A Word for Today | Ephesians 1:4
When I was ministering in the city of Philadelphia, some very large construction projects took place there. As I occasionally passed by these sites I noticed how much work went on before anything could be seen at level ground. Particularly with very tall buildings, a great deal of labor and care must be given to the foundation. If you want a building to stand fast, particularly one that reaches high into the sky, then you must dig deep and plant a very firm foundation.
The apostle Paul shows a similar concern in Ephesians 1 as he begins constructing the edifice of Christian salvation. Paul intends for us to see a work of the ages that is infinitely high, reaching up forever. So he begins by digging deep, setting the firmest possible foundation. God is leading us into eternity future, and so it is in eternity past that God sets the groundwork of our security. Paul writes, “He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”
The doctrine of election says that the cause of our individual salvation is God’s choosing us in Christ. “Why is anyone a Christian?” we ask. We answer, “Because he or she believed the gospel.” But we go on and ask, “Why did one believe while others did not?” Was it because of something in the Christian that is more spiritual, that is better in some way and enables us to believe while others hear the same message and do not? The Bible says, No! It is not because of anything in us, but because of God’s sovereign choice, his eternal election of individuals to be His own people through faith in Jesus Christ. This is good news to all who believe, for here is the foundation of your salvation – not something in you, who are so weak and changing, so mixed in your affections, and so inconstant in faith – it is the foundation of God’s own sovereign choice from eternity past. “He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”
The Bible’s teaching of election grounds our assurance of salvation, if we believe in Christ. I remember a street we used to live on in Philadelphia when our oldest children were small. We didn’t have a yard, so we had to take them up the street to a park to play. This little journey involved crossing one of the most dangerous intersections in the city. You stood on the sidewalk with hunks of steel blazing past just feet in front of you. My little children, of course, were always terrified, so they drew near and held tight to their parents’ hands. This is what we have to do in this dangerous world. We hold tight to God, trusting in Him, and if we don’t hold His hand we may be lost. But it wasn’t just my children’s hands holding mine that kept them safe; I was holding theirs too. They belonged to me and I loved them with a love deep inside, and I was holding them tight. So it is with God. You must hold to Him and press on in the difficulties of life. But He chose you in Christ to be His holy people, and He is holding on to you. In all your trials, you may trust in Him and rest assured in His sovereign grace.
In Christ’s Love,