Last time we focused on the predestining work and action of God. We did a brief overview of verses 3-5 and understanding that this is the work of God and that we cannot boast. I want to now look at a whole passage together.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (ESV)
To summarize the passage, Paul is telling the saints that they have been given tremendous blessings. Those blessings include: 1) being chosen in Christ, 2) predestined for adoption, 3) redemption, 4) forgiveness of trespasses, and 5) teaching us the mystery of his will.
I have already written previously about being chosen in Christ, and I touched upon predestination, both of which are foundational to us being Christians. Without God choosing us or predestining us we would not be Christians. Which is why we set our hope firmly in Christ because it is the plan of God for us to do so.
What does it mean for us to be adopted? I think we can simply say that we become adopted because we once weren’t in the family of God, and God brings us in by taking us in. Being adopted means we are children of God. Children in the sense of being one with the Father, not children in the sense that every human being is in a sense a child of God, since all mankind has the image of God upon them. As children, we have access and direct connection with the Father.
There are some people who accept and believe this truth but never meditate upon it richly enough. We live in an age where it is easy to become quickly distracted. We cannot hold two thoughts together for more than thirty seconds before our minds are on another topic. We have lost the depth of many doctrines because we have give up meditating upon such wonderful truths. We enjoy sound bites and quick phrases that get directly into the matter so we can think it and move on. This shouldn’t be so with children of God. Children desire to be with their parents. They depend upon their parents. They seek love, attention, and affection from their parents. My son always wants to play with me, and I am often convicted when I’m on my phone and my son comes, grabs my phone, and pushes it out of my hand, and then leads me to where he is playing.
God is never distracted. It is us who gets distracted. We forget our place in the world, in God’s family, in history, and in Christ. We do not need to meditate hours upon God for even God does not command this, but we need to meditate long enough upon God’s word for us to savor the sweet taste of the wisdom of God.
As Christians, we are adopted by the greatest Father anyone could have. He is a Father who is so generous that He is even kind to the enemies of His children. And He is kind to them so that His glory may resound, and that we may become like Christ, in loving our enemies, though not being friends with them. Our elder brother, Jesus Christ, demonstrates how we ought to live within our family. Jesus said that we would have wells within us that will never run dry. Often we feel dry or like we have nothing left to give, but Christ tells us this is not true. He tells us to keep pouring, even when it seems empty, because more will come out.
To have a Father we can pray to anytime, who will quickly forgive us, who gives to those who ask according to His will, and who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. If you feel alone, know that there is a family in Christ. If you feel ashamed or weak, know that Christ has given you a new identity and He is our strength. If you feel guilty, then repent and turn to Christ. Remain in your adoption.
The family of God is a beautiful family.