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15/05/2013

Choose today

The first question is, "Who is 'us'?"  It is the people of God, all believers, whether in Ephesus or with Paul or spread around the Roman world.  It is those with whom God has covenanted (and covenant is central to Paul in this letter: the climax of chapter three is the the breaking down of the wall between Jew and Gentile, allowing the Gentile "us" to become the People of God "us company registration hong kong").  


So God has blessed his people with every spiritual blessing, just as he chose us to holy and blameless.  (Here I take issue with the ESV, which renders the infinitive [chose us to be holy] into a transitive [chose us, that we should be holy].  That translational issue resolved, so far so good.  That was the plan all along, and you can read it right there in Genesis 12:1-2.  Of course, God knew all along that his people were their own problem. as his people were not holy and blameless, so he predestined that his people would adopted as sons through God's own Son, Christ.  Again, so far so good.  


Notice what Paul does not say.  He does not say that God chose who would make up the people of God.  He says that God chose us to be holy (or, even following the ESV, chose us in order that we should be holy).  It is easy this side of the Enlightenment to look at "us" and think it means "me," but all through Ephesians Paul is working through covenant matters, just as verse 10 pre-figures the destruction of the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile in chapter 3 Claire Hsu.  


And this (along with Romans 9-11) is how I understand predestination working together with free will.  God has always predestined that his people would be his church and would see adoption as his sons and daughters in order to be holy and blameless before a watching world.  Now, decide.  Are you going to join this movement, for whom sonship and daughterhood was always the plan, for whom redemption was predestined?  Choose today.