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Chose (1586) (eklego from ek = out, out of, out from + légo = select, choose) (see also word study on related word eklektos) means literally to select out, single out or choose out of. The idea in eklego speaks of the sizable number from which the selection is made. It implies the taking of a smaller number out of a larger. For example, in secular use, Virgil's Eclogues (from eklego) are short, selected excerpts taken from a more larger collection of poems. A H Strong explained it this way... Election and sovereignty are only sources of good. Election is not a decree to destroy, it is a decree to save. When we elect a president, we do not need to hold a second election to determine that the remaining millions shall be non-presidents. Eklego means to choose out for oneself, but not implying rejection of those not chosen. In the present passage this selection is the act of God by Himself choosing out from among mankind men and women for Himself. The aorist tense indicates a completed action by God in the past ("before the foundation of the world"). The middle voice is reflexive which signifies that God chose us by Himself and for Himself. In other words it was God's totally independent choice. The indicative mood is the mood of reality. This was a real occurrence in eternity past. Sinclair Ferguson was correct when he said... Until we have come to the place where we can sing about election with a full heart we have not grasped the spirit of the New Testament teaching. Robert B. Selph adds that... To either deny sovereign election or to store it away in some theological closet on shelves labeled 'good for nothing' or 'harmful' is to rob the people of God of the fullest view of God's glory and to limit the church's worship to the realms of human logic. Oh, happy day, that fixed my choice On thee, my Saviour and my God! Well may this glowing heart rejoice, And tell its raptures all abroad. Philip Doddridge Eklego - 22x in 20v in the NT - Mk 13:20; Lk 6:13; 9:35; 10:42; 14:7; Jn 6:70; 13:18; 15:16, 19; Acts 1:2, 24; 6:5; 13:17; 15:7, 22, 25; 1Co. 1:27, 28; Ep 1:4; Jas 2:5 NAS = choose, 4; chose, 7; chosen, 8; made a choice, 1; picking, 1; select, 1. Some of the uses of eklego refer to men choosing or selecting, several to Christ choosing His disciples and some to God choosing men who would be saved in Christ (1Co 1:27, 28, Ep 1:4, Jas 4:5 - notice who God choose! Fascinating!). Mark 13:20 "Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. Luke 6:13 And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: Luke 9:35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!" Luke 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 14:7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, John 6:70 Jesus answered them, "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?" John 13:18 "I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen (referring again to the choosing of His 12 disciples); but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.' John 15:16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. John 15:19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Acts 1:2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. Acts 1:24 And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen Acts 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. Acts 13:17 "The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it. Comment: This "choice" is a reference to God's choosing of Abraham (cp Neh 9:7, Ge 12:1,2,3, 17:7, 8), Isaac and Jacob out of whom came the "chosen people", the nation of Israel (cp Dt 4:37, 7:6, 7,8, 9:5, 14:2, Ps 105:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 - note that this was an everlasting covenant and irregardless of the fact that many if not most of Israel were rebellious and not saved, there was always a righteous remnant by grace through faith, and the promise of God Who does not lie to give them "the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance awaits a yet future fulfillment. The Church is not Israel and will not receive the land of Israel. The Church actually receives something far better than the land of Israel, for the Church receives the life of Christ! See study explaining why [contrary to the teaching of much of the teaching in the modern church], the Church is not Israel!) Acts 15:7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas--Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, Acts 15:25 it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 1Corinthians 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 1Corinthians 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? Comment: Who enters into the kingdom of God? Those who love Him. But that sounds like "works based" salvation. In other words, it sounds like I merit God's bestowal of favor upon me because I have demonstrated my love to Him. No, that is backwards! The truth is that only those who are truly saved can truly love God, a love which is demonstrated by keeping His commandments (cp Jn 14:15). Or as Thomas Watson explained... Election is the cause of our vocation and vocation is the sign of our election. The only way you and I can possibly keep His commandments, is by the infusion of His spiritual power which gives us not only the desire to keep His commandments but the necessary power to keep them! Grace upon grace, with not a hint of personal merit. Humbling? Yes. And that is why the "wise....the things which are strong" (1Co 1:27, 28) and the rich of this world compose those whom God has chosen. Election