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February 4, 2020 9:00 am
Today on Senate life with JD Greer was ever established. God knew you and he loves you. There is never been a time in eternity that God did not know you, and did not love for as long as you have been in existence from eternity past is not about you is cherished you and he is plan to redeem you and to save you light where the world changing good news of the gospel takes rent enter every day. I'm your host Elizabeth Invesco a lot of things in the Bible that are hard to understand. They pastor JD kicks off a new series to the book of Ephesians called love, incorruptible, explaining predestination and helps us see that while some things are not meant to be understood. We can know this.
We were chosen for the glory of God.
Pastor JD titled this message chosen Bible. If you take it out right now all of you and him and to look at Ephesians today we start a study on the book of Ephesians. I do want to give you a little theological little warning this weekend. I hope that you brought your theological big boy pants with you because in this chapter we are going to wrestle with one of the most difficult. One of the most difficult but perhaps most precious of all biblical truths. This is so important and so difficult and so I just mind blowing that she tried to commit it to memory. You modify tried out on you. I'm only like 80% sure I can do this but we do that how Paul's prayer beginning and end. Chapter 1 verse three Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ was blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly places. Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him 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, which he is with which he has blessed us in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, which he has lavished upon us with all wisdom and insight make you known to us the mystery of his will, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in himself. Things in heaven, or things in her in him we have obtained an inheritance, according to the purpose of him, and Jesus loves you and so hold on.
Having been freed out of him and we have obtained a marriage agreement predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will so that we who were the first to trust in Christ, might be first to hope in Christ, might be the praise of his glory in him you also, having heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is that guarantee of the inheritance until we acquire possession of it.
Amen and amen that is the verse every go so not quite, but I'm working on it. That is, by the way one long sentence.
In the Greek language.
202 words, a sentence that theologians love an English teacher state one long spirit inspired run on sentence but I love it. Which is why it's been so awesome to have it bouncing around in my heart invite. Here's my challenge for you and it's a big what what if over the course of this eight week study for the book of Ephesians. What if you memorize that one long sentence not to memorize in Greek but memorize it in English.
Susan, this is an English on these 11 verses verse three from 3 to 14 right. What if you just said I'm memorize and I hope after today's message will see the importance of it. But what if you said I want to commit that a memory you in your small group right starting right now go okay a few things that you should know about the book of Ephesians. First, the book of Ephesians is considered to be Paul's theological masterpiece because Paul packs everything essential for you to know about the Christian life into six short chapters if you understand if you understand me see here if you understand the pages. These three pages of the Bible right here if you understand those you will be a theological ninja master okay really well if you just master those three pages and dues. By the way, chicks totally dig that if you could to be a theological's and master.
You should do that for singles on the first three chapters are filled with truth about who God is and what he has done in the gospel.
The last three chapters offer some of the most practical instruction. You can find anywhere in the Bible things relating from marriage to forgiveness to conflict management to family to workplace relationships, even dating, and a host of other day-to-day issues, but that is partially where people begin to read the book of Ephesians wrongly. They treated primarily as a book of doctrine part one and a practical guide for living part two, but Ephesians was written first and foremost as a letter, a survival manual to a church that was trying to exist in a very hostile environment. You see, Ephesus was one of the most impressive and most intimidating cities in the ancient world. It was on the seaport right at the intersection of Europe and Asia, which made it one of the primary trade hubs of the the Roman Empire. It was cosmopolitan and multicultural.
It boasted one of the largest largest libraries in the world actually ever in history, and so a lot of the most prestigious scholars in the world of the time, lived there religiously. It was all over the map. The city house 50 different temples, including the largest temple in the ancient world dedicated to Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world on sexual immorality.
There was literally an industry, most of the temples offered some kind of prostitution as a part of the worship ritual so people would always say what happened in Ephesus stays in Ephesus unless it's contagious and you carry around with you for the rest of your life but that's what the city was known for all this to say is, it was not a Christian friendly environment which is what makes the letter so timely and so relevant for us because I know that many of us feel like we are in environments that are not friendly to Christianity for some of you that is your school.
Some of you that is your workplace, maybe even your family for some of our church planters around the world who listen in each week. They are literally in places where it is illegal to live out your Christian faith. So we are going to dive into this book because it's going to show us how we can not only survive but thrive in those places. Okay here we go. Verse three Paul opens up a letter with the concept that many of us find difficult, not concept is predestination. In verse four Paul says God shows us in him before the foundation of the world have been throughout the chapter he repeats like verse five he predestined us for adoption.
