#DailyDevotion You Have Been Called To Be Part Of The Temple Of God


#DailyDevotion You Have Been Called To Be Part Of The Temple Of God

Eph. 2:18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

 

There is no such thing as an individual Christian. No man is a Christian unto himself. While we must indeed repent and believe for ourselves, when we come to faith in Jesus Christ we are made part of a much larger whole. We become citizens of the kingdom of God. This kingdom of God is the body of Christ. We are baptized into Christ, both Jews and Gentile and made one body with him, Jesus himself being the head.

 

Now we are also, each of us, living stones in the temple of God.  This temple has as its foundation the teachings of the apostles and prophets, hence we confess in the creeds, “I believe in one holy catholic and ‘apostolic’ church.” It is catholic because it is a whole entity and it is apostolic because it is based on the teachings of the holy apostles. The Church is based on those teachings of the Apostles. The proclaimed and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. They wrote down the teachings of Jesus and handed them down to us.

 

Jesus of course is the cornerstone of the temple of God. He determines the lines and directions of the temple for it is his teachings the Apostles proclaim and teach. And just what these teachings? Jesus is the Son of God from eternity, born of the Virgin Mary, of the house of David. He suffered and died for our sins and on the third day he rose again from the dead. Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father from whence he shall return to judge the living and the dead. Therefore, we should repent of our sins, confess them, be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and live a new life according to his will.

 

Through this gospel the kingdom of God is daily growing and being added to, making a holy temple in the Lord. You are being made, being built together into the dwelling place for God by the Spirit. So your body is a temple of the Lord having been given the Holy Spirit, but your body is also part of the living stones that make up the temple of God in which God’s name and glory dwells. And so while we are individually Christians and temples of God we are also corporately a temple unto the Living God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has called to this living hope.

 

Holy God and Father, through the proclamation of the gospel through your Holy Apostles you have called us to be living stones in the temple of your Son Jesus Christ. Ever preserve us in the faith through the Word and Sacraments that we may realize our being joined together with each other, the apostles and Jesus as your holy temple. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Christ Jesus Is Our Peace With God And Man


#DailyDevotion Christ Jesus Is Our Peace With God And Man

Eph.2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

 

The Greek here actually has “in his flesh” in verse fifteen. Keep that in mind for now. Jesus is our peace. How is he our peace? He is our peace between God and man having made himself an atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. God the Father no longer counts our trespasses against us. Jesus also is our peace between Jew and Gentile. How is that so?

 

That which separated Jew and Gentile was the Law, the Torah given the Israelites through Moses. Indeed it was given for this very purpose to make a distinction between Israelites and Gentiles. The Israelites were to live differently than the surrounding Gentile nations. Of course, it was God’s plan that the Gentile nations going through Israel would hear the word of the Law and covert to worship of him and live under these laws. Instead, the Israelites and by extension the Jews converted to the ways of the nations around them. But God preserved a remnant that that remnant was there in Paul’s day trying to live according to the Law which placed them at odds with the nations.

 

But Christ Jesus has fulfilled the Law of Moses with all its commands and ordinances. No longer do the Jews need the Torah as a tutor.  Now we have the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus as given to us through the apostles. On the cross, Jesus has in his flesh broken down the dividing wall of hostility by abrogating the first covenant with a new covenant, a New Testament in his blood. Jew and Gentile are now brought together at the cross of Christ and made a new creation, a new man, a new people, the fulfillment of Israel.

 

The Law of Moses is no longer in effect. We have Christ Jesus now. We have peace with Jew and Gentile in Christ. Both Jew (who did not keep the law) and Gentile (who did not have the law) are made one and both have peace with God through Jesus Christ and peace with one another. When our conscience stirs up guilt and the awareness of God’s wrath because of our sins, we can turn to Jesus and know that in our baptism, we have had the penalty, death, applied to us through the death of Christ we participate in, in baptism.

 

Does this mean then we can go and live immoral lives because the Law of Moses no longer applies to us? God forbid! We have been brought to peace with God and man so we may live in God’s holiness and righteousness.  We have been called to believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and to love our neighbor as ourselves. To love Christ and to love our neighbor means to live unselfish, not self-centered lives. So Paul can later say in this letter, Eph 5:3 “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” We are called to holiness in Christ.