is a mystery of mysteries, but if we are honest, the real "mystery" is why ANY are chosen! As Mark Webb said... Election keeps no one out of heaven who would otherwise have been there, but it keeps a whole multitude of sinners out of hell who would otherwise have been there. Blessed be God for His amazing display of grace to "foolish...weak...base" (1Co 1:27, 28), "poor" (Jas 2:5) sinners who are privileged to become saints made rich with all spiritual blessings in Christ. As Spurgeon explained "We are chosen as an afflicted people and not as a prosperous people, chosen not in the palace but in the furnace". Eklego is found 12.16.11" class="scriptRef">11" class="scriptRef">119 times in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Ge 6:2; 13:11; Num. 16:5, 7; 17:5; Deut. 1:33; 4:37; 7:7; 10.15" class="scriptRef">10:15; 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 21, 26; 14:2, 24" class="scriptRef">23, 24; 15:20; 16:2, 6f, 11, 15f; 17:8, 10, 15; 18:5f; 26:2; 30:19; 31:11; Jos. 9:27; 24:22; Jdg. 5:8; 10:14; 1 Sam. 2:28; 8:18; 10:24; 12:13; 13:2; 16:8, 9, 10; 17:8, 40; 2 Sam. 6:21; 16:18; 38" class="scriptRef">19:38; 24:12, 13, 14; 1 Ki. 3:8; 8:16, 44, 48; 11:13, 32, 34" class="scriptRef">34, 36; 14:21; 18:23, 25; 2 Ki. 21:7; 23:27; 1 Chr. 15:2; 16:41; 19:10; 21:10f; 28:4f; 2 Chr. 6:5f, 34, 38; 7:12, 16; 12:13; 33:7; 35:19; Neh. 1:9; 9:7; Job 29:25; 34:33; Ps. 33:12; 47:4; 65:4; 78:67f, 70; 84:10; 105:26; 132:13; 135:4; Prov. 24:32; Isa. 7:15f; 14:1; 40:20; 41:8f, 24; 43:10; 44:1f, 12; 49:7; 56:4; 58:5f; 65:12; 66:3f; Ezek. 20:38; Dan. 11:35; 12:10; Joel 2:16; Zech. 3:2) NIDNTT notes that this word group (including eklego, eklektos [word study], ekloge [word study]) have certain aspects in common... First, there are several objects from which to choose; secondly, the person making the choice is not tied down by any circumstances which force his hand, but is free to make his own decision. Thirdly, the person making the choice-at least at the moment of choosing-has the person or thing to be chosen at his disposal...The words express in every case the idea that a part has been claimed from a greater quantity, by an independent act of decision for a particular purpose, and that the remainder has been passed over. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan) Wuest comments that... The genius of the word has in it the idea of not merely choosing, but that of choosing out from a number. The adjective eklektos comes from eklegomai and is translated by the words “chosen” and “elect.” The elect are “the chosen-out ones.” (Ed: Cp Greek meaning of the word "church" = ekklesia from ek = out + kaleo = call = "called out ones") Divine election refers therefore to the act of God in which He chooses out certain from among mankind for salvation. This election does not imply the rejection of the rest, but is the outcome of the love of God lavished upon those chosen-out. Cremer says that “it is unwarranted to give special prominence either to the element of selection from among others, or to that of preference above others. The main import is that of appointment for a certain object or goal.” (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos) (Bolding added) Carl F. H. Henry At the heart of the election doctrine throbs God's freedom. A. M. Hunter What election means in simple terms is this: God chooses us before we choose him; God does not choose us because we deserve it; and God does not choose us to be his favorites but to be his servants. Joseph Alleine You begin at the wrong end if you first dispute about your election. Prove your conversion, and then never doubt your election. Thomas Manton Election is ascribed to God the Father, sanctification to the Spirit, and reconciliation to Jesus Christ... The Son cannot die for them whom the Father never elected, and the Spirit will never sanctify them whom the Father hath not elected nor the Son redeemed. C. H. Spurgeon It is one of the axioms of theology that if a man be lost God must not be blamed for it; and it is also an axiom of theology that if a man be saved God must have the glory for it. Augustine said it this way... Thou didst seek us when we sought thee not; didst seek us indeed that we might seek Thee...Man is not converted because he wills to be, but he wills to be because he is ordained to election...God chooses us, not because we believe, but that we may believe. Why did God choose the church out of the mass of mankind who was dead in their trespasses and sins? The context indicates that He did it for the praise of His own glory (Ep 1:6-note; Ep 1:12-note ; Ep 1:14-note). MacArthur explains it this way stating that... Believers were chosen for the Lord’s glory before they were chosen for their own good. The very reason for calling out believers into the church was that “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Ep 3:10-note). (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press) Paul explains why God saved any of us writing that... (God) has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, (2Ti 1:9-note) Later in 2Timothy Paul explained to Timothy that... “For this reason I endure all things (he is suffering the hardship of imprisonment as he writes) for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory” (2Ti 2:10-note). Comment: Although Paul did not know who they were, his heart's desire was to reach the elect, those who had already been chosen by God from the foundation of the world, in order that they might take hold of the salvation for which they had been chosen. This verse puts a "damper" on