We’re continuing our walk through Ephesians. Paul is introducing us to the theme of his letter. He wants us to see the calling and mission of the corporate body of Christ.
In my last post we looked at the fact that the Lord has already stored up all spiritual blessings for us in heavenly realms. Now he moves on with that thought.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Ephesians 1:4a NIV
This one verse contains so much truth. We see God, choosing us before we were even thought of. When He laid down the foundations of the earth, God looked ahead in His foreknowledge. In eternity past, He saw my choice to serve Him and He made a place for me in Christ.
He also looks for me to be holy in His sight. That means to be set apart for God’s personal use. That amazes me.
After all I’ve done to further my own wants and desires. In spite of all my sin. Yet God in His love and mercy, places me in Christ. Now, when He looks at me, He sees the holiness of Christ Jesus Himself.
The word used for in His sight, literally means directly in front of Him. He doesn’t just see me as a part of the crowd. In Christ I’m in His direct line of sight.
But the holiness of Christ is not the only thing He sees. The Lord also sees me as blameless. That means to be without fault, blemish, or flaw. This is me we’re talking about! I don’t know about you, but that description is not even close to how I would describe myself.
But that’s the glory of our “in Christ” reality. Who we are in Christ is not based upon our performance or good works. It’s based upon the work of Christ on the cross.
As good as this is, it doesn’t even end there.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Ephesians 1:4b-6 NIV
Again, in God’s love and God’s foreknowledge, He predestined us to be adopted into His family. One note here – you women shouldn’t get upset about the masculine terms used. It’s actually for your benefit.
In that culture, women were excluded from the family inheritance. The word, adopted, literally means to be placed as a son. So, as a woman, you have been placed as a son in that culture. In other words, Paul is saying that you have the same full inheritance rights as a male in God’s kingdom.
As believers, we’ve all been given the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of sons in the family of God. That’s a lot to live up to. We definitely need the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill this calling.
Why did God choose to do this? It’s important to understand this because it’s a recurring theme throughout the book of Ephesians.
It all comes down to His good pleasure and His will. They are both an important part of what God accomplishes in us.
Most of the time we talk about God’s will. That speaks of what He has determined to do. It’s the Lord’s plan that He’s carrying out in the world, with or without our involvement. I found that it’s always better to be a participant in what He’s doing.
But there’s another side to this. He also adopted us according to His good pleasure. We don’t talk about that as much. It speaks of what satisfies and delights Him.
Whether you realize it or not, it brought joy to the Lord’s heart to adopt you and me. We sometimes get the idea that God carries out his plan with no emotion. That’s simply not the case. We’re created in His image. That means we serve an emotional God.
He takes pleasure in us as His children. My highest goal should be to bring God the most joy that I can. That’s one of the keys of a fulfilled Christian life.
Question: How does your life add to God’s pleasure?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi