1:5-6 - The Study
"He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself"

J. Deering,

Blessed as The Father Predestined Every Believer to be an Adopted Son. 1:5-6

05    He predestined us FATHER PREDESTINED
            to adoption as sons  
            through Jesus Christ THROUGH CHRIST
            to Himself, TO THE FATHER HIMSELF
            according to the kind intention of His will, FATHER'S WILL
06        to the praise of the glory of His grace, FATHER'S GRACE
                which He freely bestowed THE FATHER
                    on us  
                    in the Beloved. FATHER FREELY BESTOWED IN CHRIST


COMMENTARY - "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself," 1:5-6

In love
      He predestined us (
having predestined us)
to adoption as sons
through Jesus Christ
to Himself,
according to the kind intention of His will,   (the good pleasure of His will


     (Just as He chose us...) "In Love He predestined us to adoption as sons
     through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will."

In love He predestined us
As we have stated earlier, Faith is a key element to understanding the Scriptures and having a relationship with God.  Predestination is one of those areas that divides Christians.  There is no reason for division.  Even where there is disagreement upon the exact meaning of predestination there is no reason for disunity in Christ.  I would like to list the following verses that mention predestination and the object of each verse.  The word occurs only four times in the Bible.  It is a compound word consisting of the Greek words "pro," meaning before, and "hoorizo," meaning to determine, ordain, declare, or limit in time.  The combination of the two words gives the meaning, to:  predetermine, to preordain, to pre-declare, or to pre-limit.  The study of Systematic Theology would tell us that these actions took place in the Decrees of God, and they took place before the foundation of the world as testified to in Ephesians 1:4.

Romans 8:29

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; (8:30) and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

Ephesians 1:5

"He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, (1:6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."

Ephesians 1:11

"Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, (1:12) to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory."

In Romans 8:29, those whom He foreknew were predestined to be conformed to the image of His son.  In Romans 8:30, is a list of other things that happened to those who were predestined.  In Ephesians 1:5, believers are predestined to adoption.  In Ephesians 1:11, believers were predestined by the kind intention of His counsel or will.

Therefore, only two of the verses really define predestination, the first verse in each pair of two.  Romans 8:29 and Ephesians 1:11.  Believers will end up conforming to the image of Jesus Christ, and believers will be fully adopted as adult sons, through Jesus Christ, to God the Father.  These are great and wonderful promises.  I hope that these two verses help you with your understanding of Predestination.  If you've ever wrestled with God's purposes and will for your life in the future, if you've ever felt that you didn't want to be a puppet, even for God, then this understanding of God's intentions through predestination should help you.  Sit back and enjoy the ride as God conforms you to the image of His son, and adopts you into His holy family forever.

C. S. Lewis writes of the Garden of Eden story as it might be experienced on another world, the planet of Perelandra.  In that world there is a woman (their Eve), who is engaged in conversation by a possessed man (their Satan).  In their conversations the Perelandrian lady realizes God's calling and predestination this way:

"Oh, how well I see it.  We cannot walk out of Maleldil's (Christ's) will; but He has given us a way to walk out of our will."

He predestined us to adoption as sons
Adoption must be seen in terms of how it would be understood at the time Paul was writing.  Adoption in our age may not be just what the text is all about.  "The spiritual use of the word adoption signifies the placing of a newborn child into the position of privilege and responsibility attached to an adult son.

The Greek word used here for "son" is a word that denotes an adult son, not a mere child.  The adoption, as an adult son, of a newborn child, moves that child's rights to the place of full maturity. All at once the individual is placed into the privilege, independence, and liberty of a full grown man.  Whether you be man or woman, child or adult, your spiritual adoption places you at the top of the heap with every benefit that would have been typical of a full grown, responsible, adult son in that culture and time.  Therefore, adoption into God's family entitles you to all that maturity in Christ has to offer.

Through Jesus Christ
God chose Jesus Christ as the instrument of my salvation.  This adoption, therefore, only becomes effective when applied to the individual who has placed their faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ.  The only adoption God has offered to sponsor is the one whereby the efficient work of His Son has been applied.  Only through Jesus Christ is the adoption recognized and applied by God the Father.  All this is done through Jesus Christ.  This is His work, this is part of what He accomplishes in you when you give yourself to Him.

