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The Security of being Chosen

Ephesians 1:3-11

Jim Davis

Introduction:

1. We long for security. Feeling secure is the major key to self-confidence. Security is the key to stability. Employers want men and women that are secure. It is difficult to live with the insecurities of the changes of life.

A. Insecure people have difficulty functioning in a normal world. The word "security" comes from the Latin se-, meaning without, and cura, which is care. To be secure is to be able to live without care, without worry, and without fear.

B. Many looking in the wrong place for security.

1. We think that we are secure if we have the right kinds of insurance policies, if we are more-or-less paid-up on our houses, and if we have secure jobs. Jesus' concept is different.

2. One of America's most popular authors, John Irving, made the following statement in an article in U.S. News and World Report:

"In my view, there is no safe place in life--and my stories reflect that. The only safety and peace of mind that is discoverable on earth comes from a firm belief in an afterlife, so it's no surprise that so many people hold to such beliefs." He went on to comment, "I do know that the only people who seem to me to feel safe are people with belief."

A minister in Virginia phoned in his Sunday morning sermon title to the religion editor of the local newspaper. He said, "The topic for my message is, 'The Lord is My Shepherd.'" "Is that all?" asked the editor. Trying to make a spiritual point, the pastor replied, "That's enough!" On Saturday, when the paper was delivered to the preacher's door, he immediately opened it to the section containing the church notices. His topic for the sermon read: "The Lord is My Shepherd--That's Enough!" The editor had made a mistake, but it turned out to be very appropriate.

C. H. Spurgeon once said, "I have all things and abound; not because I have a good store of money in the bank, not because I have a good skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because' The Lord is my shepherd.'"
 
 

I. Chosen by God.

Ephesians 1:3-12
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-- to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (NIV)

A. Being chosen is a very special thing. Small boy in high school being the last to be picked for a baseball team. Picked as a last choice.

1. Unflattering picture of yourself. "I don't like it, it's not me." It's you from a view point you don't care for.

2. A group of natives had a photograph taken, they had never seen a photograph of themselves, each native could recognize the others but none could recognize himself.

B. We usually evaluate things from our viewpoint -- makes it hard to see another's point of view. We usually need a different vantage point.

C. When you see God properly your whole perspective about yourself changes. We have a problem seeing ourselves as God sees us. We must feel secure with God before we can see things from his view point and reexamine our lives and missions.

D. We are chosen by God.

Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love (NIV)

1. Top of the line spiritual blessing -- love and mercy -- picked out.

2. Not a theological riddle, it is a tribute to God's graciousness.

Deuteronomy 7:6-8 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured people. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (NIV)

E. God has chosen us, doesn't just tolerate us, or half-heartedly let us hang around the edge of the group.

1.God has accepted each of us.

2. Not merely on the outer limits of fellowship with God -- not on outskirts of his kingdom. We no longer have a need to stand before god attempting to justify our lives.

3. Didn't chose us as opposed to people down the street. Chose to save everyone through the message of the cross.

John 3:16

4. Choice not because of our goodness -- desirability or our wonderful personalities.

 Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)

Ephesians 1:3, 6
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ . . . to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (NIV)

5. Adopted Sons -- not foster children. Gives an assurance of our value & his love.

Galatians 3:26-27
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (NIV)

6. God has atoned for our sins. We are chosen not through any merit of my own. It was God's choice.

Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace (NIV)

What the Father does is change the balance of the scale of life. On one side of the scale are all the memories of hurt or rejection or failure or the pressures or difficulties of life. They weigh down our self-image until the scale tips to one side. Then the Father comes to us and begins loading the scale with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Suddenly, we see the scale not only balanced but tipped over completely on the side of the Father. And we know we are loved.

If the lame would suddenly walk and the blind see, it would be no greater miracle than when each of us has the deep, inner security of being blessed by God.

II. Chosen For A Purpose.

Ephesians 1:5-6
He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (NIV)

A. We are blessed because the Father has chosen to choose us. He has predestined us. The word "predestination" has had a lot of bad press through the centuries. We need to clean up some of these serious misunderstandings.

1. Predestination is not fatalism. The word does not mean that some impersonal force controls our lives. It does not mean that God has chosen some people to be saved and others to be damned.

2. Predestination is the conviction that God is sovereign and that salvation is His gift. We belong to God by His choice of us; He has chosen to be our God.

3. But predestination carries with it the idea that we must choose to be a part of God's predetermined will.

"The elect are the whosoever will and the non-elect are the whosoever won't"

C. God has chosen you too:

1. Chosen us to know his will.

Acts 22:14
"Then he said: `The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. (NIV)

"To know God in trustful obedience is not only to know the truth, but through God's self-communication to be in it, in the truth that as love is at the same time fellowship." Brunner pointed out that God's revelation to humans is not primarily a doctrine but an act. To use another of his favorite phrases, revelation is a "personal correspondence" between God and humanity. "God does not reveal this and that--he reveals Himself by communicating Himself."

2. Chosen for obedience.

1 Peter 1:2
Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. (NIV)

The young man had just graduated from college and went to work at his father's store. The first day his father asked him to sweep the floor.

"But, Dad," the son protested, "I'm a college graduate."

Replied the father, "I'm sorry, son. I forgot. But don't worry, I'll show you how to do it."

3. Chosen for a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)

Galatians 3:26-27
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (NIV)

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (NIV)

4. Chosen to do his work on earth.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

The testimony meeting at church had gotten a little out of hand. One man stood and said, "I've been smoking three packages of cigarettes a day, and I'm going to quit."

"I've been drinking two cans of beer a day, and I'm going to quit," echoed another man.

"I've been cursing an awful lot, and I'm going to quit," confessed another parishioner.

Caught up in the excitement of the moment, a little old lady stood up and said, "I haven't been doing anything and I'm going to quit."

5. Chosen to be priest.

1 Peter 2:9-12 9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (NIV)

An article in a 1978 Northliner magazine, distributed by North Central Airlines, reported that a number of religious conventions were held a Midwestern city that summer, and the local citizens couldn't have been happier. Sgt. Hayden Kirk, a police traffic supervisor tells why. He said that he was impressed by a woman who, after getting out of her car, noticed that a facial tissue has fallen out. "She went back over and picked it up," Kirk commented. "Now when's the last time you saw that?" He also said the trash collectors found that conventioneers had stacked refuse in neat piles next to containers when they became filled. And parking lot attendants didn't have to argue with delegates when they were asked to put their cars in certain spaces. Recalling how some other conventions turned into shouting matches because the visitors were unruly and demanding, Kirk summed it up, "But these folks were terrific!" Such testimony is consistent with changed and challenged lives. In these closing years of the 1980s we rarely see such changes.

Conclusion:

Luke 18:7
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? (NIV)

Romans 8:33
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. (NIV)

Revelations 17:14
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings-- and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." (NIV)

 

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