those who say that since God knows who the elect are and they will be saved, we don't need to evangelize. Paul would strongly disagree. John Arrowsmith said it this way... In whatever dunghill God's jewels be hid, election will both find them out there and fetch them out from hence. In Acts Luke although not using the verb eklego records a parallel though that... And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts13:48). Jesus used eklego to explain to His apostles... You did not choose (eklego) Me, but I chose (eklego) you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you. (John 15:16) Comment: In case any pretense might exist among the disciples in terms of spiritual pride because of the privileges they enjoyed, Jesus made it clear that such privilege rested not in their own merit, but on His sovereign choice of them. Wayne Grudem defines election as... an act of God before creation in which He chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of His sovereign good pleasure. Who shall the Lord's elect condemn? 'Tis God that justifies their souls, And mercy like a mighty stream O'er all their sins divinely rolls. Isaac Watts The Greek eklego corresponds to the Hebrew verb for choose (bachar [978] translated in Septuagint by eklego) and is applied often to God's selection or "election" of Abraham's seed to be His peculiar people... Deut. 4:37 "Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose (Hebrew bachar [978] translated in Septuagint with the verb eklego) their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power Deut 7:6,7 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen (Hebrew bachar [978] translated in Septuagint with the verb eklego) you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. (Comment: God chose the Jews simply out of His sovereign love as one of His divine attributes and not because they were so "lovely". Isa. 41:8 "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen (Hebrew bachar [978] translated in Septuagint with the verb eklego), Descendant of Abraham My friend" Ps. 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen (Hebrew bachar [978] translated in Septuagint with the verb eklego) for His own inheritance Ps 47:4 He chooses (bachar translated by eklego) our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves. [Selah]. THREE CATEGORIES OF ELECTION John MacArthur alludes to this OT use of eklego in his excellent explanation of the three major kinds of election in the Bible... (1) One is God’s theocratic election of Israel. “You are a holy people to the Lord your God,” Moses told Israel in the desert of Sinai; “the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deut 7:6). That election had no bearing on personal salvation. “They are not all Israel who are descended from Israel,” Paul explains; “neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants” (Ro 9:6, 7-notes). Racial descent from Abraham as father of the Hebrew people did not mean spiritual descent from him as father of the faithful (Ro 4:11-note). (2) A second kind of election is vocational. The Lord called out the tribe of Levi to be His priests, but Levites were not thereby guaranteed salvation. Jesus called twelve men to be apostles but only eleven of them to salvation. After Paul came to Christ because of God’s election to salvation, God then chose him in another way to be His special apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; Ro 1:5-note). (3) The third kind of election is salvational, the kind of which Paul is speaking in our present text. “No one can come to Me,” Jesus said, “unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). Helkuō (draws - 1670) carries the idea of an irresistible force and was used in ancient Greek literature of a desperately hungry man being drawn to food and of demonic forces being drawn to animals when they were not able to possess men. Salvage yards use giant electromagnets to lift and partially sort scrap metal. When the magnet is turned on, a tremendous magnetic force draws all the ferrous metals that are near it, but has no effect on other metals such as aluminum and brass. In a similar way, God’s elective will irresistibly draws to Himself those whom He has predetermined to love and forgive, while having no effect on those whom He has not. (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press) (Bolding and numbering added for emphasis) Spurgeon once sarcastically replied to those who feel that election precludes evangelization declaring... You are probably right. Please just paint a yellow cross on the back of everyone who is predestined to be saved, and I shall preach only to them. John Eadie commenting on chose us writes that... The action belongs wholly to the past, as the aorist (aorist tense) indicates....The idea involved in this word lay at the basis of the old theocracy, and it also pervades the New Testament. The Greek term corresponds to the Hebrew bachar, of the Old Testament, which is applied so often to God's selection of Abraham's seed to be His peculiar people. Dt 4:37, 7:6, 7; Is 41:8; Ps 47:4, etc....The verb before us, with its cognate forms, is used frequently to indicate the origin of that peculiar relation which believers sustain to God, and it also assigns the reason of that distinction which subsists between them and the world around them. Whatever the precise nature of this choice may be, the general doctrine is, that the change of relation is not of man's achievement, but of God's, and the aorist points to it as past; that man does not unite himself to God, but that God unites