It has been refreshing to read Bryan Chapell’s commentary on Ephesians. The way he explains God’s sovereign election emphasizing His grace is beautiful and encouraging.
So here you are, friends, some borrowed words from this commentary to build your faith. But first, I would like to suggest that you first read Ephesians 1- 2:12, since it is from the commentary of these verses that the following quotes are taken.
“Paul uses the assurance of predestination to strengthen the church for her struggles against evil and discouragement. This perspective does not solve all our logical questions about predestination… Predestination was never meant to be a doctrinal club used to batter people into acknowledgments of God’s sovereignty. Rather, the message of God’s love preceding our accomplishments and outlasting our failures was meant to give us a profound sense of confidence and security in God’s love so that we will not despair in situations of great difficulty, pain, and shame.” (See Eph. 1: 3-6)
“Paul is using the doctrine of predestination not to separate believers, not to instill pride in our being chosen, nor to vaunt any special knowledge of how God’s works, but simply to assure hard-pressed believers that God has loved them and does love them apart from any merit of their own. In other words, predestination is meant to to bless believers’ hearts. It is not meant for endless argument; it is not an excuse not to evangelize; it is our basis of comfort when we face limitations of our actions, will, and choices. We make mistakes at times by making predestination the source of our pride rather than the basis for assuring the beleaguered whoa re wrestling with their sin and the world’s trials. To such God says, “I loved you before the world began, so don’t doubt me know.” Predestination is the Heavenly Father’s shout of eternal love that echoes in our songs of thankful praise as our strength is renewed by the assurance of his care. When predestination is properly taught, it accomplishes what Paul says is his goal: praise to God for his glorious grace and peace to his people (vv. 3.6)”
“The concept of choosing, which sometimes raises questions about God’s fairness, is actually being used here to comfort God’s people [Eph.1:11-14]. Paul wants everyone to remember that we are loved not because of what is in us but because of what is in God. The loving faithfulness of God that is revealed in Christ is the cause of our being his. The locus, or cause, of the covenant people being God’s is moved from them to him; thay are his because of what is in his heart.”
“Nothing convinces me more of the need for the sovereign initiative of a loving God in my salvation that this assessment in Scripture of my total inability to save myself. The dead cannot save themselves.” (see Eph. 2:3)
“…I must remember to make sure what predestination is really about: the revelation of God’s kindness. Angry arguments and insistent harangues miss the mark when their goal is promoting the doctrine of predestination rather than advancing understanding of divine kindness…
We are not saved by right thinking any more than we are saved by right actions. There is no cause for boasting among those who know that their salvation is a gift of God. Rather, greater humility, love for God, and love for his people flow from those who recognize that their daily existence and eternal destiny are entirely a gift of God.” (see Eph. 2:1-10)
“Benjamin Warfield said that the heart of Reformed Theology is not predestination but grace…God loving us entirely out of his mercy is the point we miss if we focus on the doctrine of his action rather than on the beauty of his kindness. We will never in this life fully understand the mysteries of his sovereignty, but we can grasp much of his love in his heart. Relishing the kindness of God is the goal that predestination rightly seeks and the emphasis that should remain our message. we will not in this life know why God chooses as he does, but we know enough of Him to rest assured that his choices are good, just, and loving.”
Under His sun and by His grace,