Ephesians 1:11-12 (ESV) — In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
There are teachings and concepts in the Bible that are more difficult to grasp than others. Not everything in the Bible is easy to understand. This shouldn’t surprise us because we are talking about the God of the universe. We will never comprehend everything about God, His world, or His ways. Another issue is that we run into ideas and teachings that are not necessarily difficult to grasp but they are difficult to swallow. We don’t like them. They challenge us.
One of those teachings is the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is the doctrine that teaches God’s universal power and control over all things that come to pass. There is nothing that happens in the world outside of His sovereignty, meaning His control. This includes our salvation.
The passage today is one of the Mount Everests of Scripture on the sovereignty of God. Paul says, “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Notice the word “predestined.” I have had people get so upset with me because I mention predestination or they ask me, “Do you believe in predestination?” My answer is the same every time: “Of course, because the Bible talks about it.” If you are a Bible-believer, then you must acknowledge the Bible’s teaching on the subject of God’s predestination. This means that God has planned and executes all that comes to pass in the world. We can’t deny the Bible teaches it. What we are left to do is figure out how to make sense of it in light of the rest of the Bible’s teaching.
One thing is clear: we obtained an inheritance of salvation because God predestined it. This shouldn’t be fodder for debate, but fuel for worship. God saved us according to His plan, and in His sovereign power, brought it to pass. Rejoice today in the peace of God’s sovereignty!
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do people get so upset and distraught over predestination?
- What should we do when we find our heart struggling with something the Bible teaches?
- Why is the sovereignty of God a source of joy, peace, and hope for the Christian?
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