Ephesians 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
There are few doctrines within Christianity that are more controversial than that of predestination, which Paul speaks on a lot in his letter to the Ephesians. Many Christians shy away from talking about the subject, but we need not fear discussion about something that God spoke about in His Word. As John Calvin is quoted as saying, “No doctrine is more useful, as long as it is handled properly.”
As Christ followers, there are certain things we need to know about our identity. I’ve mentioned the importance of knowing that we’ve been adopted into the family of God as a result of Jesus Christ’s completed work on the cross, but there’s more to it. You did not just choose to follow Christ, you were chosen in Him. That phrase “in Him” sometimes slips by us as we ready, but it’s vital to our understanding of who we are as God’s children.
Adoption, in earthly terms, implies that a family has chosen a child that will become one of them and take on their identity. The child does not choose the parents, the parents rather choose the child. God has revealed in His Word that we have not chosen Him, He has chosen us. He chose us “in Christ,” which means we were only capable of ever being adopted because of Christ. Does this mean we didn’t have a choice in the matter?
Well, we have plenty of time to get into that as we study the rest of Ephesians, but here’s a quote to get you thinking more:
“Those who do not believe are responsible for the fact that they do not believe and will perish as a result. But those who believe, believe by the grace and mercy of God and walk in the fear of God, living holy and blameless in Christ by love.”
– Heinrich Bullinger