Paul loves the church at Ephesus, and that fact is no more evident than in his letter to the Ephesians. In chapter one, he speaks to them of the saving grace of Jesus:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
But it is verses 4-5 that cause much controversy and misunderstanding, when really the message is simple. The verses say:
…he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…
Some take this to mean that God chose certain specific people to be saved and certain specific people to be lost. Not only does that interpretation misrepresent these verses, it also misrepresents God’s will. If that interpretation is correct, then 1 Timothy 2:4 is a lie, and God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2). God would rather have everyone saved. Would He then decide, before they even lived, those that would be lost? Nonsense!
It simply meant that it was always God’s plan that all those Jew or Gentile who were crucified with Jesus in baptism would be adopted, according to the purpose of His will.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.