The Hope of Predestination (September 7, 2011)

Grammatically, theologically and logically everything in this passage hinges on the word “purpose”, so that is what we have to cover first. The main thrust of this message is that predestination is hopeful, and there are two reasons why predestination is hopeful found in this passage:

  1. Predestination is hopeful because God has predetermined the destiny of his church.
    1. The word for church is ekklesia which is derived from the word for call, which is kaleo. Kaleo is the word used here. The church is therefore “the called ones”. There are several passages that talk about God’s purpose in calling the church into existence, one such passage is Romans 8:29-30 (Read), but we will focus on that passage in a few weeks. Today, in an effort to understand the extent of God’s purpose for his people we turn to the landmark text about the purpose of God: Ephesians 1 (I am greatly helped by John MacArthur here in his book, The Master’s Plan for the Church).
      1. God’s Purpose is Old: Ephesians 1:4-5, 11 The church isn’t something that happened because people decided something. The church happened because God decided something before he created anything. In the garden of Eden, God wasn’t like, “Aww, Adam! Seriously?! Now I’ve got to fix all this!”
      2. God’s Purpose is Effectual: 1:7, 13 God calls effectually and saves eternally.
      3. God’s Purpose is Life Altering: 1:4 “That we should be holy and blameless”. Ephesians 5 shows us that being joined to Christ results in Christians being presented to God as holy and without blemish. Holiness is what it means to be in Christ.
      4. God’s Purpose is In Christ: 1: 4-6 We are in union with Christ. Everything that we are as Christians is wrapped up in Christ. We are chosen in him, called in him, adopted in him, justified in him, sanctified in him and we will be glorified in him.
      5. God’s Purpose has been Revealed: 1:7-9 We have the truth of God’s marvelous gospel in the pages of scripture. The mystery has been revealed.
      6. God’s Purpose will be Completed: 1:10
      7. God’s Purpose is Inheritance Giving: 1:11
      8. God’s Purpose is Ultimately His Own Glory: 1:12 That is God’s plan for the church, for the called.
    2. And how do I know that I am the called and a part of the universal church? What does it mean to be called according to his purpose?
      1. John Piper’s definition is the best: “God calls a person to Christ by bringing them into contact with the gospel of Jesus Christ and then making their dead hearts alive so that they hear the gospel as irresistibly true and beautiful.”
      2. The results of the call are clear in 8:28: Love for God. The word for love there is value or taking pleasure in. Until you are called by God and changed by God, you cannot love him. The calling of God begun by God creates in the heart of the believer love for God. And the good works of our lives are evidence of our love for God because if we love him we desire to keep his commandments and it is an obedient people who bring glory to God and the glory of God is why we exist and the direction to which our lives are aimed.

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