Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3–14, NIV)
As you read through this passage, which is one long sentence in the Greek, note the number of times Paul uses words that have to do with being included. Do you think Paul is passionate about this fact?
What spiritual blessings do you have from being in Christ? In what ways do you use these blessings for his glory?
How is your outlook about your standing or worth changed knowing that God selected you to be his child? Why is being a child much better than being a stranger?
In what ways has the Holy Spirit not only guaranteed your inheritance, but also helped you live as if you really are a child of God’s? In what ways can you allow him to work even more in your life?