VIIa.5. Please Define “Predestination” in Ephesians 1:5

Question:  Would you explain Ephesians 1:5 concerning the meaning of the word “predestination.

Answer: The word "predestination" comes from the Greek verb "proorizo." It means, according to Vine's Expository Words on the Greek New Testament, to "mark out beforehand, to determine before, foreordain." In essence, "predestination" means that something has been predicted by God and it must and will come to pass. The word "predestinate" as translated in the KJV is found only twice; that being in Romans 8:29 and 30. "Predestinated is found only twice and that is in Ephesians; once in Ephesians 1:5 and once in 1:11. These two words do not appear in the Old Testament. We shall examine WHO is predestinated, WHAT event is predestined and WHEN it will take place.

  1. Let us begin with Ephesians 1:5.

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

Notice who is predestinated. It can only be one of two groups. The saved or the lost. Paul identifies the children of God as the object of being predestinated, "Having predestinated us (plural pronoun)." This is Paul and every saved person. God did not predestinate anyone to be saved; but this teaches He predestinated something for those who are already saved.

What did God predestinate for the Christian? The Scriptures are pure and simple. The Christian is predestinated unto the adoption of children (Greek, HUIOTHESIA, meaning sonship). When we trust Christ as our Savior, we become His children:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (Greek, teknon, meaning—“a child”) of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  (John 1:12).

When? We are positioned in Heaven as a son now; but we do not come to the realization of our Sonship until the Rapture.

The Jewish Bar Mitzvah may aid in understanding adoption and Sonship. Bar Mitzvah means "a son of the commandments, or the placing of a son." When a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13, he is then considered as an adult. He is expected to accept adult religious responsibilities. It is a joyful occasion accompanied by gifts from friends and family. He is no longer considered a child; but an adult son.

The word "adoption" is from the Greek word "huiothesia," from "huios;" meaning "a son," and "thesis," "a placing." Therefore..."the placing of a son." Just as a Jewish boy is placed as an adult son on the day he reaches 13, we Christians also experience our Sonship when we are placed in Heaven at the day of the Rapture. This is when we have our physical bodies redeemed for a new glorified body. It could be no clearer than stated in Romans 8:23:

“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY.”


WHO: Negative: nowhere are the lost said to be predes-tinated to be saved

WHAT: Positive: the saved are predestinated to receive something.

WHEN: At the Rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54.

The false teaching of predestination for salvation is nothing more than a subtle, Satanic attack against God’s character. John 3:16 says that,

"For God so loved the WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER, believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

How could God love the world and then pick only a few to predestinate to salvation and let the rest go to Hell? Christ’s death and Resurrection paid for the sins of all humanity and whosoever believeth in him has everlasting life!

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