In Ephesians 1:5 the Greek word translated “predestined” is PROORISAS. It means “designated,” “foreordained,” or literally “horizoned us off beforehand.”

It is in the Greek aorist tense and refers to an act in the past once and for all. It happened “before the foundation of the world.” What is referred to here happened in a pre-creation conference between the God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The verb form for “predestined” is formed from a word meaning to “to survey” as in marking off a boundary.

Before creation, by decree of the Trinity, a boundary was set. It was predetermined that all who came within that boundary would be saved. The boundary is defined as being “in Christ.” Those in Christ shall be saved.

God in His sovereign will DECREED “in Christ.”

Man in his free will DECIDES whether or nor to be “in Christ.” It is an option open to the “whosoever” of John 3:16.

For “Christ gave Himself a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2:6).

Jesus said, “No man comes to me, except the Father… draws him” (John 6:44).

He further stated, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the child of God” (John 1:12).

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  (II Peter 3:9)

“And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22: 17).

Predestination is never used of unbelievers.


From the Greek word often translated “chose” comes our word elect or election (Ephesians 1:4).

Election basically means God has taken the initiative in His purpose to save. It means He picked out for Himself all who are “in Christ.”

Election is not coercive, we many freely respond positively or negatively. However, if God had not chosen us we could not choose Him.

He did not chose us because of our good but in order that through us He might do good.

Apart from God’s initiative no one can be saved. However, it does not imply fatalism.

It does not imply God desires to save as few as possible but as many. It must be understood in light of John 3: 16 and Revelation 22: 17.

It always stems from a God who is loving and who relates to man who is morally responsible.

Jesus said, “No man can come to me except the Father draw him.” “Draw” is God’s initiative. “Come” is man’s response.


Predestination and election are basically the same thing.

Election expressed God’s will.

Predestination explains how He accomplishes it.

Election refers to people.

Predestination refers to purpose.

Election points backwards “before the foundation of the world.”

Predestination points forward, that we might be “acceptable.”