predestinating us to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will Ephesians 1:5
Good Pleasure – Why would God choose me? If you have never asked this question, you have never understood the true depravity of your soul. It is a travesty of modern Christianity that we almost see salvation as a right, an entitlement. We have preached the love of God to death. We have portrayed a God Who would never turn away a single soul, no matter what the cost. We have seduced ourselves into believing that we are entitled to God’s favor simply because we have “accepted” the plan of salvation. Let Paul’s words correct this fatal error. God is under no obligation whatsoever to provide a single one of us with His grace, no matter what process of repentance you might exercise. God does not choose because of us. He chooses because of Him. It’s all about His good pleasure.
The word is eudokia. Its root comes from two words that mean “to think well of.” But it is not just about nice thoughts. This word emphasizes the willingness and resolve to act according to these thoughts. In other words, eudokia results in benevolence and grace. The question is why. Why does God have good will toward us? The answer is found in the basis of eudokia. That basis resides in the very character of God Himself. God is good. That does not mean, as we usually suppose, that God does good things (especially for me). Our T-shirt slogans about God’s goodness are way off the mark. The goodness of God is the concentrated energy of active holiness, zealous to promote and produce what is benevolent, just and pure. The goodness of God is not God’s life-enhancing acts. It is His very being, a person who is thoroughly and utterly committed to righteousness expressed in action. God is good because goodness is Who He is, not because He simply chooses to act compassionately today. When Paul expresses election as the result of God’s good will, he is telling us that the very essence of Who God is will be found in the choices God makes. There is never any discrepancy between what is good and what God does. God’s good pleasure is to bring into existence what is righteous, by thought, word and deed.
Why does God choose me? Because it is the righteous thing to do. It has absolutely nothing to do with me. I am not righteous. I stand in opposition to real goodness. But God will not allow my sinfulness to prevent His expression of goodness. So, He chooses me. Nothing stops His choice to act on the basis of goodness. He does everything according to His character.
And that leaves me with a great question. If God chooses me, will I choose Him? God demonstrates His choice in active engagement of goodness on my behalf. I demonstrate my choice in active obedience on His behalf. There is no such thing as passive salvation – from God’s side or mine. That’s how you show your acceptance of His choice, right?