Verse 11, he predestined us according the purpose of him who works all things according to the counselors will which I know immediately raises all kinds of questions for us such as slight questions like, what about free will or why would God choose some people and not others. And those are great questions and were going to deal with them in a minute, but first let's just ask what exactly is Paul teaching here and then why is he teaching this he let me give you a little ground rule for approaching your Bible and this don't just apply to this tax applies, he went on to say the Bible. There are some things about God, but you're never going to quite fully understand the Bible tells us that in the verse that really help me personally when I was struggling with a lot of the questions that I'm get raised in passages like this one on the verse was Deuteronomy 2929 by the verse says this the secret things the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law, no notice that there is a distinction. The first thing that you got acknowledge it is that there are some secret things. There is there secret things and there's revealed things. There's a distinction between them and our responsibility. Moses who wrote Deuteronomy tells us our responsibility is to believe and obey what is revealed not to try to figure out all that is hidden and by the way, that there are some things that remain hidden root really aggravates a lot of theologians who insist on having it all figured out, but I would just remind you that were talking about God, so it shouldn't surprise you that there remains a realm which your mind can scarcely understand, much less explain. I mean imagine trying to explain quantum physics for a four-year-old were imagine so many trying to explain it to you. Okay EEE just because you can explain it fully or comprehended boy that mean it's not true right now and in and then the question often asked. He was which do you think is greater when it is greater, the gap between a four-year-olds understanding indoors as an adult, or the gap between yours in God's take whoever's the smartest person here in the summa church you ever try. We got a lease, probably two people years were perfectly the SAT writing right. I can feel her project that was me. I take that person take that person and compare their understanding to that of the Almighty God.
Of course the gap is greater between theirs and God's between ours and a four-year-olds will course of things that were not really going to be able to comprehend. So we approach the subject. Understanding that we are delving into realities that our minds can barely grasp. Sometimes I would read passages like this one and we think wow that is really really deep, but I feel like when we say that like a 10-year-old boy who runs out in the ocean is far she can get. It's about 20 yards out there and a wave comes over his head and using 6 1/2 feet of water. He's a college so deep out here. Enjoy. Men just like you know a couple miles out that direction it's going to go from 7 feet to several miles deep, and that's what happens when we get in the passages like this when we think how deep it is. But just keep in mind her subject matter is God.
So again, here's the questions I want to focus on what exactly are the Scriptures saying here and then secondly I want to ask why does God tell us the things what exactly are they saying why does he tell us these things verse verse four. Notice when it says that we are chosen verse for we are chosen in him when before the foundation of the world that is an awesome thought before the world was ever established. God knew you and he loves you. There is never been a time in eternity. The Godhead did not know you, and did not love you for as long as you have been in existence from eternity past. He's not about you. He is cherished you and he is plan to redeem you and to save you. Sometimes people think. This verse means a God simply just knew beforehand. Who would choose them as a beat look down the court orders in the future.
He said all I see JD is going to choose me and I know the future. So how choose him back but that is not what this verse says.
It says he set his love on us and shows us before we were even a twinkle in her daddy's eye from verse three onward.
When the process of our salvation begins to verse 14 when it's over. God is the one taking all the action number I told you is one long 202 word sentence that senates has 48 pronouns, two thirds of them belong to God. There are 24 verbs or action sequences in that senates. God does 20 of them and only four of them.
We do verse three God blesses verse four. He chooses verse five he predestines and adopts verse six he bestows grace for seven he redeems and forgives verse eight he lavishes verse nine he makes known and he purposes verse 10 he unites together in Christ.
Verse 11 he works. Verse 13 he seals listen to the four that we do we listen we receive, we believe and we hope in that beautiful is it, what part of salvation are we responsible for, you did all the sending and Jesus did all the saving that's how it breaks down you simple why did he choose me. What was it about me that made him choose what was in my potential to God look around and say all you can make such a great Christian. He's got such good debating skills are she's got such crazy leadership skills.
I gotta have them on my team and so I'm going to draft them on my team. It was was it our potential, not at all in one of the most beautiful and mystifying passages of the Old Testament when God begins to explain to Israel why he chose them instead other nations. This is what he says it was not because you were more number than any other people of the Lord set his love on you and showed you. You were the fewest of all peoples is because the Lord loves you and other words it one your potential hiding choose you because you were great Israel don't receive became great is because I chose you. So I know maybe it was that deep down I witnessed simple as other people got so deep down that I had a good and teachable heart. Well that's not true either. Again, look at Deuteronomy Deuteronomy number six. Know therefore that the Lord your God is not giving you this way. Good land because you of your righteousness because you are a stubborn people. In other words, yet would know your good heart, either. Actually, your heart was harder than most people's. God didn't look down and say no. I know there still some good in that one. I'm in to save them. That's a scene from Star Wars.
That's not the gospel know you had no good in you at all. In chapter 2 Paul explained you were dead in your trespasses and sins.
Dead means dead they're not levels of debt. There's a scene in a great 1980s movie called the Princess bride. When the great 1980s movies were indigo Montoya and Eagle Montoya and Andre the giant right are distraught because their hero Wesley is dead, so they knew Melissa take Wesley's dead body to the wizard and the wizard says I owe no reason for her boys. He's only mostly dead and working on a magic on them and revising. Now that might be good entertainment.
But, it's bad science and bad theology. There's no such thing as mostly dead, you're either dead or you're not. Jesus didn't go around Jerusalem. You know, look around graves and they can hate her social life left and I went, raising from the dead.
We showed no initiative to raise Lazarus from the dead. Demetri waited four days Jews believed by the way, that on the third day is when your spirit may file your spirit would hover around her dead body for about three days to see if a miracle happened and it not been a good heavens. We waited four days or so there will be no question at all, that the man was dead. That is the kind of people Jesus raised from the dead people are really and totally actually dead. God didn't choose us because we had spiritual life in us.
In choose us because we were lovable and back chapter 2 balls and a tell us that our Senate made us God's enemies, we were sons of disobedience and objects of his wrath. Can I know people say we have made some mistakes like everybody but I'm still mostly lovable, what you are underestimating is the sinfulness the disgusting. That's the hideousness of sin. Jonathan Edwards, the old Puritan theologian you say the slightest sin has an infinite amount of hatefulness and it so that sin that sinfulness of sin outweighs whatever loveliness the creature possessed. So yes there are lovable things about us, but that hideousness of our rebellion against God. So outweighs those things that we are classified as God's enemies. So what was it man about you that caused him to choose you pass the mystifying part should have raised back in Deuteronomy 7 a week. I went right over the music and just because the Lord loves you it was because the Lord loves you, love doesn't really have an expiration why God love you, which is because he loved you. I think of it the way that I often explain my love for my kids to my kids having told you before, but all three my girls you stay in the same room as I go in at night and as I was to kiss him good night and we met you, I would say I would say hey girls that love you. I just love you because you're beautiful.
One of them would say no God. The message that they cite no but we are beautiful. But that's exactly right. I just I love you because you smart, no noble we are smart. That's right today.
Love you because you make great leaders when they know that we are going to great leaders when as I write, what is that he loved you.
Why was it because we are your daughters love this really have an expert is probably one of the only relationships in my life where I've understood a little bit of what it means to love like God's love is just a taste I don't love them because her lovely.
I just love them. You see, most areas of love in our life. We love because of the loveliness of somebody I am. Yes, I see that when I do wedding something every bride looks awesome on her wedding day. I've never seen right all the weddings I've ever done.
I've never seen one that didn't look awesome. I've never been standing up at the altar in the back door open, and the like will you see a man I am not sure you want to know they all look awesome.
You can tell why he chose her. That's how we love what we see loveliness and we attract to it, but there's something you did in the Taser parental love that is beyond that I don't love my daughters because they're beautiful. Even if they cease to be beautiful. It would not lessen my love for them one bit.
There's a love that we get a taste of it how God loves us before we had ever done, good or bad before the foundation of the world, God set his love on us.
Hello Charles Spurgeon news the British pastor in 1800s it was always that I have no questions or God chose me because I'm quite sure that of God not chosen me I should never have chosen him, and I'm sure that he chose me before I was born or else he never would've chosen me afterwards. He must've elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason. I myself why he should've looked upon me was special love.
So I feel like I'm forced to accept this doctrine that I love my seven-year-old son might she not so many more can we are here to send her understanding of this to number how the subject came up in family devotions is not always around about them, but it came up and I was when it will be just the night before. Watch together as a family. I like the voice this year that show and that you and the voice and when you got these judges that have their their image chairs with their backs to you and you start seeing that they like what they hear the notorious little thing and no chair will spin around and on in big letters on the terraces. I want you and what you might think my seven-year-old says dad you it's like it's like we were on the voice show and God spun his chair around before we ever started singing. He said I want you before I even hear your voice.
