3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love.” (Ephesians 1:3–4 (ESV)
Some thoughts about God the Father’s elected purpose for believers in Christ to be holy and blameless before Him.
Charles Hodge (1797-1878), Presbyterian theologian and principal of Princeton Theological Seminary (1851-1878) writes, “If election is to holiness as the apostle teaches, it follows ,first, that individuals, and not communities or nations, are the objects of election. Secondly, that holiness in no form can be the ground of election. If men are chosen to be holy, they cannot be chosen because they are holy. Thirdly, it follows that holiness is the only evidence of election. For one who lives to sin to claim to be elected unto holiness, is a contradiction.”
Theologian and Pastor John Calvin (1509-1564), in a sermon from Ephesians 1:4 writes, “You see, then, that that to which he meant to bring the faithful was to make them know that just as God elected them of his own free grace, so he does not give them leave to yield themselves to all wickedness, but intends to keep and preserve them undefiled to himself. For God’s electing of us and, with that, his calling of us to holiness are things joined inseparably together, even as St. Paul says in another passage, that we are not called to uncleanness and filthiness, but to be dedicated to God in all piety and holiness( I Thess. 4:7).”
Today’s conclussion is also from John Calvin and it takes the form of a prayer. He writes, “Now let us fall down before the majesty of our good God with acknowledgement of our faults, praying him to make us feel them in such a way that we may continually profit in his fear, and be strengthened more and more in the same; and, in the meanwhile, so to bear with our weaknesses that we may always enjoy his grace even till he has set us in possession of all things at such time as he shall have put away our sins and blotted them out completely for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake. And so let us all say, Almighty God, heavenly Father.”
Soli deo Gloria!