Reading: Ephesians 1-2:10
Have you ever just meditated on all that the Bible says we have and are "in Christ?" This morning as I do that I find it's more than this fleshly body can even contain! The joy, the life, the love that we have in Him is unfathomable to our minds. Yes, we find it "immeasurable." We cannot even contain it. We find it a "joy unspeakable and full of glory." Oh how much we need to lift ourselves, our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to those things, because they are every bit as tangible as the darkness, the depression, the sicknesses, the problems and trials that we face here in this world. In fact they are more real, more lasting, and more certain than anything, IF we are in Christ Jesus. Are you "in Christ?" Can you say you have an assurance that you are, that He is in you? If not, I have good news for you. You can be sure. His Word gives us that assurance. We don't have to hope for it not knowing. We don't have to look to ourselves and our goodness hoping it somehow outweighs our sins on that day. We don't have to try to overlook or excuse our sins away as though if we hide them from ourselves or others, God will not see them either. No, we can face our sins, our weaknesses, and our shortcomings head on, with humility, admitting them to this holy God, Who we know judges those sins. In fear we face them, we come humbly before His cross. We see them in contrast to His pure holiness and love, and righteous demands, and see that in no way we can measure up. In no way can we save ourselves. Our own works are as filthy rags. Then we look up to His cross. We see that He took all our sin, it's ugliness and its penalty, on Himself (He Who knew no sin became sin for us), and then He imputed to us, all His perfect righteousness and goodness and holiness (that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ), 2 Corinthians 5:21. Yes, it is "too good to be true" except it IS TRUE! All that is required is that we humble ourselves before Him when we see our sin, confess (agree with God) it to Him, taking His side, turning from sin and self to Him, in faith receiving in our hearts what He has done for us, through His blood, forgiving our sins, and trust Him to give us His Spirit to make us a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). It is His work. When we once become His child, as soon as we believe on Him, we have entered into a whole new realm.
Ephesians 1 and 2 tells us of this new realm, this new creation, what we have in Christ, as His own child now. It tells us of the assurance we have of that salvation. It tells us the power and completeness of it, in such detail that it cannot be denied. It tells us the eternality of it. It is a hope that is so wonderful that it "blows the mind." It cannot be fully grasped, I don't think, by our finite minds, yet it can be believed and received and as we walk this life below, He makes it more and more real and manifested in us and to us, as we abide in Him in faith. He created it, and He works it in us, and He finishes it. We find relief in knowing it is not up to us to save ourselves, and we find all our power for living is in this hope that is a sure hope, this certainty that He will fulfill all. Our hearts are filled with love and joy in Him then which gives us the power to walk through anything He calls us to.
Oh how the enemy tries to rob us of this power and take away our hope, filling us with doubts and fears, getting our eyes on ourselves and away from Him and all He is to us and in us. He tries to get us ever doubting our salvation and looking inward striving harder and only producing a self-righteousness, rather than living in and rejoicing in the perfect completed salvation He has given us with assurance.
If you are in Christ, a child of God, through faith in Him, take a look at Ephesians 1 and 2 and ponder all that He has given you. Jamieson, Faucett, and Brown commentary does a wonderful job of summarizing this...
The doxologies in almost all the Epistles imply the real sense of grace experienced by the writers and their readers (1 Peter 1:3). Ephesians 1:3-14 sets forth summarily the Gospel of the grace of God: the FATHER’S work of love, Ephesians 1:3 (choosing us to holiness, Ephesians 1:4 to sonship, Ephesians 1:5 to acceptance, Ephesians 1:6): the SON’S, Ephesians 1:7 (redemption, Ephesians 1:7; knowledge of the mystery of His will, Ephesians 1:9 an inheritance, Ephesians 1:11 the HOLY SPIRIT’S, Ephesians 1:13 (sealing, Ephesians 1:13 giving an earnest of the inheritance, Ephesians 1:14).
He goes on after describing what we have in Christ, our blessings, our inheritance, our guarantee, to pray that we would be made to truly see, by revelation, and grasp the power of this life in us, as though he were at a loss for words to really describe it fully, knowing only God can truly give that revelation in the heart of those who love Him, in verses 17-23. That same power, that resurrection power, that raised Christ from the dead now permanently lives in us, and raises us up also with Christ to actually be seated with Him in the Heavenlies (Eph. 2: 4-6). Yes, it is past tense... not future, although it is assured to be our future, it is also present... we are even now "seated with Him in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus." He has placed us there already. It is our position in Him. It is a done deal, once He has made us His child and given us His Spirit. He, Who is outside of all time, sees us there in Christ, and will never again see us outside of Christ. He sees the imputed righteousness of His Son in us, and us in His Son, and all is accomplished. We only now wait for our final redemption, the redemption of our bodies, when this "corruption shall put on incorruption" (1 Corinthian 15:50-54), and our bodies will be made like His, and we will be with Him forever, freed from sin and evil forever more.
This blessed assurance and guarantee is the power of our Christian life. It is the joy that we rejoice in always, even as we go through trials beyond what we think we can endure. It is our endurance, our strength, our life, our joy, and our hope that never fails. No wonder in Ephesians 6:10-18, he tells us to "be strong in the strength of His might," and to "put on the whole armor of God," which truly is a visual of all Ephesians 1-2 tells us... the assurance and hope of all we are and have in Christ. In this alone can we stand, and walk, and overcome the enemy. In this alone can we quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. In this alone can we pray and intercede for others. In Him we live, and in Him we stand.
What an immeasurably great salvation He has given to us! What immeasurable power! It is His power of resurrection! There is nothing in this world or in ourselves that can hold it down! Our humble thanks is not even enough dear Heavenly Father! May our lives each day be pleasing to You as we look on this great love and salvation, yielding ourselves to You that Your glory may be manifested in us.