Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, whereinHe hath made us accepted in the beloved.

“Having predestinated us”
 Literally:  “predestinating us”

         Foreordination (predestination) is one of the unique prerogatives of Almighty God.  All  certainty of accomplishment. Predestination refers only to those who are ALREADY saved.  It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with those who are to get saved (see Rom. 8:28-29).  We are predestinated, “unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself.”  Adoption means that we are brought into the place of full-grown sons. 
         We need something really strong in this fluctuating, changing age in which we live.  We need to know that we have been chosen in Him in order to stand for God today.  It will make a world of difference in your life.  We are in eternity past when God planned the Church.  We weren’t back there then to give Him any suggestions, or to tell Him how we wanted it done; rather, He is telling us how He did it.
         In essence, God says to us, “You either take it or leave it.  This is the way I did it, and I’m the One who is running this universe.” God has done three things for us, in planning the church.
1.      He chose us, and that’s a pretty hard pill for us to swallow.
2.      He predestinated us to the place of sonship.
3.      He made us accepted in the Beloved.

        PREDESTINATED:  (proorisas)–The pro in proorisas, “beforehand,” points to the future realization.

This verb is in the Greek aorist tense, meaning that it is already done.  This aorist tense means that it is a past action never to be repeated. This predestination took place before the creation of the world (v. 4); but this is not expressed by pro, which rather looks always towards the future setting in of the thing predestined. See v. 11; Acts 4:28;  Rom. 8:29; I Cor. 2:7.

        “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate {to be} conformed to the image of His Son…”
        “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called:  and whom He called, them He also justified:  and whom He justified, them He also glorified(Rom. 8:29-30).
        “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, {even} the hidden {wisdom}, which God obtained before the world unto our glory” (I Cor. 2:7).
        “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”  (Eph. 1:11).

       “As the doctrine of eternal predestination has produced much controversy in the Christian world, it may be necessary to examine the meaning of the term, that those who do use it may employ it according to the sense it has in the oracles of God.  The verb (proorizô), from (pro) “before”, and (horizô), “I define, finish, bound or terminate.”     
       “Here the word is used to point out God's fixed purpose or predetermination to bestow on the Gentiles the blessing of the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ, which adoption had been before granted to the Jewish people; and without circumcision, or any other Mosaic rite, to admit the Gentiles to all the privileges of His Church and people.
       “And Paul marks that all this was fore-determined by God, as He had fore-determined the bounds and precincts of the land which He gave them according to the promise made to their fathers; that the Jews had no reason to complain, for God had formed this purpose before He had given the Law, or called them out of Egypt; (for it was before the foundation of the world,(v.  4).  and that, therefore, the conduct of God in calling the Gentiles now-bringing them into His Church, and conferring on them the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, was in pursuance of His original design; and, if He did not do so, His eternal purposes could not be fulfilled; and that, as the Jews were taken to be His peculiar people, not because they had any goodness or merit in themselves; so the Gentiles were called, not for any merit they had, but according to the good pleasure of His will; that is, according to His eternal benevolence, showing mercy and conferring privileges in this new creation, as He had done in the original creation; for as, in creating man, He drew every consideration from his own innate eternal benevolence, so now, in redeeming man, and sending the glad tidings of salvation both to the Jews and the Gentiles, be acted on the same principles, deriving all the reasons of His conduct from His own infinite goodness".–Adam Clarke’s Commentary

Predestination is not made dependent on any sort of meritous actions or causes on the part of man but is simply an act of free divine kindness, whose determination has its cause only in Christ; so that, in the case of the predestined subjects, faith is set forth as the action or cause of salvation.

         “into the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself,”
         Literally:  “to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself”      

ADOPTION:  (huisthesian)–Literally, “the placing of a son.”  The “predestination” is God’s guarantee that this will take place.

