Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chosen, Predestined, Adopted...Deposit Made

Although it is becoming harder and harder to realize I was once in the same place, it is becoming growingly more difficult for me to understand that a great number of people who call themselves Christians do not believe that Jesus is the ONLY way. Is this why some are hesitant to share their faith in Jesus, because they're not totally sure themselves? Let us remember, having faith in Jesus is something we choose. It is not forced or inflicted upon us. And not only do we choose to follow, we ourselves were chosen.

When we read Ephesians 1:3-14, we get a very clear picture of the fact that God chose us, humanity. Not only did he choose us, "he predestined us to be adopted as his sons [and daughters] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will." Wow! Two things here... First, "PREDESTINED", a word many evangelical Christians are afraid of, thinking it will cause others to point, turn and run, screaming "Calvinist" or even "heretic". We get so freaked out that we miss this much more intense word for "chosen". And not just chosen, "chosen...before the creation of the world." Calm down, we still have our "free will", Paul even reminds us this status is "freely given".

Second, "ADOPTED", a word I am understanding more every day. When we adopted Tewodros, our family spent months praying, seeking prayer from others, filling out paperwork, waiting, preparing our home and our family, investing a great deal of money, and finally, traveling, going out of our way to bring home our newest son. It was nothing anyone forced us to do. We chose to go through the process. We chose to change our family. We chose to make the investment.

Kind of looks like what God did for those of us who follow Jesus "through Jesus Christ." He chose us, sent his Son to do the work for us, is preparing for us, went out of his way to come get us, and made the investment for us. Investment? It would be easy to say God invested the life of his Son, which he did, and which is vital to this whole adoption thing. However, the investment I'm referring to is the deposit Paul speaks of, "Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession."

God not only chose us to be adopted as his sons and daughters, "co-heirs with Christ", he put down a deposit, the Holy Spirit, so that we could be guaranteed that what we say we believe is true. A part of himself IN US!! A mark that we are his own. He's been choosing and marking his people from the beginning. It's all over the scriptures. He chose us first, but we MUST chose him, knowing that He is the ONLY way.