 

Heavenly Father, you have called us to peace in Christ Jesus with you and with our neighbor. Grant us your Holy Spirit, that now freed from the Law we may live our lives according to its principles. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Through The Blood Of Jesus Both Jew And Gentile Are Israel


#DailyDevotion Through The Blood Of Jesus Both Jew And Gentile Are Israel

Eph. 2:11 Remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

 

Probably because culturally we are still Christians here in the west, that we do not realize our precarious state as unbelievers in the west. But in Paul’s time the division and the difference between Jews and Gentiles and the God of Israel could not be more stark. Paul reminds the Gentile believers that at one time they were separated from Christ. Indeed anyone who does not believe in Christ is separated from Christ including unbelieving Jews who are religious but do not have faith in Jesus.

 

Not only were they and us, at one time separated from Christ, we were also alienated from the commonwealth of Israel. That is to say because the lack of the sign of the covenant with Abraham we and they had no rights as citizens of Israel. We had no claim on the Living God nor the people of Israel. If Israel were a power all we could claim was equal treatment under the law of Moses. But now, even unbelieving Jews, i.e non-Christian Jews have cut themselves off from the commonwealth of Israel which is why both John and Jesus called them and us to be baptized into a baptism of repentance.

 

We were strangers to the covenants of promise and had no hope and were without God in the world. As non-Israelites, we were not included in the covenants the Lord made with Abraham and with Israel on the mountain. We did not know of the promises the Lord had attached himself to binding himself to Israel. We did not worship the Living God of creation but rather worshiped creation and followed the vain philosophies of our minds.

 

But now! In Christ Jesus we who were far off are brought near by the blood of Christ. How did we get in Christ Jesus? Through faith in Christ and baptism. Indeed, now both Jew and Gentile are made one in Christ Jesus through baptism where we both are covered with the blood of Christ. His blood sprinkled on us gives both Jew and Gentile a clean conscience. Now through the blood of Christ given us in the Lord’s Supper, the sign of the New Testament, the Lord calls himself our God and we his people. Our sins are forgiven us and remembered no more. Now in the New Testament instituted by and through Jesus’ blood, he gives us his Holy Spirit who writes God’s laws upon our hearts and we begin to know the Lord and carry out his will in our lives. This is the great mystery Paul often talks about but has been revealed to us, God makes all Israel, both Jew and Gentile, those who have faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord and are baptized into his name. This is a very big thing.

 

Gracious God and Father, through the blood of Jesus you make both Jew and Gentile one holy people Israel. Grant us faith in Jesus Christ and through the tokens of the New Testament, baptism and the Lord’s Supper that we may be citizens of Israel now and in the world to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is “YHWH Is Our Righteousness”


#DailyDevotion Jesus Is “YHWH Is Our Righteousness”

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

 

During the day of Jeremiah, Israel was long a byword. They had already been distributed among the nations and were no more by the Assyrians. Now Judah was threatened with the same thing by the Babylonians. The kings, elders, rulers, priests and prophets of Judah, the shepherds of Judah had let the people astray and abused them. God was going to take care of them that is bring many of them to certain death and a remnant would be brought to Babylon to serve the Babylonians. The Lord saves a remnant for the sake of his promise to Abraham and to David.

 

The Lord through Jeremiah tells those going into exile and those who are there to have hope. The Lord is going to raise up for David a righteous Branch. And the Lord has done this by raising up Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus of the house of David the Lord has set apart and has raised him up to the right hand of God where he reigns establishing among the people of earth a kingdom of royal priests. When he has completed his tasks of bringing to salvation all those appointed to life everlasting, Jesus shall visibly return to execute justice and righteousness upon the earth. Everyone who had rejected him and his gifts of mercy through his ambassadors shall receive in their flesh and souls all that is rightly due them.

