Ephesians 1:1 KJV Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from 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 KJV According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted 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 KJV The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 3:9 KJV What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
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 KJV Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by 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 KJV And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince 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 KJV Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Everyone is born:
- 1. Spiritually dead
- Separated from God because –
- transgressions- deviation from truth and uprightness
- sin- self-originated (self-empowered) nature -i.e. is not originated or empowered by God (i.e. not of faith,…) (both HELPS Word-studies)
- We walk in agreeance with the culture and worldly ways
- We walk in agreeance with Satan
- We are people of disobedience to God because we are under the dominance of Satan
- We live in agreeance to our flesh by acting upon and carrying out its lustful desires
- 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.
I was like Pontius Pilate, " What is truth?" I ask people I knew, strangers who started talking to me, unbelievers, and professing Christians.
I told them "I am looking for the truth, the one that never changes or moves but always stays the same." I could no longer live in such inner instability and confusion and yet all that was happening intensified the confusion. I would ask them, Do you know? I was given lots of philosophical, physiological, man wisdom, etc. but I knew all of that was useless. I mean after almost fifty years of thinking that would change things, I had no doubt that was nonsense. However of all I ask, NO ONE said, Jesus is the Truth. He is the same, "yesterday, today, and forever more. God never changes.
I searched until I was left empty with no where to go. I was lost in darkness then Jesus came. That day on my couch I knew inside, but with no understanding, that if I didn’t find what my heart desperately desired, I would somehow die. I knew it was not about physical death but I had no idea what was happening or what my thought meant. Now I know the words, BUT GOD, and they are precious words to me.
Ephesians 2:4 NASB But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us,…
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 KJV I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after 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 shall deliver me from the body of this 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.
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 KJV They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Psalm 53:3 KJV Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not 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 KJV By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
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.