August 19, 2018

You Have Been Preapproved

Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:12-13

He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. . . .

—  Ephesians 1:4-5

In the first-century Roman world of the Ephesians, being adopted meant receiving a new identify and a new name. No matter what had happened in your past, you were given a clean slate on adoption day. It was irrevocable. There was no going back to the way it was before. It was once and for all—a permanent arrangement.

When the apostle Paul compares our life in God to adoption, he is saying, “You are part of the family now.” It’s an invitation to get comfortable and to settle into this new relationship. We need not live in fear anymore because we belong to the Father. He has claimed us as his own. God invites us to relate to him as his cherished children.

No matter what has happened in your past, God sees the person you are becoming. So don’t live like an orphan. Recognize who you are in Christ. You have been preapproved by God. He has adopted you and blessed you, and he is ready for you to join in the work and livelihood of his kingdom. You have been redeemed and forgiven. Your sin is paid for.

Christian faith is about more than believing certain facts; it means living into the lordship of Christ and letting that reality permeate every aspect of life. You are a child of the King, a recipient of the ultimate act of hospitality—God’s hospitality. Everything has changed. Thanks be to God!

Holy Spirit, come and remind us that we are your children. Help us live into that reality so that our lives reflect the character of Christ. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Lloyd Wicker

Lloyd Wicker has been a pastor for more than eighteen years and has served churches in Illinois, Washington, and California. He currently serves as a chaplain with the United States Navy in Sicily. Lloyd and his wife, Heidi, have three children.

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