Chosen for What?

Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Chosen by God

I remember the first time that I understood what this is saying about God choosing those of us who are his, by faith in him, before the foundation of the world. This means that he chose us before creation. He chose us to be who he wants us to be, and to do what he has called us to do, before he even created the world and all that is in it. That just blows me away!

This means, for example, that before the Lord even made the world and all that is in it, he chose me to be who I am and to be writing this very writing at this very moment in time. So, not only did he form me in my mother’s womb, but all the days ordained for me were written in his book before one of them came into being. So, everything I experienced in this life was part of his design for my life so that I, today, would be writing this devotion.

Now, he did not lead me into sin, and it was not his will that I would sin, but he used even the sins I committed in my life to train me for his calling on my life. What I mean is that I learned a lot from those failures, not that we should fail just so we can learn, but that he teaches us stuff through the good times and the bad times. And, he can turn even what was bad into something good, not in the sense of calling what is bad something good, but that when we repent of our sins, he can turn our lives around for good.

Holy and Blameless

So, what were we chosen for? That we should be holy and blameless before him. And, to be holy means to separate from (different, unlike) the world because God is conforming us to his likeness. This means that we don’t watch TV shows, movies, videos, etc. containing foul language, sensuality, sexual immorality, or which glorifies adultery, perversion, hatred, theft, cheating, lying, gossip, or making fun of people, etc. We don’t entertain ourselves with what is of our sin nature and then laugh at it and applaud it.

We don’t participate in activities which are opposing to godliness, holiness, righteousness, purity, and integrity, either. For, it is not just a cliché to say, “What would Jesus do?” He is our example. He is our standard for how we should live our lives. If he wouldn’t watch it, we shouldn’t either. If he wouldn’t laugh at it, we shouldn’t either. And, if he would not applaud it, we shouldn’t either. We should follow him in his footsteps and do what he would do, say what he would say, and have the same attitude as him, too.

And, as far as the word “blameless” goes, yes, by faith in Jesus Christ we are forgiven our sins so that our sins are not held against us. But, we have to be blameless (not perfect) in what we do, too. The psalmist said this:

“Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression” (Ps. 19:13 ESV).

Again, it comes down to lifestyle, which the New Testament speaks of all the time. We are not just righteous positionally, but we have to walk in righteousness. We are not just holy positionally, but we must be holy in all our conduct. We must walk by the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh if we want to have eternal life with God. And, we must forsake our former lives of sin and turn to God to walk in obedience to him and to his ways.

According to His Will

Also, we were not just predestined to be adopted as God’s children positionally, but according to the purpose of God’s will, and to the praise of his glorious grace.

And, the purpose of his will is that we might be holy and blameless before him, and that we might walk (in lifestyle) in holiness and in purity of devotion to him, free from our bondage to sin. For, this is why he died, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).

And, this would be for the praise of his grace, too, for the purpose of his grace is to deliver us out of our slavery to sin, and to instruct us to say “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).

Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

When Jesus Christ died on a cross, and shed his blood for our sins, he became sin for us so that he put our sins to death with him on that cross. He exchanged his life for our freedom from slavery to sin. And, he purchased us with his blood in buying us back for God so that we are now God’s possession, and he is our Lord and master. Therefore, we are to honor him with our lives in all that we do because our lives now belong to Him.

He, in essence, reclaimed us for God. For, Adam and Eve sinned against God in that garden, and because of their sin man was separated from God, and all humans were born with sin natures. Not one of us could be acceptable to God in our own flesh. The only way we can be acceptable to God is through Jesus’ blood sacrifice for our sins, and via our God-given faith in him, which means dying with him to sin and living with him to righteousness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

The plan for the fullness of time is the plan of our salvation. And, the plan is not to merely forgive us our sins, but it is to deliver us out of our addictions to sin. Praise God! It is to turn us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified (made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

By faith in Jesus Christ, which is God-given faith, and thus it submits to God – to Jesus Christ – we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

Because we died to sin, and we were born again of the Spirit of God, so that we can live to God and walk in his holiness, all in his power and strength, we have an inheritance with God guaranteed to those who are believing in him, who are walking, by faith, according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21).

For, if we walk (in lifestyle) by the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. For, we will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).

For, we are predestined according to his purpose for our lives, according to his will, that we might be to the praise of his glory. And, God’s will for us is that we forsake our lives of sin to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways. For, this is for his praise, his glory, that his followers might live holy and godly lives, and that we might no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world (Rom. 12:1-2).

My Sheep

An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV

My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.

So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.

Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…

They know my voice, so they follow me.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

19 thoughts on “Chosen for What?

