Volume. XXIII, No. 23
Sunday, 30 November 2008


Are you a Blessed Person? Eph 1:1-6 (Part 2)


Second, You are Chosen in Christ to Be Saved (v. 4)

Not only that we are bestowed with grace, peace and heavenly spiritual blessings, but we are also chosen before the foundation of the world (v.4). Or, rather say, Christians are blessed with all spiritual blessings because they were chosen in Christ in the first place before the world was even created. Why are we chosen by God? Some suggest that we are chosen or elected in God's foreknowledge of our coming to Him in faith as 1 Peter 1:2 says, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…." They conclude, in other words, God chose us because He foresaw in His foreknowledge that some would choose Him in faith - but this is theologically and logically wrong. First, it is not theologically sound  because Apostle Paul said that God chose us in His 'good pleasure of His will' (v.5). This explicitly indicates that God did not choose some outside of His good pleasure and will, such as human 'decision', if any man were ever able to 'decide'. Thus, God's election is absolutely independent upon any external factor because God is sovereign in electing whoever He wants in perfect justice (Romans 9:18-21) and is not obligated to reveal His reason to any of His creatures (Deuteronomy 29:29). Second, it is illogical because God's election cannot be based upon His foreknowledge of some coming to Him in faith because this would imply that He foresaw something 'good' in us, that is why He choose us. If this were true, it would relegate God's sovereign and gracious election conditional and would be entirely contrary to the teaching of the rest of the Scripture concerning election (2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 1:11,12; 1 Peter 1:2; John 13:18; 15:16,19; Romans 9:16; 9:21). It was Christ who said that He is the one who chose us not the other way round (John 16:16). Then what did God foresee in His election (1 Peter 1:2) if it were not our faith? God foresaw His people. Romans 8:29b says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate…" and also Romans 11:2b “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew”. The relative pronoun 'whom' in Romans 8:29b obviously refers to people, not something else, like faith. It is clear that the Scripture says that it is His people or 'whom' God foreknew, not our faith, for faith is also a gift of God (Ephesians 2:9). John Calvin put it this way, "For if we are chosen in Christ, it is outside ourselves. It is not from the sight of our deserving, but because our heavenly Father has engrafted us, through the blessing of adoption, into the Body of Christ. In short, the name of Christ excludes all merit, and everything which men have of themselves." Therefore, if it were not for God who draws us to His Son (John 6:43) no one would ever come to Him in faith (John 6:65). It was God who elected you before the foundation of the world, calls you and by the washing and regeneration, renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5b), and grants you the faith for you to come to Him (Ephesians 2:9) through the preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:18). Some argue that this doctrine would kill the spirit for evangelism. The gospel is sincerely offered to all creature (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9) and God's people are called to be actively involved in evangelism, preaching the gospel to every creature (Matthew 28:18,19) until the day Christ returns. Others argue that the doctrine of election would imply that God would reject a non-elect who would come to Him in Faith. The Lord explicitly says in John 6:37, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." The plain truth is that, in the first place, no one is willing to come to Christ (John 1:10; Luke 12:34, 19:27), the True Light of the world, because the world hates the Light (John 3:19-21). Nor is anybody able to come to Him in faith because they are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13) and blind (John 9:39) and would even hate Christ without a cause (John 15:25). Unless the Father in heaven enables the person to come to Him by His Spirit (Titus 3:5,6) in His own good time (Titus 3:4), no one would come to Christ or be open to the gospel. Those who are already in Christ, you are graciously blessed in Him for being chosen to come to Him in faith, though none is worthy of God's grace.

Third, You are Predestinated to be His Children in Christ (vv. 5,6)

