Predestination has to be one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Bible. For most Christians, the idea of God choosing us “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4 ESV) is pretty confusing. We don’t quite understand how it all works. Even if we believe it, we usually treat it like an answer on a multiple-choice exam. We’ll check the right box, but then we go about the rest of our lives, unsure of how predestination is supposed to apply to us. For many of us, knowing that we’re chosen is the theological equivalent of knowing our social security number—important to get right, sure, but not a detail that impacts our day-to-day lives.
That’s not how the Apostle Paul presented the idea at all. When he wrote to the believers in Ephesus, he began by reminding them of their predestination because he knew that truth would transform their lives. Paul told the Ephesians that they were chosen—and God tells you that you’re chosen—to give you four things: