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  #21  
August 16th, 2010, 10:34 AM
Abba's Avatar Veteran
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Posts: 138
Verse 1:18, "the hope to which he has called you"... this to me means our abundant life. If we follow Him we will live abundantly not just a mediocre life but an ABUNDANT life & a full life knowing where we are going... Heaven. Heaven & eternal life with Jesus is our "hope".[/QUOTE]

I"m glad you brought this up Amanda. I think the idea of 'abundance' is what Paul is emphasizing in the beginning of this chapter so we feel overwhelmed with what God has done and is doing for us.

vs. 3 "...Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ"

There are lots of these phrases:
vs.4 chose us in Him
vs. 5 predestined...adopted as His sons
vs. 6 freely given us
vs.7 redemption through His blood...riches of God's grace
vs. 8 lavished on us
vs. 9 made known to us
vs. 11 chosen...predestined
vs. 13 included in Christ...marked in Him
vs. 14 guaranteeing our inheritance...God's possession

This helps me focus on what I am called to do - glorify God (vs. 6 & 12)- in every aspect of my life. Some days it is easy to look at my day and see it comprised of nothing by changing diapers and making meatloaf. But after reading this chapter several times, I recognize the significance of my life to God, especially when we get towards the end of the chapter and read about the "power" that works in us in vs. 19.

It is especially important to see past the physical day-to-day when hard times or temptations come. This keeps me focused on my eternal goal and makes the day-to-day so much easier.

It also changes my view of myself. Instead of viewing Christianity as something that happens when I "go to church" or as "following all the rules", it is more purposeful. I don't just "follow the rules." I want to be more Christlike because I have the awesome purpose of glorifying our God in whatever my hand finds to do that is "holy and blameless in His sight" (vs 4).

I feel so humble and renewed after reading all God has done for me and all He has in store for me.
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  #22  
August 16th, 2010, 11:00 AM
Abba's Avatar Veteran
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I also want to hear some of your thoughts on vs. 15-23.

I like Paul's prayer for us that the "eyes of your heart may be enlightened".
In other words, he is praying that the Ephesians have that 'light bulb' moment where they (and we) understand three things:

1) "the hope to which He has called you"
2) "the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints"
3) and "His incomparably great power for us who believe".

I've previously assumed all of this was heaven / salvation related:
1) our hope is Heaven
2) our inheritance is to be His children and to have a home with Him
3) the power is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and can hence raise us.

Recently, I had a different thought. I definitely don't want to read more into this than what is written. But what if this is more from God's perspective?

1) "the hope to which He has called you"
God hopes that we will accept His calling. Is this referring to His hope? Does Paul pray that I understand that God is hoping that I will fulfill the purpose He has for me?

2) "the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints" What is God's inheritance? It is ... "in the saints" God inherits us!

3) "His incomparably great power for us who believe". Is Paul praying that I understand God's power can work through me?

So to sum it up, God's hope, God's inheritance, God's power.

You certainly won't hurt my feelings if you tell me I am off base! I'd love to hear what you all think.

Last edited by Abba; August 16th, 2010 at 11:05 AM.
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  #23  
August 16th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Okay, here is my last one for today (maybe ): What does vs 22 mean, "...appointed Him to be head over everything FOR the church..."

It sounds like Paul is summing all of this up and saying our purpose, our calling, our inheritance, Jesus' being raised from the dead, Jesus being placed above all things as the Head, etc. is all for the church (also called here "His body").

If so, what are the implications of this?
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  #24  
August 16th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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I said I was done but DD is still napping (yeah!) so I'm back with a question for you...

Is there ever a point where our "passion" doesn't correlate with serving God in the way He wants to be served? (and implied in that...Does God have a way in which He wants to be served?")

Two passages come to mind (and I don't want to pull these out of context)

Matthew 7:21-22 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

and

Genesis 4:2-5 "2 .... Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast."

These people were doing something for the Lord, but it wasn't acceptable.

What do you think? I don't want to get too far away from Ephesians and chase a rabbit, but I thought I'd ask.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattiez View Post
A couple more things that stood out to me when from the chapter was vs 13 and 14.
"...Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession..."

This, for me was one more glimpse into the workings of the Holy Spirit. When we accept God's plan of salvation for us, we are given, marked, sealed with a portion of the holy spirit. This is our guarantee, our assurance. In the book of Revelations there is a lot of talking about being marked or sealed for this or for that for the "end times". But we are already "sealed" we have already received the "mark" of God on our lives. This is the Holy Spirit. It is one and the same spirit that is with God. It is real, it is alive and with us here and now. It is our guarantee of redemption.

Now onto a different thought about our life's calling. What we feel we should be doing for Jesus.
A number of years ago I was really struggling with this. I was trying to "find" God's will for my life. I was trying to listen and be obedient. I was asking, "God, what do you want me to do?" But I was really flounder and not seeming to get anywhere. I was not at peace because I felt there was something more. One day I cried out in frustration, with my fists clinched, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" The Lord spoke (yes, spoke) and said, "What do YOU want to do?" with this came a better understanding of what he was saying. God wants us to persue our passions and desires. He is big enough and sovereign enough to to incorporate what ever we do into his marvelous works, if we give it all to him. It would be a pretty small God that we serve (and severely regimented) if he only would allow us, or bless us, in doing one thing and if we didn't happen to find that thing we would miss out on the abundance of God. So do what you do to the Glory of God and He will bless you.

There are people in the bible who were called to great things. Johna was called to preach to Ninava. But he was already a preacher. Moses was called to lead his people, but he was already a leader (of a different people).

So find your passion, give it to God and he will greatly multiply you.
That wasn't really in chapter 1 but it was a question that was asked by someone in a previous post.

I looked over the spiritual inventory test, that was posted by one of you ladies, and it looks like a really good place to start. I am going to take it and see what I come up with and let you all know how it comes out. I think it could be cool if everybody could post their results and let us know what areas we are strongest in. I am betting there will be a whole variety of strengths, which makes for a really good mix of people.

May God grant us the spirit of wisdom and revelation.
Mattiez
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  #25  
August 16th, 2010, 06:23 PM
~InHisHands~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattiez View Post
Now onto a different thought about our life's calling. What we feel we should be doing for Jesus.
A number of years ago I was really struggling with this. I was trying to "find" God's will for my life. I was trying to listen and be obedient. I was asking, "God, what do you want me to do?" But I was really flounder and not seeming to get anywhere. I was not at peace because I felt there was something more. One day I cried out in frustration, with my fists clinched, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" The Lord spoke (yes, spoke) and said, "What do YOU want to do?" with this came a better understanding of what he was saying. God wants us to persue our passions and desires. He is big enough and sovereign enough to to incorporate what ever we do into his marvelous works, if we give it all to him. It would be a pretty small God that we serve (and severely regimented) if he only would allow us, or bless us, in doing one thing and if we didn't happen to find that thing we would miss out on the abundance of God. So do what you do to the Glory of God and He will bless you.

There are people in the bible who were called to great things. Johna was called to preach to Ninava. But he was already a preacher. Moses was called to lead his people, but he was already a leader (of a different people).

So find your passion, give it to God and he will greatly multiply you.
That wasn't really in chapter 1 but it was a question that was asked by someone in a previous post.
I honestly don't know that I agree with this. What we are passionate for is not always what God wants us & calls us to do. Jonah was called to preach to Ninava but he didn't want to... he actually ran from God's calling indicating that it isn't what we are passionate about. God calls us to preach to the world whether we want to or not, whether we are comfortable doing it or not. I am doing a Bible study right now that touches HEAVILY on this topic... Experiencing God. I HIGHLY recommend it. And I am learning that we ALWAYS have to adjust to our calliing (or His will) & that adjustment & obedience is costly to you & those around you. As it says, "You cannot continue life as usual or stay where you are, & go with God at the same time." There are 6 realities to God working thorugh His people (according to the study (emphasis mine)):
  1. God is always at work around you.
  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real & personal.
  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, & the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, & His ways.
  5. God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith & action.
  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him & He accomplishes His work thorugh you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abba View Post
It also changes my view of myself. Instead of viewing Christianity as something that happens when I "go to church" or as "following all the rules", it is more purposeful. I don't just "follow the rules." I want to be more Christlike because I have the awesome purpose of glorifying our God in whatever my hand finds to do that is "holy and blameless in His sight" (vs 4).
Strongly agree with this!

