My family and I are in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. There’s a little boy right now halfway across the world who doesn’t even know that America exists. Much less, that there’s a daddy, mommy, and two big brothers waiting for him here. But we have been working to get him for almost a year now. Essentially, we are drawing him to ourselves. There’s nothing special about him. We can’t see his future potential. No reason to pick him over the other five million orphans in Ethiopia. The only thing we know about him is that he needs a family. He’s in a desperate situation and we want to give him a family.
Our focus passages today are Ephesians 1:3-12 and Ephesians 2:4-10. The first word that stands out to me as I read this passage is adoption. Our spiritual adoption process starts with God, just as our son’s adoption doesn’t start with him, but with us as his parents. God chose us before we even knew we needed a Savior. Dead in our sins, we were blind to the Truth. Ephesians 2:4 & 5 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). And 1: 7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
We did not orchestrate our own salvation. You didn’t go to God on terms you came up with. God set the standard of holiness and made a way for your sins to be forgiven. Not only did you not orchestrate your salvation, you did not earn your salvation. Verses eight through nine say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” By grace through faith, not by works! You don’t have to worry about the good outweighing the bad in your life. You don’t have to keep a list of what you’ve done that makes you “good enough.” Even your goodness isn’t perfection, so a Perfect Sacrifice had to be made.
So, the idea of salvation didn’t originate with you. It wasn’t on the basis of your works. God chose, adopted, and predestined. Our passage in Ephesians also says God has a plan for you life. 2:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” His life-long plan is that you would grow in Christlikeness, or be sanctified. His plan includes events that will draw you closer to Him. I’m so thankful He not only saved us, but wants a relationship with us! His activity in our lives never stops!
God chooses us and redeems us, for His glory, for the purpose of sanctification. Praise God today for His grace, His plan of redemption, and for drawing you to Himself!
The Scripture Dig team will be speaking on the beautiful theme of adoption at a retreat this weekend. Please pray for us as we prepare, travel, and minister!