Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

What is God’s Selection and Predestination and Its Goal?

What is God's Selection and Predestination and Its Goal?

If you’re a believer, God chose you and predestinated you for His purpose. But, have you seen that God’s selection and predestination has a goal? Second, are you cooperating with God to reach this goal?

As believers, we need to see that the first blessings God has bestowed on us are His selection and predestination of us. Our salvation did not begin with any action of our own, but with God’s purposeful intention for us in eternity past.

Ephesians 1:3-5 says,

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly in Christ, 4 Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love 5 Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

We need to realize God’s purposeful intention for our lives so that we can give Him the cooperation that He’s seeking. This will save us from needless frustration, speed up our growth in the Christian life and make God very happy with us.

So in this post I’ll consider the awesome truth of God’s selection and predestination—not mainly from the side of doctrinal understanding, but so that we can practically cooperate with Him to reach His goal.

What is God’s selection?

“God’s choosing is the first blessing He bestowed on us. His choosing is His selection. From among numberless people He selected us, and this He did in Christ. Christ is the sphere in which we were selected by God. Outside of Christ we are not God’s choice. (footnote 1 on Eph. 1:4 in the Recovery Version)

God chose us according to His infinite foresight, before we could do anything good or bad.

In Romans 9:11 Paul confirms the truth of God’s selection by illustrating with the birth of the twin sons of Isaac—Esau and Jacob. Paul said, “…Though the children had not yet been born nor had done anything good or bad (that the purpose of God according to selection might remain, not of works but of Him who calls).”

We can never understand God’s selection. We can only worship God for choosing us. If we have believed in Jesus Christ, we have no boast. We can only look back with humble thanks and praise Him.

God chose us to be holy. To be made holy is  to be sanctified by God  by His putting  Himself into us and mingling His nature with us. This is the process, the procedure to carry out the goal in the next section.

One practical way you can cooperate with God’s sanctifying process is to daily receive the precious promises in God’s Word, to become partakers of His divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

What is God’s predestination?

Ephesians 1:4-5 joins God’s choosing with His predestination. First, it says that God chose us before the foundation of the world. Then it says that He predestinated us unto sonship.

Predestination indicates a purpose. It is to determine a destiny beforehand. The word can also be rendered as “marking us out beforehand.”

When I consider my own life, I can only worship God that He caused me to be born at the right time and place. He also gave me the right parents and environment so that I could hear the gospel and have the opportunity to believe into His Son, Jesus Christ. What a mercy and what a blessing!

What is God’s goal in predestinating us? Sonship.

After seeing the truth of God’s predestination, you might be asking, “What is the purpose, the goal of God predestinating me?”

In Ephesians 1:5 it says, “predestinating us unto sonship.”

Footnote 2, on this verse says,

“God’s marking us out beforehand was to destine us unto sonship. We were predestinated to be sons of God even before we were created. Hence as God’s creatures we need to be regenerated by Him that we may participate in His life to be His sons. Sonship implies having not only the life but also the position of a son…to be sons of God is the aim, the goal, and is a matter of our being joined to the Son of God and conformed to the particular form or shape, the very image of the firstborn Son of God (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15), that our whole being, including our body (Rom. 8:23), may be “sonized” by God.”

So to summarize–sonship  is:
• The birth of a son, that is, to be reborn, regenerated—John 1:12-13
• By the Spirit of the Son of God in us—Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6
• In the life of the Son of God—1 John 5:12
• In the position of the Son of God—John 20:17
• To be conformed to the image of the Son of God—Rom. 8:29
• The redemption of our body, the full sonship—Rom. 8:23
• To ultimately inherit all that God is, the inheritance of a son—Rev. 21:7

Once you have seen that God’s eternal destiny for you is sonship, you should give yourself to cooperate with God’s “sonizing” process.

How can you cooperate?

1. Be reborn of His Spirit by believing into His Son, Jesus Christ—John 3:6, 16
2. Drink of His Spirit with your spirit by calling on the name of the Lord—1 Cor. 12:3, 13
3. Feed on Christ’s words to live because of Him—John 6:57, 63
4. Be led by His Spirit to grow and be transformed in His divine life—Rom. 8:14
5. Be conformed to the image of God’s Son by cooperating with the inner operation of His life in you—Rom. 8:2

You may want to pray,

“Father,  praise You for selecting and predestinating me. I did nothing to deserve it. Thank you for choosing me to be holy and predestinating me unto sonship. Show me this vision and goal so that I will realize Your purpose for my life and give You the full cooperation that You are seeking.”

References and Further Resources:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

6 Replies

  1. Pauline Benjamin

    Hi Tom I enjoy your postings. May I ask what Christian denomination you are affiliated to

    1. Tom Smith


      Thanks for your question about “which Christian denomination I’m affiliated with.”

      Actually, I am not affiliated with a denomination.

      I simply meet with some believers in my city as the church in that city (Acts 8:1; 13:1). Our vision concerning the church practice draws from the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, authors I frequently quote from.

      Some mistakenly feel that this standing is exclusive. Actually, we regard every blood-washed, Spirit-indwelt believer in Christ as our brother and sister. We consider all believers as our fellow members of the one Body of Christ with whom we will spend eternity with in the New Jerusalem.

      According to our understanding of the Scriptures and the testimony of our conscience, we call ourselves simply the church in whatever city. We also enjoy universal fellowship with believers all over the earth who share this same vision of the universal oneness of the Body of Christ.

      To gain a deeper understanding of what we believe, you may want to read:
      A Brief Presentation of the Lord’s Recovery by Witness Lee

      For a further appreciation of the vision of the church you may want to read:
      The Glorious Church by Watchman Nee
      The Practical Expression of the Church by Witness Lee
      The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee

      All these titles can be freely read at: http://www.ministrybooks.org

      Hope this answers your question. Much grace.

  2. Jura

    Hello brother Tom. Praise the Lord! I like this website and your post. It is encouraging and really enjoyable. May Lord bless His work! Amen!

  3. Nancy

    Hi Tom, I’ve been looking over your website and really enjoy the clear answers to many curious expressions I’ve run into in the Bible, like, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” I grew up thinking God created us, so He could save us, so we can go to heaven. I see here, the gospel is much deeper than that.

    1. Tom Smith

      Yes, the gospel is much deeper. We need to see that the gospel begins with God’s eternal purpose or plan (Eph. 3:11). That is, it begins with God’s heart’s desire to express all His divine attributes in human virtues. This means that even before mankind became fallen, God already intended that we would receive Him as our life (Gen. 2:9)…not because we are sinful, but because He desires to fill us with Himself. Ultimately, and eternally we will be filled unto all the fullness of God to be His full expression in humanity (Eph. 3:19). Such an expression will consummate in the holy city, New Jerusalem, filled with the glory of God for eternity (Rev. 21:11). This is much higher than simply dying and going to heaven!

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