Ephesians 1:3-23 NIV
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love 5Heb predestined us for adoption to sonshipc through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— 6to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9Hed made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In Him we were also chosen,e having been predestined according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, 12in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the Promised Holy Spirit, 14Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glorious Father, may give you the Spiritf of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, 19and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills everything in every way.
What is Predestination and Election?
Predestination and election are both biblical teachings. The English "predestination" is translated from the Greek word προορίζω proorizo which means (1) to predetermine, decide beforehand; (2) in the NT, of God decreeing from eternity; (3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand.
Predestination, then, is the biblical teaching that God predestines certain events and people to accomplish what He so desires. The word proorizo occurs six times in the New Testament, each time demonstrating that God is the One Who is foreordaining and bringing about certain events:
1. Acts 4:28, "to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur."
2. Romans 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
3. Romans 8:30, "and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
4. 1 Corinthians 2:7, "but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory."
5. Ephesians 1:5, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will."
6. Ephesians 1:11, "also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."
You must also note that God predestines people as Romans 8:30, and Ephesians 1:5, 11 demonstrate. There is, however, controversy as to the nature of this predestination. In the Reformed (Calvinist) camp, predestination includes individuals. In other words, the Reformed doctrine of predestination is that God predestines whom He wants to be saved and that without this predestination, none would be saved. The non-Reformed camp states that God predestines people to salvation, but that these people freely choose to follow God on their own. In other words, in the non-Reformed perspective God is reacting to the will of individuals and predestining them only because they choose God, where by contrast the Reformed position states that people choose God only because He has first predestined them.
The word "election," or "elect," comes from the Greek word ἐκλέγομαι eklegomai and occurs about 25 times in the New Testament. It signifies “to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one's self, a choosing one out of many.” The One Who does the choosing, the electing, is God.
1. John 13:18, "I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me."
2. Ephesians 1:4,"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him."
3. 1 Timothy 5:21, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality."
Again, there is debate within Christianity as to the means and purpose of God's election. Some say that God elects individuals and others say He only elects nations and/or groups of people. If God elects individuals this means that God is predestining them, electing them into salvation and He is not electing others. This does not sit well with many Christians. On the other hand, some Christians state that God elects based upon a foreknowledge of what an individual will do.
Whichever side you believe, remember that predestination and election are biblical concepts. You must also remember that how you believe or not in predestination and/or election does not affect your salvation. Therefore, you should be gracious to other Christians who differ with you on this subject.
The most important thing for us to do is that we praise God Who predestined us to be His children in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world. That’s all purpose for which He chose us to be for His praise and glory. Amen.