Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.
Analysis added Sunday 12th June 2011
This is one of those passages in the New Testament that I love because it is packed with so many descriptions of our privileged new status as children of God. Whenever I read one of these descriptions, and I am able to focus on the words, it makes me feel excited at who I am, at who God has created me to be, and at what is “legally” mine, won by the precious blood of Christ at Calvary.
v3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Yes, I’m totally excited about my status in Christ, however ultimately this is not all about me, but all about God. God who bestows this new birth deserves all the glory for everything, all the praise all the adoration. He created humanity to worship Him, and when we are restored into a wonderful new relationship with Christ, it is so that we may praise Him, and adore Him, and magnify His holy name, not just now, but throughout eternity.
So this is all about God, from start to finish – Blessed be His name!
….”who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,….” This is one of those verses that shows the incredible generosity of our God. He gives us everything – He has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. He does not hold anything back. He is so unstinting, so generous. It is His nature to give, and He calls us as His children to share in His nature by also blessing others abundantly. Not only that, but it is with every spiritual blessing that He has blessed us. He has given us an amazing new status, He has given us spiritual powers, He has given us peace, joy love and all the other Fruit of the Spirit. What an amazing God, and what a generous King we serve!
v4 “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” I love the thought that God ordained it before the world was even created, or before its foundations were established, that we should be holy and considered blameless before Him. I must admit that this understanding does not really structure my life as it could. If I were to truly understand it, it would add so much dignity to the way I think of my faith, that it is not just me doing my thing, or deciding to be as committed to God as I can be. There is nothing casual or accidental about my commitment to Christ. Rather, my faith itself has been planned by God Himself from before the foundation of the world. When I’m trying to pray or to be holy to be kind, it’s not just me versus the world, or me versus my sinful nature. God does not just have a casual interest in my holiness. Rather He is totally involved, and has a personal stake in the success of my Christian walk, on the whole, and also day by day. Wow! I plan to run with this understanding! In a way, I knew this before, but to think that this has been ordained from before the foundation of the world?!`
And what did God ordain? – that we should be holy, and without blame, in love. Sometimes it can feel as if the demands of Christianity are too difficult. Sometimes it can be easy to slip into an “I’m only human” mentality. But if God Himself has ordained it, then clearly it must be that holiness (not perfection) is attainable. So let us press into this which God has lovingly prepared and carefully masterminded Himself for us, since before the beginning of time!
v5 “Having predestined us as to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself” This means that God planned, once again before the world began “predestined”, that we should become His adopted sons, through the sacrifice of Jesus. “According to the good pleasure of His will” – lots of words to mean that He really took great pleasure in this, it pleased Him greatly, this is what he wanted to happen.
v6″ To the praise of the glory of His grace” – this means “Because of His grace, which is magnificent, and excellent, and which deserves all our praise” It is because of His grace that He made a way for us to be accepted through His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Or could this mean that we are now in the number of people considered Beloved?
v7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” Through the sacrifice and the death (blood) of Christ we are redeemed to God, and all our sins are forgiven, “according to the riches of His grace” – God’s grace again, is not lacking, or meagre, or feeble. Rather His grace is rich for anyone who would trust Him.
v8 “Which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence” God has made His grace abundant and lavish and generous towards us. But He has done this wisely and prudently. This is not cheap grace, but even in the way God makes it available to us, He has employed wisdom and prudence. In practice, this might mean that He teaches us lessons to help us to be more like Christ, even as He continually holds out His grace to us. Perhaps this is so that we might become better people. So we are not just being forgiven, but also being transformed day by day.
This is why our God is so great. This is why He deserves our praise day after day. In truth, our praise is not adequate for His greatness. However He asks for this from us, as small as it is. This is our God of majesty, whose glory fills the heavens. All praise and adoration and splendour be to His holy name! Amen! 😉
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