GOD IS TO BE PRAISED FOR HIS CHOICES

Intro: We are currently reading the wonderful Epistle to the Ephesians written by Paul. This priceless book shows us how much God's grace in Jesus Christ is worth. The immense spiritual wealth we have in Him is discussed in this book. Paul tells us how spiritually rich we are in Jesus in Ephesians, and then he shows us how to use that wealth for God's glory.
I'd like to remind you that this book is about a mystery. This book is about how God rescues lost sinners, saves them through incredible grace, and makes them His children. The book is about God's grace in action in our lives. This book explains how God takes lost sinners, saves them through His grace, and integrates them into the world's body of Christ. Then, it explains how the Lord Jesus works in the world today by living through His body. The verses we've just read are a part of a lengthy praise song that goes on until verse 14. This is a lengthy 202-word praise from Paul's heart to the God of His salvation in the Greek language. Paul begins his hymn of praise by revealing that God is good and that He shares His blessings with His people because He is good. In point of fact, according to Paul, we have received "all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." The children of God have received Jesus and everything he has to offer. Despite the fact that we are a blessed people, we frequently live like spiritual paupers. Paul wants us to know that spiritual poverty is not necessary. Even as we move through this world, we can always appreciate God's deep things. After telling us that we have "all spiritual blessings," Paul goes on to describe those blessings and explain why they come to us. Paul introduces the great doctrine of sovereign election in verse 4, where we will spend our time today, reminding us that "He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." It would be an understatement to say that the election doctrine is resented and misunderstood. Some people are absolutely opposed to this idea. "And to suggest that the merciful, long-suffering, gracious, and loving God of the Bible would invent a dreadful doctrine like this, predestination, which would have us believe it is an act of grace to select certain people for heaven and by exclusion others for hell comes perilously close to blasphemy," stated Tim Lahaye, co-author of the "Left Behind Series," which I'm sure some of you have read. “[i] LaHaye is not the only one to criticize the doctrine of election. "To say that God sovereignly chooses who will be saved is the most twisted thing I have ever read that makes God a monster, no better than a pagan idol," an additional man stated. Another author states, "This doctrine reduces man, who was created in the image of God, to a mere robot." [ii] “This doctrine's misrepresentation of God has caused many to turn away from the God of the Bible as from a monster,” Christian author Dave Hunt states. “[iv] If there is a commonality among the majority of objections to the doctrine of election, it is the belief that this doctrine transforms God into a monster. I am aware that many of you will be unable to accept the teachings of this doctrine either. Preaching this text is not my intention to provoke controversy. My goal is to follow the Bible. I want to make it clear what the Bible says about this important biblical doctrine. Because if you ever comprehend election, you won't believe that God is a monstrosity; You will discover that He is a benevolent, loving God who gives life to the dead and hope to the hopeless. Permit me to define the teachings of the doctrine of election as an introduction. "God, before the foundation of the world, chose certain individuals from among the fallen members of Adam's race to be the objects of His undeserved favor," states the doctrine of election. He intended to save these only—His eternal selection of particular sinners for salvation was solely based on His own good pleasure and sovereign will, not on any anticipated actions or responses from those chosen. As a result, God's self-determined purpose was the sole factor that led to election, which was not contingent on anything man might do. “[v] The human mind shudders at what it perceives as a divine injustice when it hears that definition. The desire to uphold God's honor is strong. As a result, they argue that the election doctrine is unfair. If God chooses to save some and ignore the rest, they contend, He is not being fair. We would all end up in Hell if God had his way with salvation. None of us would be saved if God were to act justly in our salvation; instead, He would simply give us what we deserve. We would all be sent to Hell by him. Thank God, God's justice does not lead to salvation; It is the result of God's grace. A lot of people believe that God and man work together to save people in some way. We do our part and He does His, and the end result is salvation. The term for this is "synergism." Biblical salvation is, in fact, "monergistic." Christ saves those whom God has chosen to be saved. Both the saving and the keeping are performed by Him. "Salvation is of the Lord," Jonah declared some 3,500 years ago in Jonah 2:9. That was always the case, and it always will be! Human pride is betrayed by the election doctrine. Man is eliminated from the equation. Man really has no part in his salvation at all if God chooses and saves. Man has a responsibility to believe, according to some. Yes, he does, but he can't believe until God gives him faith to believe, Eph. 2:8. Thus, in salvation, everything