"HE HATH CHOSEN US"
"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love"- Ephesians 1:4
There is no scripture in all of the New Testament that sinners will find more comfort in than the first chapter of Ephesians. It is a hiding place, a city of refuge for the afflicted soul. And one does not have to be a theologian to understand the simple truths that Paul sets before the believing Ephesians. These simple truths place our feet on solid ground, on the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ. If we ever forget who we are, where we are going, or who saved us from our sins, let us remember "he hath chosen us."
According to the apostle Paul, I did not choose God, He chose me. The Pharisee will not rejoice in such a doctrine, for he has made the mark, he is righteous in his own eyes. But a bankrupt, guilty sinner will find great comfort in such words.
The old hymn, written by Josiah Conder, expressed it this way:
"My Lord, I did not choose You, For that could never be;
My heart would still refuse You, Had You not chosen me.
You took the sin that stained me, You cleansed me, made me new;
Of old You have ordained me, That I should live in You.
Unless Your grace had called me And taught my opening mind,
The world would have enthralled me; to heavnly glories blind.
My heart knows none above You, For Your rich grace I thirst;
I know that if I love You, You must have loved me first."
That, I believe, is the gospel in a nutshell. Simple enough that even a child can understand it, "He hath chosen us".
And when was this choice made? Was it made when the "us" joined a church; prayed a prayer; accepted a doctrine; participated in an ordinance; or did any thing? According to Paul, this choice was made by God "before the foundation of the world." Therefore man can not take any credit in it. All of our theology must agree with this statement.
But who are the "us"? C.H. spurgeon once said something like this: "these little words like 'we' and 'us' are like the door of Noah's ark: they shut out and they shut in." They offer comfort and security to the poor. Now, as we read this verse, do we find a preacher involved in this choice? Do we find a particular denomination? Do we find any merits on the part of those chosen? But we do find God. Then the door is secure! How then, may we identify the 'us'? Listen to the old prophet, he will tell us, "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee"- Jeremiah 31:3. The "us" are those that God loves with an everlasting love. Those are the ones that Christ came for. Those are the same ones that Jesus Christ perfected upon the cross of Calvary. Those are the same ones that will live with God in glory one day. And all of this came about because, "He hath chosen us." We thank thee Lord, for thy divine favor!
Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115.
by His Grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.