I’ve previously written how my understanding of Eph 1:4 is significantly different from what I hear and understand Calvinists to claim. In this verse (and passage) I believe Paul is laying claim that despite whether one is a Jew or Gentile, individuals are now being made right with God through faith and no longer through the law.
The verse says; For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
My overriding $0.02 worth on this verse is God predetermining that because of the sacrifices of Christ, believers would be made holy and blameless in his sight. I simply do not see how this verse could be interpreted otherwise. Perhaps my error, ignorance and bias are on display more than I realize or would like to accept.
Still, if I consider Eph 1:4 from (what I believe is) the Calvinism perspective, I’m at a complete loss to understand how it is that God can be considered a God of love. My thought process in understanding the nature and character of God according to Calvinism goes like this:
- Before the “foundation of the world”, God differentiated those individuals who would become the elect and those who would become the non-elect.
- No individual prior to their becoming elect or non-elect (before the foundation of the world) was worthy of salvation. In fact, both sets of people were equally depraved before God. There was nothing within any individual which caused God to choose them to become elect or non-elect. God’s selection of the elect is, therefore, completely random.
- Those who God randomly chooses to be elect enter into fellowship and eternal life. Those who God randomly chooses to be non-elect are exiled into Hell.
- God condemns the non-elect – those he intentionally damned for his own glory.
As I see it, then, per Calvinism, God becomes impersonal, distant and even discriminatory in his dealings with his creation. To which, I struggle to accept that the God of Calvinism is the loving GOD of the Bible – who loved the whole world, sacrificed himself for our sins and wants none to perish.