All Spiritual Blessings.
Adoption and the earnest of the inheritance (Eph. 1:5 and 14)
In our endeavour to see more exactly what phase of our blessed position in Christ may be experienced at the present time, we receive help from a fresh investigation of the great will of our Father made before the overthrow, and irrevocably secured to us in Christ.
While we have all spiritual blessings in the superheavenlies set out in Eph. 1:3, the real status of those who shall be thus blessed is given in verse 5: "Having predestinated us unto adoption." Predestination is spoken of once more in Ephesians, and there it deals with inheritance (Eph. 1:11). These two verses being in strict structural correspondence, we may take it as certain that the word adoption is intimately connected with inheritance, and that the Father's will, with its clauses concerning spiritual blessings, heavenly places, holiness and blamelessness, look not to the present but to the future. More than a hint of this is given in verse 14 where the inheritance is connected with the "redemption of the purchased possession." A comparison of this passage with 4:30: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption," shows that the day of the redemption of the purchased possession is yet future.
Doctrine and dispensation.
The dispensational position and constitution of the church of the Ephesians first finds expression in the epistle which is addressed to them. We search in vain for light upon the mystery before it pleased God to make it known (Eph. 3: 9). The great doctrinal basis upon which this superstructure is reared, however, is found in the inner portion of Romans, viz., Rom. 5:12 - 8:39.
The outer portion of Romans has "the law" prominently in view, and by "the law" is meant the law of Sinaļ. In connection with this phase the free grace of God finds its example in Abraham. Coming to the inner section we leave the law of Sinai for the deeper and wider la w of sin and death. Here we have not Moses but Adam, and no other example than Christ Himself. The church of the One Body has no connection with the law of Moses, and therefore Ephesians impinges most definitely upon this inner section.
In our endeavour to see what help Romans can give us on the subject of adoption, we shall find four words that act as guides, viz. (1) Adoption, (2) Inheritance, (3) Predestination, and (4) Redemption. If we can find in Romans a passage that brings these four words together as one theme, we shall have found that which will explain in large outline the meaning of "adoption" in Eph. 1:5.