This is what I, Robert Norman, believe (in opposition to Rick Meyers’ and many) that the Bible does not teach we are predestinated to be saved. So the meaning of Ephesians 1:5 needs to be understood and that’s done by looking at more than Ephesians 1:5.
Ephesians 1:5 (KJV) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
Ephesians 1:5 (NASB) He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
Romans 8:28 works well describing what God means by “the good pleasure of His will” (or according to the kind intention of His will, NASB) as being the same, as I see it, as “called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.) because Romans 8:28-30 explains what predestination means, that we are predestined to be conformed (not saved) to His image after we are saved.
Romans 8:28-30 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew (who He saw repent and believe through time when He called them: foreknew is the same as chose/chosen), He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
“The good pleasure of his will” means “called according to His purpose” and when you see called in there it shows that’s all that is being said. Look at it like this: I am NOT changing the word of God, I saying what I believe is actually being said by “the good pleasure of his will.”
So I am removing the book and the number of the scripture so you see that I am NOT saying this is what the scriptures says but I am doing this to show you what I think it means/teaches: So here goes:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, [us] called according to His purpose; [which is] the good pleasure of His will.
And with called in there (as it really is because its in the Bible) you know you must respond. So that removes any possibility for people to be able to warp the Bible, by saying that scripture shows God chose us without calling us (which He does not do. He calls) or without us repenting and believing, which is the only correct response to His call.
That’s what I think Ephesians 5:1 actually says and that fits the rest of the Bible, that we are not predestined to be saved but to be conformed to His image, after being saved.
*** Don’t you think that someone who can tell you what Ephesians 1:5 means by “the good pleasure of His will” using Romans 8:28 to show you it means “called according to His purpose” (to explain what God means in Ephesians 1:5 by predestinated) is well above any standards anyone could have? Your measures are the problem. You who test me and measure me are the problem, not me.