Questions and Answers

Q: What are your thoughts on Ephesians 1:11?

Answer: In order to understand the meaning of verse eleven, we must include the context in which this verse is located. Ephesians 1:1 indicates this epistle was written to believers in Jesus Christ, "to the saints". Therefore what follows is in reference to their spiritual position in Christ as a child of God. Everything God our Father has for and offers to us comes through relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Almighty God predestined before the foundation of the world that all who become children of God do so through Jesus Christ:". . .in Christ" (v. 3); "He hath chosen us in Him. . . ." (v. 4); "adoption of children by Jesus Christ" (v. 5); "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (v. 6). Jesus summed it up this way, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). The key phrase throughout the epistle of Ephesians is "in Christ", or its equivalent. "God has determined beforehand that those who believe in Christ will be adopted into His family and conformed to His Son", (Dr. Charles Ryrie).

It is my understanding that God never predestined (predetermined) anyone to be lost or saved. Scriptural truth remains "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Every issue of predestination concerns the person after salvation. After salvation, everything the Father does within the life of the believer is to enable him to be conformed to be more like His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:29). God desires us to partakers of His holiness and righteousness (Hebrews 12:10-11). This will be done to the glory of the Father!

It is due to our position in Christ that "we have obtained an inheritance" (v. 11). Believers are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Everything comes to us through the grace of God, through Jesus, and not our own merits. "That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ" (v. 12).

This is brief, but hopefully, it has been helpful. These are some thoughts to ponder.

[1] Ronald F. Youngblood, gen. ed. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986,1995) 1321, notes concerning worship.