Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
Who are “We”?
When we read the Scriptures, it is important that we read them in context. Why? Because otherwise we might misinterpret them and walk away with an understanding that is not in accord with the Scriptures. But obviously I cannot, in a single devotion, quote the entire context of these passages or these devotions would be way longer than they are now. So I encourage each one of you to look these Scriptures up and to read them in their context so that you get the true context of what the passage is teaching.
For example, where I am starting here is in the middle of a discussion. So I need to look back to verse one to learn who this is being addressed to. Who are “we”? “We” are the saints of God who are faithful in Christ Jesus. And to be a saint means to be a true follower of Christ who is living a holy life separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Jesus in character. And to be faithful means to be true to the faith of God, a faith which shares in his divine character and will for our lives.
So, “we” are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been raised with Christ to WALK in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Therefore, we are to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for if we do obey sin that will end in death, not in life eternal (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).
We have obtained an inheritance in Christ by God-given faith in Christ which dies with Christ to sin and lives to him and to his righteousness in walks of obedience to our Lord, by the grace of God, and in his power and strength (1 Peter 2:24). For we who are in Christ Jesus have been predestined of God according to his will for our lives that we might be to the praise of his glory. And his will for our lives is that we deny self, die daily to sin, and that we walk in faithful obedience to him and to his commands (Luke 9:23-26).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
What Does This Look Like?
First of all, believing in Jesus Christ is not a one-time event which takes place in our lives which then guarantees us heaven when we die regardless of how we live our lives on this earth. Believing in Jesus must be continuous. For we are saved (past), we are being saved (present active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns for his bride when we go to be with him for eternity, but only IF we continue in him steadfast in faith and in obedience, and not in sinful practices, until the very end.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 8:24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Gal 5:16-21; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6;24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Secondly, our faith comes from God and it is not of our own doing. So we don’t get to define what that faith must look like. The Scriptures define for us what our faith should look like for it to be regarded by God as genuine faith which saves. For just making a public declaration of faith in Christ does not necessarily mean a person has genuine faith. And, again, a one-time decision to believe in Jesus, if it is not continued in action, is just lip service, not the faith that comes from God and is necessary for salvation.
[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Acts 5:32; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Matt 7:21-23]
For the word “faith” means to be persuaded, and the Scriptures teach in John 6:44 that we can’t even come to faith in Christ Jesus unless God the Father draws us to Christ. And the way in which he draws us to Christ is in persuading us as to his righteousness and holiness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of (turn away from) our sins to now follow him in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).
So, in order for us to claim eternal life with God as our inheritance and heaven as our eternal destiny, we must be those who are dying with Christ to sin daily, and who are in the practice of denying self and walking in obedience to our Lord. Now this is not speaking of sinless perfection (see 1 John 2:1-2), but the Scriptures do teach that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer in sin but in obedience to our Lord and in righteousness or we don’t have eternal life with God, and heaven is not our destiny.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
When in The Stillness
An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.
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