by Matt Smith
I’m sure most of us can think of various times in our lives when we bought something with long-term plans in mind. I remember back shortly after our third child, Alayna, was born I decided to invest in a long-term vehicle for our family. So I bit the bullet and bought a new van with the hope and goal in mind, with 3 kids under 5 years of age, that I might only need to buy one van in my lifetime. Well, almost 13 years and 190,000 miles later, to this date, at least, the van has served it’s “chosen/predestined” purpose. Around that same time, I decided to purchase a new lab puppy to serve as our “family dog” for the next 10+ years. Unfortunately, having 3 small kids and a lab puppy full of energy didn’t work out so well and we had to part ways with her after about 6 months. The purchase of the dog didn’t live up to my predetermined plans.
Our reading today in Ephesians 1 brings us to one of the most amazing and mind-boggling passages in all of the Bible. Verses 4 and 5 read, “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. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”. Look at two of the words in this passage: chosen and predestinated. Think for a minute about what they mean. Verse 4 says that I was chosen to be in Christ before the foundation of the world. We’re talking before Genesis 1:1- let that thought sink! Paul followed that thought by saying God “predistined us unto adoption” in verse 5. Just like we have predetermined plans, purchases or goals, God Himself predetermined the plan of salvation resulting in us being adopted into Christ. While those of the Calvinist persuasion would take these verses to the extreme, from our perspective, we shouldn’t let their misinterpretation of these verses rob us of the assurance and wonder they should bring us. I’m not here by accident, nor should I be wondering through life with no direction or meaning. No, God Himself chose me to be in Him even before the foundation of the world. How that blends in with my responsibility to repent and believe the gospel is something we’ll never understand until we get to heaven. But one thing is for sure, we should rejoice in the security we have in the foreknowledge of God!