         Having foreordained that all who believed afterwards should enjoy the dignity of being sons of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.  Adoption was a Roman practice, not a Jewish one.  Understand that you do not get into God’s family by adoption.  You get into it by BIRTH–the new birth (John 3:3).  Adoption is the practice by which God gives His born ones an adult standing in His family so that we can immediately claim our inheritance and enjoy our spiritual wealth.  An infant cannot use his inheritance but an adult son can do so.  The future aspect of our adoption is found in Rom. 8:22-23.  Understand that in regeneration the believer receives nature of the child of God.  In adoption the believer receives the position of the child of God (John 1:12)..
           Adoption was an act frequent among the ancient Greeks and Romans; by which a person was taken out of one family and incorporated with another.  Persons of property, who had no children of their own, adopted those of another family.  The child thus adopted ceased to belong to his own family, and was in every respect bound to the person who had adopted him, as if he were his own child; and in consequence of the death of his adopting father he possessed his estates.  If a person after he had adopted a child happened to have children of his own, then the estate was equally divided between the adopted and real children.  The Romans had regular forms of law, by which all these matters were settled.
          None are the children of God by nature: none are born sons, but made sons; not of their own, but God's making; and in order to this glorious privilege, we were  pre-destinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ.  The grace of God manifestly appears in the predestination of men to adoption; in that God really did not have any need of sons. He already had a dear and well beloved Son; in whom He is well pleased; and that those He adopts are so unworthy of the relation; and in that men, and not angels, should be taken by Him into his family;


         “according to the good pleasure of His will,”
         Literally:  “according to the good pleasure of his will”

He did it because of His glorious, free love without any deserving on our part.  That is, for the acknowledgment by all God’s creatures of the gloriousness of His grace; or, in other words, for the acknowledgment that God’s essential glory is best manifested in His gracethat He “declares His almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity.”  We cannot go beyond “the good pleasure of His will” in searching into the causes of our salvation, or of any of His works (v. 9). (Job 33:13.) Why do you need to philosophize about an imaginary world of optimism? Your concern is to take heed that you do not be bad. There was nothing in us which deserved His love (vv. 1, 9 , 11)

        ACCORDING TO: (kata)–This word means, “according to; corresponding to; with reference to.”

        GOOD PREASURE:  (eudokian)–This means,  “a being well pleased; delight in anything, favor, good-will.”  This is a Hebraism, and means the same as "to His glorious grace.”  The glory of His grace, His glorious or illustrious grace, according to the Hebrew idiom. 

        This displays purpose, or will; the idea of benevolence being included–Robinson.  The act of predestination was due simply to God's sovereign will. His will was the cause.  The evident object of Paul is to state why God chose the heirs of salvation. It was done as it seemed good to Him in the circumstances of the case. It was not that man had any control over Him, or that man was consulted in the determination, or that it was based on the good works of man, real or foreseen (for the first man had not yet been created. But we are not to suppose that there were no good reasons for why He did this.
        Convicts are frequently pardoned by an executive. He does it according to His own will, or as seems good in His sight. He is to be the judge, and no one has a right to control Him in doing it. It may seem to be entirely arbitrary. The executive may not have communicated the reasons why he did it, either to those who are pardoned, or to the other prisoners, or to anyone else. However, this does not imply that there was no reason for doing it. If he is a wise magistrate, and worthy of his station, it is to be presumed that there were reasons which, if known, would be satisfactory to all. But those reasons he is under no obligations to make known. Indeed, it might be improper that they should be known. Of that he is the best judge.

         “To the praise of the glory of His grace,”
           Literally:  “To {the} praise of {the} glory of His grace”

To the end that His grace in adopting us as children may redound to His praise and glory;  that the glory of His grace may be praised by all His creatures, men and angels. The glory of His grace, (charis enodokos)-His glorious or illustrious grace, according to the Hebrew idiom.  But the grace or mercy of God is peculiarly illustrated and glorified in the plan of redemption by Christ Jesus.  By the giving of the LAW, God's justice and holiness were rendered most glorious; by the giving of the GOSPEL, his grace and mercy are made equally conspicuous. 

