Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to the matter that we have been predestinated unto sonship. Ephesians 1:5 says, “Having predestinated us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” In the grammatical construction of verses 4 and 5, the subject and the main predicate are not in verse 5, but in verse 4. Verse 4 says, “According as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blemish before Him, in love.” The subject is “He,” and the main predicate is “chose.” These verses can be written like this: “According as He, having predestinated us, chose us.” God’s choosing cannot be separated from His predestinating. They are two aspects of one thing. God’s choosing goes with His predestinating, and His predestinating is one with His choosing. It is very difficult to say which comes first.
Being predestinated unto sonship is the second item of God’s blessing. As we pointed out in the previous message, the first item of God’s blessing is being chosen to be holy.
In eternity past, God predestinated us unto sonship, marking out a destiny for His chosen ones before the foundation of the world. The goal of God’s predestination is sonship. We were predestinated to be sons of God even before we were created. Hence, as God’s creatures, we need to be regenerated by Him so that we may participate in His life to be His sons. Sonship implies not only the life, but also the position of the son. God’s marked-out ones have the life to be His sons and the position to inherit Him.
The Greek word translated “predestinated” can also be rendered “marked out beforehand.” Marking out beforehand is the process, whereas predestination is the purpose to determine a destiny beforehand. God firstly selected us and then marked us out beforehand, that is, before the foundation of the world, unto a certain destiny.
God chose and predestinated us according to His foresight (1 Pet. 1:2). This indicates that our relationship with God was initiated by God according to His foreknowledge.
God has predestinated us unto sonship through Jesus Christ. “Through Jesus Christ” means through the Redeemer who is the Son of God. Through Him we were redeemed to be the sons of God with the life and position of God’s sons.
God predestinated us unto sonship according to the good pleasure of His will, which is His purpose. This reveals that God has a will in which is His good pleasure. God predestinated us to be His sons according to this pleasure, according to the desire of His heart. The book of Ephesians speaks not from the standpoint of man’s sinful condition, as does the book of Romans, but from the standpoint of the good pleasure of God’s heart. Hence, it is deeper and higher.
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Common words, such as "and", "is", "but", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search. A list of all noise words is as follows:
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