by Mike Ratliff
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 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. (Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV)
Just as I prepared to come down to my basement office to put together a post for my blog, I got a phone call from work. A server had a problem and they needed my help. Here it is nearly three hours later and I am just now getting to ready to post. I don’t have much time and am very tired. Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post my brethren. In love, God predestined believers for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ. Our Creator’s great love for us moved Him to call us out of the passion we had for Satan and the kingdom of darkness.
Never forget my brethren, all in Christ were predestined for adoption as sons with great affection by God Himself. He took us, who had no legal claim to being a part of God’s family, as His very children, with all the privileges that status entails.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 ESV)
Remember my brethren, God is too holy to even look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13) yet He set His loving gaze upon us in the misery of our impurity and willful profaning of all that is good and right in order to make us new creations in Christ. He adopted us unto holiness even though we were unholy. This very fact proves beyond all doubt my brethren that not one of us was any different from the rest of the fallen human race (Ephesians 1:4). We were just as unholy and fallen as the rest of the fallen human race until God intervened.
What motivated Him to love only some in this way and not every man, woman, and child who will ever live? Now we enter into the genuine bounds of the great mystery. However, we know that it is certainly not because we are inherently better than those who have not been chosen in love for holiness and adoption. Sacred Scripture says only that His choice to love His people is according to the purpose of His will (Ephesians 1:5).
John Calvin comments that in adoption “God does not inquire what we are, and is not reconciled to us by any personal worth. His single motive is the eternal good pleasure, by which he predestinated us.”
The wonder of divine election is not that God loves us because we are lovely but that He loves us even though there is nothing lovely in us. But in choosing us, He loves us in order to make us holy in His sight. Those whom He chooses will certainly become lovelier over the course of their walk with Christ, and will be completely pure in glory. My brethren, may we humbly remember that there is nothing in us to make God love us.
Soli Deo Gloria!