After revealing to the Ephesian believers the fact that God had chosen them the apostle tells them also that God has adopted believers as children. How unbelievable—what a glorious privilege to be adopted as a child of God! And note:
⇒ It was predestinated, that is, foreordained.
⇒ It was the pleasure of God to adopt us—the good pleasure of His will. And it was His purpose to adopt us, and His purpose and His pleasure and His will were all good.
This is most striking when we consider how sinful and depraved we are and how much we have cursed, rebelled, and rejected God. The fact that God wills and finds pleasure in adopting us and that He counts it as good is too much to believe. Yet, it is exactly what He says.
The word “predestination” means to destine or appoint before, to foreordain, to predetermine. The basic Greek word means to mark off or to set off the boundaries of something. The idea is a glorious picture of what God is doing for the believer. The boundary is marked and set off for the believer: the boundary of being adopted as a child of God. The believer shall be adopted, made just like Christ and conformed to His very likeness and image. Nothing can stop God’s purpose for the believer. It is predestinated, set and marked off. The believer may struggle and suffer through the sin and shame of this world; he may even stumble and fall or become discouraged and down-hearted. But if he is a genuine child of God, he will not be defeated, not totally. He will soon arise from his fall and begin to follow Christ again. He is predestinated to be a brother of Christ, to worship and serve Christ throughout all eternity. And Christ will not be disappointed. God loves His Son too much to allow Him to be disappointed by losing a single brother. Jesus Christ will have His joy fulfilled; He will see every brother of His adopted and conformed perfectly to His image. He will have the worship and service of every person chosen to be His by God the Father. The believer’s eternal destiny, that of being an adopted brother to the Lord Jesus Christ, is determined. The believer can rest assured of this glorious truth. God has predestinated him to be delivered from the suffering and struggling of this sinful world.
The word “adoption” means to place as a son. Adoption is by Jesus Christ and by Him alone. God accepts us because we believe and trust His Son Jesus Christ. He tells us plainly that He wants His Son to have many brothers and sisters who will love, worship, and serve Him both now and forever. Therefore, when a person wants to live for Jesus Christ—wants to live for Him so much that he entrusts all he is and has to Christ—God takes that person’s trust and adopts him, makes him a brother or sister to Jesus Christ. God’s purpose in adoption is that we might live forever—live to the praise of the glory of His grace.
“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7)