returns to divine sovereignty. Men do not want to believe in the doctrine of absolute inability, which is why they reject the doctrine of election. According to this doctrine, man is dead in his transgressions and sins, Eph. 2:1, and is unable to approach God on his own. According to this doctrine, John 6:44 says that man can only be saved if God first comes to sinners and calls them to salvation. Again, pride is at the heart of the argument. Man does not want to give the Lord his will. The majority of people have the mental image that God is in Heaven just waiting for someone to come to Jesus. He sends His Gospel into the world and waits impatiently for people to hear it and turn from their sins. God is doing everything in His power to save people, but sometimes they cooperate and other times they don't. He is content when they do, but when they don't, He is disappointed. In this view, God is subject to human will. If this is true, it indicates that God desires to save some individuals but has no control over their salvation. He gave His Son, of course. Sure, He told us what to do. Although He granted men access to salvation, He does not guarantee that anyone will ever be saved. As a result, He sits in Heaven, watching, waiting, and hoping for a visitor. In the hope that someone will take a bite out of His divine hook of grace, he throws it into the crowded school of humanity. He gets lucky every now and then, and someone hears the Gospel and is saved. The Bible does not teach that! Every person who was chosen by Jesus prior to the foundation of the world will be saved, according to the doctrine of election. God is not merely hoping for a response from some; He is actively and purposefully calling them to Himself because He is aware that they will. He won't miss anyone at all! In His glory, every seat at His table will be taken! Both of those points of view cannot be true. Either God is in charge of salvation, or man decides for himself whether or not to be saved. Either the Lord's will or man's will are the foundations of salvation. We must determine which one it is. Therefore, we ought to look to the Word of God rather than relying on human feelings or reasoning to assist us in comprehending what Paul is attempting to teach. I am aware that I will not address all of your concerns as I address this issue today. I am aware that some individuals will completely reject this doctrine. It will be welcomed with reservations by others. It might even make some people happy. What the Bible teaches about election might cause others to become perplexed or even irritated. I don't want to spread fear, doubt, or confusion. I was just there to keep our minds on the truth. I want you to learn about salvation from the Bible. I want you to forget everything you've heard, thought, or experienced. I want you to examine the Bible's teachings on this crucial doctrine. Today, I want to bring verse 4 to your attention. I'd like to remind you that we're talking about verses 3 to 6. Paul is praising God for the sovereign work that He has done in this section of Scripture. Paul told us in verse 3 that God should be praised for his charity. Paul tells us in verse 4 that God should be praised for his choices. As I preach on the topic God Is To Be Praised For His Choices, take note of the questions that appear in these verses. I. WHO WAS GOD'S CHOICE? Paul declares that God has "chosen us" when he says, "He hath chosen us." The verb "chosen" means "to select; to make one's own decision; to select one from many." The Greek word for "chosen" is how we get our English word "election." The candidates do not choose themselves in an election; One person is selected from among many to hold that position. In salvation, the same is true. From among the many to be saved, some are chosen. The Bible depicts the concept of election throughout its pages. According to Genesis 12:1, God chose Abraham out of all the Chaldees living in Ur. According to Psalm 135:4, "For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure," God chose Jacob over Esau. “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated,” says Romans 9:13. "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God," says Deuteronomy 7:6-8. You have been selected by the LORD, your God, to be a unique people above all other people on earth. Because you were more numerous than any other people, neither did the LORD choose you nor show his love to you; because you were the smallest group of people: However, the LORD brought you out of the house of bondmen and saved you from the hands of Pharaoh king of Egypt because he loved you and would keep the oath he had sworn to your fathers. Israel was chosen by God as a special people because He loved them. God calls Israel His "chosen" in Psalm 105:43. Ø 1 Tim. 5:21 refers to the "elect angels" in this verse. The church is referred to as God's "elect" in the New Testament. Matthew 24:22: "And unless those days should be cut short, there should be no flesh saved: However, those days will be cut short for the benefit of the elect. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders," Matthew 24:24. in such a way that they will, if it is at all possible, deceive the very elect. “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other,” according to Matthew 24:31. Luke 18:7 says, "And shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry out to him day and night, though he endures long with them?" “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?” reads Romans 8:33. God is the one who justifies. “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)” is a quotation from Romans 9:11. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering,” is the verse from Colossians 3:12. "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," 1 Peter 1:1-2. Peace and grace be multiplied for you. "Wherefore the rather, brothers, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:" 2 Peter 1:10 because if you do these things, you won't fall:" Therefore, whenever the Bible talks about election, it always means that God chose someone. Furthermore, the Bible always refers to election as "to something." When a God selects His elect, He selects them for salvation. Therefore, "us" is the end result of God's elective work. Those who have and will believe in Jesus Christ for salvation are the redeemed. I. Who Was God's Pick? II. When did God select? When this phrase is uttered, some individuals respond, "I believe God chooses, but that He does so based on His foreknowledge." They make use of passages like Romans 8:29, which says, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." as an example. Additionally, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:" is found in 1 Peter 1:2. Peace and grace be multiplied for you. "God looked down the corridor of time and saw who would believe, and those are the ones He chose in Jesus," so the saying goes. It makes sense. It appears to resolve the issue. In point of fact, all it does is bring about yet another issue. “Who (speaking of Christ) verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” is the verse from 1 Peter 1:20. The word "foreordained" in verse 20 is the same as the word "foreknow" in verse 2, and the word "foreknow" in Romans 8:29 is the same as "foreordained." So, did God choose Jesus to be the Savior because He saw through time that He would die on the cross for our sins? Definitely not! According to Rev. 13:8, Jesus Christ is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." No, the word that means "foreordained" and "foreknow" does not mean knowing something in advance. It means "to prepare something in advance." The word generally alludes to "a foreordained decision". Does this imply that God was unaware of our actions? He must have known! Because He had planned it, He knew. John 10:14–15, 27 says that He knows us well and knows that we are His sheep. We were included in His plan before the world was created, so He knows us. God had already made a sovereign decision to save some in Christ before there was ever a sinner to save or a sin to save the sinner from. God's plan for what would happen in the past is being carried out perfectly at the right time. God's decision regarding salvation is made abundantly clear in a number of biblical passages. “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain,” says John 15:16. that the Father will grant you whatever you ask for in my name. According to Acts 13:48, "When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and they glorified the word of the Lord:" and those who were chosen for eternal life believed." “Praising God, and having favor with all the people,” Acts 2:47. Every day, those who were saved were added to the church by the Lord. "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:" John 10:16 I must also bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be only one shepherd and one fold." “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you,” John 10:26–27. Because I know my sheep and they hear my voice, they follow me: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me," says John 6:37. and I will never cast out anyone who comes to me. In this regard, the Bible is crystal clear: prior to forming the world, God selected the elect. You have been a part of God's plan for a long time if you are saved! “I am so glad that God chose me before the foundation of the world because he never would have chosen me after I was born,” as Charles Spurgeon put it. I. Who Was God's Pick? II. When did God select? III. WHICH PLACE CHOSEN GOD? "in Him" means that Jesus chose us before the world was made. To put it another way, Jesus Christ was chosen by God in his own accord. As a result, we were in Jesus when He appeared on earth. We were in Him when He died on the cross. We were in Him when He rose from the dead. We were baptized into Christ when God confronted us with conviction and we responded in faith, 1 Cor. 12:13. Col., we are now in Him. 3:3. Our union with Jesus is absolute and eternal, as stated in Ephesians 2:5-6: "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" And he raised us all together and put us all in the same place in heaven in Christ Jesus:" Therefore, the result of God's elective purpose is our eternal membership in Christ. This was planned by God in the past and carried out in time. The day you put your faith in Jesus was not by accident. It was a part of your life plan. Later, we will discuss the word "predestination" in verse 5. When we do, you'll see that God planned and organized your life in such a way that it accomplishes what He intended for eternity. I. Who Was God's Pick? II. When did God select? III. Where was God's pick? IV. What was God's decision? I'll just touch on this in Ill. v. 4 because I want to elaborate on it in our next message. We were saved by God so that He could demonstrate His power and saving grace in our lives. God chose us because we had absolutely nothing good in us. He didn't pick us because of our skills, our good deeds, or anything else we had going for us. Because He wanted to, He chose us and saved us. In accordance with Romans 8:28–30, "He saved us for His glory by His grace. He set His love on our lives and put us in His plan." I just wanted to remind you that God gets glory both when sinners are saved and when they are judged. "But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness," according to Isaiah 5:16. Ill. vv. states that God chose each person for salvation solely for His own glory. 