“He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.”
God’s adoption of us, His plan of salvation had nothing to do with chance. It was not in any sense a “Plan B” or a backup in case things went wrong. God knew from before creation that Adam and Eve, and all humanity with them, would sin and need salvation.
Paul says that God “destined us” “according to the purpose of his will”. This was all planned and accounted for- sin, suffering, death, sacrifices, Temple, Jesus, redemption, eternity.
When people, cultures and demons fight against God, raging with all their puny power, God already has that in hand. He has foreseen it and factored it all into His plan.
God has destined us. We are like pots in the hands of a potter. He determines the use that He has for us. Some of us are destined to what the world deems to be success, whole others are destined to a success seen only in eternity.
He has destined us to be sons, or into sonship. This is God’s great plan- to raise a family of sons and daughters tied to Him through the new birth. When we are born again, it is to a spiritual life. We come alive in ours spirits, and the spirit of sonship is born in us. This is the Holy Spirit who enables us to call God “Abba Father.”
Sonship is about three things:
- Relationship. We are called (or destined) to live in humble relationship with the Father. God does not want mere servants or slaves who obey Him from duty or fear. He wants sons who love Him.
- Family. Those who are in God’s family, the elect, all have one Father. Therefore we are related to one another and must love and respect one another.. Those who fail to love the brethren show they are nor truly sons of God.
- Inheritance. To be a son means that we have an inheritance. In Romans 8:17, Paul says that we are heirs of the Father and co-heirs with Christ. Everything that is the Father’s He willingly gives with us, if not in this life then in the life to come.
This sonship is our destiny. We were made for this! This is not our achievement, but the gift of the Father to us in Christ.
This is something we must always bear in mind. Everything we have, every blessing that we enjoy, every privilege that comes from being in God’s family, comes only as a gift from the Father. It comes to us through the death and resurrection of the Son, Jesus Christ,
We don’t deserve this favour. We aren't clever enough to work this out for ourselves. It is all gift, purchased for us through the sacrifice of Christ.
God is not a remote being, playing us like pawns on some cosmic chessboard. He loves us. When He acts in our lives, it is love that motivates Him.
He loves us with a passionate intensity that holds nothing back. He has given us His Son; will He not give us all things?
In that sense the earlier analogy of a potter moulding his pots is inadequate. Nobody loves a pot. A father loves his children and wants the best for them. The moulding of our lives is done in love for us so that in Christ we may reach our highest destiny.
He loved us when He planned us. He loved us when we were conceived and then born. He loves us as we mature and grow in sonship to Him.
He grieves over sin and its destruction of life and distraction from destiny. Sin smashes the relationship between son and Father. It damages the image of God in those whom it hurts. It ensnare us and keeps us from our true calling as sons and daughters of the King.
For this reason, God will destroy sin and judge all who refuse to repent. He will cast out those who refuse His invitation to Sonship. This is all in love (agape)- love for us and love for His creation.
God does nothing in the absence of love. God is love. Even judgement is done in love. Those who love sin more than they love God will be judged to be beyond God’s love and therefore beyond God’s kingdom.
God is making a family “according to the purpose of His will.” He wants a family of sons and daughters who recognise His love and respond to it, even in the context of a sinful and broken world which both reflect and hides His love.
The purpose of our life is to discover the love of God. Why am I here? To love God and to enjoy His fellowship.
His will is that we should love Him. To make sure that our love is genuine and not forced or coerced, He gave us the freedom to will and to do what we like. Human will is the precondition for human love. To love like God loves, we must have the capacity to not love. God’s love for us gives us the capability of rejection of His love, that is, sin.
The purpose of God’s will is to bring into being a family of sons and daughters who freely love Him in the same way that He has first loved us.
Key points from this verse:
God destined us to be His sons and daughters.
Sonship is about relationship, family and inheritance
sonship is destiny but not compulsory We can choose to reject His plan for us
it is all about God’s love