As we look to the spiritual blessings that belong to us who are in Christ Jesus, we read that we are predestinated to be adopted as children by Jesus Christ. The Greek word that is translated predestinated means, “to mark out beforehand, to determine before, or foreordain”. Other than here in Ephesians 1:5 & 11, it is found in Acts 4:28, 1 Corinthians 2:7 and Romans 8:29 & 30. It is clear from each of these passages that the word does not describe an afterthought, but a definite plan.

So what was that plan? The adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself. By regeneration we receive a change of nature from God; by adoption we become heirs of Christ in the family of God. Every single one of the glorious salvation terms that we find in Scripture – adoption, redemption, justification, regeneration, sanctification, etc. – are all in Christ Jesus (cp. 1 Corinthians 1:30).

Thus, the eternal and unchanging plan of God belongs only to those who are in Christ Jesus. So how does one get into Christ Jesus? In Romans 16:7, Paul refers to people who were in Christ before he was. Huh? I thought we were all in Christ before the foundation of the world. Yes, that is true. But the fact is that nobody is born in Christ, we are all born in Adam. Thus, to get into Christ, God commands all men everywhere to repent.

When the gospel is proclaimed, we are commanded to repent and believe on The Lord Jesus Christ. It is after we hear the gospel and believe that we are sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13,14). That is when we become sons of God and cry unto Him, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)