Ephesians 1:5-6 5having predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
This verse continues its grammatical dependency upon earlier statements. In particularly, the opening participle answers the question, how were we chosen in Christ (v. 4)? Predestined shows the reason God created us. This is a broad and inclusive statement that applies to the whole human race, not simply to certain individuals. This is why we exist. God’s plan was for all people to experience new life in Christ because it is only through this that we come to know the depths of God’s love, mercy, and grace. The good pleasure of his will expresses God’s purpose for us. People have the choice whether or not to follow the light that God gives them. This light, at whatever degree or form, eventually leads to the Light of the World, Jesus.
The way we experience this new life in Christ is through adoption. This is a metaphor from everyday life that vividly shows how once we were far away from God, enemies fighting against God (Romans 5:8). We were not part of God’s family and had not right to inherit eternal life. But God in his grace adopts us into his family and we now receive the inheritance of resurrection life, just like Jesus (Romans 8:15-16).
This is God’s purpose for the “us” of v. 5. This is also the “whosoever” of John 3:16. It is a wide-open invitation. Sadly, many people turn away from it. The sons is inclusive of both males and females and is simply the language of the day Paul used (Galatians 3:28). Being adopted as a child of God has special privileges that the unadopted do not get. One of those is the ability to call God, Abba, “Father.” This is a deep and profound relationship of intimacy and knowledge that grows with time. It is a return to the type of relationship Adam and Eve had with God in the garden of Eden.
The result of this adoption will be the praise of his glorious grace. We should marvel at God’s plan of salvation. For believers, we stand in awe of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Through Christ we come to know God’s grace. This grace is described as glorious. It is glorious because it brings those who believe into relationship with God. All people have sinned and fall short of this glory (Romans 3:23). As we experience this glory, we will be remade into the image of God, “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are transformed into this image, which is the image of Christ, little by little as we live in obedience to the Holy Spirit. This is a blessing to us that comes through the Beloved, a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is one of the most profound passages as it reaches the height of God’s will and purpose for us. We must give two responses to this message: we should place our lives in faith under the supremacy of Jesus, and we should live out this faith in praise and obedience.
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