man to Himself, for there is no attractive power in man's heart to collect and gather in upon it those spiritual blessings. But there is not merely this palpable right of initiation on the part of God; there is also the prerogative of sovereign bestowment, as is indicated by the composition of the verb and by the following pronoun, hemas—“us”—we have; others want. The apostle speaks of himself and his fellow-saints at Ephesus. If God had not chosen them, they would never have chosen God. (A commentary on the Greek - page 18) In Him (1722) (en) defines the sphere of the believer's new, eternal position. Who is "Him"? In context, this refers to Christ. God's election of sinners is in Christ. John Eadie commenting on in Him explains that this phrase... seems to point out the position of the hemas. Believers were looked upon as being in Christ their federal Head, when they were elected. To the prescient eye of God the entire church was embodied in Jesus—was looked upon as “in Him.” The church that was to be appeared to the mind of Him who fills eternity, as already in being, and that ideal being was in Christ. It is true that God Himself is in Christ (Jn 14:10, 11, 20), and in Christ purposes and performs all that pertains to man's redemption; but the thought here is not that God in Christ has chosen us, but that when He elected us, we were regarded as being in Christ our representative—like as the human race was in Adam, or the Jewish nation in Abraham. (A commentary on the Greek - page 20) Jesus Himself taught that... "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44) Comment: Draws is the Greek word helkuo conveys the idea of an irresistible force and was used in ancient Greek literature of a desperately hungry man being drawn to food and of demonic forces being drawn to animals when they were not able to possess men. Although analogies always fall short of the such profound spiritual truth, one might think of this drawing of men to God as analogous an electromagnet in salvage yard drawing only the metal pieces with the non-metallic parts being unaffected. Cautionary note: beware of trying to rationalize the mystery of divine election versus human freedom. The Puritan writer Thomas Goodwin writes that... It is absurd to think that anything in us could have the least influence upon our election. Some say that God did foresee that such persons would believe, and therefore did choose them; so they would make the business of salvation to depend upon something in us. Whereas God does not choose us FOR faith, but TO faith. “He hath chosen us, that we should be holy” (Ep 1:4), not because we would be holy, but that we might be holy. Another Puritan writer Thomas Watson writes... Let us then ascribe the whole work of grace to the pleasure of God’s Will. God did not choose us because we were worthy, but by choosing us He makes us worthy...The purpose of God is the sovereign cause of all that good that is in man, and of all that external, internal and eternal good that comes to man. Not works past, for men are chosen from everlasting; not works present, for Jacob was loved and chosen before he was born; nor works foreseen, for men were all corrupt in Adam. All a believer’s present happiness, and all his future happiness springs from the eternal purpose of God. Before the foundation of the world - A most glorious, mystery indeed! Similar phraseology is found in Mt 13:35; Jn 17:24; 1Pe 1:20-note, 1Co 2:7, 2Ti 1:9-note. Eadie adds that... The phrase itself declares that this election is no act of time, for time dates from the creation. Prior to the commencement of time were we chosen in Christ. The generic idea, therefore, is what Olshausen calls Zeitlosigkeit, Timelessness, implying of course absolute eternity. The choice is eternal, and it realizes itself or takes effect in that actual separation by which the elect are brought out of the world into the church, and so become kletoi, hagioi, kai pistoi (called, holy, and faithful). Before that world which was to be lost in sin and misery was founded, its guilt and helplessness were present to the mind of God, and His gracious purposes toward it were formed. The prospect of its fall coexisted eternally with the design of its recovery by Christ (A commentary on the Greek - page 20) Before (4253) (pro) is a preposition which in this context marks a point of time prior to another point of time. If saints were chosen before the foundation of the world, what conclusion can we arrive at regarding human merit? Divine election is completely apart from personal merit. John underscores this transcendent, incomprehensible truth writing that our names as believers were “written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain” (Rev 13:8) Stedman considering the significance of "Chosen in him before the foundation of the world!" asks... Do you see what that does for our sense of identity as Christians? We are not afterthoughts in God's working. We are not accidental members of his body. There are no second class citizens in the church of Jesus Christ; we are all equal, chosen of the Father, selected to be members of his family, added to the new creation, the new order that God is producing in this world. What a fantastic privilege! It is not because of anything in us, as we'll see in a moment, but because of everything in him. (See his full sermon Ephesians 1::3-14: Foundations) Spurgeon has an interesting comment writing that "If God hadn't chosen me before the foundation of the world, He wouldn't choose me now!"

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