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  • "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

    I just started my own personal study of Ephesians last night. Chapter 1 (what a GREAT opening chapter, by the way) speaks of being chosen in Him before creation and also mentions being predistined to Him.

    My question: Why is it that Paul isn't referring SPECIFICALLY to the Apostles? Or the Apostles and Disciples charged with spreading the Gospel?

    Ephesians 1:1-14

    1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
    To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
    2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

    4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
    5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
    6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

    7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
    8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
    9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
    10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

    11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
    12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

    13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
    14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

    I would assume this interpretation has been discussed. Question:

    Are verses 4-6 and 11-12 speaking of the same group? One could make the argument that 4-6 is speaking of all Believers and 11-12 refers to only the first to Believe. However, could it be read that Paul's idea of predestination in Ephesians 1 refers only to those whom God predestined to Spread His Gospel? "The first to hope in Christ?" Verses 13-14 seem to disconnect from verses 11-12. Paul speaks of "us" through verse 12 and, in verse 13, he transitions to "you". Later in the chapter, he transitions back to "us" after he has brought in those who have believed the Word.

    It seems that Paul could be saying "We (the apostles) were predestined to believe in the Hope of Christ so that we could give this message to all who would believe."

    I haven't cross-referenced this idea with other Scriptural passages mentioning predestination, by the way.

    Whatcha think?

  • #2
    Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

    Hello RollTide21.
    When Paul says "we" and "us", he means the Jews. When he says "you", he means the gentiles. God bless your study.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

      Originally posted by janitor View Post
      Hello RollTide21.
      When Paul says "we" and "us", he means the Jews. When he says "you", he means the gentiles. God bless your study.
      Paul is referring to Jews when he states that God "predestined us to sonship through Jesus Christ"? The Nation of Israel was His predestined people? I can follow that train of thought only until he says that "we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ...". Would you contend that the Jews placed their hope in Christ before His appearance? In other words, the Jews had hope in Messiah from the prophecies?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

        Originally posted by RollTide21 View Post
        I just started my own personal study of Ephesians last night. Chapter 1 (what a GREAT opening chapter, by the way) speaks of being chosen in Him before creation and also mentions being predistined to Him.

        My question: Why is it that Paul isn't referring SPECIFICALLY to the Apostles? Or the Apostles and Disciples charged with spreading the Gospel?
        I too am studying Ephesians right now and that is a really good question in my opinion -- a really good question. I think we are justified in asking this question because of verse 8, which might lead us to think that Paul is talking about the apostles.

        However, verse 7 talks about redemption and being forgiven, which are not unique to the Apostles but apply to everyone in "the assembly". Also, in verse 10 Paul talks about the unity of the entire body of Christ (all things) under Christ. Therefore, I believe that Paul is listing the blessings of the full compliment of the entire body of Christ.

        His transition from 12 to 13 is not intended to be exclusive but inclusive. All those in the body of Christ were chosen and predestined, both those who were first to hope in Christ and later those who believed after having heard the message of truth.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

          Originally posted by RollTide21 View Post
          ...

          I would assume this interpretation has been discussed. Question:

          Are verses 4-6 and 11-12 speaking of the same group? One could make the argument that 4-6 is speaking of all Believers and 11-12 refers to only the first to Believe. ...

          Whatcha think?
          I would tend to think more along these kind of lines. All believers were predestined through Christ (a single corporate election though, rather than multiple individial elections). And, yes, some believed before others; and many who believed first brought the message to those who believed later.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

            Originally posted by RollTide21 View Post
            I just started my own personal study of Ephesians last night. Chapter 1 (what a GREAT opening chapter, by the way) speaks of being chosen in Him before creation and also mentions being predistined to Him.

            My question: Why is it that Paul isn't referring SPECIFICALLY to the Apostles? Or the Apostles and Disciples charged with spreading the Gospel?

            Ephesians 1:1-14

            1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
            To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
            2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
            3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

            4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
            5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
            6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

            7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
            8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
            9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
            10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

            11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
            12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

            13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
            14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

            I would assume this interpretation has been discussed. Question:

            Are verses 4-6 and 11-12 speaking of the same group? One could make the argument that 4-6 is speaking of all Believers and 11-12 refers to only the first to Believe. However, could it be read that Paul's idea of predestination in Ephesians 1 refers only to those whom God predestined to Spread His Gospel? "The first to hope in Christ?" Verses 13-14 seem to disconnect from verses 11-12. Paul speaks of "us" through verse 12 and, in verse 13, he transitions to "you". Later in the chapter, he transitions back to "us" after he has brought in those who have believed the Word.

            It seems that Paul could be saying "We (the apostles) were predestined to believe in the Hope of Christ so that we could give this message to all who would believe."

            I haven't cross-referenced this idea with other Scriptural passages mentioning predestination, by the way.