5, 6, 12, 14. According to these verses, God did what He did because it gave Him the most glory. Again, I will elaborate on this later, but for the time being, you should keep in mind that if you are saved, it is because God received glory from your conversion. Take note of this passage: 26 Because you are aware of your calling and the fact that not many mighty, noble, or wise men after the flesh are called: 27 However, God has chosen the world's foolish things to confuse the wise; Furthermore, God has chosen the weak things of the world to defeat the strong ones; 28 And the world's lowly and despised things, as well as those that are not, have been chosen by God to destroy the things that are: 29 So that no living thing could boast in his presence. 30 On the other hand, you are in Christ Jesus, who was created by God to impart wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption to us: 31 In accordance with the verse, "He who glorieth, let him glory in the Lord," found in 1 Cor. 1:26-31 Before continuing our study of Ephesians, we must address some of the arguments made by those who deny the Bible's teachings on the doctrine of election. So, let's take a look at some of the typical arguments that people use to try to disprove this doctrine. When they hear about election, some people immediately begin to reject their preferred proof texts in an effort to disprove this doctrine. "Well, I believe that "whoever will" can come," they say. So do I! Jesus also does! According to John 6:37, the Bible is clear: "Whoever will come to Jesus will save them all, turning no one away." The Bible contains a holy conflict regarding salvation. We are informed, on the one hand, in Rev. 22:17, that anyone who seeks salvation will be saved. In contrast, we are reminded in John 6:44 that no one can come until they are called by the Spirit of God; 65. Spurgeon was once asked how he reconciled human responsibility and sovereign election. "I did not know that friends had to reconcile," Spurgeon replied. Spurgeon compared looking at railroad tracks to observing this apparent contradiction. As you stand peering down at the tracks at your feet, you see that they are inflexible and can't be made to meet. However, the tracks appear to connect if you look far enough into the distance. In Heaven, what does not make sense to us here will become crystal clear. While I am of the opinion that God saves those He chooses, I am also of the opinion that He will save anyone who seeks His help. I preach and believe those things, but I cannot explain them. God works for salvation, and a divine mystery is a part of that work. Other people appeal to 2 Pet. 3:9. However, only a portion of that verse is cited. "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," they quote. This verse appears to teach that God desires to save all men if you only read that portion. When thinking about this verse, two words stand out the most. In addition, it is of the utmost importance to read the verse in its entirety. The word "willing" is significant. "A determined purpose" is the term used. This verse says that God has decided that "none will perish." This verse then teaches universalism, so if you apply it to lost humanity as a whole, you run into problems. That can't be right. Peter's message becomes clear only when the verse is read in its entirety. Take a second look at verse 9 of 2 Peter: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;" but is patient with us, not wishing for any to perish but rather for everyone to repent. I explained that the word "willing" was a crucial one. The word "usward" is the other significant word in that verse. Who is God demonstrating this patience toward? Peter is writing to those individuals. Who is it? The solution can be found in 2 Pet. 1:1, 3:1. Peter writes to the saved. In 1 Pet, he is writing to those he called "elect." 1:2. 2 Pet. The verse 3:9 does not condemn election. Instead, it is a verse that demonstrates the believer's eternal safety. We are being informed by Peter that God is delaying the execution of His final judgment on sin and sinners until all of the elect are saved. The world will be subject to His judgment at that point. Others want to discard 1 Tim. 2:4, "Who will have all men saved and come to the knowledge of the truth," In this verse, the word "will" does not refer to God's eternal decrees. "His wishes or His desires" are the subject of it. Surely, God wants everyone to turn to Christ for salvation and repent of their sin. However, God does not save sinners according to His will. Based on His plans for eternity, God saves sinners. In addition, according to John 6:37 and 17:6, the eternal decree of God the Father has assigned certain individuals to Jesus, and each and every one of those individuals will seek salvation in Jesus. The entire purpose of 1 Tim. 2:4 says that all men should pray for salvation. In God's eyes, that is a good and acceptable thing. In contrast to us, He knows who will be saved, 2 Tim. 2:19. According to Romans, God will save His elect from sin and leave the rest to suffer the consequences of their sin. 1:18-32. The standard response is then used by nearly everyone: freewill. "If God chooses, then