Home > Uncategorized > The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (Part 4 of 155)

The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (Part 4 of 155)

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ephesians 1.4: …just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.

Yesterday’s verse talked about how we have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing. This is an outpouring of God’s wonderful grace towards us. Today’s verse begins with “just as,” which links this blessing with that which is to follow. What has God done? He has chosen us in Christ, before the foundation of the world.

Before the foundation of the world. God’s love for us is prior to nations, to human history, to creation itself, though indeed we are creatures. The whole of creation was meant for us, just as we were meant for him, that is Christ, a gift from God the Father to his Son, who is the King of Creation. He had us in mind when he made the world. His love for us will remain though this world, in its present form, is passing away.

And what were we chosen for? To be two things: holy and blameless. “Holy” is a difficult word for me to grasp; one thing that comes to mind, at least, is this: to be holy is to be at the same time precious, and yet unbreakable. It is easier, I think, to apply to God than to men, but perhaps also easier for us to have false and impersonal conceptions of what it means. But, for men, it is easy to make very unfortunate mistakes in terms of what we think it means. In popular culture, holiness often means something quite akin to religious self-righteousness, to Phariseeism, which we ought to know is quite repeated condemned by Jesus. “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16.15) Holiness does have to do with moral perfection, but this is often not as we think it to be. Rather, I think, a holy person is one whose very presence communicates the love, joy, and perfection of God almighty.

We are also chosen to be blameless. A blameless person is one without guilt, without stain on their character. This is not any of us sinners, though in Christ, as we have already talked about, this is how God really sees us, how he has declared through his Son for us to be, and is thus what we are becoming.

Finally, the holiness and blamelessness that God is giving to us is to be manifested “before him in love.” Obviously, there is a lot here, more than I can write about this morning. All I will say is this: the only person who can love freely is a person without blame, without guilt, and consequently without fear of judgment. For one who fears judgment can only ever really act out of selfish motives; but when this is done away with, when the burden is lifted by God himself, by his grace, then we can love in truth.

Tomorrow’s verse is as follows:

1.5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will…

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Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. September 18, 2010 at 9:52 am

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