Oh & the spiritual gifts survey... my gift is mercy. My 2nd highest was service/helps, I believe.
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all we do, Jesus accepts all who come to Him." ~
Rick Warren



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  #26  
August 17th, 2010, 08:01 AM
Abba's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~InHisHands~ View Post
I honestly don't know that I agree with this. What we are passionate for is not always what God wants us & calls us to do. Jonah was called to preach to Ninava but he didn't want to... he actually ran from God's calling indicating that it isn't what we are passionate about. God calls us to preach to the world whether we want to or not, whether we are comfortable doing it or not. I am doing a Bible study right now that touches HEAVILY on this topic... Experiencing God. I HIGHLY recommend it. And I am learning that we ALWAYS have to adjust to our calliing (or His will) & that adjustment & obedience is costly to you & those around you. As it says, "You cannot continue life as usual or stay where you are, & go with God at the same time." There are 6 realities to God working thorugh His people (according to the study (emphasis mine)):
  1. God is always at work around you.
  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real & personal.
  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, & the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, & His ways.
  5. God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith & action.
  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him & He accomplishes His work thorugh you.
Strongly agree with this!

Oh & the spiritual gifts survey... my gift is mercy. My 2nd highest was service/helps, I believe.
Hey Amanda 1,

Could you explain this to me:[*]God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith & action. ?

I don't quite get where that comes from in the scriptures.

Amanda 2
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  #27  
August 17th, 2010, 08:06 PM
~InHisHands~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I like that... Amanda 1 & Amanda 2!

I'll do my best to try to explain but the study explains it very well & is AWESOME!

Okay for example, Abraham was called to go to a land God would show him. He had to make major adjustments & leave the land he knew to follow God & go to the land that God would show Him. Keep in mind that he had no idea where he was going at first, he was just told to go.

Actually here is a list from the study:
  1. Noah could not continue life as usual & build an ark at the same time (Gen 6)
  2. Abram could not stay in Ur or Haran & father a nation in Canaan (Gen 12:1-8)
  3. Moses could not stay on the back side of the desert herding sheep & stand before Pharaoh at the same time (Ex 3)
  4. David had to leave his sheep to become king (1 Sam 16:1-13)
  5. Amos had to leave the sycamore trees in order to preach in Israel (Amos 7:14-15)
  6. Jonah had to leave his home & overcome a major prejudice in order to preach in Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-2; 3:1-2; 4:1-11)
  7. Peter, Andrew, James, & John had to leave their fishing businesses in order to follow Jesus (Matt 4:18-22)
  8. Matthew had to leave his tax collector's booth to follow Jesus (Matt 9:9)
  9. Saul (later Paul) had to completely change directions in his life in order to be used of God to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-19)

Even the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-27) had to make major adjustments by selling his possessions & following Jesus but he chose NOT to do so.

From my study:
Quote:
Until you are ready to make any adjustments necessary to follow & obey what God has said, you will be of little use to God. Your greatest single difficulty in following God may come at this point of the adjustment. Our tendency is to want to skip the adjustment & go from believing God to obedience.
Quote:
Your response will first require faith. Faith will be demonstrated by action. The first action will involve the adjustment of your life to God. The second action will be your obedience to what God asks you to do.
Quote:
The hard part is adjusting your life to God & taking an action that demonstrates your faith. You may be called to attempt things that only God can do, where formerly you may have attempted only that which you knew you could do.
It basically boils down to listening to God to see what He wants to do through you instead of telling God what you want to do for Him b/c as the study points out if Noah had told God what he wanted to do for God, what good would that have done since God was about to send the flood. Did I answer your quesiton? It's funny that the timing of this coincides with my study b/c the notes above actually came from today & yesterday's study!
__________________

