Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ephesians, Chapter 1

We move on to Ephesians today, as an adjustment to my work schedule will hopefully now allow me more time each morning to update this site. Ephesians is a wonderful book simply because it tackles the immortal question, "Why am I here?" When we accepts Christ into our hearts we gain a totally new identity, and that is also what this letter from Paul talks about.

"4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." – Ephesians 1:4-6

This is what the Father did by giving us the Son for our sins. God had the human race as a perfect race in His mind before sin entered the equation. Once that happened, Christ had to come into the world so we could be made blameless again. This series of verses tells us that we can only be adopted into the family of God through Christ. He is like the ultimate foster father, always seeking more children to adopt into the family of God. If it is predetermined though, where does free will come in? That is something that I don't have an answer for, but I have a theory.

If God knows already what we are going to do in regards to the choice of Christ, and it is hard being omniscient and not knowing, then it ruins the surprise element for Him. For us though, we do not know, and that is where the joy of Christ comes from. If we come to him from our own will, through our own choices, that allows us to see the joy that he can bring. Is it more special to discover a great gift than to know for years it is coming only to finally get it? Personally I take more joy in that new discovery and learning, because often time can remove the luster of a promise. Think of the prodigal son in this case. He knew what was coming and asked for it early. What he did not expect, and was far greater, was the love that he received when he returned. This is what Christ's love means in our lives when we come back to Him, even though the father already knows what is going to happen.

"18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." – Ephesians 1:18-21

This is the first part of why Christ came, as he came to provide hope. As we see throughout Paul's other letters in the New Testament Christ provides the only true hope we can have. Without Christ there is absolutely zero chance of us earning our salvation. That salvation is a gift and something that cannot be earned, yet it is so simple of a gift that we need only ask for it.

With that hope comes the new identity that I spoke of in the introduction. I can personally attest that the cross of Christ transforms one's life, often quite radically. I am who I am today because I have Him in my heart, and even on bad days when I feel far from Him I am still a different person than I was before I came to Him. Though I grew up in a strong Christian household I am not sure if I ever truly had him in my heart until a little more than a year ago, but then again, His power to change things probably stirred up the events that turned my life around more than a year ago. Christ does not forget those who are His, and He calls us to hope in Him.


  1. How do you see what some would call predestination as a choice you can make?
  2. If God already knows that which we will choose, then why did He make it a choice for us?
  3. In what way has your own life been transformed by Christ?

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