In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. Ephesians 1:5
The idea of predestination can be a tricky topic and has sparked fierce debate that’s raged for centuries. Despite the controversy, it gives me comfort to know that before I existed, a loving God had me in mind.
The Bible clearly teaches that God’s love knows know limitations: For God so loved the world, the he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
The word “predestined” in Greek is proorizo (proh-oh-ree-zo), and simply means “to decide beforehand.”
Ephesians tells us that through God’s son, Jesus, a shift takes place. Because of God’s great love, we become adoptees. We are children of the creator of the universe. This alone is an undeniable gift and the blessings don’t stop there.
When we read through the whole first chapter, we learn there’s more – everything given to Jesus is transferred to us.
We see that God clearly has a will, purpose and plan for our lives and before we start doing, we have an identity in being. Here’s the short list:
We have every spiritual blessing (v. 3).
We’re chosen (v. 4).
We’re his children (v. 5).
We’re redeemed (v. 7).
We’re forgiven (v. 7).
We’re part of his purpose for the world (v. 9).
We’ve obtained an inheritance (v. 11).
We’re sealed with the Holy Spirit (v. 13).
We may never be rich in this life, but we’re loaded in Christ! All this is for the praise of God’s glory. Not one bit of these benefits can be achieved for ourselves, by ourselves, but only through Jesus’ work on the cross.
It’s no wonder Paul, the author of Ephesians, expressed such gratitude – he was painfully aware of his own sin and putrid past. His story is told in Acts 9:1-31 and mentioned in several other books. He never forgot where he came from and who he’d been before meeting Jesus, but he never dwelled there.
Transformed from a slaughterer to a son, he counted his blessings and encourages us to count ours.
In what ways have you been changed by Christ?