      Acts 4:12 (NASB)

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."

To Himself
Both the Jew and the Gentile become "Children of God" based upon the Grace and Mercy of God alone.

"The apostle Paul only uses the term "adoption," when writing to Gentiles.  In Romans Chapter nine (Romans 9:4-5) Paul states that the Israelites are those to whom others are adopted, or grafted into.  However, as seen in Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 31:9; and Hosea 11;1, Israel, though called the son of Jehovah, is a son only by virtue of decree or sovereign placing and not by virtue of natural or spiritual ties to their relation to Jehovah as a child. We are not adopted into the Nation of Israel and we are not just adopted into a family; this verse states that we are adopted, through the work of God's Son, Jesus Christ, into a family relationship with Almighty God.  He adopted us to Himself.  What a wonderful statement of the love of God toward us, who while we were yet sinners, He loved us in such a way to make it possible to belong directly to Him through the finished work of His Son.

      Romans 5:6-8 (NASB)

"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

According to the kind intention of His will
God presents Himself as a moral and benevolent being.  His choice of us and His adoption of us is based entirely upon the fact of His love for us.  His intentions are kind.  He is by self-definition habitually kind, considerate, and helpful.  There may be some times that we do not think that what is happening to us or to others falls into this category, but He has revealed that His intentions are kind.  Therefore the outworking of His will is kind as well.  When we see tragedy and heartbreak, let us not forget that God is kind.  The outcome of His will can be of no other character.  We need to trust Him even in the deepest times of difficulty and distress, for He is kind.

Within these words is the contrast of God's kind will and the will of man.  Man's will is finite, self-centered, and short sighted.  The eternal plan of salvation is not the plan that man would have chosen.  It is too long term, too selfless, and man plays none of the important parts.  These very words could become the self test of God's will for our lives.  Is what I want to do timeless, selfless, and is God the benefactor, or is it for right now, self-centered, and for my glory?  Use this test the next time you have a decision to make.  Seek God's will and not your own, and do it for His sake.

to the praise
of the glory
of His grace,
which He freely bestowed on us
in the Beloved

To the praise of the glory of His grace
So far, He blessed us, He chose us, and He predestined us, to the praise of the glory of His grace.  We should bring praise for His grace, and only His grace.  Our blessing, our choosing, and our predestination is all accomplished on the basis of His grace and His grace alone.  We play no active part in any of this.  There is nothing we have done, nothing we are doing, and nothing we can do to merit what Jesus has done for us and what God has done because of Him.  Who are we to think that God values our puny little human attempts to please Him.  No, it is only the finished work of Christ that pleases Him, and it is to His glory that we are found in Christ at all.  It was God who chose that belief would be through faith, it was God who chose redemption as the method of salvation, and it was God who chose the Saints to be the recipients of His grace.  Any goodness found in the vain attempts of man to please God come as the direct result of God's wonderful grace ("... in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls...." Romans 9:11b).

His grace which he freely bestowed on us
God's precious grace is given with no recognition of human guilt, no recognition of human obligation, no recognition of human merit.  The Grace of God is a sovereign act of God alone.  It is based purely upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, and it is brought forth by God's Holy Spirit.  Grace is never withheld because of demerit.  Grace incurs no debt, and is the result of no debt.  It is God's gift, given freely.

      Ephesians 2:4-9

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (2:5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (2:6) and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,  (2:7) in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  (2:8) For by grace you have been saved, through Faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (2:9) not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

In the Beloved.
The Beloved, of course, is The Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the beloved of God.  We saw in verse five (1:5) that the work of Jesus Christ was accomplished "according to the kind intention" of God's will.  This kindness is summed up in this statement, "in the Beloved."

"For God loved the world, in such a manner, that He gave His only begotten, unique, one of kind, Beloved Son, that whoever believes in Him should not ever perish, but live eternally" (John 3:16, translation mine).

This is how the salvation of man is accomplished, by simple faith in The Beloved of God, Jesus Christ.  When that believing faith is exercised, God places you "In the Beloved," through the work of "The Beloved." 

"The material cause both of eternal election, and of the love which is now revealed, is Christ, the Beloved.  This name is given, to remind us that by Him the love of God is communicated to us.  Thus He is the well-beloved, in order that we may be reconciled by Him.  The highest and last end is immediately added, the glorious praise of such abundant grace."  (John Calvin, The Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians, Eerdmans, 1948, p. 201)



Looking back over these verses gives us a picture of God’s Plan for the believer.

1:3 – He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing

1:4 – He has chosen us In-Him (holy and blameless)

1:5 – He has predestined us to adoption to Himself (through Jesus Christ)

1:6 – He Freely bestowed these things on us “In the Beloved (Jesus Christ)”

THE VISUALIZED TEXT - "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself," 1:5-6

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) 1  (conjunctions & prepositions underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)


In love
      He predestined us (
having predestined us)
to adoption as sons
through Jesus Christ
to Himself,
according to the kind intention of His will,   (the good pleasure of His will)

to the praise
of the glory
of His grace,
which He freely bestowed on us
in the Beloved


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself," 1:5-6

"He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,"
1.     In what manner did "God the Father" do this?
        Through Jesus Christ - God's plan, all along, was the accomplishment of a special people who would freely chose to believe Jesus Christ as Savior and to willingly choose to love God through Him.
2.     Who Predestined us?
        God the Father.
3.     What does "Predestined" mean?
        Used here, God the Father declared that through the kindness of His will He would accomplish the believer's adoption into the family of God as adult sons through the work of His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ.
4.     What kind of a Son is spoken of here?
        The Greek word here huios means an adult son, either in age or responsibility. Those who are adopted into God's family are done so gaining all the rights and privileges of a born adult son, regardless of their age or place in life or society.
5.     What does it mean "He (God the Father) predestined us to adoption as sons "through" Jesus Christ?
        Through Jesus Christ - bringing into mind Diety - Humanity - Messiah - Life - Suffering - Death - Victory - Resurrection - Ascension - the Right hand of God - finished and seated in power.
6.   What is the significance of the word order "Jesus Christ?"
        Jesus Christ - Humanity first, the human quality of life (when reversed, Christ Jesus - Deity first, a matter that considers His Deity as the first cause or importance.
7.   To whom are believers adopted?
        Adopted to God (specifically God the Father) through the Son.
8.   Who is the "Himself?"
        God the Father.
9.   Who's will is described here?
        God the Father's will.
10.   How is that will described?
        Kind - His intention is kind toward us, His will is kind toward us.
11.   If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, Who Predestined you?
        God the Father.
17.   Who Redeemed you? Who Forgave you? Who Granted you knowledge of the Mystery of His will? Who Granted you an inheritance? Who Made you to be the Praise of His Glory? Who Sealed you with His Holy Spirit?
        God the Father.

"to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."
1.     Praising what?
        The glory of God the Father's Grace.
2.     How was it given?
        Freely bestowed.
3.     What "sphere of operation" made it possible?
        "In The Beloved", In Jesus Christ.
4.   Why is He "Beloved?"
        Jesus is the Son of God in a familial relationship with His Father. He is the object of much more love.

BIBLE REFERENCE - "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself," 1:5-6

"He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,"
    Acts 13:48 - Those appointed to eternal life believed
    Romans 8:29 ff. - Foreknew and predestined
    Galatians 4:5 - That we might receive the adoption as sons
    Luke 12:32 - Your Father has chosen
    Galatians 1:15 - Set me apart and called me
    Philippians 2:13 - For it is God -- to will and to work for His good pleasure
    Colossians 1:19 - For it was the Father's good pleasure

"to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."
    Ephesians 1:12 - The praise of His glory
    Ephesians 1:14 - The praise of His glory

1 "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968
1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988.
Used by permission."

The Book of Ephesians, Bible Study, J. Deering,, study materials are a ministry of, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them.  No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without the express permission of 2014, All rights reserved.

2014-09-24 1806