Ephesians 1:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

New Living Translation
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

English Standard Version
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

New American Standard Bible
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

King James Bible
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:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love

International Standard Version
just as he chose us in the Messiah before the creation of the universe to be holy and blameless in his presence. In love

NET Bible
For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Just as he chose us beforehand in him from before the foundation of the universe, that we shall be holy and without spot before him, and he ordained us beforehand in love for himself.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence.

Jubilee Bible 2000
according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in charity;

King James 2000 Bible
According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

American King James Version
According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

American Standard Version
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:

Douay-Rheims Bible
As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.

Darby Bible Translation
according as he has chosen us in him before [the] world's foundation, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love;

English Revised Version
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:

Webster's Bible Translation
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:

Weymouth New Testament
even as, in His love, He chose us as His own in Christ before the creation of the world, that we might be holy and without blemish in His presence.

World English Bible
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love;

Young's Literal Translation
according as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:3-8 Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings; with which we cannot be miserable, and without which we cannot but be so. This was from the choice of them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that they should be made holy by separation from sin, being set apart to God, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, in consequence of their election in Christ. All who are chosen to happiness as the end, are chosen to holiness as the means. In love they were predestinated, or fore-ordained, to be adopted as children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and to be openly admitted to the privileges of that high relation to himself. The reconciled and adopted believer, the pardoned sinner, gives all the praise of his salvation to his gracious Father. His love appointed this method of redemption, spared not his own Son, and brought believers to hear and embrace this salvation. It was rich grace to provide such a surety as his own Son, and freely to deliver him up. This method of grace gives no encouragement to evil, but shows sin in all its hatefulness, and how it deserves vengeance. The believer's actions, as well as his words, declare the praises of Divine mercy.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world; literally, he chose us out, or selected us (ἐξελέξατο) for himself (middle voice). The Father chose the heirs of salvation, selected those who were to be quickened from the dead (Ephesians 2:1) and saved, they chose them in Christ - in connection with his work and office as Mediator, giving them to him to be re-decreed (John 17:11, 12); not after man was created, nor after man had fallen, but "before the foundation of the world." We are here face to face with a profound mystery. Before even the world was founded, mankind presented themselves to God as lost; the work of redemption was planned and its details arranged from all eternity. Before such a mystery it becomes us to put the shoes from off our feet, and bow reverently before him whose "judgments are unsearchable and his ways past finding out." That we should be holy and without blame before him in love. This is obviously the design of God's electing act; ε1FC0;ναι ἡμᾶς cannot denote the ground, but the purpose, of the choice. God did not choose some because he foresaw their holiness, but in order that they might become "holy and without blame." These two terms denote the positive and negative sides of purity: holy - possessed of all the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23); without blame, or blemish - marked by no stain or imperfection (see Ephesians 5:27). The terms do not denote justification, but a condition of sanctification which implies justification already bestowed, but goes beyond it; our justification is a step towards our complete final sanctification. This renewal being "before him," must be such as to bear the scrutiny of his eye; therefore not external or superficial merely, but reaching to the very heart and center of our nature (1 Samuel 16:7). The expression further denotes how it is of the very nature and glory of the new life to be spent in God's presence, our souls flourishing in the precious sunshine which ever beams out there from. For, when thus renewed, we do not fly from his presence like Adam (Genesis 3:8), but delight in it (Psalm 42:1; Psalm 63:1). Fear is changed to love (1 John 4:18); the loving relation between us and God is restored. It has been much disputed whether the words ἐν ἀγάπῃ ought to be construed with the fourth verse or with προορίσας in the fifth. The weight of authority seems in favor of the latter; but we prefer the construction which is given both in the Authorized and the Revised Version, first, because if ἐν ἐγάπῃ qualified προορίσας, it would come more naturally after it; and second, because the scope of the passage, the train of the apostle's thought, seems to require us to keep ἐν ἀγάπῃ in ver. 4. We never could come to be holy and without blemish before God unless the loving relations between us were restored (comp. Ephesians 3:17, "Rooted and grounded in love"). The spirit of love, trust, admiration, directed to God helps our complete sanctification - changes us into the same image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

According as he hath chosen us in him,.... This choice cannot be understood of a national one, as Israel of old were chosen by the Lord; for the persons the apostle writes to were not a nation; nor does he address all the inhabitants of Ephesus, only the saints and faithful in Christ that resided there; nor are they all intended here, if any of them. However, not they only, since the apostle includes himself, and perhaps some others, who did not belong to that place, nor were of that country: nor does this choice regard them as a church; for though the saints at Ephesus were in a church state, yet the apostle does not write to them under that formal consideration, but as saints and faithful; nor are these persons said to be chosen to church privileges, but to grace and glory, to be holy and blameless: besides, from Ephesians 1:3, the apostle seems to speak of himself, and some others, who first trusted in Christ, as distinct from the believers at Ephesus, Ephesians 1:13, nor is this choice of persons to an office, for all that are here intended were not apostles, or pastors, or deacons: nor can it design the effectual calling, or the call of persons in time by efficacious grace; because this was before the foundation of the world, as follows: but it intends an eternal election of particular persons to everlasting life and salvation; and which is the first blessing of grace, and the foundation one, upon which all the rest proceed, and

