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He Hath Chosen Us ... To The Intent That

by Oscar M. Baker


These two expressions are so far apart that few have thought of connecting them. But after one reads and rereads the first 3 chapters of Ephesians a few times, he will begin to notice that there is a sequence that cannot be ignored.

We might say at first thought that we were chosen to be holy and without blame before God in love. But there is no full stop there. The argument goes right on and on. So that is not the goal. It is not the plan and purpose of the ages. To be holy and without blame is greatly to be desired in those who have a part in God's scheme, it is true. But there is something beyond to which all this leads.

After the announcement of our being chosen, we have the will of the Father, the work of the Son, and the witness of the Spirit (4-14). Then follows the prayer that we might know what is the hope of His calling, what the riches of His inheritance in the holiest of all, and what is the greatness of His power.

That is followed by our togetherness in Christ (2:5,6), and then the 3 works (2:9,10). In 14-17 peace is declared as threefold, starting with the fact that He is our peace. Verses 19-22 tell of our being fellow-citizens in the holiest of all and fitly framed and builded together for a holy temple. Some more togetherness.

In 3:6 we have a definition of the mystery which is followed by the purpose of those chosen and who make up the church which is the body of Christ.

Going back over the ground traversed, we note that after the choosing there are 7 three-fold items of doctrine leading up to the purpose for all this. After this great purpose is announced we have the wonderful prayer of 3:14-21. The last 3 chapters of the book have to do with the walk that must go with such a calling and purpose. It is a walk that should be expected from those who are to be holy and without blame, or without spot or wrinkle. This work of the church is far greater than that of the Aaronic priesthood which also was to be holy.

At the present time, while here in the flesh on this terrestial ball, we can join with Paul in making known to all men what is the dispensation of the mystery (3:9). But we must also realise that now, in the present time (as well as in the future) we the church are to make known to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies the manifold wisdom of God (verse 10). Just as God chose Israel to make His name known among the nations of the earth, just so have we been chosen who make up the church of the dispensation of the mystery, to make something known in the places outside of this earth and its nations. Our sphere of blessing and service then are outside of the earth and the nations of it.

What manner of men ought we to be if we have such a high and holy calling and ministry? Are we to be subject to carnal laws and ordinances; or to the law of love? If we walk in love and as children of light, do we need to have daily rules and regulations to guide us? Rituals that would impress the nations and make known the name of Jehovah to nations have no place here.