Forever Grateful 

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapters one and two, believers are given some glimpses of deep realities of the depths of God’s love for us countered by the realities of our depravity and utter helplessness. Regarding His love for those who are His, take note of some strong words, full of meaning, used to describe God’s activities on our behalf.

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, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ. ~ Ephesians 1:3-9

Two common mistakes I think many Christians make are, 1) thinking they actually understand the concepts of  God’s choosing us, predestination, adoption, and redemption; and 2) either dismissing or changing their meanings. These mean exactly what they say, despite the depths are beyond human comprehension.

One’s redemption, cleansing, and salvation were God’s ideas and initiatives, not ours. We could neither dream of a God loving us so much that He would suffer for us nor that He would lavish such profound love, grace, and forgiveness so richly and freely. Furthermore, as we will see from chapter two, apart from His initiatives, we would not have desired these to begin with.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air [the devil], the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 2:1-6

Like zombies, we appeared to be alive, but we were dead; made insane as we were driven by sinful passions and godless pride, following the current of the world and the rebellion of the devil. Like bucking, untamed horses, we kicked against the sacred and holy. By grace we are saved—and only by grace.

Again, a couple of common mistakes I think Christians make are, 1) thinking one was/is better than he really was/is; 2) thinking we didn’t follow after Satan in his rebellion; and 3) thinking that some inkling of goodness of our own contributed to our salvation.

The debt Christ paid with His own blood was a price we could never have paid. The humiliation and shame He endured was so we could be delivered from our own, making us acceptable to God. We sometimes forget just how serious our situation was. We were both separated from God and bound for a hell of our own earning and deserving. Jesus will forever be deserving of our awe, praise, worship, surrender, and gratitude. May we be forever grateful.