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The unsearchable riches of Christ #4

“Chosen in Christ—the first blessing,” 1:4-6.
These verses introduce to us the catalogue of blessings which are ours in Christ Jesus.
Carefully note the first of these blessings. It is predestination.
The source of the blessings referred to in verse 3, is the electing love of God. We were cursed but we have been chosen that we might be blessed. We were of the devil but we have been chosen to be adopted into God’s family.
It is in keeping with man’s perverse nature that this doctrine is so opposed, even by those who profess the name of Christ.
1. God has chosen a people for Himself.  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. . . I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word, John 17:2, 6. The word predestination is used in Acts 4:28. For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
2. He chose His people before the foundations of the world. Predestination is God determining in eternity what is to come to pass. It is Him working all things according to the counsel of His own will, verse 11. There is a people who are known to God and He listed them in His Book of Life, Rev 17:8. 2 Thess 2:13, Matt 25:34, 2 Tim 1:9. How this assures us of the final victory and triumph of Christ and His cause.
3. God made His choice of a people according to His own good pleasure. Having predestinated us . . . . according to the good pleasure of his will, verse 5. It was not because He saw anything in us or that we were capable of anything. It was merely His good pleasure to choose those He did. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, John 15:16. He chose some and passed others. There was absolutely nothing in the elect that distinguished them from any other.  John 5:1-9.
4. The purpose of His choosing us was to make us holy. . . . that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, verse 4. Clearly, we were not chosen for our holiness if God plan to make us holy. Our utter perfection is what God plans through the death of the Lord Jesus, 5:27 (without blame without blemish). Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, Titus 2:14. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, Gal 1:4. This holiness will be wrought out in us through the adopting us as children, 5. We would become partakers of the de vine nature, 2 Peter 1:4.
5. Ultimately, predestination is to the praise of the glory of God’s grace. Verse 6. The teaching of man’s meritorious works is obviously opposed to the glory of God’s grace. The design of redemption is to set forth the grace of God in such a manner  as to fill our hearts with wonder and praise.

Bright and shining lights in the Bible #10

Stream or download Bright and shining lights in the Bible #10


“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Hebrews 11:5-6.

 

1. Enoch is a most unusual man. He was saved in the way all must be saved but he was the first to enter heaven GLORIFIED! He was the first believer to arrive in heaven, body and soul!
He was translated, carried over from earth to heaven ALIVE! Word appears in Acts 7:16 as ‘carried over’, referring to burial of Jacob and 11 of his sons. Enoch was miraculously changed in his body from a mortal to an immortal state out of extraordinary grace and favour shown to him and then, many ages after this, to Elijah also.

2. His departure likely resulted in a search for him! 
“ . . and was not found.” This phrase suggests a search was made for him. How puzzled his neigbours were.
The world has no understanding of how or where the Christian goes when they leave this world! There was a ‘search’ for Elijah also. 2 Kings 2:16-18.

3. This blessing was granted because of his faith. “By faith Enoch was translated.” Hs faith pleased God. “Before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” True faith is always accompanied by a life of holiness that is pleasing to God. Notice that it is emphasised that: “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” How important it is to understand this! Those that believe God are termed ‘friends’. “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God,” James 2:23.