Share This Episode
The Truth Pulpit Don Green Logo

Chosen #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2023 12:00 am

Chosen #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 627 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

Before time began, God had taken care of us spiritually. He had determined, He had purposed, He had ordained that we would one day receive salvation in Christ in such a manner that His purpose would certainly come to pass in our lives. Hold a Bible study on the doctrine of election and get ready for some pushback. Since pride is involved, the notion of salvation being entirely a work of God rankles many people. But as Pastor Don Green will point out today on the truth pulpit, Scripture is very clear on the subject. Hello, I'm Bill Wright and as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, we begin a message titled Chosen, detailing how the Bible settles election, predestination, and the truth about salvation once and for all. And Don, this issue is especially tough for new Christians to embrace, isn't it? Well, Bill, sometimes it can be, but my friend, as you listen to our series here this week, I think that you'll find when God's Word is opened carefully that your heart will respond to the truth of Scripture. Keep this question in mind about the doctrine of election. What does the Bible say? And when you ask that question, then everything else kind of falls into place on matters of free will, evangelism, and repentance. Don't dismiss truth based on straw man arguments you may have heard in the past. We'll face the hard issues head-on today on the truth pulpit.

Thanks, Don. And friend, let's join our teacher now in the truth pulpit. Look at Ephesians chapter 1 verses 3 through 6. Ephesians chapter 1 verses 3 through 6. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the kind intention of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Now, we as Christians are the recipients of God's salvation. Whatever else we say about anyone else in the world, we find ourselves positioned having received the greatest, most incalculable blessing from God imaginable. God, through His Holy Spirit, has given to us every possible spiritual blessing that exists in the universe, and He did it because it pleased Him to do so. In Christ, in the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have all that God has to give to His people.

He has withheld nothing from us. He has blessed us with salvation. He has adopted us, though we were unworthy, into His family.

It's because He is kind, it is because He is gracious, it is because it is what He wanted to do. And so, as we approach this subject with very broad principles in mind, that God is the owner of the realm of salvation and He can give it to whom He wishes, when we remember that we have sinned and forfeited all claim on Him. And then we realize, as Scripture reveals, here we are in the realm of Christ, having been saved and forgiven of all of our sins, we realize that a gracious God has bestowed on us blessings incalculable far beyond anything that we could think or ask, and in fact, it is the diametric opposite of what we deserved. We have received great blessing when actually we deserved great judgment. And that is why the Apostle Paul, as he opens this letter to the Ephesians, is praising God.

Look at verse 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He's blessed us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Now, what you see is, is that this is something that God determined to do for us before the foundation of the world. This was the purpose that was in God's mind before Genesis 1-1. He purposed us and He purposed Christ together in a way that would result in our ultimate blessing and would result in the glory of Christ being displayed. God, from eternity past, carried out a purpose to bless us as His people. No wonder we praise Him.

No wonder we bow in adoring worship to Him is because this is an expression of such great wisdom, of such great purpose, of such wonderful grace, that all we can do is bow and wonder at the what is being displayed before our minds here in this text. What we have just read is a cornerstone text for the biblical doctrine of election. And I want to give you a definition of election as we begin here. Definitions are critical as you consider a doctrine such as this. And so let me give you a brief definition that will help you know exactly what we're saying and what we are not saying as we teach here. Election is the act of God before the foundation of the world in which He chose some individuals in Christ to receive salvation.

Now there's another sentence to go along with it. This clarifying sentence is most important. God chose those individuals based solely on His purpose, not any merit or foreseen faith in men.

Let me say it all together one more time. Election is the act of God before the foundation of the world in which He chose some individuals in Christ to receive salvation. God chose those individuals based solely on His purpose, not any merit or foreseen faith in men. And we'll go through this definition more to come here in the next hour or so, but I just want to set that in front of your mind right right from the start so you know exactly where we're going and exactly what we are teaching. And in this passage, especially in the first two verses, three and four, we're going to see four aspects about the biblical doctrine of election and understand its impact on Christian living. This is a most practical doctrine. There is probably no teaching that more defines the way that you will approach all of your spiritual life than the doctrine of election and a proper understanding of it. Because what is at stake is nothing less than this. Was the determinative choice for you to be saved made by God or by you?

That's what's at stake here. Ultimately, was it God who chose to receive you and give you salvation or did you have the deciding vote? Did God leave it up to you in your unaided power to choose whether you wanted to be saved or not? Well, what this scripture is teaching us quite clearly is that the choice was God's and that is why, beloved, we say that there is no boasting for those of us who are Christians. There was not anything in us who had not yet been born. There was nothing in us to prompt God to save us. God did not, we'll look at this later, God did not look down the corridors of time and see that we would we would agree to Christ and then come back into eternity past and say I will affirm the choice that they will one day make.

That's not the case. Now that's the way probably most people would like to understand the doctrine of election. That's the way that most of us are probably were originally taught to receive it, but that's not true.

That is inaccurate and it is a falsehood that greatly changes the trajectory of life. That false view leads you inevitably ultimately to this if you think it through rationally all the way to the end. In the end, what that false view of foreseen faith does is it lets you take the credit for having made the choice. God saw me and what distinguished me from the others was that I made a choice and God ratified my choice. And no matter what else you say about the cross of Christ and the grace of God at root at the bottom of it, you are saying it comes down to me. I am the one who accomplished this and God ratified it.

That's not true. That is not the biblical teaching of election. The biblical teaching is is that God made an unconditional choice known for reasons within his own person. He said I want to save some. I want to save this body of people.

I want to save these individuals because it pleases me to do so. And that changes everything as we will see. Well let's look at these four aspects about the biblical doctrine of election. First of all, I want you to see the praise for election.

The praise for election. Look at verse 3. As we said last time, this passage, verses 3 through 14, is one glorious burst of fireworks of praise and Paul opens up verse 3 and he can't even get into his sentence before he's blessing God and praising God. He says in verse 3, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Paul in this verse opens up and he is ascribing praise to God. He is calling attention to the name of God and lifting it up and saying that name is to be blessed.

That name should be honored among men. I give the affection and the devotion of my heart to the name of my God and Father, the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And so right from the very beginning, Paul puts the name of God on the very pinnacle of his thoughts and praises and honors him. And then he goes on to unfold why it is that he is praising God.

Why would we do this? Why would we praise him? Why is it that our thoughts should be captivated by the glory of God rather than immersed in the goodness or difficulty of our earthly circumstances? Why is it that we should care more about the glory of God than our own earthly life? Why is it that martyrs shed their blood rather than betray the name of Christ? Why?

Why? What was the earthly benefit to them to do that? There is no earthly benefit because this transcends earth. This is about the God who has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Look at verse 3 with me again. Notice how a form of this word bless is used three times in the one verse. Blessed be God, and so it's an inscription of praise to God.

Then it goes to a verbal form. He has blessed us. He has bestowed favor and goodness upon us. And then he's bestowed that favor, and you see it used as a noun, with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. God has given us real blessing, real favor that has been deposited to us, and that is why we come back and we bless him and we thank him. I don't know if you remember where Jesus... the time where ten lepers came to Jesus and he healed them all and they went away. One of them turned around to give thanks to God, and Jesus said, that's good, where are the other nine?

Well, beloved, we need to be the ten percent in that story. We need to have the mindset that God has given us so much in our salvation for us to have the forgiveness of our sins, to be relieved from the threat of hell, to have our guilty conscience silenced against us, to know that as we walk through this life we have the comfort of the Savior, we have every blessing, we know that one day we will be in heaven with Christ. That is so much goodness poured out upon us all because of the loving kindness, the loving purpose of God to do that for us. And of course we come back and we bless his name. Of course we stop and thank him for that. We would be the most miserable, ungrateful people if we didn't have the praise of God very near the front of our lips at all times, or at the very least we have forgotten we've lost sight of what has been bestowed upon us. And beloved, the gratitude becomes boundless. The fountain never dries up, the fountain of thanksgiving never runs dry when you realize that God did not have to do that for you. It is not that you came to God with some measure of righteousness or this highly exalted, purified faith that you brought and God says, oh now I have no choice, I have to give this to you because you've met my standard.

That's not true. We have not met God's standard. We have all sinned and fallen short of his glory.

The Bible says that the hearts of men are filled with insanity day after day. And so if we have been brought out of that realm of sin and guilt and judgment and curse, it must be because God is really, really good because we're not like that. And so here we are, the recipients of great blessing. The Apostle Paul who wrote this, remember, is one who persecuted the church.

He didn't deserve it either. He said he was the chief of sinners and here he is on the receiving end of the goodness of God. And so we give thanks because God has freely given to us everything that we need for our spiritual benefit. We ascribe glory to him. And right at the heart of this spiritual blessing, as Paul unfolds, as Paul opens up the envelope and starts bringing out the blessings for us to see and to consider, right at the start we see in verse 4 he goes all the way back to eternity past and he says exactly what it was that God did for us.

Now, you know what's coming, so let me just say this by way of introduction. This is all before we had any knowledge of it. We had no influence. We weren't there to even ask God to consider us. You realize that, that before time began God had taken care of us spiritually. He had determined, he had purposed, he had ordained that we would one day receive salvation in Christ in such a manner that his purpose would certainly come to pass in our lives. When you weren't there to ask for it, when no one was there to counsel him or to tell him what to do, God said out of the goodness of my heart I'm going to separate out this people and give blessing to them that they will one day give praise to me for that will echo throughout all the halls of eternity.

