Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Our Father Predetermined everyone to be in Christ who will Believe and be Spirit Rebirthed)
Does not our Father have just one eternal plan in Christ? Did not Jesus Christ die for the sins of the whole world? Is our Father not willing that any should perish? Does not the Word of God proclaim, whosoever will? Then, what does predestination really mean in Ephesians 1 3-5? Where is anything about saved and lost being discussed in the context of this verse? Why does religion mix law and grace and teach that you must be obedient under the law to get blessings from God? Why is that contrary to the 100% grace by the finished work of Christ on the cross? Holy Spirit continue to open up the fullness of Word through Christ in us.
by Dwight Davis
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the One having already once blessed us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ: According as He for Himself once chose us in Him before the laying down the foundation of the world, that we should ever be holy and unblemished before Him: In love once then predetermined us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph. 1:3-5, Expanded Greek Translation – EGT).
First, The Father Predetermined, Chose, or Predestined Us to be in Christ
Predestination is the word used in most translations in Ephesians 1:5 and later again in verse 11. The word in the Greek is proorizo which means to limit in advance, predetermine: determine beforehand, ordain, and predestinate. After careful review of this passage many times, the word predetermine best captured what Paul was discussing in context. Proorizo comes from two Greek words pro which means fore or before, and horazo which means to predetermine or to discern clearly. One thing about it, God certainly discerns and clearly determines all things. Paul's primary focus within this passage is the outworking of the eternal plan of God focused on the Father and the Son. Certainly, we are also a part of that eternal plan in Christ that is being discussed. The word predetermine means to set boundaries beforehand, and foreordain them. The predetermined and foreordained boundary being discussed, or the predestination has all been once then chosen by the Father to be "in Christ" before the laying down of the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4).
Second, the Father Predetermined that Every Spiritual Blessing is In Christ
The Father chose that In Christ would be the place of "every spiritual blessing" (Eph. 1:3). Paul truly declares that "every spiritual blessing" to the church is "in Christ" (Eph. 1:3,4). He also tells us that the Father's choice for us, was to be in Christ even before He framed the world or before He created us. Paul even tells us that the Father has predetermined, foreordained, and predestined that we would be "in Christ" (Eph. 1:5,11). Why would we look elsewhere to find blessing in any other source or from any other means?
Third, It is either Doer Religion or the Father's Saying It is Done in Christ
Why then are Christians taught that blessings come from their self-obedience? There is a lot of teaching on obedience that comes right from the book of Deuteronomy. Do you not know that Deuteronomy means Second Law? This was the Law restated to the Children of Israel just before they went into the Promised Land. There are a lot of good spiritual applications there. However, it is not written directly to and for the church. It is certainly not to be substituted for the truth that is in Christ. Religious man has a tendency to mix law and grace. Why? Often that is the way many have been taught. Also, it is also hard for man to fully accept the fact that in the Father's eternal plan, every blessing, and everything He has for us is strictly by grace through the finished work of His Son on the cross. Religion says, do! The Father said that it is done in Christ!
Fourth, the Father Predestined Us to Be Conformed to the Image of His Son
Paul tells us, "Because whom He once then foreknew, He also once then foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He is to ever be the first born in many brothers" (Rom. 8:29, EGT). Foreordained, predestined (NKV), or even predestinated (KJV) is used here in this verse to describe the marked out boundaries beforehand. In the eternal plan of God, the Father is conforming rebirthed sons to the image of His Son. This is what is happening as He is working all things together for good (Rom. 8:28). We are ever being called according to His Divine purpose.
Fifth, Jesus Died as the Sin Sacrifice for the Salvation of the Whole World
Who does the Father predetermine or predestinate? That seems to be the most controversial question. Let me first ask you to consider an alternative question. Whose sins were put upon Jesus on the cross, and who did He die as a sin sacrifice for? I think we could all resoundingly answer, the whole world. Which individuals does that leave out of the picture? Truly, not a single individual! The Father's eternal plan is one single plan and it is a plan for the salvation of the entire world. It is not specialized for you, or for me, or for any other individuals. It is one single plan for all men. The Lord is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Pet. 3:9). The Father is desirous that through His Son everyone be saved and come to repentance to believe and be rebirthed in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
Sixth, Man's Own Choice Concerning Christ Determines His Destiny
So then, Who does the Father predetermine or predestinate? The Father has one eternal plan in Christ, and that Christ died as the sin sacrifice for the salvation of the whole world, and He is not willing that any should perish. This overwhelming evidence speaks that the Father predestined everyone to be in Christ by his perfect will and love. However, since man has been given a choice to make in this plan, man chooses his God and resultant destiny. If man chooses Christ as led by the Holy Spirit, he is rebirthed and made a son of God, and is conformed to the image of His Son. His eternity and destiny is forever in Christ and forever saved. However, if man rejects Christ and the Word being given to him by the Holy Spirit, he is condemned already (John 3:18). Self, or actually Satan, is his god and his destiny is to be forever lost in hell with his god for all eternity. Man's own choice concerning Christ determines his destiny.
Seventh, The Father's Predetermination is that All Will Be in Christ
In the Father's plan, everyone is planned and predestined to be saved in Christ. Paul clearly beckons to all when he says, "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13). It is man's own choice that determines his own destiny. The focal place of many men concerning predestination is on, Who will be saved and who will be lost? Why do you not find the words saved and lost appearing in any of the passages we have discussed? You need to clearly see that this is not the actual topic of discussion in these passages. The better words that describe the Father's part in His eternal plan are predetermine and foreordain. Paul says, "but we ever speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, having already been hidden which God once then predetermined before the ages for our glory" (I Cor. 2:7, EGT). The focal point of the Father's predetermination and desire is that all will be in Christ, fully saved and forever His birthed sons! V