Ephesians 1:5. “Having predistinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,”
Pkease notice that starting with verse 3, and ending with verse 6, it is one long sentence. This is all one topic, one thought, divided into verses not by Paul but by the translators who would later separate his words into verses, mostly for the sake of making things easier to locate. Those translators did a pretty good job, over all, but we need to read it as Paul meant it to be read and understood. I am using the separate verses to break it down for the sake of brevity, and paying attention to the details. Tomorrow we’ll finish the sentence, and then I hope you’ll go back and read it in its entirety.
So. Predestinated. Huge word, and the basis of many, many arguments that are, in my opinion, a waste of time. Here is what I believe we need to understand:
Long before the world was made, by our reckoning of time, God chose us in Christ to be with His Son for all eternity. The entrance of sin into His perfect world did not change His purpose, which He worked out according to His own grace. This grace is available to all, unconditionally.
Have you ever watched a horde of little kids at an Easter egg hunt? The eggs are out there, free for the taking. Some kids seem to have perfect vision, and eagerly rush about filling their baskets. Others tend to run right past eggs lying there in plain view, and some return to their parents empty-handed because they just could not see what was right there.
That’s kind of the way we are. Some of us, seeking relationship with God, find it quickly and easily. Others hunt longer because, perhaps, they had a picture in their minds of what it would look like, and they didn’t find that specific picture. Others go empty-handed because they rejected what was in plain sight, even though they could have taken it easily. It wasn’t what they thought they wanted, so they passed it by.
Revelation 22:17 says, “Whosoever will, let him take of the Water of Life freely.” The invitation is open to all, but not all accept it. Once a person does accept that invitation and enters the door of salvation, he finds written on the inside of the door, “Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.” God always had His heart fixed on any who would open the door, but we don’t find that out until we go inside.
The inimitable D. L. Moody said it this way: ” The whosoever wills are the elect, and the whosoever wont’s are the non-elect.”
Too often, we put the whole responsibility on God. “If God has not chosen me, then I am not one of the elect and will never be saved! That’s just not fair!”
It is also just not true. ALL are chosen of God; not all choose Him in return. It is only when we respond to His invitation and come to Him for forgiveness and salvation that we understand that we must choose Him in response to His having chosen us.
The blood of Jesus was shed for all, not just for those who accept it. The reason not all enjoy the benefits is because they do not choose to receive them.
So when we choose to love God and accept His invitation to eternity with Him, we are adopted, according to His predestination for us, and according to the good pleasure of His will. Adopted as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ into all that heaven holds, because we chose Him.