Adoption in Christ by Ken Edgerly
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:3-14 NIV
I remember, clearly, about 40 years ago, I had been a Christian for as long as I could remember but one day a thought popped into my head, and it is clear to me now where that came from. I thought I had blown it, sinned too many times, I wasn't going to make it to heaven, I was now doomed. What a horrible feeling. I went around very depressed knowing I messed up. It wasn't even a specific sin which I had committed, I was just told in my mind that I was just not good enough because of my sins so just give up and admit it.
Then one Sunday the pastor preached on this text. I hung on every word he was saying. At the end of the service I was absolutely ecstatic and felt like I could fly. All those thoughts were lies, I am still God's chosen! Nothing to do with what I did, my only responsibility was to accept what He did for me, which I did and I do still to this day. I think in life God has put things in place that serve as great illustrations of the things of heaven.
We have friends who adopted a couple children, brother and sister. They were very young and without any decision on the kids' part, they were now adopted and part of the family. Later as they grew up there came a time when they were responsible make a choice to be a part of the family. The girl accepted. She wasn't perfect and made a lot of bad choices but was always still part of the family. The boy, however, chose differently, he began doing his own thing which was to constantly get into trouble. He was at that time still part of the family, however, there came a time when he made the decision that he was not going to go along with what was expected and wasn't about to even try. Then the day came when the very sorrowful parents had to say, "Okay, you may go, you are on your own now." He was in and out of jail, and to this day is still out there somewhere causing trouble. I believe that at any time he could have said, "Mom, dad, I'm sorry, can I come back?" To which I know absolutely he would have been accepted back. He chose not to though. I believe that is the difference between those who are part of the spiritual family and those who are not. I make many mistakes and bad choices I know are wrong but I know now that that doesn't get me kicked out of the family. My desire is to do what is right and when I realize I've allowed my human nature to make a decision which is wrong, I repent and He restores my relationship with Him. My poor choices didn't mean my relationship with Him was over, only that the relationship was not good.
Last week there was a post with a question that asked, what spiritual blessings are you most thankful for? Without a doubt the blessing of God choosing me into sonship with Him is my forever favorite spiritual blessing.