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"Never confuse acceptance with approval. Without approving
all we do, Jesus accepts all who come to Him." ~
Rick Warren



CLICK HERE to read about my mission trip to Romania! CLICK HERE to see pics!
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  #28  
August 17th, 2010, 08:46 PM
Mattiez's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Posts: 2,422
I have to say that I am REALLY enjoying our discussions. I look forward to getting on the board, when I can, and reading what everybody has to say.

Abba I think your interpretations of vs. 15-23 is a great one. Both from our perspective and from God's. So many times I have found the bible to be so rich and deep that it's verses not only apply from one perspective but from many different ones. It often applies from the physical realm, and in the spiritual realm and often helps out in the emotional realm as well. I can read a vs and think I understand it and read it another time and it will speak to me in a totally different way. When you think you got God figured out, He will go and surprise you.

It sounds like Paul is summing all of this up and saying our purpose, our calling, our inheritance, Jesus' being raised from the dead, Jesus being placed above all things as the Head, etc. is all for the church (also called here "His body").

If so, what are the implications of this?


I think the implications are pretty powerful. I think the same power and spirit of God that raised Christ form the dead is available to us as our "deposit" our "seal"mentioned in vs. 13 and 14. (That can actually be quite frightening if you think about the emincety of it all)

Is there ever a point where our "passion" doesn't correlate with serving God in the way He wants to be served? (and implied in that...Does God have a way in which He wants to be served?")

Sure there is, I am not saying that you can go and do anything you want and call it for the Lord and he is going to bless it. I think we would all agree that that would be rather hypocritical.

What I was hoping to relay was the great freedom that I discovered when God asked me that question. So often, we put God into a little box and think he is only this or he is only that. I can only serve him in this way or in that way. Or that some day he is going to lay out in front of me some great master plan for my life, which I must walk on the strait and narrow. I was looking for that great master plan. Through those words I understood that whatever I did, whether it was in my daily life or after my hearts desire, if I did it for the glory of God then I became soft and pliable and God could use me in what ever way he wanted. God is SO much bigger that just in the church or in a mission field. He is everywhere, at all times and at all places.

Here is the rest of that story.
When God asked, "what do you want to do" , my spirit within me lept up and answered, before I could even think, "I want to fly!" "OK" was the answer.
A couple weeks later I was enrolled in ground school to get my private pilots licenses. I had always loved flying but had never dared to think it was something I could ever do. Never once crossed my mind. I went on to finish my ground schooling and start on my flight hours. As I got further and further into it, I realized that although I loved flying, the logistics of being a pilot was just not what I was really wanting. In the process we moved to HI and it became increasingly difficult to finish up my license.
Through all this I learned that although I don't always make the perfect decisions, God in his infinite love allows us to try and test out things that we love and are passionate about. Just as we allow our own children to try new things.

Amanda, I took the study Experiencing God a number of years ago and really enjoyed it. I learned a lot from it and would like to take it again if I get the chance. I went back and tried to find my old work book. It is always interesting to look back on workbooks and see how I have changed or started on the right track and fallen or grown. But I think I have gotten rid of it so I don't have it to re-look up some of the vs. I move so much I try not to keep too much around.

I do have to say that I have a bit of an issue with some of the points when I first took the course and still don't fully agree.
I really agree with the part of the study that emphasizes that everything you do or say needs to be backed up by the scripture.
The part that I had a real issue with was...

# God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith & action.
# You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.


I think what I have a problem with is the term "crisis of belief" and "major adjustments" I believe what they are talking about in the study (this is just going from memory) is that we will always come to a "turning point" a point on which we must act on what we believe or disregard it. With this I agree.

