“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, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:3 – 4)
Paul declares that the Divine had what actually amounted to multiple purposes in sending Jesus Christ to humanity. Through Christ (Paul says here) we were (and are) blessed in heaven. And through Christ we are presented as holy and blameless before the Divine.
“He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Verse 5 – 6)
You may wonder, beloved reader, why I said “choose” Christ. It is because even though the Divine destined all of us for this, we have to accept Christ as the Savior and Son of the Divine. It is there but we have to make the final move to incorporate it into our being.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Verses 7 – 10)
Why would someone NOT want this? I really do not know. Belief in the Divine and Jesus Christ so often is presented with so many wherefores and whereas (under the category of theology and religiosity) that it turns some people away. It should not. But sadly it does.
“In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.” (Verses 11 – 14)
Okay, faith may seem like it is more complicated than I give it credit for. We talk about “maturing” in faith, and growth always comes with a learning curve that can stretch in ways we do not want to be stretched. And challenge us in ways we do not want to be challenged. Then there is the responding to the Divine’s love by living out our faith. And from there it is a “narrow gate” from this world to the next. But if we are going to make a choice in how we live, choose Christ!!
As the New Year comes closer, beloved reader, may you choose well for the coming year! Shalom & Selah!