[Christ] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)
The debate of predestination or election vs. free will continues through the ages of Christendom without apparent resolution, except in the mind of the one who dogmatically holds one view or the other. I believe the answer is somewhere in the middle, but for now I want to look at the idea of predestination.
I find that when the term predestined (or “predestinated” as rendered in the KJV) appears in the New Testament, it seems to be associated with the Christian’s “conversation” or manner of life. Our beginning verse is a good example: “[Christ] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11, emphasis mine). Note that the Christian has already obtained an inheritance, i.e., eternal life in accordance with the purpose of the One who works everything according to His will. What is that purpose? “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:12, emphasis mine).
Again, God has “predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5, emphasis mine). The “predestination” is that those who are saved will be adopted as “children” of God. “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” (Ephesians 1:4, emphasis mine). God planned from the “foundation of the world” that His adopted children would be blameless before Him through Jesus. The predestination is the plan that God had from beginning for those who would be saved. God does not predestine some to hell and some to heaven. That would contradict the “whosoever will” found in John 3:16 et. al.
Salvation is by grace through faith, as Paul explains. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis mine). Even the faith that it takes to believe is a gift of God that He gives to everyone. We all have the ability to believe. Jesus said, “… If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6, emphasis mine). A mustard seed is a small thing, yet with that small amount, a mountain can move. Believing in Jesus can be a huge mountain for some people, but by exercising the little faith God gives by His grace, it can be moved.
When we exercise that faith, we are transformed – remade. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, emphasis mine). The new creation crafted by Christ becomes a tool for His purpose. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, emphasis mine). Those good works for which we are created were preordained or predestined from the beginning.
Our post-salvation life is predestined, not our salvation. Our salvation is “foreknown” not predestined. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29, emphasis mine). We are predestined to be conformed, i.e., “molded.” into the image of Christ, but God foreknows those who will be saved; He does not predestine them for salvation nor damnation.
If you are not sure about your status before God, please visit my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
 “Somewhere in the Middle: – https://erniecarrasco.com/2013/10/20/somewhere-in-the-middle/
3 responses to “Predestination of Purpose”
Thank you for this clarification, Ernie. Great post!
I love your blog and have been blessed and encouraged by your posts.
However, I have a different view on this topic.
We read this in Isaiah:
Declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose, (Is. 46:10)
So, God’s decree is certain, no open theism here.
Isaiah gives us the exact same message as Eph. 1:11,
“… who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”
Here are apply God’s sovereignty to the young earth issue:
I went to church with John Morris in Norman at a DTS influenced church.
DTS is often tagged as a 4-pointer organization, I go all the way.
Recommended >> Chosen by God – RC Sproul:
Thank you for following my blog, Jay, and thank you for your comment. I am aware that there are differences of opinion on the question of election and free will. The Bible supports both views, which leads me to believe that the answer is somewhere in the middle (see my article that I referenced). When we get to heaven, look me up so we can have a good laugh together when we learn the real answer. Thankfully, it is not a salvation issue. God’s blessings!