Ephesians 1:3-10, Being Chosen

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 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. 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.

Werhoo! Here’s a good scripture for any time you’re having a (metaphorically) rainy day. Though in Wellington tonight it’s also literally a rainy day.

We are chosen! It’s interesting to think about the concept of being chosen, because, well, everyone is chosen aren’t they. According to the great commission, we are to make disciples of “all nations”, everyone is supposed to have the opportunity to accept God’s grace. And it can be easy in our human thinking to say that if everyone is chosen, then by extension no one is. Like the old sarcastic phrase we’ve all used at one time or another “I’m special, just like everyone else.”

But I think being chosen is important. Yes, we’re all chosen, so being chosen doesn’t mean we’re favourited. We are all equal, which is good. But being chosen does mean that God thought of us each individually. It’s not a case of He chose the whole earth, and therefore I got lumped in, but somehow I’m not as worthy of His grace as everyone else. Cause let’s face it, we all feel like that sometimes.

There are so many levels that the idea of being chosen can apply to as well. The passage says He “chose us”. Yes, He chose each of us, but as Christians we don’t operate alone, we are part of a family. So when I think of the different ways in which I can act for God, I can say that God chose me, He chose my family, He chose my campus group, He chose my church, He chose my peer group. All of these are groups of people with whom I work as a team to further God’s Kingdom, and each of them have tasks God has chosen them to do. And it’s important to think about scriptures on this level. We always think “how does this apply to me” but there is much to be said for thinking “how does this apply to groups I’m a part of”.

This especially makes sense in the context of a letter Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, and in which he used the words “us” and “we” a lot, not the word “I” or even the word “you”.

To make it really general, we are chosen for two things. First, to be saved. The passage talks about us being blessed with His “glorious grace”, having “redemption through His blood” and the “forgiveness of our trespasses”. He has lavished His grace on us. Second, we are chosen to work. He has made known to us the mystery of His will, and in case we read that and think “well it’s still a mystery to me”, Paul specifies that it is to “to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” And we have a part to play in that, as stated clearly at the end of Matthew 28, and it wasn’t really news then. From Genesis humans have been charged to look after our planet and multiply and fill it. From Matthew onwards this meant not only actually having literal babies, but also having spiritual children, so that the earth can be filled with people who have the joy of knowing their Creator.

Anyway, that’s my 2c worth. I’m a write as I think kinda guy, I don’t really go back and edit, so I’m more than happy to hear your ideas on the subject, there’s certainly more than what I’ve covered.

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