Introduction: When I was growing up, it was very important to be
chosen when they picked sports teams. You never wanted to be among
the last two boys who were just “distributed,” as opposed to being
wanted on the team. Our lesson this week is about God choosing us to
be on His team. Let’s dive into our lesson and learn more!

  1. God Chose You

    1. Read Ephesians 1:3-4. Last week we studied verse 3. Verse
      3 tells us that God the Father has given us every
      spiritual blessing in Jesus. Who is the “He” in verse 4:
      “For He chose us?” (I think it is still talking about God
      the Father.)

      1. The verse goes on to say that He “chose us in Him.”

        Who is the “Him? (Jesus. The result is that “He (God
        the Father) chose us in Him (Jesus)….)

      2. How early were we chosen? Were we the “last two”
        that just got “distributed?” (The text tells us that
        we were chosen “before the creation of the world.”)

        1. When I was chosen to be on a team when I was a
          kid, it was because of my merit in that sport or
          my popularity with the person choosing. What was
          the criteria for God the Father choosing us? (We
          were chosen because we were “in Him”(Jesus).
          This suggests no merit on our part.)

          1. Imagine being chosen to play on a team
            when you had never played before, indeed,
            you were not yet born. How could you be
            chosen based on your merit in that case?
            (That is our situation here. We were
            chosen by God before we were born, before
            the world was even created.)

            1. How does this make any sense? Why
              would God chose us in Jesus before
              the Creation? Why would God the
              Father even need to do this before
              sin entered the world? (Here is a
              real mystery. There are only two
              logical conclusions. Either God knew
              we would sin, or He and Jesus agreed
              that if we sinned Jesus would rescue

    2. Ephesians 1:4 continues that we were chosen to be “holy
      and blameless in His sight.” Are you holy and blameless?
      If not, how do you get that way? (The same way we were
      chosen: in Jesus.)

      1. Does verse 4 actually say that we are “holy and
        blameless?” (This is a very subtle and interesting
        point. It does not say that we are actually holy and
        blameless. Rather, it refers to some future time
        (“to be”)and it says that we appear that way(“in His
        sight”) to God the Father.)

    3. Read Ephesians 1:5, but keep your focus on Ephesians 1:4-5. What kind of attitude does God the Father have towards
      us? (There are a number of great words used here: “love,”

      “pleasure and will,” “sons.”)

      1. What does this suggest was God the Father’s view when
        He and Jesus were discussing what to do with humans
        before Jesus created them? (God the Father has the
        same attitude as Jesus. He loves us. It is His
        pleasure and it is His will that we are not only
        rescued, but that we are adopted as His children.)

        1. Is being adopted here better or worse than being
          a natural child? (The positive sense I get here
          is that God chose us.)

    4. Since Ephesians 1:5 speaks of us being “predestined,”
      let’s jump down a few verses to look at a similar
      reference. Read Ephesians 1:11. What destination does God
      have in mind for us? How do we get to that destination?
      ( Ephesians 1:5 tells our “destination” is adoption by God.
      Jesus clearly is the “fixer” here. He is the One who works
      out God’s will for us.)

      1. “Predestination” is the theory that we have no choice
        in salvation. Some are chosen and some are not. When
        Paul writes that we have been “predestined according
        to the plan of [Jesus,]” what does this tell us about
        our choice in the matter?

        1. Compare John 15:16 with Romans 3:10-11. Who is
          the moving party in our salvation? (God wants us
          to be saved. He has chosen us as children. We
          did not choose Him. God chose us to have
          salvation and eternal life as our destination.)

      2. Do we have a choice in the matter? Can we reject
        God’s destination for our life?(Let’s read two texts
        that bear on this. Read Romans 8:28-30 and Hebrews
        10:28-31. Romans tells us those God knew in advance
        are destined for salvation. I imagine God knows
        everyone. The text in Hebrews is very important. God
        says that if we spurn His offer of salvation, we will
        face a terrible judgment. This logically means two
        things: a) That we can reject His offer (thus we have
        a choice); and, b) We are all given the offer. (Or at
        least only those who reject the offer face judgment.)
        These two texts read together teach us that God wants
        everyone to be saved. He made provision for this
        through His Son, Jesus. At the same time, we can
        reject this offer. If we do, if we insult God by
        spurning His generosity, then a terrible judgment
        awaits us.)

    5. Read Ephesians 1:6. What does this suggest about the idea
      that only some are “predestined” to be chosen by God to be
      saved? (Paul tells us that “glorious grace” is “freely
      given” to us through Jesus. If this were some sort of
      limited offer to certain people, then Paul could hardly
      describe it as “freely given.”)

  2. Time to Fulfill the Mystery

    1. Read Ephesians 1:7-10. Paul writes about “the mystery” of

      “God’s grace” being “lavished” on us. What picture of God
      do we see here, a generous God or a stingy God? (This is
      another reason to believe all are chosen by God to be
      invited for salvation. The terms used seem generous,
      rather than limited.)

    2. What is the time when Jesus puts heaven and earth
      together? (It could be at the cross – when Jesus defeated
      sin. It could be when Jesus fulfills the symbolism in
      Hebrews of entering the Most Holy place of the sanctuary
      in heaven. It could be the Second Coming of Jesus. I tend
      to think it was at the cross, but as we will look at next,
      God appears to be progressively putting His program into
      place on earth.)

  1. The Deposit

    1. Read Ephesians 1:13-14. How did these Christians become
      part of the special group which are saved? (They heard the
      gospel and believed.)

      1. What is the proof that they believed and have been
        saved? (They were marked with the seal of the Holy

        1. What is the mark of the Holy Spirit?

        2. If the Holy Spirit is not evident in your life,
          does that mean you are not saved? (Yes. If you
          do not have the seal, then there is no reason to
          believe you are saved.)

    2. Ephesians 1:14 tells us that the Holy Spirit is a
      “deposit.” A deposit guaranteeing what? (Guaranteeing
      “our inheritance.” We have been adopted ( Ephesians 1:5)as
      the children of God. Our inheritance is the Second Coming
      of Jesus, heaven, the earth made new and eternal life!)

    3. Earlier we discussed the time when everything in heaven
      and earth will be put together under Jesus. If we have a
      deposit now, does that mean that part of heaven and earth
      have come together now?

      1. Given that the Holy Spirit is both the “seal” of our
        salvation and the “deposit” of eternal life, how
        important is the presence of the Holy Spirit in your

        1. Do you see the result of the Spirit’s presence
          in your life?

      2. If the Holy Spirit is a deposit that began at
        Pentecost, then what level of the Spirit would you
        expect now?

        1. There is this theory that the Holy Spirit is not
          currently available to do the great things done
          during Apostolic times. Does that make any
          sense to you if the Holy Spirit is a deposit
          first made hundreds of years ago?

    4. Friend, God chose you for salvation! Have you accepted His
      offer? Is there any proof in your life of that fact?

  2. Next week: Praise and Prayer.