Paul has just told Christians that they are blessed with spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. What are these blessings?
Paul immediately begins by talking about predestination. So often predestination is a source of controversy or confusion. However, Paul sees predestination as a source of comfort. We are so inclined to view salvation as us choosing God, but here Scripture tells us that our salvation was brought about because God chose us. People who are proud and successful have a hard time accepting this, but remember that Paul is writing to hurting people whose worldly lives are falling apart. What comfort is it to think you chose God? What if He didn’t want you? Of course you want heaven, the question is does heaven want you? Here Paul gives us the source of comfort, God has chosen His people.
He then tells us that this sovereign choice is in Jesus. This choice had nothing to do with what God saw in us; it was because of what God saw in Jesus. God chose to place us in Christ so that He might be made sin for us and we might become the righteousness of God in Him. This choice was not based upon some foreseen goodness or faith that we would have in the future. God looked into the future and saw Jesus and His goodness and substitutionary sacrifice. God was pleased to look on Jesus and pardon His chosen people.
Before the foundation of the world
As Paul teaches us in Romans 9 predestination is not based upon some foreseen good or evil found within us. God chose to save us before we had ever done anything wrong or right. This is why predestination is properly called the Doctrine of Grace. God chooses to save irrespective of our actions, good or evil. This is God’s unconditional love for His people; He chose to love them no matter what they would do in the future. There is nothing that would cause God to leave or forsake His people.
There is a distortion of predestination and grace that is heresy. It is the idea that the elect or saved can live in all manner of sin because they cannot lose their salvation. In both Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 we are taught that we were chosen or predestined to be holy and conformed to the image of Jesus. God has chosen that no matter what we were by birth, He will transform us into the holy image of Jesus by the new birth. He will take a sinner and make him a saint. He will finish the work that He begins.
Blameless before Him
Perhaps the hardest thing to grasp from this passage is that God has chosen to call His people blameless. He no longer sees or remembers their sin. Although we feel the filth of our sins and the deceitfulness of our own hearts, God views us as blameless. Our neighbors may see all of our faults, but God has chosen to not see them. Because Jesus was made sin for us, we have been made the righteousness of God in Him. While we see ourselves as sinners, God sees us as saints.
All of these blessings are the Christian’s because of God’s love. God loves His children and nothing will separate us from the love of God that is in Christ. What greater blessings do we need?
Do you believe this? Will you believe in Jesus and receive these blessings? Will you receive the comfort God has for you and praise Him?