WHAT DOES EPHESIANS 1:4 TRULY MEAN?



WHAT DOES EPHESIANS 1:4 TRULY MEAN?


 

The ONLY verse in the entire Bible that has the phrase, “he has CHOSEN US before the foundation of the world” is  Ephesians 1:4. However, when read or interpreted CORRECTLY it does NOT means that God specifically chose certain individual people to be saved and thus everyone else has no chance of being saved. You see, the Calvinist and Reformed Theology Christians also known as Grace Alone believers read this verse OUT of context and in their mind here is what THEY read.


Here is the Predeterminism Version of Ephesians 1:4a.


“According as he has CHOSEN US before the foundation of the world…”


The Christians who believe Predeterminism of Calvinism focus all the emphasis on the words “God has CHOSEN US before the creation of the world”. And then they conclude that this means that God has only chosen certain specific people to be saved. And consequently God must have also chosen everyone else to be lost

 

But here is how Ephesians 1:4 ACTUALLY reads when it is read and interpreted correctly in the light of the whole word of Almighty God.


Ephesians 1:4.

 

“According as he has CHOSEN us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, THAT (Or so that or in order that) we should be HOLY and WITHOUT BLAME before him in LOVE. Having predestined us UNTO (Predestined UNTO WHAT? UNTO) the adoption of children (HOW?How are we predestined to be the sons and daughters of almighty God our creator?) BY Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

 

 


So then, it was the WILL of Almighty God the Father that ALL of mankind be saved BY, THROUGH, and IN his Son Jesus the Christ. Again, the predestination part of God’s word of TRUTH is that we are foreordained to be God's children BY or through our FAITH in God’s Son Jesus. And the CHOSEN part of God’s word of TRUTH is the fact that Almighty God has CHOSEN or foreordained that WAY OF SALVATION would be IN HIM as referring to his Son Jesus.

And the US part in God’s word of TRUTH is ALL the world or all of mankind who BELIEVE. So you see my dear brothers and sister in our Lord Jesus Christ, the truth of the matter is that we are actually chosen WHEN we make the CHOICE to believe and follow in his steps. That is WHEN we actually BECOME the ELECT of God. That is WHEN we are given the POWER to BECOME the eternal sons and daughters of God. We must always interpret verse in context and ALSO in the LIGHT of the rest of God’s word.


Please read John 1:11-13.  


“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12.  But as many as RECEIVED HIM, to THEM (Speaking of ONLY those of us who RECEIVE Jesus as their savior) gave he power to become the sons of God, even to THEM that BELIEVE on his name:

13.  Which were BORN (Speaking of being BORN-AGAIN BY the word of God after hearing and BELIEVING the gospel of our salvation to become born-again), not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”


Yes, it is absolutely true that we were indeed BORN of God by the WILL of God. And it is also true that God chose to SAVE mankind even before God created the first man Adam. And the Bible clearly teaches us that God loved us WHILE we were yet SINNERS. But this does not mean that God predestined only certain select people to BELIEVE and receive his so great a salvation to be BORN of God.

This simple means that the plan of salvation is GOD’S plan and NOT the plan of MAN. All of mankind are like sheep that are gone astray UNTIL we heard God CALLING to us by the HEARING of the GOSPEL of salvation. Sometimes, but not all the time, some people sense that something is just not quite right in their life. They may not always know what it is, but they feel a void or emptiness in the life. That is God calling or drawing them to himself. But that emptiness will never before healed UNTIL they HEAR and RECEIVE the call of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Bible clearly teaches that God gives the CALL for ALL of mankind to come to the knowledge of truth and be saved. The word of God also teaches that man determines his or her OWN destiny by the CHOICES he or she makes. Please note that the word “makes” is in the PRESENT tense and that it is also in the PLURAL because being saved is NOT a one-time choice we make and then we go or set out on our way again.

The past is in the past, good or evil, it is in the past. Now if your past or present is on the side of evil, then repent and seek forgiveness of God, then start making the right choices. God is CALLING you to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Proverbs 1:23-29 says.


Turn you at my reproof:(Even the unsaved people have a God given conscience. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convict the WORLD of sin) behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24. Because I have CALLED, and YOU refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25. But YOU have set at naught all my counsel, and would NONE of my reproof:

26. I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes;

27. When your fear comes as desolation, and your destruction comes as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish comes upon you.

28. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer, they will seek me early, but they shall not find me: (WHY?)

