The Book of Ephesians.
(Verse by verse study.)
By Pastor Nick Bibile
Eph 1:5 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.
We are going to continue where we stopped in context. Last time we saw the true Christian was chosen by God before the foundation of the world and the result of true salvation is holiness; that we should be holy and blameless in love.
As we saw previously the Lord did the choosing and not us and in the same context we are going to see the word predestination. Many do not like the word predestination. They will avoid this word like the plague and many pastors and teachers do not want to touch on this subject as they think it is too controversial. Let me tell you why many do not want to touch this subject, some will give a very shallow meaning and some even will say it is controversial. My friend the word predestination is in the Bible and if it is controversial it is controversial to their opinions. Let the word of God be honored truthfully and not the opinions of men.
Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 8 and 9 and in Ephesians 1 teachers the doctrine of predestination.† We saw last week as many define predestination with the foreknowledge of God, where God foresee who is going to respond to the offer of the gospel, depending on manís response God has predestined them to eternal life. So it depends on manís faith and obedience. Last week we saw that this doctrine is totally false as we took the word foreknowledge and saw what it really means is not the actions of the people in salvation but to the persons. It is individuals God is said to foreknow, not the actions of those persons. We saw the word foreknowledge means to know intimately. The Hebrew word yada and the Greek words ginoskein and proginoskein refers to foreknowledge and it means not to the action of the person but to the person.† The elect are the subjects of predestination. Last week we saw this in scripture.
Predestination is in the Bible and what good does it do? The doctrine of predestination gives a full explanation on the doctrine of sin and magnifies the grace of God in salvation.
Our English word predestination comes from the Latin word praedestino. The word prae in Latin means before and the word destino in Latin means determine or destine. So it literally means to ordain before hand. The Greek word for predestination is the word proorizein and that is the word apostle Paul used here in Ephesians 1:5 the other word is poorismos. These words refer to absolute predestination. Which means predetermined or decided before hand. In the N. T. it means of God decreeing from eternity. To foreordain to appoint before hand. Having destined us before we were born. Now you† may not like what Paul is saying here but thatís exactly the word predestination means.
The author of predestination is not man but God. It is no way depended on Godís foreknowledge of human actions but on his divine foreknowledge. The word predestination is not always used in the same sense. Sometimes it is used as a synonym of the generic word decree, other times it is used as the purpose of God and also we see it being used as the counsel of God. My purpose is to give you the basic understanding of the scripture and to go verse by verse study on the book of Ephesians.† Let us see some scriptures.
Ac 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Godís counsel determined before to be done: God's decrees are from eternity; there is nothing comes to pass in time but what he has beforetime determined should be done.
Ac 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.
Ac 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
†10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
†11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Ac 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Ac 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
†48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Some translations say as many as were pre-ordained to eternal life believed.
Here we see very clearly the commandment of the Lord is to preach the gospel to all ethnic groups, many came to hear the word of God almost the whole city but only the ones that were ordained to eternal life believed. Now we cannot twist the scriptures or play spiritual gymnastics here to put our opinion, we are declaring the word of God just as it says.
Ro 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
†12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
†13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
One was chosen, and the other rejected before they were born, before they did anything good or evil which means he did not elect Jacob because he was good, he was a deceiver anyway. Good works are not the cause of election but the sovereign will and secret counsel of God.
My friends this is simple English but many have difficulty understanding simple English as it is contradicts the opinions of men and to the majority of the church. Many will not like it, when Jesus spoke of election many did not want to hear him and many left him.
Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
†66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
†67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
†68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Election is of Grace.
Ro 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
†6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
†29† For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
†30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
In theology this is called the golden
chain of salvation. It originated in eternity as he chose us before the foundation
of the world. (Eph 1:4) He called us in our time those who were predestined.
Then he justified us and gloried.† 'For'
indicates that verses 29-30 are the foundation for verse 28. They give reasons
why we can
KNOW all things will work together for those who are called according to God's purpose.
In these few verses, we see the great doctrines of election and predestination, effectual calling and justification and glorification.
Why did God predestined us?
Unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself. This is an amazing sentence. It says that we are adopted. The word adopt means to take into oneís family and treat as his own child. For us to understand the significance of this we need to see the reality. The reality was that we were totally sinful.
We were called the children of wrath.
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
We were called the sons of disobedience.
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
We were haters of God.
Ro 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents.
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Yes, we were totally sinful against God. Yes there were prostitutes, thieves, murderers, drug addicts, liars, back biters and they were changed by the power of God and adopted us who were evil as his own children. Adoption is an act of God where by he makes us members of his family. Isnít this amazing?†
How is that that when we were enemies of God, he adopted us?
It says adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself. Yes, my friend the Lord Jesus did it.