But I would say, it is a decision, not a "crisis" God doesn't lead us from one crises after another. My life is not in crises management mode , it is in walking by faith mode. You weigh what God says, and what the spirit has testified to be true against what the world is telling you and you make a decision then act on it. Crises averted.

You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
I haven't found this to hold true ether. Yes, when you are out of the will of God and seeking his will it can take a 180 degree change but if you are a child of God 's walking with him on a daily basis, or at least trying to. He doesn't need to hit you over the head and stop you in your tracks every time he asks you to do something. If you, as a parent, can redirect your own child with a gentle reminder, God, who is the perfect parent, can certainly find a way to redirect us if we are open and listening and obedient.
If we are not obedient, it may take a whale to swallow us to listen, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

Again I have to say I am really enjoying this. I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with me and I love a good discussion. "Come let us reason together" ( I really need to look up that vs.)
I can't wait to see what the next few chapters bring.

I am going to do my survey now and see what I come up with.

May God grant us the spirit of wisdom and revelation.
Mattiez
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  #29  
August 17th, 2010, 09:25 PM
Mattiez's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Posts: 2,422
OK I took my spiritual gifts test. It was a long one.
My top ones was

1. Faith
2. Knowledge
3. (was a tie). Wisdom and Administration

My bottom 3 were:
Mercy
Evangelism
Prophecy

I guess I am pretty low on mercy

Mattiez
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  #30  
August 18th, 2010, 07:36 AM
Abba's Avatar Veteran
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Location: Texas
Posts: 138
I get you! I think the word "crisis" threw me off.

It reminds me of when the Bible speaks of putting off the old man and putting on the new and also of the concept of repentance.

Thanks for the explanation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~InHisHands~ View Post
I like that... Amanda 1 & Amanda 2!

I'll do my best to try to explain but the study explains it very well & is AWESOME!

Okay for example, Abraham was called to go to a land God would show him. He had to make major adjustments & leave the land he knew to follow God & go to the land that God would show Him. Keep in mind that he had no idea where he was going at first, he was just told to go.

Actually here is a list from the study:
  1. Noah could not continue life as usual & build an ark at the same time (Gen 6)
  2. Abram could not stay in Ur or Haran & father a nation in Canaan (Gen 12:1-8)
  3. Moses could not stay on the back side of the desert herding sheep & stand before Pharaoh at the same time (Ex 3)
  4. David had to leave his sheep to become king (1 Sam 16:1-13)
  5. Amos had to leave the sycamore trees in order to preach in Israel (Amos 7:14-15)
  6. Jonah had to leave his home & overcome a major prejudice in order to preach in Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-2; 3:1-2; 4:1-11)
  7. Peter, Andrew, James, & John had to leave their fishing businesses in order to follow Jesus (Matt 4:18-22)
  8. Matthew had to leave his tax collector's booth to follow Jesus (Matt 9:9)
  9. Saul (later Paul) had to completely change directions in his life in order to be used of God to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-19)

Even the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-27) had to make major adjustments by selling his possessions & following Jesus but he chose NOT to do so.

From my study:
It basically boils down to listening to God to see what He wants to do through you instead of telling God what you want to do for Him b/c as the study points out if Noah had told God what he wanted to do for God, what good would that have done since God was about to send the flood. Did I answer your quesiton? It's funny that the timing of this coincides with my study b/c the notes above actually came from today & yesterday's study!
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  #31  
August 18th, 2010, 10:25 PM
3TeamH's Avatar Hayley
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,509
I did the survey last night with DH. My top 3 in order were (1)Faith (2/3) Service, Admin. DH's were (1) Knowledge (2/3) Faith, Admin.

Jumping back to predestination real quick, I wanted to share with you what we went through in our membership class in regards to this:

"ESV
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work
together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those
whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom
he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and
those whom he justified he also glorified.

“Foreknew”

This can’t mean that God foreknew those who would have faith, because left to ourselves
none of us would choose to have faith; if we are going to have faith, God must give it to
us.

ESV
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is
not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one
may boast.