according to which they are dispensed; for according to predestination are calling, justification, and glorification. The author of this choice is God, God the Father, who is distinguished from Christ, in whom this act is made; and it is according to his foreknowledge, and is an act of his grace, and is entirely sovereign: the objects of it, us, are not angels, but men, considered as unfallen with respect to the end, and as fallen with respect to the means; and these not all mankind: to choose, implies the contrary; and they that are chosen are distinguished from others, and are represented as few; nor do all men partake either of the means or end appointed in the decree of election; and yet some of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, are included in it; though none for any previous qualifications in them, as not for their good works, faith, holiness, or perseverance therein; for these are fruits and effects of election, and therefore cannot be causes or conditions of it: and this choice is made in Christ; and the persons chosen are chosen in him, and by being chosen they come to be in him; for this refers not to their openly being in him at conversion, as believers, but to their secretly being in him before time. Christ, as Mediator, is the object of election himself; and all the elect were chosen in him as their head, in whose hands their persons, grace, and glory are, and so are safe and secure in him: the Arabic version renders it, "by him"; not as the meritorious cause, for Christ's merits are not the cause of election, though they are of redemption and salvation; but as the means, in order to the end: the Ethiopic version renders it, "to him"; to salvation by him, and to the obtaining of his glory; as if he and his benefits, being the end of this choice, were intended; which was made

before the foundation of the world: and that it was so early, is certain, from the love of God to his people, which this is the effect of, and which is an everlasting love; and from the covenant which was made with Christ from everlasting, on account of these chosen ones, when Christ was set up as the head and representative of them; and from the provision of all spiritual blessings for them in it, which proceeds according to this choice; and from the preparation of a kingdom for them from the foundation of the world; and from the nature of God's decrees, which are eternal; for no new will, or act of will, can arise in God, or any decree be made by him, which was not from eternity: God's foreknowledge is eternal, and so is his decree, and is no other than himself decreeing. The end of this choice follows,

that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love; the objects of it are not chosen because they were holy, but that they might partake of the sanctification of the Spirit; that they might be sanctified by him here, and be perfectly holy hereafter; and be without fault and blame, both in this life, as instilled by the righteousness of Christ, and as washed in his blood; and in the life to come, being entirely freed from all sin, and without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; and appear so in the sight of Christ, who will present them to himself, and in the sight of his Father, to whom they will also be presented by him, even in the sight of divine justice: and this will be all "in love", or "through love", as the Syriac version renders it; or "through his love", as the Arabic version; for the love of God is the source and spring of election itself, and of holiness and happiness, the end of it; and which is shed abroad in the hearts of God's people now, and will be more fully comprehended and enjoyed in the other world; and which causes love again in them to him. A phrase somewhat like this is used by the Targumist on Ecclesiastes 11:6 where, speaking of a man's children, he says;

"it is not known unto thee which of them , "is chosen to be good", this, or that, or both of them, to be alike good.''

Some copies put the stop at before him; and read the phrase, "in love"; in connection with the words following, thus, "in love", or "by love hath predestinated us"; so the Syriac version.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. hath chosen us—Greek, "chose us out for Himself" (namely, out of the world, Ga 1:4): referring to His original choice, spoken of as past.

in him—The repetition of the idea, "in Christ" (Eph 1:3), implies the paramount importance of the truth that it is in Him, and by virtue of union to Him, the Second Adam, the Restorer ordained for us from everlasting, the Head of redeemed humanity, believers have all their blessings (Eph 3:11).

before the foundation of the world—This assumes the eternity of the Son of God (Joh 17:5, 24), as of the election of believers in Him (2Ti 1:9; 2Th 2:13).

that we should be holy—positively (De 14:2).

without blame—negatively (Eph 5:27; 1Th 3:13).

before him—It is to Him the believer looks, walking as in His presence, before whom he looks to be accepted in the judgment (Col 1:22; compare Re 7:15).

in love—joined by Bengel and others with Eph 1:5, "in love having predestinated us," &c. But English Version is better. The words qualify the whole clause, "that we should be holy … before Him." Love, lost to man by the fall, but restored by redemption, is the root and fruit and sum of all holiness (Eph 5:2; 1Th 3:12, 13).

Ephesians 1:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Spiritual Blessings
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,…
Cross References
Leviticus 19:2
"Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

Leviticus 20:7
"'Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.

2 Samuel 22:24
I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.

Matthew 25:34
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Acts 13:48
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:15
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Ephesians 4:16
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 5:2
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:27
and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Colossians 1:22
But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation--

2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

2 Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

1 Peter 1:20
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Treasury of Scripture

According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

as.

Deuteronomy 7:6,7 For you are an holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God …

Psalm 135:4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob to himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

Isaiah 41:8,9 But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed …

Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; …

Isaiah 65:8-10 Thus said the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and …

Matthew 11:25,26 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord …

Matthew 24:22,24 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh …

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and …

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must …

Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the …

Acts 18:10 For I am with you, and no man shall set on you to hurt you: for I …

Romans 8:28,30,33 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love …

Romans 9:23,24 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels …

Romans 11:5,6 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according …

2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brothers beloved …

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may …

Titus 1:1,2 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according …

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this …

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification …

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, …

before.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed …

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me …

Acts 15:18 Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

1 Peter 1:20 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but …

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him…

Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the …

that.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, …

Luke 1:74,75 That he would grant to us, that we being delivered out of the hand …

John 15:16 You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, …

Romans 8:28,29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love …

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels …

1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God has not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according …

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, …

Titus 2:11,12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men…

2 Peter 1:5-10 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; …

without.

Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having …

1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless …

Philippians 2:15 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without …

Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and …

2 Peter 3:14 Why, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that …

love.

Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted …

Ephesians 4:2,15,16 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing …

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

Galatians 5:6,13,22 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; …

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, …

1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, …

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is …

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