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THE CHILDREN OF GOD CHOSEN BY HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION
OF THE WORLD.
We have seen that the children of God, are born again; created anew; raised from the dead; and that this is not by their own will, nor by the will of others, but of God. The children of God are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world; not because they were holy; or because of good works, “lest they should boast," but they “were created in Christ Jesus unto good works,” and that they “should be holy." Paul writes, to the saints which are at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus, “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved: in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1: 1-12). Paul then tells them, of the “exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.
But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 1: 19; 2: 1, 4, 8). To the “ beloved of God, called saints," in Rome, the same truth is taught. “ We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate,
them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Rom. 8: 28). We are told that, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10: 17). “To the Church of God, which is at Corinth," Paul writes, “ Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gespel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1: 17). To the church in Rome Paul writes, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1: 15). God at creation made all things by His word. He spake and it was done. He said, “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. 1: 3). Ever since the word of God gives life and light to men, “the entrance of Thy word giveth light” (Ps. 119: 130). God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4: 6). “ For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord" (Eph. 5: 8). The word of God from the beginning was Christ. “ The word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1: 1-14). He is the Word of God to give life and light to men. And therefore Paul preached Christ; and Christians are to be witnesses for Christ; Timothy was charged, “Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:2). Child of God ! born again, made alive, created anew, by the Word of God; that word is committed to you; that you may grow thereby, and by means of it save others. Use that word; for God says, comparing it to the rain that watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55: 11).
FAITH AND GOOD WORKS.
God's way of salvation differs from that of every other religion in the world, including those of the lapsed churches. God's plan is Salvation by faith. All other religions look to their good works for salvation. The children of God are told to do good works not in order to be saved, but because they are saved. Cain's offering of his own productions was rejected by God. Abel's offering which we are told was by faith, was accepted. Sacrifices for sin were required by God as a part of every act of worship. For sins of commission, of omission, of ignorance, of presumption; sin-offerings daily, on the Sabbath Day, and even when presenting thank offerings and national thanksgivings. All these sacrifices represented the Lord Jesus Christ, "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5: 8). The Lamb now on the throne, as described in Revelations, as "a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6). In the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews we have a list of the patriarchs and worthies in the Old Testament, commended for their faith. In all these cases their good works