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Sermon #4007

Chosen in Him

A Sermon on Being Chosen by God from Ephesians 1:4


Ephesians 1:4 ESV KJV
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (ESV)

Sermon Description

The doctrine of election requires a reverent approach and the listener is on holy ground concerning this topic. Christians have often done great injustice in an argumentative style. From this sermon on being chosen by God from Ephesians 1:4 titled “Chosen in Him,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores this crucial doctrine, and like the apostle Paul, he simply states this doctrine without arguing for it. The Bible is uninterested in giving a philosophical explanation and, according to Romans 9, reproves the Christian when they begin to argue against God’s sovereign choice in election. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explores this doctrine throughout Scripture, including John 6, 15, 17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13–14; and 1 Peter 1:2. It is wise, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, to look to authorities in church history, great Christian theologians, evangelists, and preachers who have held fast to God’s sovereign choice. Even with his strong defense of the Reformed position, he asks if one is saved by their position on this important question. Happily Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers, “no.” But, he argues, there is great comfort, security, and joy bound up with knowing God has set His love upon His children before the foundation of the world.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The words to focus on are Ephesians 1:4 - "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
  2. This verse is connected to the previous verse which says we have been blessed with spiritual blessings.
  3. The apostle Paul explains how we obtain these spiritual blessings. He starts with the work of the Father (verses 4-6), then the Son (verses 7-12), then the Spirit (verses 13-14).
  4. There are two possible interpretations of this verse:
    1. God chose us by His own will, not because of anything in us.
    2. God chose us because He foresaw that we would believe in Jesus.
  5. We should approach this verse with reverence, not argumentatively. It is about God's truth, not just Paul's opinion.
  6. Our human understanding is limited, so we won't fully understand this deep truth. We need God's Spirit to help us grasp it.
  7. The Bible states this truth but doesn't argue for it or fully explain it. It rebukes us for arguing against God due to our lack of understanding.
  8. Many other Bible passages teach the same truth, directly or indirectly, like John 6, 15, 17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Corinthians 2.
  9. This doctrine shows the depth of our sin and need for grace. Man never would have come up with it on our own.
  10. This truth does not negate evangelism. God ordained both election and evangelism. Many who believed in election were great evangelists and missionaries.
  11. Your view on this doctrine does not determine your salvation, but it does impact your understanding and security in God.
  12. This truth brings comfort in God's sovereignty, love, and eternal plan of salvation. Our security is in His grace, not our own decisions.

The Book of Ephesians

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.