For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…
Notice that Paul doesn’t say that God chose us to be in Christ. He rather says God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless. What God chose from the foundation of the world was that whoever is in Christ will be holy and blameless.
Suppose I conduct a conference at which I show a movie clip from The Princess Bride. You choose at the last moment to attend this conference. At the end of the movie clip you raise your hand and ask, “Mr. Boyd, when did you decide that we’d have to watch that silly movie clip,” to which I might respond, “Well, I decided that six months ago.” You then turn around and say, quite accurately, to the whole conference, “Mr. Boyd predestined us to watch this movie clip six months ago.”
But notice, I didn’t predestine that you individually would watch this movie clip. What I predestined is that whoever shows up at this conference would watch this movie clip. Now that you decided (even at the last minute) to be part of this conference, what was predestined for the whole becomes predestined for you. You are part of the “us” who was predestined to watch the clip.
So too, from the foundation of the world God predestined that whoever is in Christ would become holy and blameless in his sight. But he didn’t predestine certain individuals — as opposed to other unfortunate individuals — to be in Christ. This is left up to our choice. Now that you’ve chosen to be in Christ, what was predestined for the group becomes predestined for you. You, with Paul, can say “In Christ WE (who have chosen to believe) were predestined to be holy and blameless…”
I’m convinced this is what Paul is communicating in this passage.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.