Adoption Belonged to the Old Covenant People Israel
Concerning Israel’s adoption, Paul wrote, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the services of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according tot he flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” (Rom. 9:3-5).
That the apostle is specifically speaking of Israel is evident from verse six. This point cannot be denied. Yet, in speaking of Israel, he says “they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” This brings intrigue to the subject of election and adoption.
The Election Belonged To Israel
As we see above, adoption belong to those in the Old Covenant, specifically to Israel. The same is true for the “elect.” Paul spoke particularly of Israel when he said, “Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the Fathers. (Rom. 11:28).
It is the elect for which Paul endured all things. “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (2 Tim. 2:10) It must be obvious here that the “elect” in this text were unsaved and had not yet entered into the salvation, though a remnant from among the elect had and were receiving it.
“What then, Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” His point must be that some of Israel, i.e. the remnant had received the salvation, but the entirety of Israel had not. He then quotes Isaiah referring to the obstinacy of unbelieving Israel.
Ephesians 1:4-5 Addresses Israel’s Election and Adoption
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to the adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Eph. 1:4-5).
While some see this as referring to every individual being predestined irrespective of their predominate choice for the gospel of Christ, such is not the case. Paul is yet referring to Israel who were elect and predestined as demonstrated above.
Adoption and Predestination: Salvation
Thus to use this verse as a proof-text for the reformed doctrine of election and predestination becomes a two-edge sword. First, it would mean that only the nation of Israel was predestined to be saved. Secondly, it would mean that none in Israel could be lost, which is surely not the case according to Paul’s comments in Romans 9, 10, and 11.
Again, Rom. 9:6, 10:1, 21, 11:28 and a host of other texts, show that election and predestination for Israel did not ensure their salvation. In fact, God cut off 10 of the 12 tribes who had been foreordained before the foundation of the world. It is time to rethink the incompatibility of reformed view of election and adoption in the light of covenant eschatology or preterism. They are incompatible. Check out our DVD series on the Last Days. Stay tuned for more on adoption and election.