by Jack Eberle
“He predestinated us unto adoption through Jesus Christ unto Himself according to the pleasure of His will” Eph. 1:5 (WI).
You may be a little apprehensive about this term, but you will see that this has truly little relevance to today’s terminology. Here, we are speaking according to the Roman legalities of adoption. While we have no intention to bore you with the Roman legalese of “adoption”, we will have to make a few points for you to see the difference in what we present day citizens would understand as practiced in our nation and civilization. In Rome, we learn that the Caesars often practiced adoption. Apparently, they could adopt as many people as they liked and assign them to certain positions or authorities. I understand that the Caesars were inclined to find someone they liked and train that one to succeed himself as the next Caesar. Many factors were considered but probably a couple of things weighed in most heavily. Do I think this person would be the Caesar I would want him to be? Is he able? How would he reflect on my thoughts about rulership, et al. “Religion”, “morals”, “family status” and especially, Can I train him and will he reflect well on me?
This is only a small part of comment about what could be a very long process. Well, with this in mind, think of Paul under Roman guard and bond, writing this letter to the Ephesian church. There is no doubt that Jesus Christ adopts His believers to be with Him in His home in the “upon-heavenlies”. As you read the book of Ephesians, you will see how you are prized by our Lord, Who brought you into salvation through adoption to sit with Him in the “upon-heavenlies” (Ephesians 2:6-7). However, it is vital that your adoption has nothing to do with your merits, because as a lost sinner, He “placed” you into “adoption” to reign with Him in the “upon-heavenlies” It is also interesting to note that you can receive CROWNS (2 Tim. 4:8). A king or a hermit could be saved, but each must plead the blood of Christ. There is no home in the heavenlies for those relegated to dust or to those who have rejected His work on His cross (I Peter 3:18).
God wrote this letter to you, for indeed, He did, for you to reign with Him and be with Him. (Read Romans 9 and Galatians 4). These words speak of adoption. God had adopted a nation in the past, but few actually desired to be in His care in this nation. You might say that they “opted out”. Yet, Romans points out that “others” may be grafted into…” His will; and humbly rejoice with His plan and seek to rejoice in His love. (Read Philippians 4). His Word is for you!
“In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance… (Ephesians 1:11).