Question: What did God predestine for his chosen people?
Answer: To adopt Christians as his children
We have discussed that through Christ God predestined a specific group of people to belong to him. He also predestined the way in which one would become a member of that special people (i.e. through faith). Now we must ask if the Bible teaches what God predestined for the Body of Christ. We know God determined beforehand to grant the Promised Land as Israel’s special inheritance; did he also have an inheritance in mind for the Church of Jesus Christ? If so, what was it?
The Bible uses the word, predestined, 6 times (Acts 4:38, 1 Cor. 2:7, Romans 8:29-30, and Ephesians 1:5 and 11). Acts 4:38 says that God predestined how he would bring about the crucifixion of Christ; and 1 Corinthians 2:7 says that God predestined the wisdom for the Church. But the passages in Romans and Ephesians tell us exactly what God predestined he would do for the Body of Christ.
Ephesians 1:5 and 11
“He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will… In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…”
That which was predestined, according to these verses, was not who will believe in Jesus, but what blessings those who believe will inherit. Verse 4 teaches that “the purpose of God’s will” which he “predestined” was to “adopt as sons” those who received salvation “through Jesus Christ.” We can feel the Apostle John’s amazement when we read 1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (NIV)
In Romans chapter 8 Paul reconfirms what God predestined for Christ’s people.
“For those he foreknew (i.e. chose, loved) he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
These verses tell us what God predetermined for his people that were chosen in Christ. From all eternity he predestined that those who join Christ’s people by grace through faith would “be conformed to the image of his Son.” God had something even greater in mind for those that believe on Jesus than just being forgiven of their sins. Not only would members of Christ’s Body receive forgiveness, they would be adopted as God’s very own children. What a wonderful inheritance! This was God’s eternal plan for those that would believe on his Son, Jesus Christ. This is an inheritance infinitely greater than possessing a land, even one that flowed with milk and honey!
The Bible does not teach that certain unbelievers were predestined to believe in Jesus Christ; it does teaches that all believers were predestined to be adopted as God’s children.