January 31, 2017
- By Ed Powell
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"He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Ephesians 1:4
Paul, in writing this epistle from a dark, damp Roman prison, is caught up in the wonder of God's grace in all that God has done for us in Christ, and what He is yet to do for us through Christ. He is consumed by the exceeding greatness of God!
God has manifested His power in two great works. First, God called the universe into existence out of nothing. However incomprehensibly great creation is, it is not God's greatest work. He has done something far greater which reveals Him in a far brighter light.
His greatest masterwork is the redemption of mankind. From his sinful, lost condition, without hope, and without God, He reconciled mankind to Himself, enabling him to sit at the Father's table in heavenly places and to be accepted in the Beloved! This is beyond our understanding! We will never be able to comprehend the magnitude of God's grace until we are with Him in glory and "behold the Lamb of God that was slain for the sin of man."
He is ever the One who initiates our relationship with Him. It is not we who loved Him; it was He who first loved us. We did not draw near to Him; it was He who drew us to Himself. In this first verse, God emphasizes "He hath chosen us in Him!" Have you ever stopped to wonder at the tremendous depth of this truth? We have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ, adopted into the family of God, and made new creatures in Christ. On communion Sunday, when we take the bread and the cup, it may seem a small and insignificant tradition, but the reality of that symbolism is the foundation of our salvation, the very basis on which our redemption rests.
Our minds will never grasp the full depth of so great a salvation purchased through His atoning blood. Is it any wonder that we ascend to glorious heights when we sing some of the blessed hymns of old? Hymns such as "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me." Or a chorus like, "I will praise Him, praise the Lamb for sinners slain." Or "Oh, precious is the flow that washes white as snow."
Feel the burden of Paul's heart as he prays for the believers whom he loves so dearly. Let these words be his prayer for you: "That he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breath, and length, and depth, and height and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
Oh that these words may be a reality in our lives! HE HAS CHOSEN US! His infinite love is inconceivable. How true this blessed hymn, "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!...Look, there is flowing a crimson tide; whiter than snow you may be today!"
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-01-31
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