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Read Introduction to Ephesians


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


The Christian receives divine prerogatives through Jesus and Jesus only.

by [through] Jesus Christ

Jesus is the Agent of our adoption into God’s family. He became our Agent of adoption by suffering on the cross. Everything God does, He does “through Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:1-3, 10; 10:9; 14:6; Co 1:16; He 7:25).

to Himself,

God the Father adopted sons with whom He could fellowship for eternity.

according to

“According to” signifies norm or standard. God operates on a standard in providing prerogatives of salvation. What He does, He does in keeping with who and what He is.

the good pleasure [satisfaction]

God placed sons into His family according to the standard of “the good pleasure of His will” (Eph 1:1, 9, 11). It was God’s delight to give His family these spiritual prerogatives. God enjoys saving souls.

“Pleasure” has to do with God’s heart and His delight to provide salvation in Christ. God’s adoption of us does not come from anything in ourselves. It is not due to what we have done but to what Jesus did. We do not deserve nor have we earned any right to God adopting us into His family with adult privileges. All of it comes from God’s “good pleasure of His will.”

of His will,

“Will” relates to God’s intention and resolve in doing so. God will see to it that the adoption is for His glory and our good.


There is a corporate dimension to our salvation.


Our election in Christ relates primarily to God’s purpose, not individual salvation. God’s choice of believers “in Christ” is the new dimension in election. Christ is the true chosen one. The choice of the believer is “in Him.” Election made in eternity is always “in Christ.” That choice was made before time and creation. Since the choice was made before creation, God made the choice freely.

Many walk before God with apprehension, thinking they are not acceptable to Him. They walk in subjective guilt rather than accepting the fact that Christ died for their sin. They do indeed need to accept the reality that they are objectively guilty by the sin they commit, but they should not subjectively pay for that sin by feelings of guilt.

Instead of identifying sin as something for which Christ paid, they pay for it themselves by guilt. They say in effect, “Move over Jesus, I am going to climb up on that cross and feel bad for my sin.” That is a rejection of the finished work of Christ on the cross. Those people do not recognize their rights before God. They suffer for sin for which Christ already suffered.