man has no choice," they say. They believe that salvation works like this: Jesus was sent by God to die for everyone because He wants everyone to be saved. When He died, Jesus didn't actually save anyone, but He did make salvation possible for everyone. When people have the good sense to come to Jesus and call on Him by faith, they are saved. In this view, salvation is determined by man's will. It portrays God as sitting in heaven, hoping against hope that someone will be rescued. The Bible says nothing at all about that when it comes to salvation. What exactly is free will? Is it even real? Free will is perfect only in God. He acts the way He does because He wants to. How about the man? The will of man is weak. The will is also fallen because it is connected to the fallen nature. Man cannot and will not choose godliness in his natural state. Man will never seek God's salvation if left alone. Man will always choose the path of sin and rebellion if left to himself, Eph. 2:2-3. Actually, it's even worse than that. Eph, according to 2:2, "trespasses and sins" render man dead. He can't decide to follow Christ until the Holy Spirit comes and resurrects the dead sinner and gives him faith to believe. After that, he can't decide to follow Christ. The lost sinner will only look to Jesus for salvation when God does that. Human free will as a whole is a myth! The will of man is not free; It has broken. Because he lacks the desire or capacity, he cannot make decisions on behalf of God. According to 1 John 4:19, no one is ever saved unless God takes the first step. Human responsibility is not negated by election. In John 6:37, both can be seen. We will never be able to reconcile human responsibility with divine sovereignty. It is necessary to accept both as true. We are saved completely independent of human will, according to John 1:11–13. Conc: When he was in college, Illinois Warren W. Weirsbe had questions about the election. He asked a professor about it, and the professor responded, "You will lose your mind if you try to explain the doctrine of election." You will lose your soul if you try to justify it. Some of you are about to lose your mind, and others are about to lose your temper after hearing me preach this message today. I'll stop here to say that I understand how you feel. Accepting the doctrine of election is difficult. Human ability and pride are destroyed by it. It eliminates us from the picture. It is difficult to accept this doctrine; Preaching this doctrine is challenging. We want everyone to have the same opportunity to be saved. We want to see God through a human lens. We wish to assert that He is just. The doctrine of God's sovereign election is a fact, regardless of whether we like it or not. The doctrine of God's sovereign election is a biblical doctrine, regardless of whether you believe it. I can understand why our humanity rejects this idea. Over the years, I've struggled with it as well. However, when we subordinate God to our will by prioritizing human choice over divine election, In effect, we make a God according to our own plans. We want to be able to think, choose, and act freely, but we have to accept that we are all fallen people in every way. Therefore, we must accept what the Bible teaches about God and how He saved us, even though we do not fully comprehend Him. John 6:39 says that although we want God to save everyone, He never intended to. How can I be sure? Because not everyone is saved, I know that! All would have been saved if He had intended for them all to be saved. Is this a sign that God is unjust? Never! Rom. Ill. 9:14-23! We ought to praise God for deciding to save everyone, not lament that He has chosen to harm some! If He had let us all go to Hell, He would have been just! However, He chose to save some of us by reaching into the lost mass of humanity. This upsets us. We are such liars! We never would have come to Christ if not for His sovereign grace. However, the fact that we did arrive and accepted the Gospel is evidence that we are His chosen ones. Imagine that I was holding a dozen eggs. What if I fell and dropped all of them, but Brother Walter in the front row reached out and grabbed four of them as they fell? Would we be amazed at the four that were saved or would we be concerned about the eight that were lost? If some were saved, I think we would be happy. The same goes for salvation. All were lost, but God showed mercy by saving some. That fact should make us happy! I do, and I hope you do as well. Let me add a few more words to this. When these things are mentioned, some people think, "Well, what about those people out there who want to be saved?" They can't come to Jesus if they aren't elect. Nobody comes close to that! When someone seeks salvation from God, they are demonstrating that He is calling them to come. He will not turn them away when they arrive. John 6:37 says that is His promise. Nobody will die and go to Hell if they want to be in Heaven. Nobody who wishes to be saved will perish in vain. Salvation is always the goal of election; never to be damned! Election does no harm! Therefore, you ought to express your gratitude to God in heaven above for having chosen you through Jesus rather than using empty arguments to challenge the idea of election. You ought to come if He is calling you to come to Him and you have never been saved. Get saved now. The Lord has done so much for you that you ought to be glad if you are saved. He has lavished you with His power and grace if you are saved.

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