just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:4-6 NKJV
There is a lot in this verse:
1) He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world
2) His purpose is for us to be Holy and without blame before Him in Love
3) He predestined us to adoption as sons to be reconciled by Christ to Himself
4) He did this out of the good pleasure of His will
5) to the praise and glory of His grace
6) by which He made us accepted in the Beloved
The first thing that I want to point out is that the gospel is about what God can do in us and through us. If we are working for it ourselves, we might have missed the forest for the trees.
It is more about Him choosing us than it is about us choosing Him, because if we chose Him, if we worked for this salvation, if we earned this salvation on our own, then we might fall into pride thinking that we’ve done something. But the Lord makes it clear that He calls us and chooses us. So it’s more about us understanding and realizing that we are chosen.
His purpose is for us to be Holy and without blame before Him. And how does He say that this is done? In love. And not in a worldly love, but in that true, godly, sacrificial Love that Christ demonstrated as our example – a life laid down for our brothers and sisters. A life of surrender to God’s will and living service to others. He doesn’t say follow the law of Moses and you can obtain holiness – quite the opposite. He tells us that the law of Moses is a curse for those that are not His, that it is for those still walking in the flesh, those not yet raised to life. But to those of us who die to the flesh and are raised to new life in Christ, He says walk in Love and you will fulfill the law of Christ.
He predestined us to be His sons. He chose you, friend. He chose us to be reunited with Him. He chose us to receive the healing and renewal and anointing of a born again life as a Son of the most high God.
His will to do this demonstrates to us His ways. It demonstrates clearly to us the difference in His ways and our own sinful and selfish nature. He loved us first. Before we loved Him, He loved us. Even knowing that we would walk in rebellion for a time and season because of our nature and our free will to make our own decisions, He loved us and saved us by the great reconciliation of the cross. That point in all eternity where time itself was split in two by the presence of the creator amongst His creation in the flesh.
All of this is to the praise and glory of His grace. It is for us to recognize this amazing truth about who we are, that we are not defined by our old nature, but that we can be freed from the prison of sin, freed from the burden of shame, that we can bring Him praise and honor by recognizing the beauty, the glory of His Amazing Grace. That He would rescue an old sinner like me, pluck me from my old life, wash me with His blood, and clothe me in His righteousness in a new life.
And by this, His work, He made us accepted in the Beloved. That is what the church is. We are His beloved. We are the body of Christ, and He is the head. We are united as one with Christ as our Lord and Savior.
The book of Ephesus explains both the nature and the purpose of the church, the body of Christ – so that we can recognize it and know the difference between dead, divided organizations teaching law and practicing religion – versus the alive body of Christ, the living church, that builds each other up in repentance, forgiveness, accountability, edification, love and unity.