29. For (Or BECAUSE) THEY hated KNOWLEDGE, and (THEY)  did NOT CHOOSE the fear of the Lord.”

 

 

Think this through for YOURSELF. HOW can one be CALLED and still yet REFUSE God, if so be, that being “called” means predestined to be saved without having a will to choose? You see, according to the  Reformed Calvinistic THEOLOGY of ELECTION, one who is CALLED cannot REFUSE God’s irresistible grace. And according to Predeterminism or Reformed Theology, NONE of the ELECT can ever LOSE his or her salvation. Predeterminism teaches that ONLY the ELECT are chosen BEFORE the foundation of the world. And thus the ELECT are supposedly PREDESTINED to be saved WITHOUT ever having chose for themselves to be saved.

Predeterminism, Calvinism, Reformed Theology, and Grace Alone theology all teach that same things. And what they all teach is that no one, not even the so-called elect, are able or capable to choose God or their own free will. And thus, they sincerely believe that it is God ALONE who chooses them WITHOUT any work, without any faith, and without any choice of any will or their own of them choosing God to be saved. And their reasoning is that faith and making a choice is WORKS to them. And thus they could boast of their work of CHOOSING God.

 

NO my dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, this is a MAN MADE THEOLOGY which contradicts the WHOLE word of God.

 

You see, God is always CALLING, but the question is are you going to ANSWER him? God has CHOSEN ALL of mankind through his written word to turn from evil, to resist the devil, to flee from sin and to CHOOSE the good by FIRST choosing his SON as your savior.

 

Proverbs 3:31.

 

“Envy you NOT the oppressor, and CHOOSE NONE of his ways.”

 

The oppressor is Satan and his ways are the PLEASURES of SIN. Even the Gentiles who were NOT given the law of God obeyed God by obeying their God given conscience.

 

Please read Romans 2:13-16.


“(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

14.  For when the Gentiles, which have NOT the law, do by NATURE the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15.  Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their CONSCIENCE also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”



But at the same time their THOUGHTS from the deceiver Satan and their remembrance of the pleasure of sin they enjoyed in the past would keep drawing them back into sin. They would harder their own heart to make excuses to sin again. They continued to keep on disobeying their “God given conscience” because the oppressor had DOMINION OVER them. They were slaves to sin but they did not know why they kept giving into sin. And they also even excused the sins of others. Kind of like you hear in some churches today. We all have heard sermons from the pulpit saying things like, “We are just SINNERS saved by grace and we are going to sin every day because it is human NATURE to sin.” But yet those unregenerate Gentiles BY their NATURE obeyed the things in the law of God never even hearing the law of Moses.


The word of God clearly teaches us that we must make a CHOICE whom we will serve. There is no middle ground. You are either on the side of EVIL or you are on the side of GOOD.


Look at Joshua 24:15a.

 

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, CHOOSE you this day whom you will serve...”

Then Jesus says in Matthew 12:30a.


“He that is not WITH me is AGAINST me;...”

There is no gray area. There is no neutral ground. Everyone has to make a CHOICE. And if you do NOT CHOOSE to BELIEVE in Jesus as the atonement for your sins, then you shall die in your sins BECAUSE you have NOT BELIEVED. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so SIMPLE. You either CHOOSE to BELIEVE or you CHOOSE to NOT BELIEVE, the CHOICE is YOURS to make, And I pray that you choose wisely and BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, who suffered and died on the cross for you sins.


I will present you with two more scriptures that clearly show that God has CALLED and CHOSEN ALL of mankind to inherit eternal life. And that the Bibles does NOT teach that God just selected a few to be saved as some falsely teach under the DISGUISE of predestination. You see dear children of God, what Predeterminism, Calvinism, Grace Alone and Reformed Theology teaches as predestination is NOT SOUND BIBLICAL predestination according to the WHOLE word of Almighty God.


Isaiah 65:11,12 says this.

 

“But you are THEY that FORSAKE the Lord, that forget my holy mountain,...

...12. therefore (Or for this very reason that you yourself or your own free will FORSAKE the Lord) will I number you to the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter: BECAUSE when I CALLED, you did not ANSWER; when I spake, you did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did CHOOSE that wherein I delight not.”

 


The reason that the wicked are numbered to the sword of destruction is that they rejected and forsook the Lord and when he called to them THEY did NOT ANSWER the call of the gospel of God’s so great a salvation. They would not hear or listen and they would not answer or respond, when he called. They would not obey their God given conscience. But instead, they CHOSE to do evil and all the things in which God did not delight or desire them to do.

 

Then Isaiah 66:3b,4 we read.


“...Yea they have CHOSEN their OWN ways, and their souls delight in their abominations.

