Ephesians 1:3-4 and the Nature of Election

Leslie James Crawford | May 18, 2010

Ephesians 1:3-4 highlights the very important doctrine of election, but the passage is not without interpretative challenges that relate to that doctrine. An examination of individual words and phrases within the section reflects whether it supports the teaching of corporate or individual election. The two verses are part of a doxology that occupies 1:3-14 and emphasizes God’s activity in benefitting His people. Various words and phrases within the doxology that contribute toward a correct understanding of election are “He chose,” “He predestined,” “us,” “in Christ,” “holy,” “blameless,” “with every spiritual blessing,” and “in the heavenly places.” An examination of those leads to the conclusion that God in eternity past selected certain individuals to receive a comprehensive spiritual package that includes justification and adoption. The two verses rule out the position of corporate election and support an individual, unconditional view of election.

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