       “The object was to excite thanksgiving for His glorious grace manifested in electing love. The real tendency of the doctrine, in minds that are properly affected, is not to excite opposition to God, or to lead to the charge of partiality, tyranny, or severity; it is to excite thankfulness and praise. In accordance with this, Paul introduced the statement (v. 3) by saying that God was to be regarded as "blessed" for forming and executing this plan. The meaning is, that the doctrine of predestination and election lays the foundation of adoring gratitude and praise. This will appear plain by a few considerations.
1.     It is the only foundation of hope for man. If he were left to himself all the race would reject the offers of mercy, and would perish. History, experience, and the Bible alike demonstrate this.
2.    All the joys which any of the human race have, are to be traced to the purpose of God to bestow them. Man has no power of originating any of them, and if God had not intended to confer them, none of them would have been possessed. 
3.    All these favors are conferred on those who had no claim on God. The Christian who is pardoned had no claim on God for pardon; he who is admitted to heaven could urge no claim for such a privilege and honor; he who enjoys comfort and peace in the hour of death, enjoys it only through the glorious grace of God."– Barnes Notes

All is done on the basis of His grace and the end is the glory of God.|
1.      The inception is grace.
2.      The concession is adoption.

3.      The reception is for His glory.

“Glory is an attribute of grace: that in which grace grandly and resplendently displays itself. Praise is called forth from the children of God by this divine glory which thus appears in grace. The grace is not merely favor, gift, but it reveals also the divine character. In praising God for what He does, we learn to praise Him for what He is. Glory is another of the ruling words of the epistle, falling into the same category with riches and fullness.”–Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament

         “wherewith He hath made us accepted in the beloved:”
         Literally:  “which He favored us in the {One} having been loved”

        MADE US ACCEPTED: Literally:  “with which He favored us.”  That is, has  us as the objects of favor.  The verb here rendered “made us accepted,” (echaritôsen)–is the same verb used in Luke 1:28, where it is translated as “highly favored.”   It is used nowhere else in the N.T.

That is, having chosen us in Christ, God so favors us, (is well pleased with us in Christ), to whom we are united, whose members we are, and in whom God looks upon us. We are hateful in ourselves as sinners, but accepted in Christ as sons.  

         “having been loved”  —Has regarded us as the objects of favor and complacency.

IN THE BELOVED:  In the Lord Jesus Christ, the well-beloved Son of God. He has chosen us in him, and it is through him that these mercies have been conferred on us. This phrase appears nowhere else in the N.T.


“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;”

         “in whom we have redemption through His blood”
         Literally:  “in whom we have the redemption through His blood”–

         We see that Paul put this same basic expression in his Epistle to the Colossians:  “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, {even} the forgiveness of sin” (Col. 1:14). Clearly Paul makes the blood of Christ the cost of redemption, the ransom money (lutron, Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45.
         This passage clearly refers to Christ.  We are accepted in the Beloved, in Christ.  Redemption is the primary work of Christ.  The literal translation here would read, “In whom we have the redemption.”  The word “the” gives this redemption top priority.  The article “the makes it emphatic–the Great Redemption, the real redemption, compared to which all other redemptions are but shadows. This is the very reason that Christ came to earth:

        “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).
        “For {there is} one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
        “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Tim. 2:5-6).

         In verses 7-10 are revealed three (3) things that Christ did for us and here in verse 7 we read the FIRST thing He did for us:  He redeemed us.  While He was here, Christ redeemed us, and that redemption is through His blood.  This is something that is not popular today.  Most people want a beautiful religion, a bloodless religion like that of Cain; one that appeals to their esthetic nature.  The cross of Christ does not appeal to the esthetic part of man; neither does it appeal to the pride (ego) of man. It is repulsive to man, but it is ONLY through the blood of Christ that we have redemption.

       REDEMPTION: (apolutrôsin)—Literally, the redemption.” THE redemption which is the grand subject of all revelation, and especially of the New Testament (Rom. 3:24), namely, from the power, guilt, and penal consequences of sin (Matt. 1:21).

         If a man were unable to redeem himself from being a bond-servant, his kinsman might redeem him (Lev. 25:48). Therefore, the Son of God became the Son of man, that as our kinsman and Kinsman Redeemer, so that He might redeem us (Matt. 20:28). Another “redemption” follows, namely, that “of the purchased possession” hereafter (v. 14).
         The word here, as there, denotes that deliverance from sin, and from the evil consequences of sin, which has been procured by the atonement made by the Lord Jesus Christ. This verse is one of the passages which prove conclusively that the apostle here does not refer to nations and to national privileges. Of what nation could it be said, that it had “redemption through the blood of Jesus, even the forgiveness of sins?”

