What Is the Doctrine of Election?
God’s Plan in Salvation
The ultimate goal of God’s plan includes the redemption of the entire cosmos (Eph. 1:10) and is therefore not limited to humanity. But the renewal of humanity is the key component of God’s cosmic plan to unite all things in Christ. God’s plan to save his people is featured prominently in the first two chapters of Ephesians, especially Ephesians 1:3–14. In the original Greek, this passage consists of one long sentence of 202 words. These verses contain an extended praise to God for his blessings that believers receive from their union with Christ; namely, God’s election, redemption, inheritance, and perseverance. The topic of God’s amazing love in regeneration is highlighted in Ephesians 2:4–10.
As Paul begins his letter in a typical Old Testament or Jewish style of a prolonged blessing (eulogy), he urges his readers to bless God since he has blessed us “with every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3). Specifically, the focus is on spiritual blessings or blessings that pertain to life in the Spirit. The first reason Paul gives for believers to praise God is his divine election. That is, God is worthy of our praise precisely because he has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world.