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5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,


Verse five presents the destination of the Christian. Our “predestination” is one of our spiritual assets.

having predestined us

The word “predestined” occurs just six times in the New Testament and twice in this chapter (Eph 1:5,11). God has a divine design for those who are His own. We do not live in a capricious world.

“Predestined” is from a word meaning to mark out beforehand. This word has two parts: before and to mark out the boundaries or limits. The idea is to determine the destiny of something or put limits on it.

The New Testament always uses “predestined” in relation to an action of God. “Foreordination” might be a better translation. The thought is that something comes to realization before its objective. The idea is not about time so much as logical order. Before people can become Christians, they need a plan of salvation previously arranged by God.

There is a problem when we think of God doing something with a time sequence because He is eternal and omniscient. God never learned anything, because He always knew everything. He never went anywhere, because He always was everywhere. The Bible uses time in relation to God simply to accommodate human reference points. No one will ever fully understand God, but we can understand Him in a limited, finite sense. We can never reconcile the infinite and the finite.

1 Co 2:7, But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,

God marked out from eternity past that He would adopt believers as full-fledged sons through Jesus Christ. His motivation came from Himself. The issue is not time sequence but the orientation of God toward believers in eternity. God does not operate within time when it comes to His person.

The New Testament uses “predestined” exclusively of God six times (Eph 1:11; Ac 4:28; Ro 8:29,30; 1 Co 2:7 and this verse).

The idea of God predestining underscores the thought that He took the sole initiative and authority in our salvation. Predestination is exclusively by divine design.

“Predestination” or foreordination is not God’s activity prior to election but an elucidation of purpose. “Predestined” is an extension of the “that” clause in “that we should be holy and blameless” of verse four.

Ro 8:29, For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.


God deposited spiritual assets into our spiritual bank account so that we can appropriate them to our lives.


If we have a bank account, we need to know what is in it. We are studying our spiritual bank account. God deposited assets into our bank account at the moment we came to Christ. He has given us wealth that most of us do not fully grasp.

Although God has given us this great wealth, we need to appropriate it to our experience. Once we know our worth, we can know what we can afford. If we know our position before God, we can apply it.