The Context of Predestination

Predestination is a bit of a sticky subject, and not one I pretend to comprehend, but as I was reading Ephesians recently, some neat things jumped out at me. I’d love some feedback!

Ephesians begins with “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,”

“Blessed be.” It is interesting to me that the greeting used by Wiccans (yes, I’ve known a few) is just this. It is interesting to see the greeting in context. It’s not just “Blessed be,” but “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And more to my topic, it is obvious that Paul saw the context of predestination as blessing – God Himself is blessed and has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Has blessed us! We are also blessed. It has happened. We don’t have to wait for it.

Now how has He blessed us? well, Paul tells us: “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” He chose us in Jesus Christ “before the foundation of the world” and for what? That we should be holy and blameless before him. How? by good works and by making ourselves perfect? NO. In love, through Jesus Christ, according to His will, that the riches of His grace would be praised, as it is written “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

And has He blessed us further? Yes! “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Wow! In him we have not just adoption, but redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of our trespasses. Because we’ve cleaned up our act and are now doing things right? No! Again it is “according to the riches of His grace, lavished on us. Is this foolishness? No! He chooses to do this in all wisdom and insight. Why? Because in His love and according to His grace, He has chosen to unite all things in heaven and on earth in Christ!

Is our inheritance on solid footing, or is it something that may be jerked away? Paul tells us that it is in this very Christ, in whom all things are being united, that we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will. Now that’s something to get excited about! Predestination may be a hard word to understand, but it is wrapped up in God’s Love, the riches of God’s grace, God’s purposes, and God’s Son. It is a mystery, but needs hold no fear for us since Love, Grace, and Jesus are its very context! But just in case we still worry Paul has even more reassurance. All who believe in Jesus are included: Those “who were the first to hope in Christ . . .to the praise of his glory” and all the rest of us who heard and believed later, “when [we] heard the word of truth, the gospel of [our] salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, because we managed to become righteous in ourselves? No! Again, rather, “to the praise of his glory.

May You be glorified in us, Lord. For I know that when You work according to Your will it is also for our best good! You do not work in half measures. You can be trusted to complete the work You’ve begun, and to provide for us “exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think.” Thank you so much!

Comments are closed.