Sunday School Notes 2-1-2015

Topic: Election

Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-6

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

What is Election? (vv. 4)

  • Election refers to the idea that God “chose us in Him”.
    • Do you know anything about the current debate on election?
      • Free will vs. predestination (Determinism)
      • Should this be a debate within Christianity?
      • Through the debate, we have learned much about God, but the debate will never be resolved on this earth.
      • God’s knowledge is of a nature that we cannot comprehend and it is not like human knowledge. (Isaiah 40:13)
      • God is not bound by time, and therefore has all knowledge concerning all time. (Genesis 1, 2 Peter 3:8, Psalm 102)
      • God does hold us responsible for our own decisions. (Romans 2:6)
    • Election simply means that God does not depend on us as He makes decisions.
      • Nothing I do can earn salvation for me. This is a gift from God and God chooses to give this gift. (Romans 6:23)
      • Nothing I do can separate me from God’s love. (Romans 8:38-39)

God blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

  • What does it mean that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing?
    • Through Christ we became children and heirs of the Creator.
    • We are His and all He has is ours.
    • The greatest blessing is knowing God, and this is only possible in Christ.

We were chosen to be holy and blameless in God’s sight.

  • How are we holy and blameless in God’s sight?
    • Only Christ as the sacrificial lamb accomplishes this.
    • We are blameless because of Christ, the messiah, and God is honored because He has made us blameless.
  • We could only be blameless by God’s choosing.
    • I cannot choose to rid myself of all guilt. God must choose to forgive me and remove my sin. A stained shirt cannot clean itself. It must be cleaned.
  • We recognize that all of God’s work is God’s work and that God is glorified in that work. All glory and honor and power to the only God!

We are chosen according to God’s favor and will.

  • Can we, mere people, ever understand the mode of God’s favor and will?
    • God is greater than I am and His ways are greater than mine.
      • It is silly to say that we are not free to choose, and it is silly to say that God is not absolutely sovereign.
      • He does choose and He does hold us accountable for our own decisions. After all, we are made in His image.

Questions for class discussion:

  1. Salvation is a gift from God. What is required of us for salvation?
    1. Romans 10:9
  2. How can we have free will, yet be chosen by God?
    1. This question has been debated throughout church history and there is no clear conclusion.
    2. The same question is debated in natural science and philosophy.
    3. It may be sufficient to say that God is not bound by the same natural parameters that bind natural creation. God is not bound by space-time as we are.
  3. How does knowing that we are chosen to be adopted sons and daughters of God change the way we think about living our lives?
  4. What does it reveal about God’s sovereignty?

Homework!

What are your thoughts on election?

Think, journal or blog about your thoughts.

  • Do I have free will? Why or why not?
  • Talk with your parents. They can offer great insight to this issue.

*I believe that God created us in His image and, thus, has given us freedom to choose. I believe that “predestination” and “foreknowledge” are concepts that refer to God’s relationship with space-time and not His control of our decisions. Our decisions are based within a certain timeline and God’s are not. I do not believe that our actions are determined, but I do believe that God is absolutely sovereign.

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