“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
– Ephesians 1:3-5
These words the apostle Paul wrote to the first century Christians in the congregation at Ephesus while he was being held in prison for preaching the good news. This congregation was made up of mostly Gentiles who were leaving behind their worship of idols and taking up the worship of the Father of All. Up until this time, God had dealt primarily with the nation of Israel. Paul wanted these Gentiles to know that the Father truly loves and accepts these non-Israelites into his family, and that he has always purposed to do so. Yes, from the very beginning, “from the founding of the world,” the Father intended for earthly man to be adopted into his spiritual family in the heavens as “sons to himself.”
Note that it was not an emergency contingency plan that was introduced to remedy the default of Adam and Eve. It was the Father’s purpose “from the founding of the world;” “before the creation of the world” (TNIV Bible); “before the world was made” (GNT Bible); “before the creation of the universe” (CJB Bible); “before he made the world” (NLT Bible).
About the same time as this letter was penned to the Ephesians, Paul had also penned a letter to the congregation in Colossae. In the letter to the Colossians, Paul expounded on the “mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.” (Colossians 1:26) Likewise to the Ephesians, Paul revealed the sacred secret. In order to get the full impact of Paul’s letter, imagine that you are in the Ephesus congregation as the letter is read. Imagine you are one of the Christians eagerly awaiting word from this faithful apostle. As each sentence is read, know that the message is for you, to upbuild and encourage you.