A Word for Today | Ephesians 1:5
Ephesians 1:5 provides one of the Bible’s classic statements of predestination: “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” The use of the “predestined” is so startling, that we often forget the opening words: “In love.” Predestination, Paul says, is “through Jesus Christ,” so that our election was eternally joined to Christ’s saving work, and it was in accordance with God’s eternal plan. But what a difference it makes that Paul begins by saying that this eternal decree for our salvation was from the beginning “in love.” Therefore, as Jeremiah 31:3 assures us, if we believe in Jesus Christ, God says to us: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
A number of years ago, this statement was brought to life for me by a couple in a previous church who had a strong desire to adopt a child. At that time, many babies were coming from Russia and the couple applied there for an adoption. I well remember the day when they gained their approval, together with a photograph of a little girl from a faraway land. It was “in love” that they pursued this adoption, and long before they ever met her they poured their love for her into that photograph. They gave her a name, began providing a nursery in their home, and began praying for her to join them. Immediately, I thought of Ephesians 1:5 – this is what God felt for me in distant eternity past. Long before I even entered the world, He knew me, gave me a name, and established a home for me, and began pouring His love into my “picture.” Before I even existed in the world, I was loved by the greatest love of all!
I also remember when the couple traveled to Russia to bring their daughter home. As was typical, there turned out to be many obstacles to overcome, for which we all were praying. They met with medical officials who gave frightening reports of the baby’s health. At one point they had to fend off another family’s attempt to gain their child. After many days and at much expense, they finally appeared before the Russian court to plead their fitness to be the parents of this baby girl. So many obstacles, so many difficulties and problems – what brought them through it all? It was their love for this child! And I was reminded of the love of Jesus, which brought Him down from heaven to earth in order to overthrow every obstacle to my salvation. Jesus overcame my unfitness, thwarted our spiritual enemy’s attempts to seize me, and satisfied the justice of heaven by offering His own blood for my forgiveness. Then, after I was born and lived in this world, Jesus overcame my sinful nature and unbelief by the Holy Spirit whom He sent with love. To be predestined means to be loved eternally by the Father, and to believe the gospel means to be loved by our Savior, His Son!
When we realize the great love of God that predestined His people and then the great love by which Christ won us for the household of God, we will never doubt that this same love will get us through our present crisis. The God who has loved us so well, and for so long, and has already overcome far greater difficulties than any we now face will not fail to complete His saving will. We have been loved with an everlasting love, and it is certain to result in an never-ending salvation in the heavenly home our wonderful God established for us forever ago.
In Christ’s Love,