Jesus who had been lifted high upon the cross though demonstrating what God’s righteousness requires also in that act made atonement for the sin of the world. Paul writes, 2Co 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” So now we are ambassadors for Christ proclaiming the gifts of his righteousness to all who would believe on Jesus. For Jesus is, “The Lord is our righteousness.” It is in that righteousness we stand before the judgment throne. Jesus became our sin so we may become his righteousness. This is the gift of God.

 

Peter writes, 2Pe 1:1 “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” Having been given the faith through the proclamation that Jesus is our righteousness we stand in his righteousness which is the righteousness of God. Now only in Jesus is Judah saved and Israel dwell securely. Indeed this was too small a thing so the Lord brought in the rest of the world and like Judah and Israel, through faith and baptism into Christ Jesus all who believe on him receive and become the righteousness of God because we dwell in the one who is “the Lord is our righteousness.” That Lord is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He calls to you today to put your trust in him and receive his righteousness.

 

Almighty God and Father, you raised up your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth to be the son of David, a righteous branch who is called, “the Lord is our righteousness.” Grant us such faith in him that we become his righteousness and are saved and dwell securely as your holy people on the day Jesus is revealed to the world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion There Are Three Types Of People Christians Encounter


#DailyDevotion There Are Three Types Of People Christians Encounter

Mark 6:19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.

 

There are generally three responses to the Christian message. One is hatred. One is thanksgiving. One is well finds it interesting but is unwilling to give themselves to it. The third is most dangerous because you never really know where you stand with them.

 

Herod’s wife represents the first. The Christians message is both law and gospel. It judges and condemns sin and it pronounces forgiveness for those who recognize their sinfulness and repent. As long as your “Christian love” ignores their “pagan sin” they’re just happy with you. But if you ever get around to confronting them with their sin to call them to repentance, well like Herod’s wife towards John, they want to kill you. A hatred towards you will rise up in them like nothing else. To such people we are 2Co 2:16 ESV  “… a fragrance from death to death, …” You smell like death to them because you are calling them to die to their former way of life and to their gods, the things they trust the most.

 

John would be the second. He heard Christ’s word through Mary and leaped for joy in his mother’s womb. The woman caught in adultery, Zacheaus, Mary Magdalene, and even Peter, those released from demonic possession, all confronted with their sinfulness and crushed by it but rejoicing in the good news of forgiveness and acceptance by Jesus. In the world there are many who are crushed and heavy burdened by their sins. They think there is no hope. Yet Jesus gives them hope and they respond with thankfulness.

 

Then there are those like Herod. They’re conflicted. They don’t like being confronted with their sins but they find the Christian message intriguing and gladly here. Many people like this sit in churches every Sunday. They would never tell you they don’t really believe any of this stuff well maybe a few would. If they were ever asked and they were honest they probably would admit they find it all intriguing and would think it is wonderful if it were only true. But it is all myth or stories to them. They like looking for life lessons and how to improve their lives but repent of their sins? Confess their sins? Trust Jesus died for their sins and gives them forgiveness and eternal life, well it’s not something they’re willing to die for. These people have a fancy for the faith but not faith itself. And like Herod, when it comes to it, they’d turn on you in a second for their honor or life than stand up for the Christian faith or for Christians.

 

The first you can actually work with and if you can be patient with them they may actually come around to faith. The second well we just rejoice with and build each other up. The third Jesus speaks calling them lukewarm. Such ones are the hardest to ever have them come to a true faith, but nothing is impossible with God.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us always faith that we may be truly repentant of our sins and look to you for forgiveness and life. Give us your Holy Spirit always that when we open our mouths to those we encounter we may rightly and faithfully speak your word to them. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Who Is Jesus, Yeshua Of Nazareth?


#DailyDevotion Who Is Jesus, Yeshua Of Nazareth?

Mark 6:14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”

 

There is always the question, “Who is Jesus?” That is how the death of John the Baptist’s death comes into the gospel of Mark. Jesus of Nazareth comes suddenly on the scene doing miracles and teaching boldly out of nowhere and it was making people wonder about who he actually was.

