according as He chose us in Him before the foundations of the world Ephesians 1:4
Chose – There are only a few verses that cause more argument than this one. Once we decide that our theology needs to close all the gaps, we are bound to confront that age-old question of predestination. But perhaps we need to pay attention to the emphasis rather than the content. Paul is quite anxious for us to see that the divine operation is based on God’s choice. When God makes the choice is not nearly as important as that fact that God does make the choice, for without God’s willingness to choose us, nothing of consequence will happen at all.
God chose us. Oh, how enormously significant these words! I did not go on a quest for the divine and, with unrelenting perseverance, force God to divulge Himself to me. No, God came looking. He made His choice to pursue me long before I came on the scene. God has been hunting for each of us since He put His plan into action.
Paul uses the Greek exelexato. The root (eklego) is about making a choice between things, selecting out some from many. The word suggests that the purpose of choosing is to establish a relationship between the one choosing and the objects chosen. It does not, however, mean that the objects not chosen are rejected. The emphasis is on the relationship, not the quality of the objects chosen. What’s more important is that in the New Testament this verb is always found in the middle voice. That implies that there is a special significance for the actor in the relationship. Did you get that? The actor is God. His choice has special significance for Him! Of course, it also means a lot to us, right? But the emphasis is not on us (amazingly). It is on what all of this means to God! What God is doing is executing His plan of perfect delight to Him. He is absolutely pleased with how this is all working out. God likes what He does – and you and I are included in His good pleasure.
What a joy it is to know that God is perfectly happy with His choices. He loves to elect. It is all unfolding according to His good will. How it all unfolds might be a mystery to you and me, but that does not mean that we are deprived of the opportunity to celebrate how marvelous it all is to Him! So, join me in praise to the God Who knows exactly what He is doing and is perfectly capable of bringing it to pass. That is the emphasis of election.
I can stop worrying about the fate of the universe now. God will be quite pleased if I just pay attention to what He is asking of me today.