Christians are not only chosen to be saved in Christ. Apostle Paul also said in verse 5 that God's people are blessed because they are predestinated to be adopted to be His children in glory: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" (cf. Romans 8:29). The idea of 'adoption' during the New Testament era under Roman law means that an adopted person would have all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family and would completely lose all rights in his old family. In the eyes of the law, he was a new person. This new identify implies that even all debts and obligations connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed. Are you not thankful that you are so blessed because you have been redeemed out of the house of slavery from the power of Satan and no longer serve sin (Romans 6:6; 7:25) and are now a child of God (John 1:12; Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:15)? This means that your old master, Sin, has no more control over you and you are free from the bondage of it. All the spiritual debts and obligations connected with your previous 'family' were all abolished in Christ because He has ransomed you with His blood (Romans 3:25; Colossians 1:14, 20; Ephesians 1:7) and paid the full debt for you by shedding His blood for us on the cross (Matthew 18:27; Romans 4:4; Matthew 6:12; Isaiah 53:5,6)? Also, the moment we were adopted into the family of God, means that we enjoy full rights of a legitimate son, including access to an inheritance (Galatians 4:5-7; Ephesians 1:11, 14, 18; Colossians 1:12, 3:24). Indeed, in the eyes of God the Father, you are a new person and part of the family of God - in Christ!  Nevertheless, how could one, once a slave of sin and child of darkness, be accepted and adopted into the new family of God? Apostle Paul in verse 6 says, "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." The 'beloved' refers to none other than the beloved Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Creator and Saviour of mankind, Jesus Christ! No one is accepted into the family of God except he comes to Jesus Christ trusting Him as His Lord and Saviour. For he says in John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Not only that, one day those who are adopted into the family of God who are called into glory (2 Peter 1:3) and are partakers of divine nature (2 Pet 1:4) will inherit the kingdom of God incorruptible (1 Corinthians 6:9, 15:50; 1 Peter 1:4) and be with God forever in heaven in glory.  

CONCLUSION

Christians, do you realize how blessed you are in Christ? Knowing that you are saved by grace, endowed with spiritual blessings in Christ, you must tell others how blessed you are as a Christian, for you have been saved by grace and endowed with eternal and incorruptible riches. You must also proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to every creature although God has chosen some to be saved before the foundation of the world and adopted them to be His children, accepted in His beloved in His own will and pleasure. Dear friends, do you wish that you can also be accepted by God and be adopted into the family of God? You must come to Christ who has accomplished the Work of redemption on the cross of Calvary and trust Him as your Saviour and Lord and repent of your sins. He alone can wash away all your sins, reconcile you with heavenly Father in perfect peace, so that you can be accepted into the family of God. Come to Christ today and trust Him as your Saviour today before it is too late!

Pastor David Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters - Team Leader: Sis Bernadette Ng

Please note: Next Lord’s Day - after Worship Service Fellowship lunch is communal

The Lord’s Supper will be held on 14 Dec.

Sis Catherine Teng wishes to express her thanks for your prayers and encouragement during & after her surgery. Praise God for your support.

Creation-Evolution DVDs available now. Please collect your copy from Bro Colin Gan. Cost: $1 per copy.

 

Looking Ahead

Christmas Day Worship Service, Thurs 25 Dec at 10:00am

Watch Night Service, Wed 31 Dec at 7:30 pm

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren; Sisters Tabitha Heah & Michelle Lee (Melb); Dn Edwin D’Mello (Bris); Mrs Liaw & Bro Jonathan Liaw; Sisters  Maybelline Tan (S’pore) & Serene Wong (Indonesia); Mrs Mak & Sis Connie Mak (Syd) & all those who arrived in safety.

Healing/recovery from surgery: Sis Catherine Teng

Church activities: E-Ministry; Ladies’ Fellowship Share & Prayer; Men’s Fellowship Breakfast Meeting; Shorter Catechism Class; Sunday School Staff Meeting; Working Bees; & YAF Dinner & Activity.

Participation & contribution over last 2 years by Sis Connie Mak

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing -Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements,  Rev Stephen Khoo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Yew Shing Chan, Colin Creaser, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagan, Mr Yeom, Hans Ziegelmann; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Mabela Booth, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Auntie Oei, Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena, Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; & others who are in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia; Kuching (Teo Family); Laos, India & Pakistan (Pastor & Believers)

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

Pastor Ki: Preaching ministry in S Korea.

Pastor Weng: ministry in Hope BPC; application for permanent residency in Australia.

Outreach to Mandarin speakers in Adelaide.

Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren (Adl); Bros  Raymond Ang, Daniel Ki & Samuel Ki (Melb); Dn D’Mello (Adl); Dn David Yeo & family (Perth); Sisters Suzane Lim (Vic), Serene Wong (Indonesia/S’pore) & Purdee Yeo (S’pore/KL).

Sis Purdee Yeo: Safety & protection working in KL.

Job - Bro Cong Pham & Sis Tabitha Heah

BPCWA (Perth) - God’s guidance & wisdom

Ebenezer BPC (Melb) - Cambodia Missions

2008 BP National Youth Camp (1-5 Dec): Speaker: Rev John Barlow, organisers & participants. Pray for unity and spiritual growth.

Sis Connie Mak - as she settles in Sydney.

University & high school students - assignments & end-of-year exams.

Mumbai Terror (27 Nov): Victims & those who lost their loved ones.

 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063