4. I will ALSO CHOOSE their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them, (WHY?) BECAUSE when I CALLED, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear (Or listen): but they did evil before mine eyes, and CHOSE that which I delighted not.”

 

 

What Calvinist and Reformed Theology Christians have failed to see that the God bent over backward, so to speak, all during the Old Covenant to get the children of Israel to RESIST the oppressor. And that is WHY the partial blindness of Israel under the NEW Covenant. God turned to the gentiles in order to PROVOKE Israel to jealousy in the last days. God has promised that he will turn a SECOND TIME to save the remnant of Israel. God is for us and not against us. His desire for us, ALL of mankind is always good.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 says.

 

“For I know the thoughts I think TOWARD you, says the Lord, thoughts of PEACE, and NOT of evil, to give you the EXPECTED END.”

The EXPECTED END, that is to say, the desired end for ALL of mankind is to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. This is what God has foreordained or PREDESTINED for ALL of mankind. But God will not force anyone to make their own CHOICE to RECEIVE the TRUTH or his so great a salvation. God has chosen MANKIND to be SAVED IN his Son Jesus Christ from before the foundation of the world.

And you may find it interesting to know what the Greek word that is translated as “FOUNDATION” truly means. Please read the study “THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD”. One of the things I like most about Reformed Theology Christians is their LOVE and passion to STUDY the word of Almighty God systematically. But always keep in mind that NOT ALL systematic theology is SOUND BIBLICAL TRUTH.

Please read John 3:16-18 where the Bible is teachings us that if we do NOT CHOOSE TO BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, then we shall REMAIN in our sins being condemned already to the second death BECAUSE we have NOT BELIEVED. In other words, we have TWO CHOICES. We can choose to BELIEVE. Or we can choose to NOT believe. The choice is always our own choice. And the preaching of the Gospel helps us to make the RIGHT CHOICE!


John 3:16-18.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, THAT (Or so that) WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17.  For (Or BECAUSE) God sent NOT his Son into the world to CONDEMN the world; but that the world through him MIGHT be saved.

18.  He (Of WHOSOEVER of ANY person in the whole world) that BELIEVES on him is NOT condemned: (That is ONE CHOICE and the CHOICE that God DESIRE that we make) BUT he that believes NOT is condemned already, BECAUSE he has NOT BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

 


And the last have of verse 18 is the SECOND CHOICE that God does NOT DESIRE that ANY person makes because it is God’s WILL and desire that ALL men be saved according to the SIMPLICITY of the gospel found in 2 Peter 3:9 and 1 Timothy 2:4.

 

Now, please consider the OTHER side of this highly controversial subject of Predeterminism. You see, all you need to do is to PLUG IN the Calvinistic theology of ONLY the ELECT being saved into John 3:16-18 and see if it COMPUTES logically in your mind. Here is how a NON-Calvinist Christians see your interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ being INTENDED ONLY for the ELECT.

 

Here is the Calvinistic translation of John 3:16-18.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever of the ELECT CHOSEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD TO BE SAVE WHO BELIEVE in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the ELECT OF THE world; but that the ELECT OF THE world through him MIGHT be saved.

18  He OF WHOSOEVER OF THE ELECT CHOSEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD that BELIEVES on him is not condemned: BUT he OF WHOSOEVER OF THE ELECT CHOSEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD that BELIEVES NOT is condemned already, BECAUSE he OF WHOSOEVER OF THE ELECT CHOSEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD has NOT BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

 


Now according to Calvinism, it is IMPOSSIBLE for one of the ELECT to NOT BELIEVE. And according to Calvinism, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is INTENDED for ONLY the ELECT seeing that ONLY the ELECT can possibly BELIEVE. So by the Predeterminism Theology redefining the word “WHOSOEVER” to mean “ONLY the ELECT” does NOT COMPUTE when applied to scripture. You see, when that “Calvinistic” meaning of “ONLY the ELECT” is plugged into John 3:16-18 where Jesus is clearly teaching us IN SIMPLICITY that the ELECT have TWO CHOICES from which to choose of their own free will. The ELECT can either CHOOSE to BELIEVE. Or the ELECT can CHOOSE to NOT believe. And the eternal life of the ELECT depends on which CHOICE that the ELECT make of the ELECT person’s own free will.

 

Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you CONTINUE to seek the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God. Your very eternal life depends upon what CHOICES that you make. So choose wisely according to the SOUND BIBLICAL teaching of the scriptures.

 

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.

 

 

 

 

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The NEXT VERSE we will study is John 3:3 in the study called DOES JOHN 3:3 TEACH CALVINISM?