Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 3 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #144)


A series of homilies on Ephesians

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 1:3-6:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.


Arno Gaebelein said, “Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not just adopted into the family of God; they are born into the family. The Greek has only one word for this transaction — ‘sonplace.’ We are placed into the position of sons through salvation.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “It’s not the imitation of Christ that you and I need, it’s an impartation of Christ that we need. Christ in us is the hope of glory.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “During the Korean revival of 1907, Mr. Lee, a Korean leader, took charge of the meeting and called for prayer. So many men wanted to pray that Lee announced, ‘If you want to pray like that, all pray.’ Across the church, the whole congregation began praying at the same time. The result was not the confusion one might expect, but rather, as one observer noted, ‘a vast harmony of sound and spirit, like the noise of the surf in an ocean of prayer.’ (Later this practice came to be called a ‘concert of prayer.’) In the midst of the prayer, many of the men became deeply convicted of their sin. One after another rose to his feet in deep agony to confess his sins and cry out to God for his mercy.”


Today, we are going to focus on verse 5 where we come to the controversial word “predestination.” The word means to “foreordain” or to “set a purpose beforehand.” The confusion regarding this word comes when some try to claim that it means some are predestined to Heaven while others are predestined to Hell and there is nothing that can be done to stop it.

But, as Dr. John Walvoord states, “This word, as it is used in the Bible, refers primarily to what God does for saved people. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught that people are predestined to hell, because this word refers only to God’s people. The word simply means ‘to ordain beforehand, to predetermine.’ Election seems to refer to people, while predestination refers to purposes. The events connected with the crucifixion of Christ were predestined. God has predestined our adoption, and our conformity to Christ, as well as our future inheritance.”

There are some things in the future that are set in stone for those who believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior: (1) They are adopted into the family of God. (2) They will be made into the likeness of Christ. (3) They will experience future blessings in Heaven. These are things that are predestined or set up before hand.

In a world where certainty is a scarce commodity, it is a comfort to know that the eternal script is not being written on the fly. Nothing comes as a surprise to God. He has carefully planned this thing out from before the foundations of the world. Everyone has a choice about whether or not they will accept Jesus Christ, but after that choice is made there are some things are already established for the believer.

He has a purpose for each of our lives that is being worked out for our good. We can have assurance about God’s future plans for us. We can say with Fanny Crosby…

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.