Ephesiansby Robert M. Solomon
In praising the triune God for His many blessings, Paul begins with the blessings received from the Father, of which he highlights two.
Election. The Father “chose us” (Ephesians 1:4) and “predestined us” (v. 5). Paul repeats these phrases in verse 11. What do they mean? It means we are redeemed because God, in His sovereign will, has planned and determined to save us. This truth is supported by the phrase “before the creation of the world” (v. 4). We were chosen before the world began, before human beings existed. In other words, there is nothing that we have done or can do that can contribute to our salvation (see also 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5). We cannot take credit for our salvation.
We are saved entirely on the basis of what Christ has done. There is no place for a theology of works, in which we mistakenly think that we can earn our salvation. Salvation is received as a free gift of God in Christ; all that is needed is to place our trust in Christ. God has freely given us His glorious grace in Christ (Ephesians 1:6).
It also means that God was not at a loss when Adam sinned, and that His plan to save the human race was not merely an afterthought. God is never taken by surprise; He is sovereign and has full control of history and our destiny. He does everything according to His “pleasure and will” (v. 5).
God chose us so that we may be “holy and blameless in his sight” (v. 4). While our divine election is a privilege, our way of living is a responsibility made possible by God’s grace.
Adoption. The Father has adopted us as His children by regenerating us (John 3:3). A baby cannot legally use his inheritance (Galatians 4:1–7), but an adopted adult son can do so. By adopting us, God has made us co-heirs with His only Son (Romans 8:17) who is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2). Thus, all our blessings are in Christ.
In another sense, our full adoption lies in the future (Romans 8:22–23)—when we will receive the fullness of our inheritance in Christ from the Father, who has loved us from eternity.
Read Romans 8:29 and 1 Peter 1:2. In choosing us, what is God’s purpose forus? What does being “holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4) mean for you in your daily living?
Take time to praise the Father for blessing your life. Make this a regular spiritual exercise.