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Ephesians 1:5 - Adopted into the People of God

Categories New Testament

Family “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and willEphesians 1:5

This verse stood out to me as I was studying Ephesians yesterday. Not because of the mention of the controversial topic of predestination, but because of how Paul describes our adoption as God’s children through the Messiah.

See, I come from a large family. The reason it’s large isn’t because my parents had all that many kids, but because they adopted most of my siblings. My family wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for that process. So adoption is a big deal to me. It’s more than a metaphor.

At the time Paul wrote adoption was an important concept in Roman society as well. In Clinton Arnold’s ZECNT volume on Ephesians he discusses this saying “Under Roman law, an adopted child acquired all the legal rights of a natural-born child and was released from the control of his natural father. The child also received the adopting parent’s family name and a share in the status of the new family” - page 82

In other words, natural born or adopted, there’s no difference.That’s how it is in my family, and more importantly that’s how it is meant to be within the people of God. Once you’re part of the family it’s as if you’ve been there all along.

- Mason with Zondervan Academic

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