Who did the electing? "...He (God) hath chosen us..." When? "... Before the
foundation of the world..." (Dateless eternity)
Vs. 5 "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."
There is no firm or rigid distinction between predestination and election. The terms are so close akin that they can be used interchangeably without losing any measure of what is being conveyed. Example: To say a person is elected for heaven, is the exact equal of saying, the person is predestinated for heaven. Predestination and election relate to the same eternal decree, and for all practical purposes, are identical. The Scriptural terms, elect, predestinate, foreordain, determine before, are without variance references to the eternal counsel and power of God. Whatever God does in time is an outgrowth of His sovereign and eternal design.
Of all the doctrines hated by Arminians, the doctrine of eternal, unconditional election is the chief object of their undiluted hatred.
When this doctrine is viewed through Holy Spirit anointed eyes it is seen to be no harsh or hateful doctrine, but is seen to be a glorious truth which bespeaks the love, kindness, mercy, and grace of God; for without election there would be no salvation.
God is the eternal Arbiter, and His purpose eternally fixed, and His will unalterable. The Immutability of God's will applies not only to His justice and wrath, but also to His love, mercy, and grace. Thus it is, God says to Jeremiah, have loved thee with an everlasting love..." (Jere. 31:3). God does not love the elect more after they are saved than He does before they are saved. The Arminian charge wherein they say predestination Baptists make salvation the result of a cold, impersonal, mechanical decree is a manifestation of their ignorance of God's word, and Baptist doctrine Neither is the elective decree born of blind fatalism, but it is the product of divine love and wisdom. The infinite counsel and grace of God are manifested by the elective decree, and God is magnified by the execution of His purpose, bringing many sons to glory. When these great truths are compared to the Arminian doctrine of the freewill of man, it in with the least deliberation seen that Arminianism is the means whereby God's infinite counsel, power, and grace suffer diminution. Yea, the Arminian scheme makes grace to be no more grace, and causes the man that willeth and runneth to be the author of his salvation. Paul says, such doctrine is to make Christ's death of none effect, (Gal. 5:4).
The saint needs to ever remember he was "Chosen in Him (Christ)." The covenant of election has for its ground the vicarious death of Christ. The Father's choosing would never know fruition apart from the Son's redemptive death, and the Holy Spirit would have no gifts to bestow, for it was Christ's death, burial, and resurrection that procured the covenant blessings. The elect are doubly assured, they were chosen in Christ, and In-regeneration Christ indwells the believer thus it is Paul says, "... Christ in you the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27) (John 14:20).
The purpose of election is for God's glory. God never acts except to glorify Himself. Many of the old confessions of faith contain these words, "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever." We do not oppose the Arminian contention that election Is unto holiness, it Is the ultimate folly for a person to think he is one of God's elect, while he neglects the pursuit of an holy character. Then too, it is folly to think a person is chosen to holiness, without having been first chosen to salvation. "...God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation..." (2 Thes. 2:13). God has chosen a number of Adam's posterity to salvation and holiness, and from the human side this is the order of experience. God did not choose them because of any foreseen holiness in them, nor because He seen they would be holy, but His choice included His determination to make them holy. "Chosen ... that we should be holy" (Vs. 4). GOD HAS DESIGNED THAT HIS people should be holy and without blame, which are but the two sides of the same robe, our robe of righteousness. All who elected to wear the bridal gown (Rev. 19:7-8) are appointed to holiness as the means. The elects salvation and sanctification is the result of the Infinite counsel and everlasting love of God. I John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (i.e.Rev. 13:8).
Vs.5 "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." Adoption embraces more than our relationship to God as children. In regeneration the elect person is made aware he is a child of God, (I John 5:13). Our relationship as children of God is brought about by the new birth, but our sonship in God speaks of maturity. The word adoption literally means a "placing as sons" Thus in adoption the child receives a place as an adult son, his days as a minor are past. His swaddling clothes are no longer needed. Adoption like election is eternal in its nature; those given to Christ in the eternal covenant of election were predestinated to the adoption of children before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-5). We need to highlight the eternal aspect of adoption, not to the point of excluding of the experimental act of the adopted, but to show that our new birth, and sonship have their origin in the free grace of the Sovereign Adopter. Therefore adoption in no way relates to human merit.
There is a doctrine co notated "Adoptionism". This teaches that Jesus became son of God by adoption, (Webster's Dictionary Adoptionism) ADOPTION..... This is essentially what the so-called Jehovah witnesses teach regarding Jesus. They allow that he was a son of God, a creature of God. This is rank blasphemy, and ought not to be given a moments hearing, (2 John 7-11). The word *adoption" is nowhere in Scripture Used to refer to Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul is the only one of all Scripture writers to use the term, it is peculiar to him. And in every place where it used, it is used to refer to the privileges of the elect which are theirs through Divine adoption. The complete manifestation of our adoption and the full realization of Its privileges are yet future, "...Waiting the adoption (when we are literally, or experientially set before God as sons), to wit, the redemption of our body" (Ro. 8:23).
In this earth as it is, we will never be recognized as sons of God simply
because this present world does not own the existence or authority of the true
God. But one day after awhile when election brings forth its ultimate fruit, and
we clothed in the exact likeness of Christ, for this mortal must put on
immortality; and when the earth is brought back from the curse then will all men
know, we are "sons of God."