“In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” -Ephesians 1:4b-5
God invented adoption. Our sweet God loved us from the beginning of time, even when He KNEW we would run from Him. So He devised a plan. He already had one Son. Jesus, as part of the Trinity, existed even at the beginning of time. God would give up His one Son to a human life of sorrows, suffering, death, and resurrection. In return for that heavy price, we were adopted as brothers and sisters of Christ.
“For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” -Romans 8:29
Among a lot of Christians, the word “predestined” can be controversial and divisive. But any negative connotation we may have for predestination is erased by the words before it in the Ephesians verse above. “In LOVE He predestined us for adoption as sons…” And in the Romans verse, “predestined” refers to our promised sanctification and ADOPTION as the younger siblings of Jesus! We can trust in the love of our Father.