So, if we are completely dead because of sin, if we are God haters, ungodly and doing the devil’s will, then on what basis does God give His grace?
God is not some sort of beggar with a sign on His grace that states, “free, take one” and then He stands by hoping and ringing His hands hoping that someone will take His offer. He is the almighty El Shaddai, the Creator of Heaven and Hell and it is based upon His will that decides who gets this grace and who does not. Not ours. Just think of how God chose Israel, or how God chose David, Moses or Jeremiah. Was it because of who they were or because God decided to show them kindness? Did God look down the "portal of time" and see that Jeremiah would be a prophet to Israel and do the work of a prophet, then decide: Now that's a prophet! I must choose him do be a prophet. Or was it that Jeremiah was a "fortified city" (Jer 1) and did the work of a prophet of God because God predestined and foreknew him? I don't think that Jeremiah 1:5 could be any clearer:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
What about Israel? Why did God choose them as His nation?
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,
I will not completely exegete Ephesians 1, but I encourage you to take a look at this powerful passage on God’s election, more in depth, when you have time.
When you take a look at this passage as a whole you can see that it is not the Ephesians who are praised for anything at all, but all praise is given to God because it is from God.
Notice some things in spoken of in Ephesians 1:
Grace to you and peace from God (v2)
He chose us (v 4)
He predestined us (v5)
To the praise to the glory of His grace
He freely bestowed (v6)
According to the riches of His grace (v7)
He lavished on us (v8)
He made known to us the mystery of His will (v9)
In these there is also listed the reasons that these things were given to those chosen, is it because of anything we did? The obvious answer is, NO. It is not because God looked down the “portal of time” to see who would choose Him and then in turn He elected them.
Verse 5: according to the kind intention of His will
Verse 9: according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
Verse 11: according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will
God freely gives according to His purpose and will and counsels nothing besides Himself for this choosing. Did you catch that? God only counsels God! Who can counsel God? Next time we will take a look at Romans 9 and wrap up Sola Gratia.