Verses to review today: Ephesians 1:1-4 (repeat 3x, 3x a day)
New Verses: Ephesians 1:5-6
In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (ESV)
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (KJV)
Greek: 5 προορίσας ἡμᾶς εἰς υἱοθεσίαν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς αὐτόν, κατὰ τὴν εὐδοκίαν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ, 6 εἰς ἔπαινον δόξης τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ ἧς ἐχαρίτωσεν ἡμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ.
Transliterated Greek: 5 proorisas hēmas eis huiothesian dia Iēsou Christou eis auton, kata tēn eudokian tou thelēmatos autou, 6 eis epainon doxēs tēs charitos autou hēs echaritōsen hēmas en tō ēgapēmenō.
Literal Word for Word Translation: 5 having predestined us to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the decree of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace that He bestowed in favor on us in the Beloved.
Vocab: προορίσας, proorisas, having predestined/predetermined; υἱοθεσίαν, huiothesia, adoption; εὐδοκίαν, eudokian, pleasure/decree; θελήματος, thelēmatos, of his will; ἔπαινον, epainon, praise; δόξης, doxēs, of glory/honor; χάριτος, charitos, of grace/kindness; ἐχαρίτωσεν, echaritōsen, has endowed with grace/favor; τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ, tō ēgapēmenō, to/for the beloved.
Commentary: Jesus is God’s son by nature. However, Christians become His sons and daughters by being adopted into the family. In Roman law, a son can be adopted and will receive all the rights and priveleges of a natural son, yet an adopted son can never be rejected. Those who God chose from before He even created the universe, the group who are in Christ, were predestined to be part of God’s family by adoption. Predestination and God’s choosing to make a people for Himself go together. When He chose to make a people, He decreed it to be so, which means He predetermined that it would be done! If God decrees something, it will be done. But, let’s be careful here. What did God decree? He decreed that there would be a people (a “you all”) chosen out of the world He would create who were not His natural born children (Jn 1:12-13), but His children by the method of adoption. Just as with His choosing in verse 4, God’s predestination is of the method by which the group would become His, by adoption. It is entirely possible that the predestination in view here is of individuals, but it is not so stated in the Greek. The understanding of community and family as one unit prevalent in Jewish culture and the perspective that Paul often writes from is likely the proper understanding here. Romans 8:28-30 follows the same logic. God predestined that there would be a people called by the gospel (Eph 1:13; Rom 10:13-17) to Himself through Christ. Passages such as Romans 9 where God chose Jacob over Esau, or the hardening of Pharoah’s heart, do not apply to salvation, but to God’s specific purposes to ensure His plans are carried out. He can call any one of us for a specific purpose in His redemptive plans. Often God chooses the lesser for His redemptive plans and raises up and knocks down people for His purposes, but that is not to be confused with eternal salvation. God wishes that none should perish, and that all come to the saving knowledge, 1 Timothy 2:4. Unfortunately, not all respond to the gospel and thus are not saved and included in the family that God decreed and predestined before creation to be established through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Verse 6 claims that it is praiseworthy that the adoped children of God should receive God’s grace to make them acceptable, holy and blameless before Him. Just as the children received all spiritual blessings in Christ, so they receive His grace by the Holy Spirit. This verse is specifically looking at the salvation that we have in Christ, just as this whole introduction in Ephesians pertatins to salvation.