  1. To know that we are chosen by him is profound in an of itself. Chosen ever before we thought to make him Lord. This just tells you that all the way down to our DNA our hearts yearn for him! Almost post!!!

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    • I thank you for sharing. I agree with your first two sentences. I don’t understand your last two sentences. Would you mind explaining those a little more in depth?

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      • Sorry Sue, I had some major typos! There is a deep longing for us to have a relationship with the Father, all the way down to our DNA and what holds us together. We are truly known only through the eyes of our creator. I am going to post a sermon by Louie Giglio I believe you’ll enjoy and be even more in awe of the father! https://youtu.be/atUGBua2AzE

        I also didn’t mean for that last sentence to be there. (Sorry once again. The coffee must had not kicked in yet!)

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      • Tanja, Your reply to me went to my spam, so I am just now seeing it. So, what you are saying is that believers in Jesus Christ have a deep longing for a deep, intimate relationship with God the Father? Or, something else? I am still not following you, sorry.

        Ok, let me just share what I understand. The Bible says that we can’t come to Jesus unless the Father first draws us to him. So, even though we may be one of the chosen of God, we can’t come to faith in Jesus Christ unless first drawn to him by the Father.

        Yet, Romans 1 tells us that God has revealed himself to all humankind through his created works so that we are all without excuse. And, he says that it isn’t that people didn’t know when they rejected God and decided to follow after their sinful flesh instead, but that they refused to honor him as God and they chose to worship the creature rather than the creator, and so God gave them over to all kinds of wickedness. So, all humans have an innate knowledge of God and of his divine character, but we are all given a free will to choose him or to reject him. So, even though God chooses us, we must also choose him. Scripture teaches both.

        Also, we are all born into sin, chosen or not chosen, and so we all come up short of attaining God’s glory, i.e. his divine approval and his holiness and righteousness. So, when the Father does draw us to Jesus, we have to then submit to Jesus as Lord, turn away from our sins, and turn to God to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways. Now, this is the working of the Spirit in our lives, and not something we can do in our own flesh, but we still have to yield control of our lives over to God and we have to cooperate with his work of grace in our lives, so even though he provided the way for us to be delivered out of our slavery to sin, we still have to choose to be delivered, which means we have to willingly lay down our lives and turn from our sinful lifestyles and follow our Lord in obedience, but all in his power and strength within us.

        So, I don’t get the idea that we deeply long for a relationship with the Father down to our DNA. Even though we who believe in Jesus were chosen of him even before the foundation of the world, the scriptures say, we don’t long for him until he draws us to Jesus, but then back to Romans 1, they didn’t honor him for the holy God that he is even though he revealed himself to them through his created works, so could they have longed for him because God revealed himself to them? I suppose they could have. But, I believe we have to consciously become aware of God first before we can long for him, so I don’t understand how we can long for him down to our DNA. That just doesn’t make sense to me.

        And, maybe I am totally missing your meaning. If I am, I am sorry. I am just not connecting. So, if you will be patient with me, and maybe try saying it another way, or let me know if I have it right, but we are just not seeing it the same way, then I would appreciate it. Thanks. Sue

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      • Hey Sue! If you watch the sermon I sent you by Louie Giglio, I believe my comment will make alot more sense. I was talking about the molecular structure which holds us together, laminin. It is actually the shape of the cross. He delights in the details! You are right that we are chosen by God before the foundation of the world. I believe that he has written on the tablet of our hearts. I also believe that the void much of the world fills with idols can only be filled through a relationship with Jesus Christ. So there is a deep longing that we only find through Jesus Christ that does not go away until we are made righteous through faith by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He chose us and loved us long before we ever loved him. There are many who are blinded and we all have fallen short. So thankful for his grace and mercy and those he chose long ago to be in my path to the light and salt of the earth. But, I do believe when we come into a relationship with him because we are heirs of the king and we are a new creation, everything changes.

        I hope I helped clarify and help you understand a little better! I really hope you enjoy the sermon and it puts you in reverance of the Almighfy God even more than before!

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      • Tanja, Thank you for responding to my questions. I appreciate you taking the time to do so. I am so thankful for God’s grace to us, too, and for my relationship with Jesus Christ.

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      • Tanja, I watched the video you recommended of Louie Giglio. And, I will share with you what I believe regarding what he said and how that fits with scripture and my impression of him, too.

        I saw Louie as an entertainer, a comedian, who draws audiences to himself, not to God. His message regarding the cross of Christ and what Jesus did for us on that cross and how that relates to our individual lives was one of the most watered-down presentations of the gospel message I have ever seen.