And they will experience the realm of blessing and they will see that I have been good that will bring joy to their hearts and they will worship me and they will be the partner for eternity for my son, recognizing his glory and honoring and worshiping him. And God did all of that, determined, purposed all of that before the foundation of the world. Beloved, stop and think about something really basic here. We could never have guessed at that kind of truth.

We know this only because God has revealed it to us in the scriptures. You would never guess at this. What men get when they guess at religion is a religion of self-righteousness of works and things that they can do in order to make themselves acceptable to God.

You don't guess at this. The pride of man doesn't allow him to say okay I'm gonna make up something where I don't get any credit for it. No one lives their life that way especially apart from Christ. We're too tied up in our own thoughts about ourselves to come up with something like this and so divine revelation reveals this to us and the nature of pure unadulterated perfect grace testifies in a subsidiary auxiliary way to the truthfulness of what we're discussing.

No man would make this up. Certainly no man who persecuted the church like the Apostle Paul did and so look at verse 4 with me now as we're seeing the praise for election. Paul is praising God and he hasn't broken his thought. Blessed be God verse 4 just as in accordance with the fact that he chose us in him that is in Christ before the foundation of the world.

Now more men than not hate this truth I realize that and I'm completely undeterred and uninterested in what they think about it. What matters is what God says and what scripture teaches is is that God chose you for salvation before you had done anything good or bad. What scripture teaches is is that prior to creation God had settled his purpose to bless you. That is what is in front of us here in verse 4. Look at it with me again I want you to see the text and let it sink deep into your heart. He chose us in him before the foundation of the world. This is the teaching of Scripture and so if I can suggest an immediate reaction in your heart to what we're seeing here right now it would be something along the lines of this especially the way we opened and framed the message. There should be going in your mind something that says along this line but God salvation is your gift why are you good to me? Why would you bless me this way? That is the question the answer to which we must think very carefully about. Say Lord it can't be me I've sinned and fallen short of your glory so why would you do that it must be something good about you God chose you get this God chose you for salvation not because you are good but because he is good and that's why we praise him and not ourselves as we consider this. Now we've looked at the praise of election I want to bring you to a second point here the proof of election the proof of election unconditional election by which we mean that God chose those who would be saved apart from any merit in those persons unconditional election is woven into the fabric of God's Word and let's look beyond Ephesians 1 to verify that you need to see multiple scriptures so that you can know if you're not persuaded of this that I'm not making this up that this is not something that was invented by our church it wasn't invented by the drafters of the 1689 confession it wasn't made up by John Calvin it wasn't made up by Augustine the doctrine of unconditional election comes from the pages of Scripture that is the authority for this and you can learn about unconditional election even if you do not know any of the names of those theologians turn back to the Gospel of John chapter 15 Gospel of John chapter 15 verse 16 John 15 verse 16 Jesus speaking to his disciples in the upper room said you did not choose me but I chose you I don't know how to make it any more clear than in the words of Christ himself this is true of the disciples who were gathered around in the upper room it is true of everyone who comes to Christ you did not choose Christ but he chose you it was his sovereign pleasure to bring you into his family it was not your sovereign pleasure to bring him into yours scripture says that we love because he what he first loved us the initiating cause the originating source was found in God turn over to the book of Acts chapter 13 verse 48 acts 13 verse 48 the gospel is now being brought to the Gentiles by the Apostle Paul and in verse 47 for so the Lord has commanded us I have placed you and notice this God did the placing God placed Paul as a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth and then verse 48 when the Gentiles heard this they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord and watch this as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed they believed but they had previously been appointed to eternal life and they did not appoint themselves to that because no man of temporary flesh could appoint to himself eternal life God appointed them to eternal life and in the realm of time they heard the gospel the Spirit worked in their hearts and they believed they were appointed to eternal life that explains why they believed that's Don Green founding pastor of truth community church in Cincinnati Ohio with part one of a message titled chosen looking at the doctrine of election it can be challenging material to tackle for sure so thanks for staying with us as we move forward here on the truth pulpit well done while this radio broadcast is certainly a valuable tool to help increase biblical understanding we have other great tools available too don't we that's right bill we do friend we want to do everything we can to help you receive God's Word into your life and so there's a lot of resources available for you to take advantage of on our website we broadcast our church services Sunday and Tuesday over our live stream all of my weekly sermons are available for easy access via our podcast and there are also free study guides for some messages to help you or your church group study God's Word on your own you can find all of those things when you go to the place that bills going to point you to right now just visit the truth pulpit calm and follow the links again that's the truth pulpit calm now for Don Green I'm Bill Wright and we'll see you again next time when our teacher teaches God's people God's Word again from the truth pulpit
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-26 04:51:02 / 2023-04-26 04:59:34 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime