The Church in Eternity Past
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, in love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
– Ephesians 1:3-6
At some ‘moment’ in eternity past, God the Father chose and predestinated His Son to be the Christ, the God-man who would carry out His contribution of a holy covenant, agreed upon with perfect harmony, by the Triune Godhead. It was a plan of redemption to purchase those who had not yet fallen in a universe and world not yet created in time.
And yet, those elected unto salvation before the foundation of the world was laid, were indeed called out from among a mass, chosen both in Christ and with Him, He the Head and those given Him by the Father as the body, the Church.
At that very ‘moment’ in eternity past, a fixed number were predestined to salvation, the rest to eternal damnation; numbers that would never expand nor contract, for the decrees of God do not change as He Himself is unchangeable.
At that ‘moment’, the Church, the very Bride and body of ‘the Chosen One’, was in existence. The Church existed with as great a reality as the reality that you are reading these very words.
Jesus Christ is not the cause of our election, brethren, for He Himself chose not a single individual to be saved. All praise is to God the Father on the grounds of His grace and election to salvation of us in and with Christ!
Indeed, the covenant of grace is antecedent to the covenant of works!
The Church is redeemed within the boundaries of time, through Jesus our Lord, Who was appointed Messiah, the Christ, the God-man, by the Father’s kind intention and purpose, and by the promise made to His Son.
Yet the Church began and had its existence, not at Pentecost, but in eternity past.
Do you also believe in eternal justification?
Absolutely not. Do you not believe Ephesians 1:4?
Absolutely! But, you stated that the church had its existence in eternity past
though it was not the church that existed, but God’s decree that it would exist in the future. In my view, this is analogous to God’s decree to justify those in Christ. We until we believe, we are children of wrath just like the rest, but he decreed to justify us before the foundation of the world.
The Church does exist in eternity past. Spiritual realities are as real as you slamming your hand in a car door. Randy, take especial note of my last paragraph. That should clear up your ‘analogy’. Specifically, we ‘are redeemed in time’.
Joel, I am working on memorizing Ephesians. I have completed memorizing Chapter 1, working on Chapter 2, and since forcibly driving Eph 1 into my head, I am struck by how plain it makes what you have said above. I don’t understand how anyone could study the first chapter of Ephesians and not come away from it with an acknowledgement of what you have said above. It is crystal clear to me. Ephesians 2 is shaping up to be quite the “covenental” chapter. Strong meat for this former quasi-arminian/dispensationalist.
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Those who teach eternal justification cannot account for the elect being first condemned and then being justified. Nor can they …
Stop right there. No one here teaches, nor believes in, eternal justification.
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