By: Steven Berrios
A devotional series based on Ephesians
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the words of Paul in the opening of his letter to the church in Ephesus. In fact Paul would echo these words, grace and peace, in each of his letters recorded in the New Testament. I am reading these word's this evening after just watching a behind the scenes short film of the horrific and criminal events that took place in Charlottesville Virginia. And my heart truly aches. I feel anger and I feel deep sadness. And I cry out to God my Father for grace and peace. Grace and peace for myself and for you.
We didn't survive yesterday without it, we most definitely need it today and we will need it tomorrow.
Then I go on reading Ephesians chapter 1. For those of you reading this who do not know, as a church, we began a new series on the book of Ephesians this past Sunday. For the next 13 weeks or so we will be walking through verse by verse the entire letter written by Paul to the church in Ephesus. And I want to spend some time looking at the beautiful truth Paul writes in verses 5 and 6 that reveal to us the heart of God that was planned before the foundations of this universe.
The Doctrine of Adoption was at the heart of God's redemptive plan for His children from the very beginning of time. Through the completed work of Jesus Christ, we have legal standing before God the Father. This is the Doctrine of Justification. But it is through adoption in which we become children of God. In adoption, God brings us into His family.
Just think of what you just read. Now read it again. In adoption, God brings us into His family. Beautiful, isn't it? No where else will you find a greater love. God in love according to his own will, predestined us for adoption as sons and daughters. And so as we hear, read, watch and even first hand experience the hostility and division that is in our communities, in our nation and world, let it bring us great peace to know that the family of God consists of a bunch of adopted sons and daughters from all backgrounds and races.
Understand that as adopted sons and daughters, we all have equal rights and privileges in this family. None of us were born into this family but God planned and purposed for each of us through Jesus to become family. We were all once orphans. No one was and no one is superior. It was God's will to bring us into His family. What a display of his marvelous grace! Each of us, as it says in Romans 8:15, have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry “Abba, Father!” What great joy to be adopted into the family of God.
The family dinner table in the church of Christ should be the most beautiful table of all. Church, we need to get just a glimpse of this beauty that is the doctrine of adoption. Because of adoption, we have hope because of our inheritance in heaven with Jesus (Romans 8:17). Because of adoption we have a hope that comes from no longer being slaves but sons and daughters (Galatians 4:4-7). Because of adoption we have assurance that though we suffer with him now, we will also be glorified with him (Romans 8:14-17).
Praise be to God the Father, for not only saving us but for adopting us. What a beautiful God we worship. Praise be to his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved!
Father, what a joy it is to be in your family. I know I have done absolutely nothing to earn this. And so I thank you for willingly adopting me into your family. Father I pray now that I will live each day with this joy of understanding that I am your child. In Jesus name, Amen.
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