Adopted as Sons of God, Holy and Blameless.
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Word Study: The word “chose” in greek is the word “eklegonomai” which means to select, to choose from. This word is in the Aorist Middle voice. The Aorist Middle voice is where the subject, in this case God, acts somehow concerning Himself. So, the word in context means to select for Himself.
Comment: The first blessing that Paul tells us is that we were chosen in Christ, when? before the foundation of the world, for what? To be holy and blameless before God. The world did not exists when God chose us. We did not exist when God chose us. Who is this “us”, this “us” are all the saints who are faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ as Paul indicated in verse 1. God made a decision to choose us before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless. It was God’s choice and God’s decision to chose us to be holy and blameless before Himself. This had nothing to do with us, it had nothing to with what we were going to do or not do, it had everything to do with God. God made a decision and a choice that one day, we will be holy and blameless before Him.
Does this mean God chose others not to be holy and blameless? No! God did not make such choice. We are all born in sin and are all sinners. Of all people that are sinners, God chose among them before the foundation of the world, sinners who are to be holy and blameless before him. In other words God will make these chosen sinners holy and blameless before Him.
Is this fair? Well Paul addresses this question in Rom 9. In Rom 9:15 Paul says God told Moses that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and He will have compassion on whom He has compassion. In Rom 9:18, Paul says God has mercy on whomever He wills and hardens whomever He wills. And then in verse 19 Paul answers this question:” Why does God find fault then, for who can resist His will? Paul says who are we to object to God’s sovereign will. For more detailed discussion please read Romans 9. So the same can be used here. If God made a sovereign choice, who are we to question that.
Message: Does this mean there are people left out by God? We should not be worried about that, we should rather repent and put our faith in Jesus Christ, because if you do that, you are guaranteed a place in heaven, Rom 10:9, John 6:40. If you repent right now and put your faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, then you will be one of those that were chosen before the foundation of the world. So, instead of complaining, repent.
In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Word Study: The word “predestined” in greek is the word “proorizo” which means to decide before hand or in advance. This word is sometimes confused with the word “foreknew” in greek “proginosko”, meaning to know beforehand. Both these words are used in Rom 8:29 and this shows that they are different. Predestine means to decide beforehand and Foreknow means to know before hand.
Comment: Verse 4 ends with words “In Love” which actually ties in with verse 5. In love, meaning because of God’s love for us. Who is this “us”, this “us” are all the saints who are faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ as Paul indicated in verse 1. Because of God’s love for us, the second blessing is that, He predestined us, He decided beforehand that we will be adopted as sons. Again the fact that we had nothing to do with how God made a choice and the fact that God’s choice or decision was not based on what we were going to do or not do, comes to life in this portion. The word “predestined” means to decide beforehand not based on some foreknowledge but based on God’s own sovereign will and this is highlighted in this verse. Paul tells us that we were predestined for adoption as sons, again through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will. Not according to some foreknowledge as others say, meaning, according to the fact that God knew we were going to believe. If God chose us and predestined us based on the fact that we were going to believe, then it is no longer based on grace but, us being chosen becomes a reward based on effort. This will mean verse 6 below is not true and Eph 2:8-9 is also not true.
Paul tells us clearly that the decision to chose and predestine us was before the foundation of the world and done beforehand respectively and that was according to the purpose of God’s will.
We were chosen to be holy and blameless and we were predestined to be adopted as God’s sons. All this when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.
Message: God’s grace is not a reward but a gift. God did not choose us and predestine us because of knowing beforehand that we are going to believe, if this was so, God would be rewarding us instead of giving us a gift.
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Comment: The reason why God did all this, it was so that He can be Glorified for His glorious grace that he blessed us in, through our faith in Jesus Christ, who is referred to here as the Beloved. If all these blessings were based on God’s glorious grace, then any notion that we earned them, is false and a heresy. If we earned all these blessings, then glory goes to us and not to God.
Message: It is amazing how after God did all this for us and having told us through His word that He did all this for us, It is amazing how we spend the rest of our Christian lives trying to earn what we already have as if to say that God is lying if He says that He has chosen us to be holy and blameless and to be adopted as His Sons. We should instead be glorifying God for His grace and praising Him and giving thanks.