their own gods. In the beginning we have no idea where God will lead our life we only know what our inheritance is, eternal life in His presence.
Biblegateway.com (we use Bible verses from this site)
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