“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.”
These verses are theologically profound but have also been the center of great debate and division centering on the idea of predestination and election. This idea of choosing, election, predestination can be a heated topic in the church, but it is here in the God’s Word and we must deal with it. We can’t ignore it or try to just explain it away.
In the Greek “chose” means, I pick out for myself; I choose. Therefore, there is theological truth in the statement that if you are a follower of Jesus, you were chosen, and hand selected by God Himself. He Loved you, specifically you, so much he died for you! Feel the weight of that love! So many times, we get uncomfortable about the idea of election and predestination that we miss out on how much God loves us in it. You are not some afterthought, but a specific thought and object of his love! You are so loved!
Though there is theological truth, there is also mystery in this concept of election, or being chosen by God because we know that we must repent or turn from our sins and believe in him. Someone once asked a pastor how he understood God’s election or choosing and human responsibility and he said, “That’s not my problem, that is God’s problem and for God it is not a problem.” There is a tension here to be sure, but according to God’s word, he is still actively choosing us even in our responsibility to come to him. No matter where you land in the debate God’s election of us and our responsibility to follow him hold mystery and tension.
In this tension and mystery, we must see that God is outside our comprehension and at some level we will never be able to grasp this completely. Even still, we must see it and acknowledge it. This idea that God is bigger than we can imagine and understand shows us how great he is and how much we should worship him. This mystery should lead us to worship, which is exactly what Paul is doing in these verses. This tension and mystery do not have to be a dividing debate. Rather it should propel us to worship in awe of our great and mysterious God!
Regardless of where you land on the extent to and how God chooses, you must acknowledge it. If you are in Christ, you can know you are here on purpose because God loves you specifically. You are so loved and valued, but that is not all that should come from theological truth. Salvation is not just about you getting out of hell and being loved by God. According to the second half of verse 4, selection should lead us to becoming blameless before him. If you call yourself a Christian, if you have been saved, if you are a follower of Jesus, you ought to be seeking to become more like Jesus, not to earn his love, but because of his love.
These verses remind us in a theological rich way of how much God loves us and that he loves you specifically and intentionally as a believer. If you are not a believer or sure if you follow Jesus, the question is not, “Am I Chosen”, but rather “Will I follow Jesus as the Lord of my Life?” If you are a follower of Jesus, then you an know that you are so loved and so valued and that Jesus died for you specifically. If you are his chosen child, then you should live like it! Take his love for you seriously and display it in your life. Seek to live for the Lord because you belong to him as his chosen son or daughter!