There are three Greek words in the N.T. which are translated by the one English word redemption.

1.      agoradzômeans, “to buy at the marketplace.” (see I Cor. 6:20)
         It means to go shopping in the market place and purchase an item.
2.      exagoradzômeans, “to buy out of the market.”  It has the thought of buying something for one’s own use.  It means to take goods out of the market place and never to sell them again, but rather to keep them for one’s own use (see Gal. 3:13).
3.      apolutrôsismeans, “to liberate by the payment of a ransom in order to set a person free.”   It means not only to go into the marketplace and put cash on the barrelhead; or to only take it out of the market for your own private us, never to sell it to anyone else, but it also means to set free or to liberate after paying the purchase price. This bears with it the application of buying a slave out of slavery in order to set him free, and this is the word for redemption that we have here in this verse 7. 

         Man has been sold under sin and is in bondage to sin.  All you need to do is to look around to see that this is true.  Man is a rotten, corrupt sinner and he cannot do anything else but sin.  He is a slave to sin.  Christ came to pay the price of man’s freedom. This is what the Lord Jesus means when he said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”  (John 8:36).  The redemption price is, “through His blood.”  That was the price which He paid, (I Peter 1:18-19).

       THROUGH HIS BLOOD:As the instrument; the propitiation (satisfaction); that is, the consideration (devised by His own love) for which He, who was justly angry (Isa. 12:1), becomes propitious to us; the expiation, the price paid to divine justice for our sin (Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:25; I Cor. 6:20; Col. 1:20; I Pet. 1:18, 19).

         “the forgiveness of sins”
         Literally:  “the remission of deviations”–We obtain through His blood, or because of the atonement which He has made.  

        “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (2:13).      
        “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

         We are not to suppose that this is all the benefit which we receive from His death, or that this is all that constitutes redemption. It is the main, and perhaps the most important thing. But we also obtain the hope of heaven, the influences of the Holy Spirit, grace to guide us and to support us in trial, peace in death, and perhaps many more benefits. Still forgiveness is so prominent and important, and Paul has mentioned that as if it were all.
         This “remission,” being the explanation of “redemption,” includes not only deliverance from sin's penalty, but from its pollution and enslaving power, negatively; and the reconciliation of an offended God, and a satisfaction unto a just God, positively.

“The privilege itself, redemption; the Redeemer, Jesus Christ; the price of his redemption paid down, his blood: one fruit of this redemption instanced in for all the rest, the forgiveness of sin: and, lastly, the spring or source of all this, the riches of his grace.

 1.      The deplorable state into which the whole race of mankind was brought into by sin; namely, an estate of slavery and bondage, and spiritual captivity unto sin. Redemption supposes this; slaves and captives need a redeemer, none else; we are all by nature under slavery to sin, to Satan, and the curse of the law, and the wrath of God.
2.       That there was no delivery to be had from this slavery but by a price paid down to the justice of God; redemption is a delivery by ransom and price.

3.       That no other price did or could redeem us from our miserable captivity, but the blood of Christ: We have redemption through his blood.
4.       That all believers, and only they, have remission of their sins, through the redemption purchased for them by the blood of Christ. 
5.      That God's free grace, and Christ's full satisfaction, do stand well together in the work of redemption and remission of sin. True, God had a satisfaction from the hand of our surety Christ Jesus; but was it not free grace and rich mercy in God, to accept of a surety and a substitution, when the rigor of the law required none, and would admit of none, but demanded that the soul which sinned should die? Was it not free mercy, not only to accept a surety, but to provide a surety for us as God did, and this surety his own Son? And to deliver up this Son to a painful, shameful, and accursed death, that we might have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace?”–William Burkitt’s Notes

         “according to the riches of His grace”
         Literally:  “according to the riches of His grace according to His rich grace.

         Note the ways this is phrased:  according to the  riches of His grace; not from His riches, but according to His riches. If it were from His riches, this would denote a gradual depletion, as His riches are used; but, because it is according to His riches, which are infinite, there can never be any depletion of His grace.  His riches are infinite; therefore, His grace must also be infinite.
         The word riches, in the form in which it is used here, occurs also in several other places in this epistle, v. 18; 2:7; 3:8,16.  It is not found in any of the other writings of the New Testament, except once, in a sense somewhat similar, in James, (James 2:5).   It is peculiar to Paul, and marks his style in a manner which cannot be mistaken. An impostor or a forger of the epistle would not have thought of introducing it, and yet it is just such a phrase as would naturally be used by Paul. 

