"In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself." - Ephesians 1:4-5
A brief technical aside:
This verse is a classic example of how punctuation and verse numbering in the New Testament are not inspired. The NT was written in Koine Greek (Common Greek), in all CAPITAL LETTERS, WITHNOSPACINGBETWEENANYOFTHEWORDS
ORANYPUNCTUATIONATTHEENDOFSENTENCES. Weird huh? Well beyond seeming weird to us, it probably provided many difficulties in translation.
Thankfully, the thousands of existing manuscripts of Greek NT writings have been rigorously scrutinized through the science called textual criticism. The Greek New Testament text used in Seminaries today is a product of this scrutiny, and has been supplied with upper and lower case characters, punctuation, and a footnoted apparatus explaining the nuances found in other existing NT manuscripts.
My reason for noting this technicality in the NT is because the punctuation supplied in the Greek Testament has also carried over into our English translations. Ephesians 1:4-5 is an example of a punctuation boo-boo (That's the technical term:).
The encouraging thing, at least to me, is that you don't have to know Greek to pick up on many of these situations. Just meditate on each word of a good English translation of the NT (like the New American Standard, or the English Standard Version), and you too can see the mistake. In some cases, the punctuation does make a difference in what you believe, and therefore, how you worship.
In all of the English translations of Ephesians, the words "In love" are the last two words of verse four. However, they should be the first two words of verse five. Instead of reading, "...that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love," I think it should read, "In love He predestined us to adoption as son through Jesus Christ to Himself."
Does it really matter? I think so.
A brief meditation:
If the words, "in love" are the beginning of verse five, as I believe was Paul's intention, then we are gazing into a window of glory that is almost too much to stomach!
What was God's motive for predestining us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ? LOVE! Love was His motive!
Why does God love? Because He does!
There was nothing else in existence except for the Triune God when He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself (see verse four)! He didn't predestine us because we did something good, or because He "looked into the future" and saw that we would choose Him. He just loved! Because He loved, He lovingly predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself!
Let the love of our loving God stimulate us to bless Him!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."