The Milky Way isn’t just a candy bar! Go to the Creation Museum and take in the Stargazer’s Planetarium. You are in for an awesome treat! It’s more to chew on than any lifetime can imagine. What a great Creator we have! The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands (Psalm 19:1).
We are right to marvel at how God created things and humans at the beginning of time. But have you thought about this? There’s something more amazing that involves you and me and “predates” the beginning. Long before you were born – even before the creation of the world – God chose you to be one of his believers! For he chose us in him [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:4).
Have you ever been chosen for an honor? If so, you probably were told something about you that drew your honorable selection. But God’s attention has been drawn to you not because of you. After all, you and I are sinners and deserve only punishment. We have no reason to believe God would choose us for some special, loving treatment. Review his commandments. Haven’t we failed him? Love – not always there. Truthfulness – not always there. Trusting – not always there. Pure thoughts and actions? Well, you get the ugly picture. It’s hard for our souls to peer into the mirror of God’s law! But what boggles the mind, showing something greater about our God than even his tremendous power to create the Milky Way and all else, is this: His attention to you and me is so strong that he says, in effect: “Before you were born and before all time began, I chose you to be my own because of what my Son has done to earn your forgiveness and to present you with the gift of heaven!”
Even before the beginning, your Heavenly Father chose you! The reason? It’s all found in his Son – Jesus Christ, the Savior. God wants us so much to know and believe this that he tells us he even chose his Son to be sacriﬁced at the cross before any of his acts in creating the universe. Jesus is “the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
Can you know you personally are chosen for eternal life? The explanatory words in our catechism answer emphatically, “Yes! Whenever a person hears the Gospel and trusts in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins, that person can be conﬁdent he is one of the elect” (#231). Romans 8:28-30 is listed as proof.
Chosen in Christ, you can be sure every ounce of your being saved is due entirely to God’s grace. If even the beginning – before the beginning – is like this, can you imagine how the “ending” will be? What a reason for living now every day for our God!
Bible Study & Discussion Questions
Read: Ephesians 1:3-13
1. What makes thinking about/talking about “before the beginning of the world” so challenging?
2. What does it mean that “God chose us” at all?
2b. How might this make me sinfully proud?
3. Who/What was the basis of His choosing us?
3b. How does this make us properly conﬁdent?
4. When might this make us especially comforted?
5. Can you know you personally are chosen for eternal life?
5b. If so, how?
Rev. John A. Moldstad
Evangelical Lutheran Synod