Skip to main content

Ephesians 1:4-5:Predestined


Ephesians 1:4–5
[4] . . . In love [5] he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (ESV)

As a pastor, I have had many conversations with people. What people say helps me to understand just how deeply they understand the truths of Scripture.  At times people have made this statement to me: "I don't believe in predestination."  I kind of smile and reply, "Oh, then you're a heretic."  Of course, that is an invitation to a deeper discussion.

One of the things we need to understand is that all of Scripture is true, even the parts we do not understand or even parts we do not like.  In this wonderful passage in Ephesians 1, Paul let's us know that "in love, God predestined us for adoption." To say that we do not believe in predestination is to say that we do not believe in the Word of God.  If you belong to God, you have been predestined. The great late theologian R. C. Sproul defined predestination this way:

"What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born. It teaches that our ultimate destiny is in the hands of God."
- R. C. Sproul, ligonier.org

I have heard people complain that predestination is unloving on God's part.  The fact is, that God is not obligated to love or redeem any of fallen humanity.  He is completely just to save none of us! As Paul says at the end of verse 4, "IN LOVE. . ." Predestination is God's most loving act of bringing us unworthy, ungrateful sinners to himself.

Predestination is a tough concept for our finite minds to grasp.  Take a moment and thank God that he predestined you for eternity with him.  This wonderful doctrine should create a profound sense of gratitude in you that helps you get through the most difficult days.  Are you having a difficult time in your life right now? If you belong to God, through Jesus Christ, thank him that you are predestined!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…