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 instrum ent, 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
God clearly takes pleasure in his will being carried out; things working out according to His intentions. What are his intentions? How do we know what His intentions are? How do we know what God’s will is? That is a question that I am asked frequently. “How can I know God’s will for my life?” I am not sure how long to spend on this topic, especially as God’s will is a continuing theme of Ephesians. How do I know that? Because I have read the book many times. How do you get to know the theme words? By taking note of the recurring words. Hopefully you will notice another word which is linked with “will” and is also repeated through the book of Ephesians. Maybe you have noticed it already. If not, seek it out.
You ask “How do I seek it out?” When you suspect a word is repeated take note of it. But there are also a number of other ways you can find it for yourself. You can read Ephesians specifically with one word in mind. You could skim read or speed read Ephesians looking for the occurrences of that word. You could use a programme like E-Sword to search the occurrences and frequency of the word in question. You could use a concordance to see the distribution and use of the word throughout the book. In the case of a book like Ephesians it is not all that hard because the book is so short. It is not like we are analyzing Genesis or Luke or any of the longer books. In fact as you read Ephesians over and over, read it at least once with the theme of “God’s will in mind”. See what you find out. See if you can work out the other word which is repeated and connected with “will”. Choose at least one of these methods to find Paul’s use of “Will” for yourself.
According “to pleasure of His will”? What does “according to the pleasure of his will” mean? And furthermore WHAT is it that is in accordance with the pleasure of His will?
Do some digging before we look at this first occurrence of the word “will” in the book of Ephesians. I think you will find it revealing. More next Gem. In meantime you have things to do.
And as I have said to you before, if this comes at a bad time and you don’t have the time at the moment to do any of this, no worries. Save it into a folder for when you do have time and save the subsequent Gems too, especially the next one. Keep using the Propositional Analysis (Gem 604, 605) with the grammatical notes I gave you to help you in the process of putting this complicated sentence together. It all has a purpose and you need to see how it clicks together. Especially where it relates to the will of God. Keep your wits about you. Whatever wits might be and if only I knew where to find them so I could keep them close.
Here’s a quick tip: Open up two windows in your browser – one to keep Gem 605 and the Propositional layout before you along the current Gem and section we are analysing. Now that would help, wouldn’t it?
The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.Ian Vail
I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.Billy Graham
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. You go get your own opinions!Ian Vail