Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Thursday, March 19, 2020

2020.03.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 1:5–6

Questions from the Scripture text: Who predestined whom (Ephesians 1:5a)? To what? By Whom? As sons to Whom? According to what? Unto what end (Ephesians 1:6a)? What had He done by that grace? In Whom?
The gospel is about God expanding His family.

It’s almost blasphemous to talk that way. But Romans 8:29 tells us that from before time began, God foreknew (meaning “loved in advance”) certain people whom He determined He would make into the likeness of His Son and into a multitude of siblings for His Son.

In this week’s Ephesians passage, we read of that determination in light of the Father: if someone is a believer, it is because before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), God determined to adopt him as a son to Himself (Ephesians 1:5a).

Of course, there is only one way that this adoption could be conceived from all eternity—by His loving us in the eternally Beloved (Ephesians 1:6b) Son, Jesus Christ (verse 5a).

And lest we have any ideas that this could happen by some version of divine foresight in which our own choices determine God’s (which would have the ludicrous effect of making us sovereign instead of God), the Scripture tells us exactly the criteria of this choice: “according to the good pleasure of His will” (verse 5b).

This, of course, would require His grace to bring us to that faith (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9) by which we would be united to the Beloved One, in order that in Him (and only in Him) would we be made accepted (verse 6b). We don’t “believe into” predestination. We believe in Jesus, as we were predestined to do.

And that grace God did indeed give. He graciously gave His Son for us. And then, by His grace, He gave us faith to believe in His Son and be joined to His Son. This is why our salvation is “to the praise of the glory of His grace.”

Our justification (being made right before God’s justice) and adoption (being made children of the Father and siblings of the Son) happen at the same time, but the justification is a means unto the adoption—which is the great occasion of the praise of God’s glorious grace.

This is what predestination is all about. Not nit-picking over doctrinal logic, but everlasting love that has a 100% success rate of bearing fruit in time as sinners have this adoption bestowed upon them, and God’s grace is gloriously displayed in order to be eternally praised.

Hallelujah! Literally.
How ought you to respond to Jesus? How ought you to respond to predestination?
Suggested songs: ARP65A “Praise Awaits You, God” or TPH425 “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place”

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