 

Some thought he might be Elijah. Elijah was predicted to come before he restoration of Israel. Elijah was a mighty prophet who did miracles who was caught up to heaven. Here Jesus was doing many miracles, healing the sick, the lame, leapers and even raising the dead. If there were a candidate for Elijah, Jesus could have been him. But Jesus tells us that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy concerning Elijah’s return here: Mar 9:13 “But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

 

Is Jesus a prophet like one of the prophets of old? Indeed, Jesus is a prophet for he proclaimed the word of the Lord faithfully. But Jesus is more than just a prophet like the prophets of old.  Jesus is the ‘the’ prophet foretold by Moses. Deu 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—18-19 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.  (19)  And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” Jesus is this prophet. He is like Moses because he speaks directly to the Father and the Father gives him directly what to speak. Joh 12:49-50 “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.  (50)  And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” Like Moses, Jesus institutes a new covenant, but this one is not made with the blood of bulls and goats but with his own blood. By this covenant God makes for himself a people of every language, tribe, people and nation.

Is Jesus John the Baptist raised from the dead? No, but John was a mighty prophet who called Israel to repentance and pointed to Israel the way of leveling the hills and filling the valleys, he pointed us to Jesus saying, Joh 1:29 …“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! That is who Jesus is. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world by paying the penalty for that sin in his death on the cross. All who look to Jesus, believe in his name, and trust his work on the cross satisfied the penalty for sin receive eternal life and the resurrection of the righteous.

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to be the prophet who speaks your word to us and offered himself as our atoning sacrifice for sin. Grant us faith always to believe this good news and live our lives in faith towards you and love towards our fellow man. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion “In” Is An Important Word In The Bible


#DailyDevotion “In” Is An Important Word In The Bible

Eph. 1:11 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.

 

“In” is such an important word in this letter from Paul, but it is also important in other letters. Everything is happening ‘in’ Christ Jesus.  We were chosen ‘in love’. ‘In love’ we were predestined. ‘In him’ we have redemption through his blood. Now ‘in him’ we have obtained an inheritance. What is this inheritance we have inherited? In Christ we have inherited the kingdom of God. Of course to inherit something someone has to die. Who died? Jesus, the Son of God died, therefore God died or as Peter and Paul say, the Lord of Glory, the Author of Life. Sure Jesus rose from the dead. But when he was killed upon the cross he made us heirs. What belongs to Jesus? Everything. But first let’s be a little more concrete. You have inherited the kingdom of God. You have inherited eternal life. You have inherited the unspeakable riches of heaven. You have inherited God’s own glory, righteousness and holiness.

 

In Jesus you have been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the council of his will. In Romans Paul says, “God works all things for good for those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.” There was nothing willy nilly in God having chosen you. We have no idea what the council of his will was that made God say, “This one, I choose this one.” We do know it was out of love and so that his mercy may be glorified.

 

‘In him’ when you heard the word of truth believed in Jesus and were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit is God. The Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit when in Jesus we hear the Gospel, the good news of the free gift of salvation on account of Christ.  We seal jars, letters, bank vaults. We seal things that are important that we want to keep safe. God seals us with the Holy Spirit because we are important to him. He gives us the Holy Spirit so we may believe in Christ, continue to listen and understand his word, be changed in heart, mind and soul towards the will of God, and be preserved in the faith unto life everlasting.

 

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance until the return of Christ when we will receive the fullness of the inheritance he has prepared for us. Now we possess eternal life. Then we will fully possess the kingdom of God, new immortal bodies and God himself. This will be to praise of God’s glory. All things are to the praise of the glory of God and in particular your salvation. All this the Father has done ‘in’ Jesus Christ of Nazareth our Lord and Savior and has done it for you.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us always your Holy Spirit that in Christ we may have faith in him and live to the praise and glory of your holy name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion In Love God Has Chosen You In Christ Jesus To Be His Children


#DailyDevotion In Love God Has Chosen You In Christ Jesus To Be His Children

Eph. 1: In love 5 he predestined us for adoption 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.

