5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
MacArthur's sermon: The Body Formed in Eternity Past, Part 2
Driscoll's sermon: I Am Blessed
Legge's sermon: Praise the Lord, Part 2
Ooooooh, the predestination verse. Joy. I personally do not have a problem with the theology of election. I'm sure there are people who roll their eyes at me and think "Well, of course you wouldn't have a problem with it if you're one of the predestined, elected, whatever word you want to use. What about the people who are not?" In particular, I have a friend who struggles with predestination because she was saved as a teenager, but her parents and her sister are not saved. She has a hard time with the idea that she would have been elected and they not. However, they have heard the Word of the Lord, they have attended church (Catholic church), and they have had the witness of my friend and her Christian husband, so they have had the choice and have (so far) chosen not to believe. So do we blame God for not having elected them, or are they to blame for rejecting the message?
The last two words of v. 4 are "In love". In love he predestined us to adoption as sons. In love His grace is freely given so that we can be pure and holy before Him. In love He gives all mankind the opportunity to become His children, inheriting eternal life, but I believe that He sorrows over each one that He knows will reject His gift. In love, He gave us free will, to choose or not to choose, and He knows who will choose what and what it will take for some to ultimately choose Him. God's foreknowledge of who will choose Him and who will not, who will believe His Word and who will mock it, who will need some extra convincing, or a virtual equivalent of a flashing neon sign or a 2X4 to the head, or a still quiet voice or the simple gift of a Bible, does not negate our choice.
I do not want you to hear me saying that God only elects people He knows will choose Him in return, because He is a sovereign God and all things are within His power to predestine, or make up as He goes along, or reverse as He chooses. I wish to take nothing away from His sovereignty. He chooses AND we choose. I don't know how it all works, and just the thought of attempting to figure it out gives me a headache.
The Bible says He chooses, and the Bible says we choose, and I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive, nor do I believe that the Bible is contradictory, therefore both must be true. I know. It hurts my head too.
But at the core of it all is His love. In love he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,