Everything that the Father has, He poured out on us before the foundation of the world. Here Paul states that our election and adoption were planned by God before the foundation of the word.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. (Ephesians 1:4) Here is a subject that stirs up a great deal of passion and discussion.
The word chosen has the sovereignty of God written all over it. We must not miss the point of this verse. It does not mean that God chose to save some while letting the rest go to Hell as Hyper-Calvinism supposes. Imagine a God who says that He will save whosoever will and then turn around and select some, while arbitrarily foreordaining and condemning the rest to Hell without a chance. Such is not the God of the Bible. God is presented as a loving Saviour, Who is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) The word chosen simply speaks of the fact that God made a sovereign choice to save the lost.
Notice that God... hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4) God's choice to 18 save man took place before the world was ever created. We must consider the basis for God's choosing.
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)
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. (Romans 8:29)
It is the doctrine of God's foreknowledge that clears up the inconsistencies of man's teaching. The immeasurable foreknowledge of God is the basis for His election. God is timeless. Based upon anything except God's foreknowledge, predestination would be fatalistic, depriving man of his free choice which the Bible commands him to exercise.
In eternity past God looked down the hallway of time and saw you and me. He saw that we were dead in trespasses and sin and condemned to die. He planned to send His only begotten Son to this earth to die on the cross in our place. God saw us in eternity. He saw us one day presented with the choice of receiving Jesus Christ. He heard some say no to Christ and heard others say yes. Those whom He foreknew would say yes, God chose in Christ to be saved, sanctified, adopted and conformed to Christ. This is where God's sovereignty and man's free will is reconciled. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. (Acts 15:18)19
Notice the Holy Spirit inspired order of foreknowledge and predestination.
Elect according to the foreknowledge... (1 Peter 1:2)
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate... (Romans 8:29)
There are those who flip these verses around to suit their theology. They attempt to teach that God foreknew the elect because He had pre-selected them to be saved. However, we see that foreknowledge comes first. It does not say, "Foreknowledge according to His election," nor does it say, "Whom He did predestinate them also He did foreknow." It is clear that God's election and choosing and predestination are all based upon His foreknowledge. God looked down through the ages and He saw who would be saved and He saw who would not. Before the foundation of the world He foreknew who would trust Christ. It is those whom God foreknew that He elected. When one divorces election from foreknowledge he ends up with fatalism.
Paul says, ...that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. (Ephesians 1:4) Holiness is the aim of God for His people. He did not save us to remain what we were. We have imputed righteousness that God applies to our account when we exercise faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). But there is also practical righteousness that we must work at obtaining.20
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:14)
We are to put off the works of the flesh and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to replace the bad with the good. We are challenged to walk according to what we are rather than what we were.
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. (Ephesians 1:5) Here we have the word predestined, but notice that we are predestined to adoption. Salvation and adoption are two completely different works.
Adoption has to do with our position. We are born of God and every believer is a child of God. John said, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of 21 God, even to them that believe on his name. (John 1:12) Praise God! When we are saved we become Children of God. Paul said to the Romans, 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. (Romans 8:15) Adoption indicates a family relationship. In Paul's day adoption was a judicial act whereby a father would publicly bestow upon his son the full privileges and responsib