Being In Christ
The first fourteen verses of Ephesians is the condensed version of Godís plan to save man by his grace. Within these fourteen verses God our heavenly father reflects his love toward his children and endows every spiritual blessing upon them through his grace. Some say grace is a work of love and others this is the father freely demonstrating his love. Most dictionaries say that grace is a free flowing as a effortless movement of refined qualities. The church teaches that Godís grace is his unmerited favor and a natural extension of the divine character.
God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. Everyone has his or her own idea of the spiritual blessings God has given to his children. Paul describes these blessing from the position of being in Christ.
In him to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In him to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.
In him to be the praise of his glorious grace.
In him we have redemption through his blood.
In him we have the forgiveness of sins.
In him we have the revelation of God which he disclosed in Christ Jesus.
In him we have eternal life to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment.
In him all things in heaven and on earth come under one head, Jesus Christ.
We were chosen to be in Christ according by a plan that ensures that we can yield to the purpose of Godís will. Those spiritual blessings were given to enable Godís purpose to change your life into the image of Christ. We were predestined according to Godís plan to be made into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ. God spoke of his Son in this manner, this is my Son with whom I am well pleased. The operative question is, are you willing to conform to Godís will and purpose?
The prince of this world and the father of lies lacks the creators grace and has abandon his children to a life that indulges in their cravings. While you were in this abandoned state, you heard the word of God, which led to your salvation. When you accepted Christ as your Savior God adopted you as his son or daughter and you gained a sense of belonging by a loving God. You made a commitment to obey and honor your father in heaven and to conform to his will. Your obedience shows respect for your father and a willingness to demonstrate a submissive heart. The standards reflected in Godís commands a set of morals that pleases God, meets his requirements and leads us to life of holiness. With this hope of eternal life, you will be encouraged to make every effort to avoid evil and be found blameless before God.
Therefore, make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
God wants your trust, but without faith it is impossible to please God. Joshua placed his trust in the promises of God by leading Israel into the promise land. After Israel conquered the Holy Land he said, none of Godís promises had failed him. Your future depends on your faith in your heavenly father with a "I can do" attitude that produces fruit that can be seen. Your faith in God is based on what he can do for you. However, the things you do not trust or believe in, are things you will never attempt to do. Therefore, it is imperative to learn to trust God especially when all things are possible with God. Mark 10:27
When Christ comes for his elect he will judge everyone according to their deeds. Your deeds reflect what you believe and demonstrate your love for Jesus Christ and your heavenly father. Your good deeds are the outcome of faith in God and your faith shows God a trust that enables you to put his word to work in your life. The way God responds to your faith encourages you to give glory to your father in heaven as act of joyful worship.
God blessed you in the spiritual realms because you are in Christ. If you are not in Christ then you donít belong to God and the blessings available to you in Christ will remain in Christ. For those in Christ Jesus, He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, Colossians 1:13. Paul writes that we were bought for a price and were justified as if we had never sinned. His shed blood on the cross redeemed us from death and his death and resurrection gives us the hope of glory. In addition God has given us a token of his love for we have been given the Holy Spirit that guarantees our inheritance and citizenship in heaven. Those who believe in Christ have crossed over from death to life.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24
In Christ we find a revelation of God himself with a desire that every child of God would reach the fullness of his Son. Christ said if we knew him that we would know his father. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. Colossians 2:9-10 Through Christ God reveals his character to man and demonstrates a love that surpasses a means to describe it. Christ is in you to strengthen your spirit, give you resolve, and through faith establish you in love and rooted in his word. God wants you to know through experience the fullness of God.
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being Hebrews 1:3
Each Christian is a jewels in the Crystal Sea surrounding the throne of God and as Christians we need to reflect the light of God like a diamond, like the face of Moses that reflected Godís glory when he left the presence of God. Moses sought the face of God saying. If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Exodus 33:13. After seeing the burning bush Moses wanted to know more about God. Moses said, "Now show me your glory." Exodus 33:18. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. Exodus 34:29.
We who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Paul reminds us by urging every Christian to
in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship, Romans 12:1. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded James 4:7-8. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:3. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him. 1 John 2:5
We have a responsibility in Christ to live our lives in such a way to please our father in heaven for no one who lives in him neither sins nor desires to live in sin. Instead, to live in Christ we learn what pleases our father and to be found acceptable in his eyes. God has given us a revelation of himself through his Son. Paul reminds us what to do with these words,
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is ó his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:22
In Christ by faith you we learn to know God's good and perfect will and through grace, God gave us his promises, so that through his promises you can live a Christlike life. In Christ you will find peace with God. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9. The way to salvation only found in Jesus Christ. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12. If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9. In Christ you become equipped for every good work with an ability to please God.
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
The first fourteen verses of Ephesians are Godís plan for his children. It shows what God is willing to do for his adopted children to ensure they remain steadfast in their walk. Godís conduct is like that of a father who wants the best life his children can possibly have. He makes the effort to see that his children are clothed, eats the right food, and sees to it that he or she has the finest education his money can buy. In other words God has done everything in his power to ensure that you come home to live with him forever. However, the children of God must take full advantage of the things God is willing to do for them. Through Christ, God provides everything you need to become a king that can reign with him in glory.
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