(Other passages showing that we cannot be saved unless faith and repentance are given
to us by God: Matt 16:17; Joh 6:44,65; Acts 5:31; 11:18; Rom 8:7; 9:16; Phil 1:29; 2
Tim 2:24-26.)

This word “foreknow” refers to God’s “covenantal love in which he sets his affection on
those whom he has chosen” (Schreiner, Romans, 452).

“Foreknow” is a synonym for “choosing,” and is another way of describing “election.”
God chose to save a vast multitude that no one can count from every nation, tongue, and
tribe. It’s not that everyone wanted to be saved, but God only chose a few. It’s that God
invited everyone to be saved, everyone ran the other way, and God pursued and saved a
vast multitude that no one can count. Without election no one would be saved.

This shows us how passionate and personal God’s love is. God did not just give potential
salvation to the world, and then sit back to see who responded. If you are trusting
Jesus, then before the foundation of the world God saw you in your sinfulness, saw that
you were unwilling to trust Jesus, and at the cost of crushing His own Son set His love
and affection personally on you, and chose to save you.

The only reason God could do this was because before the founda-
tion of the world, in great love, He had planned to punish all your
sins in Christ. God chose us “in Him” (Christ) before the foundation
of the world (Eph 1:4).

This is what it means to be one of God’s “elect.” This is a term used
throughout the Bible to describe those whom God has graciously and
mercifully chosen to save: Matt 24:22, 24,31; Luke 18:7; Romans
8:33; 11:7; 2Tim 2:10; I Peter 1:1.

“Predestined”

This term “stresses the preordained plan of God that will certainly come to pass”
(Schreiner, Romans, 453). If you are trusting Jesus, then God has predestined you to be
conformed to the image of Jesus and enjoy His glory forever (Rom 8:29).

Paul emphasizes that God predestines us “in love.” This shows that we will not fully
understand God’s love for us unless we understand predestination:

ESV
Ephesians 1:4-6 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.

So before you had faith, while you were still a sinner, while you were no different from
anyone else, God set His love on you and predestined you for salvation.

ESV
Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and
glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life
believed.

This is a breathtaking picture of God’s love. I was a sinner. Left to myself that’s all I
would ever be. But God, in astonishing love and mercy, chose me, a sinner, and
predestined me, a sinner, to salvation. God could do this only “through Christ,” through
the Cross (Eph 1:5-6).

“Called”

The word “call” has two different meanings in Scripture. Sometimes it refers to the call
given to everyone – urging everyone to repent, trust Jesus, and be saved.

ESV
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen."

But that can’t be what Paul means in Rom 8:30, because in v.30 it’s only those who are
predestined who are called, and all those who are called are justified (saved). Which
means that all who are called trust Jesus. So this is a different meaning of “called.”

Paul uses the word “called” “as God’s effective summons by which
people are brought into relationship with himself” (Moo, Romans,
530). When God calls people (in this sense of the word) He
causes them to obey the call. This is like Jesus’ call to Lazarus:
“Come forth.” Jesus’ call didn’t just invite Lazarus; it raised Laza-
rus. So when Jesus called you He changed your heart, gave you
faith, and brought you to Himself.

So when Paul talks about “the called” he’s talking about believers:

ESV
1 Corinthians 1:23-24 … but we preach Christ cruci-
fied, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but
to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the
power of God and the wisdom of God.

This calling accomplishes conversion. Through this call God supernaturally changes our
wills so we repent and trust Jesus. This is also called “regeneration”; being “born again.”

ESV
John 6:44,65 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws
him. And I will raise him up on the last day … This is why I told you that no one
can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

ESV
Mark 10:26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then
who can be saved?" 27 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man it is impossible,
but not with God. For all things are possible with God."

ESV
Ezekiel 36:26-27 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put
within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a
heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my
statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

ESV
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified
God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to
life."

ESV
2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to
everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with
gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of
the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the
devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

ESV
Ephesians 2:1-10 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins … and were
by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in
mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were
dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ … 8 For by grace you
have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of
God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his work-
manship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before-
hand, that we should walk in them.

(See also Heb 8:8-13; Phil 1:29; Acts 5:31.)

How can you know you have been called? It’s because you have a new heart which
trusts and loves Jesus; not perfectly, but persistently. If you are not sure, then turn to
Jesus and trust Him now. Repent of your sin. Look at His mercy and goodness as
expressed on the Cross, and trust Him. When you do this, you will have experienced His
saving power changing your heart, and you will know that in free, sovereign, grace He
chose to love and save you from eternity past.

“Justified”

We covered this last week. When we trust Jesus as Savior, Lord, and all-satisfying Treas-
ure, God credits all our sin to Jesus, and punishes Jesus for our sin, and God credits all
Jesus’ perfect righteousness to us, and loves and cares for us because of Jesus.

“Glorified”

Every single person whom God foreknew, predestined, called, and justified will end up
glorified. God will keep all of His elect persevering until the end. None will be lost.

ESV
Jeremiah 32:40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will
not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their
hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good…

ESV
Jude 1:24 Now to him who is able to keep you
from stumbling and to present you blameless be-
fore the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to
the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our
Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority,
before all time and now and forever. Amen."
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  #32  
August 18th, 2010, 10:59 PM
3TeamH's Avatar Hayley
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,509
I looked up the ESV translation of vs 22 online and the website cross-referenced these
Psalm8:6;1Cor15:27 - PassageLookup - English Standard Version - BibleGateway.com and these Ephesians4:15;5:23;Col1:18;2:19;1Cor11:3;Col2:10 - PassageLookup - English Standard Version - BibleGateway.com . I think ultimately Paul is calling us to glorify God as a community, while using our gifts.

I also think that we probably have many passions that God does not agree and accept. In fact, any passion of ours that does not glorify Him, probably doesn't please Him.
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  #33  
August 19th, 2010, 07:02 AM
Abba's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 138
I've had a little more time to look at this (not too in depth yet) and I see that you do provide scriptures; however, when I read these scriptures I still do not come to the conclusion you have come to that:

This can’t mean that God foreknew those who would have faith, because left to ourselves
none of us would choose to have faith; if we are going to have faith, God must give it to
us.


I disagree with this. To me, the verses emphasize that man is sinful (because of his own sin, not born with sin) and that God had to provide a way of salvation. That is not the same as God giving some of us faith and not others.

In your opinion, does God also give some of us belief and not others?

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is
not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one
may boast.


I think you are reading the passage in Ephesians 2 to be saying that the faith is "not our own doing; it is the gift of God". However, I believe the salvation is what is "not our own doing; it is the gift of God" and the reason is because of what follows.... "not a result of works."

The faith and the works are in contrast, just as they are in the book of James. So instead of man thinking his works save him (which would be a cause for boasting - "I did this - I earned it - God owes me). Rather it is his faith that causes God to save him.

Abraham is often used in the scriptures as the example in Romans 4:1-4

1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.

3 What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.

5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.


To me this clearly identifies God as giving us salvation based on our faith.

If you'd like to discuss the other verses you listed in addition to Eph 2, I'll be happy to. I didn't want to bring too many things up in the this post - I figure we can discuss a little at a time and see if we can learn together.

One last question: How does your initial statement I quoted about God giving some people faith correlate with these two passages?

I Tim 2:4 "God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
Rom 2:11 "...God does not show favoritism."

Looking forward to further discussion!
Amanda

Last edited by Abba; August 19th, 2010 at 11:50 AM.
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  #34  
August 19th, 2010, 11:45 AM
3TeamH's Avatar Hayley
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,509
^ I didn't write this, it was quoted from our membership class notes I will forward your question on to my pastor and see what he says.

ETA: but i think he may reference us back to the Ephesians 2, right under that quote. My interpretation of that verse is that God gave us faith, it was not by our will alone.
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Last edited by 3TeamH; August 19th, 2010 at 11:48 AM.
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