From the June 5th reading
Did God choose you or did you choose Him?
READ: Ephesians 1:3-14
Ephesians 1:11
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (NIV)
  • We were chosen
  • Having been predestined – predetermined
  • According to His plan – His sovereignty
  • He works, through all things to cause His will to happen
  • But we still must place our faith in Him (John 6:37; Acts 16:31)


Many years ago, I was working with a brand new believer named Penny. She had joined a new church and was growing by leaps and bounds. She came to work one morning so excited to share with me what she had learned at church that weekend. She began to explain to me this whole concept of predestination, and how God chose us, we didn’t chose Him. I gently tried to correct her, and reminded her that we chose God, and “where would the free will be in that?” After all, I chose God, and it was my choice! Right? I went home that night and looked up some of the scriptures that she had shared with me. I was very confused, and even pridefully taken aback. But after some careful examination, I had to go back the next morning and explain to this new believer that she was right and that I was at least half wrong. Since then, I have had very similar conversations with other brothers and sisters in Christ. My instruction to each of them is to examine the scriptures, and to let it speak for itself.

We could argue this topic until the end of the millennium, and we would not be any closer to fully understanding it. But we will attempt to come to a better understanding of this important topic as best as we can in this limited space.

First, our election took place before the creation of the world (Vs.4). “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless…” Warren Wiersbe in one of his writings said, “Note that God chose us even before He created the universe, so that our salvation is wholly of His grace and not on the basis of anything we ourselves have done.”[i]

Secondly, “election is God’s sovereign work of choosing some to believe. Salvation is God’s doing, not mans (Eph. 2:8-9).”[ii] One dictionary describes election in this way: “Scripture affirms that God chooses a people as his own, not on account of their numerical strength or moral merits, but on account of his love for them. Election is on the basis of divine grace, not human merit.”[iii] God in His loving mercy and grace chose to pull us free from our bondage of sin and death. We were spiritually dead and God chose to breathe life into us.

One other important thing to note is that God did not “predestine” others to go to hell. This is a leap that many often try to make. Wiersbe explains it this way: “Nowhere in the Bible are we taught that people are predestined to hell, because this word refers only to God’s people. The word simply means ‘to ordain beforehand, to predetermine.’”[iv] In fact scripture teaches us that God’s desire is that no one would perish, and that everyone would come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).

Lastly, we can not ignore God’s teaching when it comes to our part in our salvation. Ephesians 1:13 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit”. Here we have the indication that we made a choice to believe. Then there is John 6:37 “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

One author explains the debate well, “Does the sinner respond to God’s grace against his own will? No, he responds because God’s grace makes him willing to respond. The mystery of divine sovereignty and human responsibility will never be solved in this life. Both are taught in the Bible (John 6:37). Both are true, and both are essential.”[v]

None of this frees me from the responsibility of sharing my faith or from sending missionaries. Scripture is very clear about this. (See Acts. 1:8; Romans 10:14; and Matt. 28:18-20)

Did God choose us or did we choose Him? The answer is yes! But more importantly is why? The ultimate goal of our election is that we would bring Him praise. Since salvation is all of God’s grace, Christians should most certainly praise Him for it! That is why we were chosen: to give Him praise!


  • If you are a follower of Christ, then you were chosen by God in eternity past (Eph. 1:4)
  • God does not “predestine” others to go to hell!
    • It is God’s desire that all come to know Him (2 Peter 3:9)
  • God has a plan and He is in control
  • I am still responsible to share the gospel (Rom. 10:14; Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:18)


Pray that God would make you secure in your election and your adoption. Pray that He would give you opportunities to share what Christ has done for you with others that desperately need Him.


Each week’s Monday Motivation is taken from the reading schedule found in the Life Journal. If you are ready for the next step in your discipleship, then order yours today or see contact us for a copy. (go to


If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at


Other passages to consider:

  • Acts 15:17-18
  • Romans 8:28-30
  • Romans 9:15-16 (the whole chapter)
  • Romans 11:5-7
  • 2 Thess. 2:13
  • 1 Pet. 1:2
[i] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 11). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[ii] Hoehner, H. W. (1985). Ephesians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 617). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[iii] Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.
[iv] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 11). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[v] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 11). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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