having fore-ordained us (he had already decided) [a past participle which should be interpreted as the time frame of when it took place]
to be adopted [infinitive clause of the purpose of the fore-ordaining]
through Jesus Christ [prepositional phrase of means or instrument, the means whereby the adoption was brought about]
to Himself [this element ties the purpose of it all back to God the Father i.e. through Christ to God the Father]
according to the pleasure of His will [a rather complicated (deep) phrase especially when linked with what follows and the will of God] (Eph 1:5)
Having predestined us – Προορισας [proorisas] 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 Biblical sense. The verb προοριζω [prōorizō] from προ [pro] before, and ὁριζω [orizo] define, finish, bound, or terminate, whence ὁρος [oros], a boundary or limit, signifies to define beforehand, and circumscribe by certain bounds or limits; and is originally a geographical term, but applied also to anything concluded, or determined, or demonstrated.
We are “chosen” out of the rest of the world “predestined” to all things included in the inheritance stored up for us. Wow talk about blessings.
There is huge debate on the meaning of the word in this context. Prōrizō means properly “to set bounds before;” and then to “pre-determine.” The word as used in the Romans references means to “pre-determine” in the sense that God had pre-determined to admit the Gentiles into the privileges of his people. The term inheritance as applied in this context clearly refers to the division of the land. But it cannot mean that where the Gentiles are concerned.
To whom does the expression apply? Is it to nations or to individuals?
- That there is no specification of “nations” here as such, no mention of the Gentiles in contradistinction from the Jews.
- Those referred to were those included in the word “us,” among whom Paul was one – but Paul was not a heathen.
- The same objection will lie against the doctrine of predestinating “nations” which will lie against predestinating “individuals.”
- Nations are made up of individuals, and the pre-determination must have had some reference to individuals.
What is a nation but a collection of individuals?
What is the nature of the inheritance as it relates to Christians and not specifically to the Jewish nation. It can’t be limited to the land and the apportionment given to the tribes or the Gentiles would not fit in the scheme. It must mean something more. Whatever it is (I will leave it for you to determine) it is pre-determined from before you were born. From the beginning of time. It must be of supreme value to have such long lasting tenure. You have some thinking to do.
Next Gem we will look at the notion of adoption. Take note that to fully understand a passage we have to dig on the key words. Most of us let the key words or theme words or words of importance pass by and hardly pay them any attention at all.
God’s goal is not our comfort; it’s producing in us the character of Christ so the world will be drawn to Him.Anon
I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!Ian Vail