        He reduced Jesus to someone who merely holds us together when our world is falling apart all around us, and who gives us strength during those times, and he was applying this generically to his whole audience, for the “faith” required of them was nothing more than believing Jesus is holding them together and that he will strengthen them when they are weak.

        There was no mention made of what his death meant on that cross, and how he died on that cross to put our sins to death so that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. There was no mention made of our need to humble ourselves before God, to repent of (turn away from) our sins and to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his will and to his ways, for this is what “trusting” in Jesus Christ means.

        Then, for those who have trusted Jesus to be Lord (owner-master) of their lives, and Savior of their lives, too, who delivered them out of their addiction to sin so that they can now walk with him in his holiness, who are now living (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, they can believe that God will strengthen them in their times of weakness and that he will carry them through their times of difficulty.

        Also, we don’t yearn for God in our DNA. That is just not biblical. We yearn for God in our hearts when we have been presented with God and with Jesus and we choose by our wills to turn from our lives of sin to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands.

        So, what you are following is a lie, it is not biblical, and it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ but a counterfeit being spread by wolves in sheep’s clothing who are leading people away from pure devotion to Jesus Christ to follow after a man-made gospel absent of death to sin and living to righteousness. So, reject those lies, read the scriptures, and follow the truth.

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      • Hey Sue. With all do respect, I know the scriptures and know my Father’s voice. I also know what a wolf in sheep’s clothing sounds like, looks like, and the fruit they display. While you do not have to agree with listening to his teaching by incorporating science and scripture, it was biblical. You have continually picked out flaws about every single comment I have made. Please be prayerful about the things in which you speak and whoms you are speaking to. No weapon formed shall prosper. While I appreciate your guidance, do not judge this pastor off of one sermon & be careful of a critical and religious spirit. He just came out with an amazing book called “Not Forsaken” and it talks about ABBA in such an intimate way that is going to spread the gospel to many! I will be praying for you.

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      • Also, down to HIS IMAGE, we are his. So yes, it is, in fact, biblical all the way back to the beginning.
        “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [g]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” -Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV

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      • But, then man sinned against God, and since that time we have been born in the image of Adam, born into sin, separate from God, and we all fall short of God’s glory. And, we can’t even believe in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to Christ, and the only way we can now be reconciled to God is through faith in Jesus Christ, and that faith requires repentance and obedience to Christ as a matter of lifestyle if we want to be in relationship with God/Christ and to have eternal life with God. So, humans, in general, are not in relationship with God unless they submit their lives over to God/Christ, leave their lives of sin behind them and follow Jesus in obedience, not in perfection, but unless they walk (in practice) in obedience to the Lord. So, we can’t just trust that God is holding us together and that he will strengthen us and carry us through our difficult times unless we are in relationship with him, and the only way to be in relationship with him is through dying with Christ to sin and living with Christ to righteousness, all in his power and strength. Therefore, we don’t yearn for God in our DNA. We yearn for God when he draws us to himself, to Christ, and we respond in faith, which he gives us, to surrender our lives to him, to follow him, his will and his ways. This is the gospel message that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, and this is the message that all true ministers of the gospel should be preaching.

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      • Dear Sue,
        I love that you are so passionate about the gospel. However, you are speaking things that I already know because I am living in the promises of God. I have a relationship with Jesus. You have completely and utterly twisted what I have spoken. We do CRAVE to have a relationship with Jesus. I know this because I lived through it. Broken and shattered, caught up in my transgressions, he came with his mercy and grace and called me his. When I called upon his name, he saved me through his precious blood. Bringing me into freedom, wholeness, and healing. Do not fight against your brothers and sisters of Christ. It is one thing if they are posing as a sheep in wolf’s clothing and do not bear fruit with repentance. The devil loves division. Therefore, I am not going to go back and forth over idle talk. What is most important is that through the blood of Jesus we are free from the condemnation of the law and now walk by grace. So I do understand that he loved us first and have chosen us! Yet, we do CRAVE him because he HAS chosen us. It is up to us to choose him back. I understand ALL of THIS because I am a CHILD OF GOD. Remember we are not fighting against flesh and blood. I know the Good News, I am spreading the Good News because HE has appointed me to do so. I refuse to go with enemies agenda of division. If you have concerns please go to Abba in prayer. As I said, there have been many things that have been twisted in this discussion. Everything should be obedient to God’s word. As his child, I bare his DNA. As his child, I will show grace and mercy, and love my enemies. As his child, I will stand with boldness before the throne and make my petitions, prayers, and intercession before him. Please be careful Sue of creating division where there is supposed to be unity. That is participating with the devil’s agenda. I may not know it all but I know GOD who does.
        Peace Be With You,
        Tanja

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      • Tanja – What the scriptures teach us is that because Adam sinned against God, thus sin came into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. It goes on to say that by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners. Because of this, we have borne the image of the man of dust, i.e. Adam. (Ro. 5:12-19; 1 Co. 15:21-22, 42-49).

