Chosen in Christ

Recently my wife shared with me how she was realizing that we as believers in Christ did chosen_in_christnot choose Him.  Rather, Christ chose us. My wife is quite right in this revelation. Ephesians 1:4-6 states,

In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence. He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons — in keeping with his pleasure and purpose — so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace he gave us through the Beloved One.” (CJB)

Wow! The Father chose us in Christ before the universe even existed. What a glorious thought. He chose us, we did not choose Him. He didn’t choose us because we were anything special or from some random selection. He chose us in Christ for His ‘pleasure and purpose’. Now some would argue from a theological point of view that there is no predestination. I would have to disagree with this viewpoint from what the text plainly states in Ephesians 1.

Jesus told his disciples in John 15:6,

“You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you.” (CJB)

The same is also true for all of us who have trusted in Christ for life and salvation. What a great Christ we have. I would encourage all of you who are reading this to mediate on these verses and realize how loved and blessed you are in Christ Jesus.

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Revelation Missing

revelation1I heard somewhere before, “Information without revelation will never lead to transformation.”  I thought this was a true statement for many years.  However, now I think this is not accurate.  I wonder if information has anything at all to do with any kind of significant life transformation.  For instance, there appears to be a strong emphasis in the institutional church today in America on information.  The evidence for this seems clear.  How many preachers have you watched on television?  How many have you heard on the radio?  How many of their books have you read lately?  These are the modern-day forms of Christian information.  But, have any of these forms of information overload actually brought about any real life change?  Have they caused you to fall in love with Christ at a deeper level?  They haven’t for me, and I am a former pastor who has a lot of information in these old noggin of mine.

Yet, all of this information that I could boast about has not truly brought me into a more personal, loving relationship with Christ.  Now, there is nothing wrong with having biblical information in itself.  But, it will never lead you into a deeper relationship with Christ.  “… But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.”  1 Cor. 8:1b  In this verse, Paul is saying to the believers in Corinth that knowledge leads to pride, whereas love leads to mutual encouragement.  Knowledge has become an idol for many believers in the western church, myself included.  Has the search for knowledge about Christ, lead to a lack of authentic love for Christ in the lives of believers?

I have been brought to a place in the past year that has made me see I need Christ to reveal himself to me, rather than for me to learn more about him from studying.  My prayer this morning was for Him to strip away any knowledge I have that is not of Him or that misrepresents who He really is.  I leave you with this thought.  I heard this verse last night and it has been intriguing me ever since,  “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me…” Gal. 1:15,16.  Is your desire for the Father to reveal His Son in you?