“just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, [that] we should be holy and blameless before him in love, having predestined us to adoption through Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace that he bestowed on us in the beloved,” LEB
“according to the good pleasure of his will”
It was God’s will, it was God’s pleasure that we as believers be adopted as His sons. I think this speaks of fondness. It speaks of a desire for us to be brought into a relationship with Him, to enjoy all the blessings and rights and privileges that are ours as “legal” heirs (Eph 1:11). It was God’s purpose and pleasure that we enjoy all the wonderful and heavenly, spiritual blessings that we have in Christ (Eph 1:3).
Verse 4 refers to His love. It’s out of God’s love for mankind that He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins (John 3:16; Rom 5:8), so that we could enjoy all the blessings that are ours as children of God.
“to the praise of the glory of his grace that he bestowed on us in the beloved,” LEB
It’s because of God’s “glorious grace” that we are forgiven of our sins and provided everlasting life. There is nothing we can do to obtain salvation on our own. It’s a gift from God that we either accept or reject. Furthermore, this glorious grace is something we are to give God praise for.
Everyday we should be thanking and praising God for our salvation. Giving praise is an acknowledgement that we owe our salvation completely to Christ and what He did for us. Our praise gives God the glory that is His alone.
“that he bestowed on us in the beloved”
“the beloved” refers to Jesus. Paul is reminding us that our spiritual blessings are “in Christ.” There are no spiritual blessings apart from Christ. Jesus is the only bridge between God and man. Humans are spiritual people, and we try all different ways to try and satisfy this aspect of our beings. That’s why there are so many different religions in the world. We are not just physical and mental beings; we are also spiritual. And it’s because of this that people seek God.
We may be blessed with great intelligence, we may have strong, healthy bodies; and that may satisfy to a certain point. But unless we’re satisfied spiritually, there will be a void in our lives that will go unsatisfied until it’s fulfilled in Christ.
Perhaps you’ve heard this phrase: “God has designed man with a God-shaped heart, and only He can fill it.”
People try all different ways to try and satisfy this void in their hearts. They try fitness and health, sports, education, career, family, wealth, sexual pleasure, relationships, music, drugs, alcohol, and religion. But until they come into a personal relationship with God through His Son, there will always be an emptiness in their souls.
Even as Christians, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, if we are not sold out for Jesus Christ, faithfully serving Him, we too will experience a certain amount of emptiness. We can go the same route as the world does, by involving ourselves in all the same things as everybody else does. But true fulfillment and joy is only gained by walking in harmony with God. If we’re not serving Christ and making a difference in people’s lives, we will dry up spiritually. It’s only as we’re walking in the will of God and fulfilling our purpose in Christ, that all the longings of our soul are satisfied.
We are spiritual people, and all our spiritual needs are met “in Christ.” Let’s not rob ourselves of all the wonderful spiritual blessings that we have in Him. Let’s not settle for the shallow, temporary things of this world that cannot possibly satisfy. Let’s seek Christ with a passion, and enjoy everything that is ours in Him.