I have been making my way through the book of Ephesians again. Ephesians is my most current favorite book of the New Testament and the other day I was reminded as to why during a conversation with a friend. Paul penned such wonderful truths in the first 3 chapters, deep solid theological truth that is so relevant for our lives in the here and now. Allow me to point you to several wonderful things – In chapter 1, Paul tells us who we are and what we are in Christ and why. We- as in you and I fellow believing sister- have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Take just a moment and think about what that really means! How many spiritual blessings do you suppose there are; hundreds, maybe millions? How many do you need? Essentially, what we are told here is that we are complete in Christ (Col. 2:10). We have all we need. This is significant when we think we are unable to accomplish something or overcome a sinful habit. God tells us here and in other places in Scripture that we have all we need for this life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). In verse 4 Paul begins to reveal another astonishing truth, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…” God chose every believer before the foundations of the world were set in place. He chose us before we had ever done everything good or bad, He chose us before we chose Him, He chose us before we existed in any manner other than His mind. This is what is known as predestination and shows us that our being “in Christ” is a response to what God determined long ago. We were chosen by God to be “holy and blameless before Him.” It was God’s will that we be holy and blameless and God accomplishes this through our union with Christ. Our holiness is imputed or applied to us by God. This is a positional or vertical holiness and means that we use it like a form of the verb “be.” Holiness and blameless before God is something we are. Being blameless is likewise something we are and is also a result of being in Christ. These are both practically applied in that the expectation is that we live and act what we are. Since God has declared that you and I are holy and blameless, the way we live our lives ought to reflect that! Verses 5,6 tell us, “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” These are more power packed truths! First God reveals His motive for why He has done this for us, He loves us! Our great God who spoke the universe into existence chose us and saved us because He loves us, and because it brings Him glory to do so! Look back at what He says! He adopted us out of our previous family- the family of death (Eph. 2:1-2) with full knowledge and awareness of exactly what we are. God sees the heart (1 Sam. 16:7) and knows our blackest, darkest intentions. He sees the secret places of our heart (Ps. 139:3-4) and every individual thought and motive we have. We are described in our unredeemed and unbelieving state as “dead in trespasses and sins” “without hope” and even as children of the devil! Exactly what is so great about us that God would want us? I know I brought nothing good to Christ; I brought nothing but my sin. The fact that I was worthless and such a wretch is what brings God glory in this transaction. God took something useless and ungodly and has brought Himself glory through redeeming it- through redeeming me. Wow, what a wonderful God He is! Meditate on these verses today, think about them, look them up in your own Bible and cross-reference the other verses. I hope and pray that you will be as awed as I am about what God has done. Praise Him! Give Him glory and thanksgiving for His mercy and grace toward you today!
About The Author
Julie Ganschow has been involved in biblical counseling and discipleship for more than 25 years. She is passionate about heart change for life change. Julie is a gifted counselor and teacher, has authored numerous books and materials for biblical counseling, and co-authored a biblical counseling training course. She is a featured contributor in GriefShare and a frequent retreat and conference speaker. Julie is the founder and director of Reigning Grace Counseling Center and Biblical Counseling for Women. She has been writing a daily blog about women’s counseling issues since 2008. Julie holds a doctorate in biblical counseling, in addition to an M.A. in biblical counseling and certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). She also serves on the Council Board for the Biblical Counseling Coalition. She makes her home in Kansas City, Missouri with her wonderful husband Larry. You can find her blog at bc4women.org and information about her ministries at rgcconline.org.
We are not a licensed counseling agency, nor are we psychologically or medically trained therapists. We offer ‘pastoral’ counseling intended to bring life change through heart change.