Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
I. GOD CHOSE AND PREDESTINED THESE EPHESIAN CHRISTIANS BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
1. We must not so conceive of God's election, and the influence of His grace, as to set aside our free agency and final accountableness.
2. Nor must we so explain away God's sovereignty and grace as to exalt man to a state of independence.
II. THEY WERE CHOSEN TO BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME, BEFORE HIM, IN LOVE. Holiness consists in the conformity of the soul to the Divine nature and will, and is opposed to all moral evil. In fallen creatures it begins in the renovation of the mind after the image of God. Love is a main branch of holiness.
III. THE ADOPTION TO WHICH BELIEVERS ARE PREDESTINATED.
1. Adoption implies a state of freedom, in opposition to bondage.
2. Adoption brings us under the peculiar care of God's providence.
3. Adoption includes a title to a glorious resurrection from the dead, and to an eternal inheritance in the heavens.
IV. ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS ARE DERIVED TO US THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
V. THE SEASON OF GOD'S CHOOSING BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, AND PREDESTINATING THEM TO ADOPTION, IS THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL. The original plan of salvation is from Him, not from us. The gospel is a Divine gift, not a human discovery; and our being in circumstances to enjoy it is not the effect of our previous choice, but of God's sovereign goodness.
VI. THE GREAT PURPOSE FOR WHICH GOD HAS CHOSEN AND CALLED US IS THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE. Goodness is the glory of the Divine character; grace is the glory of the Divine goodness; the plan of salvation for sinners by Jesus Christ is the glory of Divine grace.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,