            Whatcha think?
            verses 11-12 say that we obtained an inheritance to the praise of his glory, but on 13-14 it says you also obtained an inheritance to the praise of his glory. So they are all one in Christ Jesus. Remember the oneness of the saints: there is one flock, one shepherd (jn 10.16), and we were made one man between the jews and the gentiles (Ephesians 2:15), so in fact there are no such thing as jews or gentiles, but only saints.

            God choosing us before the foundation of the world is not just here, but also in Matthew 25:34.

            "“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:31-34 "

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

              What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.
              Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                Originally posted by RollTide21
                Paul is referring to Jews when he states that God "predestined us to sonship through Jesus Christ"?
                Yes.

                "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ....Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh....aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.....For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.....Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens....For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles..."2:5,11,12,14,19,3:1

                The Nation of Israel was His predestined people?
                Israel still is Gods people. Ephesians says both Jews and gentiles are being formed into the holy temple of God.

                "....built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
                Eph.2:20-22

                This is the place where God will dwell and is in the New Jerusalem which also consists of Jews and gentiles.

                I can follow that train of thought only until he says that "we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ...". Would you contend that the Jews placed their hope in Christ before His appearance? In other words, the Jews had hope in Messiah from the prophecies?
                Absolutely.

                "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them...." Heb.4:2

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                  Originally posted by shepherdsword View Post
                  What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.
                  That might fit with Ephesians chapter 1, but it won't fit with Ephesians chapter 4, which is one reason I beleive Paul is talking about individual election.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                    Originally posted by shepherdsword
                    What is stated here is that whoever is found in him will be predestined to be holy and blameless before him in love. The action of justification is what is predestined,not any particular individual.
                    You are right. "In Him" is the key to predestination.

                    Originally posted by BroRog
                    That might fit with Ephesians chapter 1, but it won't fit with Ephesians chapter 4, which is one reason I beleive Paul is talking about individual election.
                    Why not?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                      Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                      That might fit with Ephesians chapter 1, but it won't fit with Ephesians chapter 4, which is one reason I beleive Paul is talking about individual election.
                      The only possible reference I see in chapter 4 is "sealed unto the day of redemption"Is that what you are referring to or am I missing something ?
                      Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                        Why is God just taking out of the Gentiles instead of taking all of them? Is he taking just the predestained of the Gentiles? See Acts 15:14

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                          Originally posted by janitor View Post
                          You are right. "In Him" is the key to predestination.


                          Why not?
                          Beside the fact that it makes no sense to "choose" a category, in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us that God has given the elect to his son to be his inheritance. The image Paul uses to make this point is of a king who takes prisoners, which runs contrary to the idea that it was our idea to be in the body of Christ. We talk as if we volunteered or chose to be in the body of Christ, but in fact, we were taken prisoner. Paul begins the chapter by admitting that he, himself, is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. When Jesus ascended on high, he says, "he led captive a host of captives." If it was our choice to be in the body of Christ, then how is it he says we are his captives? It wasn't our choice. It was his choice. We are called "the elect" not because we chose him, but because he chose us. We are his prisoners.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                            Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                            Beside the fact that it makes no sense to "choose" a category, in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us that God has given the elect to his son to be his inheritance. The image Paul uses to make this point is of a king who takes prisoners, which runs contrary to the idea that it was our idea to be in the body of Christ. We talk as if we volunteered or chose to be in the body of Christ, but in fact, we were taken prisoner. Paul begins the chapter by admitting that he, himself, is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. When Jesus ascended on high, he says, "he led captive a host of captives." If it was our choice to be in the body of Christ, then how is it he says we are his captives? It wasn't our choice. It was his choice. We are called "the elect" not because we chose him, but because he chose us. We are his prisoners.
                            "He gave some" Is referring to Jesus himself distributing his "doma" for the building of the temple of living stones. Paul teaches them back in chapter 2 that they are a habitation of God through the Spirit. He is now elaborating and telling them how this is done. The "doma" referred to here is nothing more than scaffolding to see the completion of this. What are they here for? "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

                            There isn't a single passage in the chapter that deal with a specific individual being chosen for salvation.
                            Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: "Predestination" in Ephesians 1

                              Originally posted by shepherdsword View Post
                              "He gave some" Is referring to Jesus himself distributing his "doma" for the building of the temple of living stones. Paul teaches them back in chapter 2 that they are a habitation of God through the Spirit. He is now elaborating and telling them how this is done. The "doma" referred to here is nothing more than scaffolding to see the completion of this. What are they here for? "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

                              There isn't a single passage in the chapter that deal with a specific individual being chosen for salvation.
                              I look at it differently. The "he" in "he gave some" is God giving Jesus people to edify those in the church. Are you not able to find the parts that talk about being taken captive?

                              Comment

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