“But my God shall supply your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
“To whom God would make known what {is} the riches of the glory of this mystery among Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding…” (Col. 2:2).

Paul, having, in the foregoing verses, enumerated the great and glorious privileges which the children of God were made partakers of before all time, comes next to discover what they are admitted to the participation of in time: and here in this verse he mentions two of them, namely, redemption and remission of sin.  “In whom we have redemption through His blood, etc.

“Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;”

         “Wherein He hath abounded toward us”
         Literally:  “which He caused to abound toward us”

         This grace has not been stinted and confined, but has been liberal and abundant.  That is, in the dispensation of mercy and goodness by Christ Jesus.  Out of abundance of grace in Himself, (called “riches of grace” (v. 7), God has bestowed upon us wisdom and prudence. The like expression we have in I Tim. 1:14–“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”
      Abound is a favorite word of Paul’s, expressive of the superabundance of God’s giving, the overflow as of a fountain from a deep and abundant source.  It also expressive the quality expected in a Christian’s life.

         “in all wisdom and prudence”
         Literally:  “in all wisdom and understanding”

That is, He has displayed great wisdom in the plan of salvation; wisdom in so saving men as to secure the honor of His own law, and in devising a scheme that was eminently adapted to save men.

       “Nothing less than the Spirit of God could teach the apostles that wisdom by which they were to instruct a dark and sinful world; and nothing less than the same Spirit could inspire them with that prudence which was necessary to be exercised in every step of their life and ministry.  Every wise man is not a prudent man, and every prudent man is not a wise man. 

  1. “Wisdom,” according to Sir William Temple, "is that which makes men judge what are the best ends, and what the best means to attain them; and gives a man advantage of counsel and direction."
  2. "Prudence is wisdom applied to practice; or that discreet, apt suiting as well of actions as words, in their due place, time, and manner.  Every minister of Christ needs these still; and if he abide not under the influence of both, not only his prayers but his ministerial labors will be all hindered.”–Adam Clarke’s Commentary

         Here we have the fourth of the great blessings which Paul gives us.  God not only receives and forgives; those whom He has reconciled to Himself as sons, He also enlightens with the understanding of His purpose.  This is developed further in chapters 2 & 3.
         “Wisdom” in devising the plan of redeeming mankind; “prudence” in executing it by the means, and in making all the necessary arrangements of Providence for that purpose. Paul attributes to the Gospel of God's grace “all” possible “wisdom and prudence,” in opposition to the boasts of wisdom and prudence which the unbelieving Jews and heathen philosophers and false apostles claimed for their teachings. Christ crucified, though esteemed "foolishness" by the world, is “the wisdom of God” (I Cor. 1:18-30). Compare Eph. 3:10, “the manifold wisdom of God.”

         In many classical writers a distinction is made between wisdom (sophia)and prudence (phronêsis)—or intelligence, or understanding.’

  1. Wisdom has been defined as “the knowledge which sees into the heart of things, which knows them as they really are.”  That is, He has evinced great wisdom in the plan of salvation; wisdom in so saving men as to secure the honor of His own law, and in devising a scheme that was eminently adapted to save men
  2. Prudence has been defined as, “the understanding which leads to right action.”
    The Greek word used here (phronêsis)—means understanding, thinking, prudence. The meaning here is, that so to speak, God had evinced great intelligence in the plan of salvation. There was ample proof of mind and of thought, it was adapted to the end in view. It was far-seeing; skillfully arranged; and carefully formed. The sense of the whole is, that there was a wise design running through the whole plan, and abounding in it in an eminent degree.

If these definitions are correct, it follows that the wisdom of God is not merely intellectual or academic; a higher philosophy such as that which the Gnostics boasted that they possessed.  Rather, it is also the source of understanding in the details of daily living (see Phil. 1:9).  “Christ gives to men the ability to see the great ultimate truths of eternity and to solve the problems of each moment of time.”

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