Ephesians 1:3-14 brings home the transforming truth that God has identified me as His own.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance and he makes everything work our according to his plan.
God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” (NASB)
God’s family expanded in a tremendous way when Jesus brought the good news that Gentiles were to be included in God’s family. I don’t know how it feels to be adopted, but accepting Christ’s love and entering into an inheritance with Him gives me a glimpse of what it might be like. I do know what it feels like to be loved and to have someone delight in me. I’m beginning to see God as a loving Father who loves and delights in me more than I ever imagined possible, and that is transforming my heart.
Identified, purchased, united to receive an inheritance of unequaled value! What joy I feel when I embrace that as truth and see myself as God sees me-His own child. God’s inheritance increases as His family expands. Earthly inheritances are diminished by numbers, but God’s ways are higher than those found here. More siblings mean less money for me. That’s bad enough if a new baby is born, but it’s unbearable when children are adopted to become joint heirs. God makes it clear there is more than enough for all; in fact, the inheritance grows if it is shared.
If I were heir to a great fortune and knew that my inheritance would increase as more heirs were added, I’m sure I would be about bringing more into the family. How much more that ought be true when it comes to my Father’s family.