 

Some people get hung up on election. Know this, “In love” God chose you. It was in his great mercy and love for Christ Jesus God chose you to be his very own. He chose you to be adopted by him through Christ Jesus. How do you know God chose you? Well let us start with this, God so loved the world he sent his son to the atoning sacrifice to take the world’s sin away. You are part of the world, so this applies to you. God has sent the message of this salvation and God gives faith to believe and receive this salvation through this word. God has also given  his name to baptism wherein he put his name on you and says, “mine!” And God continues to have you persevere in this faith by provided for the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Lord’s Supper to preserve you in this faith. So if you have heard the word, believe, are baptized and are regularly where he gives his word and sacraments, you should consider yourselves one of the elect.

 

Again you can be certain God adopted you has his own child in baptism, in love, through Christ. Paul writes, Tit 3:4-7 ESV “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  (5)  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  (6)  whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  (7)  so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Through this washing of regeneration, i.e. baptism, you have been made heirs of God, the Holy Spirit being poured out upon us.

 

As heirs of God with the Holy Spirit we are therefore his children as St. Paul writes, Rom 8:15 ESV  “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” and again, Gal 4:5-6 ESV “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  (6)  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”

 

This is to the praise of his glorious grace. Your salvation is not based on what you did or didn’t do. It is based on God’s choice, his love in Christ Jesus for you, and his grace for you, before you did anything good or bad, before the foundation of the world. Thanks be to God for the grace bestowed upon us to reveal his will to us, to have us hear his word, to give us the sign and seal of baptism in which we are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation. And this he has blessed with in the beloved, i.e. Jesus. Not sure you are in Christ Jesus and one of God’s elect? What has God said through his servant St. Paul? Rom 6:3-4 ESV “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  (4)  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Are you baptized with the baptism our Lord Jesus Christ has given? Then you are in Christ. Believe his word.

 

Heavenly Father, gracious God, you have chosen us to be your children and have given us the sign of our adoption of grace in the waters of Holy Baptism. Ever keep us in your Church where we are fed your word and sacraments to preserve in this faith unto life everlasting. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion In Jesus You Are Never The Last Person Chosen


#DailyDevotion In Jesus You Are Never The Last Person Chosen

Eph. 1:3 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.

 

We bless our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because he has blessed us. How do we bless God? This question comes up often because we do not in our regular speaking think of blessing this way. We only think about having gotten something from someone. But our liturgy helps us in this. As we close in the liturgy the pastor says, “Bless we the Lord.” and we respond with “Thanks be to God.” So to bless God our Father is to give him thanks and praise.

 

Now what do bless God for? We give thanks because he has blessed us with every spiritual bless in the heavenly places. Paul in the next chapter reminds us, Eph 2:7 ESV  “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” In Colossians, he also writes, Col 3:1-2 ESV “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  (2)  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

 

Now often in the Old Testament, but not exclusively, these blessings are often portrayed as land, health and wealth. Indeed, we are bound to inherit a new heavens and a new earth. The streets of the New Jerusalem are paved with gold. We get new immortal bodies like Christ’s glorious body at the resurrection. Yet the Lord was the inheritance of the Levites. We now too are royal priests and we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. The Lord God and Jesus have given themselves to us. What more could we want? They pour upon us and fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee to what is to come.

 

On top of that we have this guarantee that he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Jesus says in John, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” If you’ve ever been the last kid at recess or gym to be chosen or maybe even were simply left out, what great comfort it is to know that the basis of our chosenness is not how great we are but rather how great Jesus is for it is in him that we were chosen. And we were chosen in him before we did anything good or bad, before we were weak or strong and before we demonstrated any innate goodness in ourselves.

 

And what were we chosen for? He chose us to be holy and blameless before him. Now some may take this to mean we have to get up, pull up our own bootstraps and get to making ourselves holy and blameless. Now while the Father certainly calls us to live holy and blameless lives before him know that it is Jesus who will present us holy and blameless before the Father. Paul writes, Col 1:22 ESV “he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,…” And again, 1Th 5:23-24 ESV “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (24)  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

 

We thank you heavenly Father for choosing us in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world in Christ Jesus. Ever keep us faithful to your son Jesus Christ that on the day of Christ’s he may present holy and blameless before your throne. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.