I choose you, not because of something in you. I just choose you because it usually is. It would not violate my free will. Now the Bible says his choices never against our will, but it's always in concert with it in some places God says I chose you before the foundation of the world, but in other places Jesus would say, whosoever will make up Jesus explained how it works in John 644, when he says nobody comes to me unless the father draws him our choice in the father's drawing go hand-in-hand. The word for drawl beer in the Greek war is hell Kubo. It carries the idea of a desperately hungry man that is being drawn to food. That is what God does with us. He creates a hunger and asked to do. Jesus and that hunger draws us to Jesus of her own free will. Just like if you were starving your to be drawn to food we see our problem was not that we wanted to choose God and we couldn't problem was a deep down, none of us wanted to choose God.
We preferred to rule ourselves and be the center of our own universe are one turn was all out of whack. That's what it means to be spiritually dead to what God does to the preaching of the gospel and in the power of the spirit. What he does as he changes our hearts so that we begin to hunger after God. He said why didn't God choose everybody that's a big question, but let me just say two things. First, keep in mind that God is not obligated to extend salvation. Anybody what's fair is that we all perish that any of us have a chance to receive forgiveness is a free gift of undeserved grace.
But second, listen to this. This is the part of this discussion were certain amount of mystery sets and listen because Scripture never present, never, never presents a lack of God's choosing as the reason why somebody didn't come now once it's always back on that person. For example, Matthew 2337 Jesus talking O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and he didn't say but you are honest in solving the Jews at so tough cookies now exhibits you are willing. I wanted to. You didn't send you 39 the Lord is not willing that any should Barry not willing that any should perish, but he wants all to come to repentance.
The last verse of our Bibles were the last section of our Bibles ends with this truth. Whosoever will make a lump. I told you it's entirely your choice.
The last voice you hear as you step off of the earth and rejection of God into hell with his voice, and you don't have to do that.
You can choose when I realize that there's a mystery there but here is what we know as revealed. If you're a Christian is what is God shows you if you're not, it's because you have chosen to reject God and the Lord is not willing that you should perish. He wants you to come to repentance and he said if you will just come.
Are you chosen are you in one since you're the one that has the power to decide that if you choose to repent and believe in Jesus than your chosen choice is entirely yours, Paul continues verse five. In love he predestines us for adoption through Jesus Christ adoption was another beautiful concept adoption means that we were part of his family, but he made as part of his family. We were in his mostly good, but wayward kids we were rebels, members of the trader race and he said I'm going to choose to make you mine and he does that joyfully. The word translated purpose in verses five and nine in the Greek language means kind intention God and just plan and execute the process of our salvation. He enjoyed the process they cost him everything cost in the blood of Jesus to accomplish it. But he enjoyed every second.
I have been adopted into the family. We are chosen, eliciting the Senate life with pastor JD Greer. We may have kicked off a new series 3. Ephesians they called love, incorruptible. But it's not too late to get our new Bible study through Romans.
You can still get that first volume of the box that this week. Yesterday we've talked about this before but can you tell us a little bit more about why Paul references the Old Testament so Matt Michelle course, the New Testament didn't exist.
At least he didn't exist before the polls carrying around a leather bound volume with the Gideons when Paul wanted to make a point from Scripture and really I mean I show that what he was saying was built what God had already said he reached for the Old Testament right when you're studying Romans is important to pay attention to when and how Paul uses the Old Testament the ground is his argument arose, arguments, strange word to use when you talk about the Bible but really is. It is a logically tight premise by premise explanation for why God did what God did what he said Jesus and why we the church up to tell everybody about a Roman screen nine through 18 is a great example. When Paul wants to prove that everybody is on righteous before God. Not only does he give examples of of what that looks like he reaches back Old Testament versus just one after another, is essentially basically saying is eight guys, this is not anything new. I'm just simply making clear, I am revealing what has always been there in the Old Testament we get a lot more into this in our new resource study at the Romans. The first Bible study go to the first five chapters.
It's a collection the first in a collection of three studies, will be giving out throughout the year, you get the first part of the box that will house all three books. It's really really well done. Very attractive you go to JD where.com reach out to us. We would love to help get that into your life as a special set Bible study perfect or individual study or small groups to study together. Let's get you a copy of this first 91st five chapters and reminisce today and it comes with everything when you donate support this program like this On the radio and online my listeners like another listener to think and remember to ask for your copy of the relevant and display the whole set, 866-335-2866 335-5224. You can donate interplay for curriculum email@example.com inviting you to join us on