Monthly Archives: July 2013

The doctrine of election … he chose us before the foundation of the world …

Thoughts from The Message to the Ephesians by John R.W. Stott

  • “The doctrine of election is divine revelation not a human speculation” (John R.W. Stott).
    It was not invented by Augustine of Hippo or Calvin of Geneva. On the contrary, it is without question a biblical doctrine, and no biblical Christian can ignore it.

(Ephesians 1:3–6 NKJV)

  • 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 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, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Dave thoughts following …

Must realize who was it written to …
What we must realize is that this was written to “the saints” (Ephesians 1:1). The saints are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ and received the gift of eternal life, the holy ones who have been set apart for service to God. T
o this group God through the writing of Paul begins instructing them as to who they are and what God has done in their behalf.

This is not …
This is not a discussion on whether God is fair or not, and following that thought, it is not a discussion as to why some are chosen and others are not. Neither is it an explanation as to how God goes about his process of choosing.

It is …
It is a very simple and clear statement. He chose us (the saints, believers in Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world. And he predestined us (chose ahead of time, foreordained) to be the sons and daughters of God.

God speaking to his people …
This text is about God speaking to his people and teaching us who we are in Christ and the greatness of our salvation in Christ.






Message notes 071413 Intro to Ephesians … Letter from God …

INTRODUCTION: Ephesians is a letter from God sent by special messenger to the saints, the believers in Christ Jesus.

Picture with me the saints at the church at Ephesus as they come in to hear the letter. They didn’t consult a stack of theology books or review the latest discussions and trends in ethics and morality to prepare for the reading. 

They merely came to hear what God had to say.

It is mostly a simple letter written by a special messenger of Jesus Christ with a greeting from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The messenger calls them saints, holy ones, the believers in Jesus who have been set apart for the work of God.

They hear God welcome them to his presence as he extends his grace and mercy.

They have never heard the terms Calvinism and Arminianism. Neither have they ever been part of a conversation involving dispensationalism nor reformed theology.

What do they hear you ask? The special messenger tells them of the spiritual blessings that God has provided for them, that they were chosen before the foundation of the world and that their destiny will be fulfilled as sons and daughters of the Most High God.

Then as they listen to the words of the letter, God takes over and the Holy Spirit of God speaks to their hearts and teaches them.

Just as we can today read and hear the words of this same letter delivered by the special messenger, Paul the Apostle.

Just as we can today be instructed as to our identity and blessing in Christ.

Just as we can today be called to live worthy of our spiritual inheritance in Jesus Christ.

Would you please turn with me to Ephesians 1:1?

Lessons from the letter of God …

Lesson One: The letter is to the saints, 1:1.

  • We are what God calls us, and God calls us saints.

Lesson Two: God welcomes us to his grace and peace, 1:2.

  • God greets us with grace and peace.

Lesson Three: When the light bulb comes on, we bless God, 1:3.

  • God doesn’t do things like we do things.

Lesson Four: God is talking to his saints, 1:4-6.

  • When God is speaking to his saints, don’t confuse and distract by broadening the audience.
  • God tells his saints that they have been chosen before the foundation of the world.
  • God tells his saints that they have been predestined to be sons and daughters of God.


  • What identity are you living by?
  • Would you give God the opportunity to show you who you are?
  • Look at our text today.
  • Do you see yourself described?

This God … Perfect! This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. “For who is God, but the Lord ? And who is a rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.

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