Ro 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Jesus came to reconcile us to God. We were enemies of God, our God was Satan as we followed the ways of evil.
Joh 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
In adoption we become the children of God.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
†13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Those who do not believe in Christ, who have not received him are the children of wrath as the wrath of God is waiting upon them. But to those who truly believe and follow him will have a relationship with him. In adoption you are partakers of Godís family. You are related to all Christians through the blood of Jesus and you have a relationship with the Father through Jesus.
This relationship is not by words but by action. Loving God and following him. You love God that his word becomes your daily food, you hunger and thirst after him. You have a communication through prayer, you tell God all your secrets ask him to guide you. You love him so much that you love all your brothers and sisters in Christ. If we have a relationship with God we have no fear anymore.
Ro 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Ga 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Do you see in both of these scriptures any significance? In both of these scriptures the word crying is used.
Ro 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
This is very sweet cry as this cry is literally the cry of Jesus as God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts and that Spirit cries in us exactly like the cry of Jesus.
Mr 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
Why the word Abba is used instead of Father?
Note the word Abba is Hebrew and the word Father (pates) is Greek. Abba was the native language of Jesus. My wife is from the Philippines and when she pray, she will pray in English and suddenly she will pray in her language. If your mother language is different than English you may generally pray in English but when you truly cry to God in fervent prayer, pray in agony you will use your own tongue. No wonder when we truly cry to God it is the Spirit crying through us for the will of God to be done. The word Abba shows how we are so near to God and dear to God, it is a blessed affectionate cry.
On what basis did God predestine us and adopt us?
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.
The sovereignty of God is his absolute, independent right of disposing of all creatures according to his own pleasure. The will of God is called his mere pleasure. A servant may fulfill his master's commands, and may do it willingly, and cheerfully, and may delight to do his master's will; yet when he does so, he does not do it of his own mere pleasure. He who acts from his own mere pleasure, is at full liberty.
Who gets the glory in predestination and adoption?
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Predestination exalt the grace of God.
When man sinned God was not under any obligation to save any of us. The fair thing to do is to punish all, God is infinitely holy then the punishment is infinite. Our earthly judges who are limited gives a lawbreaker a limited punishment but Godís punishment is unlimited that sinners will be separated from God for eternity in hell. How ever God elected some to be save according to his sovereign will. And this magnifies his grace.
He accepted us in the beloved. He accepted us in Christ Jesus. Christ was the object of predestination.
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
Jesus was the object of Godís pleasure.
Mt 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
That we who are predestinated will be conformed to his Son.
Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
God accepted us not because of our good works not because of our merit but in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ was the beloved of God and in Christ we become Godís beloved. This magnifies the grace of God and how unworthy creatures like us be adopted and accepted to a heavenly Kingdom.
Re 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Now some will oppose to this doctrine and say God is not fair for some to be predestined and to† leave others.
Let me tell you what Spurgeon said on this subject.
But there are some who say, "It is hard for God to choose some and leave others." Now, I will ask you one question. Is there any of you here this morning who wishes to be holy, who wishes to be regenerate, to leave off sin and walk in holiness? "Yes, there is," says some one, "I do." Then God has elected you. But another says, "No; I don't want to be holy; I don't want to give up my lusts and my sins."
Why should you grumble, then, that God has not elected you to it? For if you were elected you would not like it, according to your own confession. If God this morning had chosen you to holiness, you say you would not care for it. Do you not acknowledge that you prefer drunkenness to sobriety, dishonesty to honesty? You love this world's pleasures better than religion; then why should you grumble that God has not chosen you to religion? If you love religion, he has chosen you to it. If you desire it, he has chosen you to it. If you do not, what right have you to say that God ought to have given you what you do not wish for? According to your own confession, many of you do not want religion, do not want a new heart and a right spirit, do not want the forgiveness of sins, do not want sanctification; you do not want to be elected to these things: then why should you grumble? You count these things but as husks, and why should you complain of God who has given them to those whom he has chosen? If you believe them to be good and desire them, they are there for thee. God gives liberally to all those who desire; and first of all, he makes them desire, otherwise they never would. If you love these things, he has elected you to them, and you may have them; but if you do not, who are you that you should find fault with God, when it is your own desperate will that keeps you from loving these thingsóyour own simple self that makes you hate them. You do not like holiness, you do not like righteousness; if God has elected me to these things, has he hurt you by it? "Ah! but," say some, "I thought it meant that God elected some to heaven and some to hell." That is a very different matter from the gospel doctrine. He has elected men to holiness and to righteousness and through that to heaven. You must not say that he has elected them simply to heaven, and others only to hell. He has elected you to holiness, if you love holiness. If any of you love to be saved by Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ elected you to be saved. If any of you desire to have salvation, you are elected to have it, if you desire it sincerely and earnestly.