        Then, we read in Romans 3:

        “None is righteous, no, not one;
        11 no one understands;
        no one seeks for God.
        12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
        no one does good,
        not even one.”

        This is where we are when we are born into this world. And, then it continues:

        23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

        When we are born into this world, we are born in the image of Adam, into sin. We are born with sin natures, not the nature of God, but separate from God. And, we all come up short of attaining God’s glory, i.e. his holiness and righteousness and his divine approval. In fact, we, in our sin natures, do not seek after God, we do not long (yearn) for him in our physical DNA. For, our physical DNA is one of a sin nature borne in the likeness of Adam, not God.

        And, this is why Jesus Christ had to die for us on a cross. And, that is because, in our sin natures, not one of us could be made righteous with God. Not one of us could attain God’s glory, his holiness and righteousness and his divine approval.

        So, Jesus Christ became our sinless sacrifice on the cross for us. When he died on that cross he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21).

        He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. And, when he died, he redeemed us with his blood, i.e. he bought us back for God that we might now become God’s possession and that we might no longer be the ones in control of our own lives. Thus, we are to honor God with our lives, because of what Jesus did for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; 1 Co. 6:20; Tit. 2:14; Eph. 2:10; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).

        So, the only way we can now bear the image of God is through faith in Jesus Christ. And, that faith requires that we die with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ to righteousness. It requires, too, that we must no longer live to please our sinful nature, i.e. we should no longer walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh, but now we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, if we want to have eternal life with God.

        For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we are walking according to the Spirit, then we have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14).

        So, just as Jesus died to sin on that cross and he was resurrected to new life, in victory over sin and Satan and the grave/death, we must die with him to sin, and be resurrected spiritually to new life in him, which is to be lived to him and to his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).

        Then, we receive a spiritual DNA that does yearn for God, and that longs to follow him with our lives.

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      • Tanja, this is the same message I have been giving you through this whole conversation. In our physical DNA, we do not yearn for God, but when we are reborn of the Spirit of God, we are given a new DNA which does yearn for God. Louie Giglio was talking about physical DNA, not spiritual DNA, and that is where I took issue. He gave no presentation of the gospel as to how we get from being born in the image of Adam to being spiritually reborn into the likeness of Christ. And, thus he gave the impression that all humans have this spiritual DNA within their physical DNA, and that all they have to do is just trust that Jesus is with them and that he is giving them strength, etc., but there was no transition in his speech between the physical and the spiritual and how we get from one to the other. And, that is where I took issue, based on the Word of God, not on my own thinking.

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      • This was part of Louie’s sermon at a conference. Check out his other sermon’s. This sermon in particular because I have a relationship with God, put me in AWE of how BIG he truly is. It brought a HOLY FEAR. I was speaking from a place of physical DNA and agreed with you most of the time. That all the way down to the molecular structure, we are made in his image. We were no longer made righteous due to the fall. However, through the blood of Jesus Christ we are made through righteous. Not through our own works or doing. But God chose us before the foundation of the world. His love was displayed on the cross.

        I have a hard time because it seems to be a place of judgment rather than discernment. Correction done without love is nothing but a noisy clanging cymbal. While I could have clarified much better and without the typos, for this I apologize. I wish in the future rather than beating people over the top of the head with the bible to prove your point, you display it through HIS WORD done IN LOVE. He said we would be known by if we love like him. I am your sister in Christ and you were fighting against me when I agreed with you. Just as Louie Giglio is a pastor who speaks The Word of God and you disregarded him based off of a part of a sermon. Offense is also from the devil and he will use it to turn us against one another. He loves and thrives when God’s children turn against one another and aren’t unified.

        Louie Giglio just came out with a book called “Not Forsaken” talking all about what Jesus has done for us. I hope you take the time to read it.

        I also pray you hear my loving tone and concern.

        Best wishes & prayers,
        Tanja

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      • Tanja, I did speak to you the truth in love with the love of Christ. And, we were never made righteous due to the fall. No one was ever made righteous by the works of the flesh. Only by faith in God has anyone ever been made righteous.

        And I am going to bring to bring this conversation to a close here. Thank you for responding and for sharing your thoughts with me on this subject. You pray for me and I will pray for you.

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