God’s plan IN Christ!
”In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” And so begins the Universe and the creation of our world and even, of course, the creation of us, mankind. However, before “the beginning” what had God done?
God did what any good builder does. God planned it out:
Luke 14:28-30 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? (29) Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, (30) saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
How many times as you have read Genesis, have you imagined God, thinking, “oh no, Man ate of that tree….what are we going to do now?” Yet, as you read the Genesis 3 account of sin entering into the world, it doesn’t feel like God has been caught off guard. Immediately, even before sending Adam and Eve out of the Garden, He speaks prophetically to Satan.
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
This is commonly understood to be a prophecy about the coming Messiah and even the virgin birth since it was the seed of Eve mentioned not the seed of Adam.
When we fast forward to the NT however, it is more clearly understood that God did indeed have this all planned out. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that God had a plan. Here is a rather long but significant part of what Paul wrote.
Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, (4) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (5) he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (6) to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (7) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (8) which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight (9) making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ (10) as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (11) 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, (12) so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. (13) 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, (14) who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Notice first, and I dare say, foremost, that all that God planned, he planned IN Christ. Everything was brought to completion by Christ and through Christ and so when he describes us as IN CHRIST, it only seem natural that we would need to be.
This passage, one long sentence in the Greek text, is very rich in meaning and I don’t plan an in depth explanation of it but it is worth noting some things from this passage.
Those of us who are IN CHRIST:
- Are Blessed with every spiritual blessing
- Are chosen as sons by adoption
- Are sealed with the Holy Spirit
That is a LOT. Just the first one alone blows my mind. EVERY spiritual blessing is IN Christ. In my way of thinking, it is a good thing that I am IN Christ.
Also worth nothing is that those of us who IN CHRIST:
- Have redemption through His blood (redemption is to buy back. See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Revelation 5:9)
- Have the forgiveness of our trespasses (Colossians 2:13)
- Have an inheritance (And a great one at that: 1 Peter 1:3-4)
- Have knowledge about His will. (A great blessing that even the Jews had…if they had only listened. Romans 3:1-2)
These, of course, could simply be a list of some of the “every spiritual blessings” Paul say we have in Christ and I would count them as blessings. Which of those 4 items is most important to you?
And yet, as the saying goes, with great privilege comes great responsibility and so it is true that IN CHRIST:
- we are to be Holy and Blameless
- to the praise of His glory (i.e. bring praise to him. Mt 5:16)
So many times, people want the blessings but not the responsibility. As John Maxwell said “They have uphill dreams but downhill habits.”
We all want to enjoy the blessings of God that we have IN CHRIST, however, it is truly a very serious thing to consider that the same God who chose us in Christ, chose us to BE holy and without blemish. Therefore, if you choose to be IN CHRIST, you need to also choose to be holy and without blemish.
Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?
We KNOW what God wants for our life. Holy and Blameless. Do you agree? If you agree with that then you can walk with God. If you disagree and want to have all spiritual blessing and yet not be holy and blameless, then you cannot walk with God. However, the choice is yours.
Are you IN Christ? How did you get there?