“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, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:5-6)
Theologians of great ability and unquestioned sincerity have argued the meaning of predestination for centuries. Since the question involves the eternal, inscrutable counsels of the infinite Creator, it is evidently impossible for finite humans to comprehend its full meaning. But we don’t have to understand it before we can rejoice in its truth. The Scriptures (especially our text) teach that the purpose of God’s predestinating work is that we might glorify Him and His amazing grace! We have been predestinated to become adopted sons of God, “to the praise of the glory of his grace.”
Then it is said that we have been predestinated to a great inheritance, in order “that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (v. 12). We have been “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” and, again, this is all “unto the praise of his glory” (vv. 13-14).
Note also that He has “predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself” (v. 5). “We have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (v. 11). We have also been predestinated “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29)—predestinated unto eternal holiness, sonship, heirship, and Christlikeness! Surely such gifts are cause enough for us to praise eternally the glory of His grace.
That is, indeed, what we shall do in the ages to come. “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). And since we are to be testifying to the praise of the glory of His grace throughout all ages, it behooves us to do so now as well. HMM