Do you know your purpose in life?
These are two fundamental questions everyone should ask themselves at some point in their lives.
Who am I? And why am I here?
You don’t hear much about this anymore, but a few years ago, people were always trying to find themselves, by going on vacations or pilgrimages. Ultimately, we will never know ourselves unless we know the One who created us. The prophet Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiled children of Israel, who had lost their identity and in Jeremiah 29:13 we read, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
Worship is the foundation of our lives and the beginning foundation for this letter. We worship many things, whatever we value, we worship at some level. Idolatry is when we worship something else above God. Idolatry is not having the right view of God.
What we do with our time, how we spend our money, how we use the talents that God has given us, all these things reveal who or what we worship.
Verse 3 of our passage begin with a declaration of worship, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
The verse continues that we praise God because He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. This indicates that we are blessed today, and in eternity, blessings that we cannot even begin to imagine.
But notice the foundation of these blessings, they are in Christ. We have everything only because of who we are in Christ and what he has done for us. Now it is true that we are blessed by walking in the will of God. We cannot expect God’s blessing on our lives if we are knowingly walking in sin.
But the blessing that Paul is writing about here is the free gift of God, blessings that we do not deserve and cannot earn. This is the grace of God. Getting something that we do not deserve. Verse 6 says, “to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved”
In verses 4 and 5 we encounter the truth that God chooses us, more than that he predestined us for adoption. The idea that God chooses a people for himself to reveal His glory is found throughout the Bible:
- God chose to create the World for His glory.
- He chose Abraham to be a great nation to bless the world.
- He chose the nation of Israel to bless the world.
- Jesus chose his 12 disciples.
In many Bible passages we read that God has chosen people for salvation for His glory, for His worship.
For centuries, theologians have wrestled with the doctrine of election and sadly it often leads to division and conflict. In very simple terms, one opinion states that God chooses us for salvation, and we don’t have a say in the matter. The other opinion is that we choose God, but He knows in advance who will choose Him.
That is really simplified, but the Bible is full of texts that indicate God chooses us without our knowledge or even input. Verse 4 says, “he chose us in him before the foundation of the world…”
In the eternal purposes of God, He planned your days, before He created the world. That is a mystery that should make your head hurt, but we should be comfortable with mystery (see Deuteronomy 29:29).
If we were to really think about it, is it not better to be called chosen by a loving God than for us to choose a distant God.
Election is a mystery, because it seems to me from personal experience that the more we share the Good news of Jesus Christ, the more people are chosen! And we as the church, are called to be a part of this mystery by being a faithful witness of the Gospel to the world around us.
In all the debates, the nature of God cannot be dismissed, God is perfectly loving.
Verse 5, “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will”. Election is an expression of the love of God.
The mystery deepens as we read in John 3:16, And Romans 10:9. There is obviously a choosing and then on our part there is a belief or faith component.
We need to keep calling people to Jesus, and then when they put their faith in him as Lord, we can say together, “thank you God for drawing me to you”
Our ultimate response to election is humility, humbled that the Creator of the universe would call us by name, and this should put us on our faces in worship of the Almighty God.
As we look again at verse 5, we see the purpose of election, “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
We were chosen for adoption. Adoption is a beautiful picture of what God has done for us. Roman law placed a very high standard on adoption and an adopted child was under legal protection and permanently part of the family. The adopted child had every right to inheritance and received a new identity (see Romans 8:15).
In our minds we love the fact that we are adopted, but we don’t like the fact that we are chosen.
But we must understand that adoption is choosing one who is helpless. This is the same as what God has done for us (see Romans 5:8).
So why did God adopt us? What is our purpose?
The answer is found in verse 6, “to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved”
Adoption magnifies the greatness of God the Father.
When we are adopted, we get brought into the family business, and we are given a mission.
The mission is to see the glory of God made known in all the world so that God is worshipped in all the world.
We are made to praise, and we are the most fulfilled in life when we are praising God.
We are the most useful when we are praising God and worshipping His holy name.
Do you know God as Father? Have you been adopted?