This is the lynch pin, because He chose us before the foundation of the world, and in love, He predestined us for adoption. So we are predestined, chosen, and adopted.
Before time itself existed, before the Evil one turned in pride from God to his own works, before this world was even created, before Adam and Eve were ever created, before the unveiling of creation itself…God chose His children. Now, I want to slow down, and pause, so that you absorb the great, cosmic, joy laden words of Paul here…so that you can soak in what is being communicated here. As far back as imagination will allow, further, deeper into time, before the dawn of time, it was there that God chooses us. Are you feeling the very tangible weight of such a statement? Do you understand all of the implications of this; that the Father chose us before He even created us? What a glorious realization!
What a wonderful, good, loving, merciful, gracious Father! We don’t have to earn, or merit, or work for His choosing, but He is simply pleased to choose us in Him. God’s choosing to save, choosing to die in the Person of Jesus, choosing His children from among humanity was not an arbitrary or whimsical decision. He planned for Jesus to die before Adam ever rejected Him. This is huge! This is the tension between His great transcendence and His accessibility, as He flexes His eternal authority and unstoppable love in the dimensions of time! This marks the security of our adoption, and though we are difficult children, He will never give us back.
During one of my pastorate before moving to Atlanta to plant Renovation I met a family in our church who had two adopted son’s, and two biological daughters. Their son’s were from New Orleans, and when they found out that I grew up in Baton Rouge, and had family in New Orleans, they were very excited to introduce me to their son’s. These two boy’s suffered horror’s as children that no person, let alone a child should ever have to experience. They suffered through sexual abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and forced incestuous behavior with each other. Needless to say they were extremely broken…which made them extremely difficult children.
Growing up with their adopted parents the boy’s had done everything you could imagine, in fact when I met them the youngest had just finished a short stint in a juvenile detention center for drug and battery charges. At one point things got so bad that the father removed the family’s two daughters from their own home to a grandparents, because they feared what the boy’s might do to the two girls, but didn’t want to give up on the boy’s.
Rather than sending the boy’s away, or giving them back to the state, their father gave up his and his wifes biological children for a time, so that they, through the power of the gospel, could rescue these boy’s. They never gave up, they never gave them back, though these were difficult, no, more than difficult children to parent. They made extraordinary sacrifices to keep these children, to show them gospel love…and grace…and mercy. They pursued, and kept these boy’s despite the many complications it came with!
The truth is, that all of us who are in christ, are “difficult children”. We are resistant often, “prone to wander…prone to leave the God we love”—-And yet, God will not give us back. He will not give up on us. His commitment to us is unbreakable. An imperfect God…and imperfect Father would give us back. A God with weak commitments would be done with us….but not “The God” of the bible…the God who exists (in reality),creates, and saves.
Some of you have experienced a father’s failed commitments to you, time and time again…and yet, our paternal God demonstrates his unshakeable commitment to us. That he would break into time, to keep his promises to us in Christ. God orphaned His Son Jesus on the cross, to make us orphans no longer. This is the power of His “other-worldly” love, and the wonder of His mercy and grace in securing our adoption.
So some of you are thinking, what do I do with this truth? I implore you to consider not what to do, but who to be. God wants His children to be all of these things described. Secure in Him. Secure in His promises. And consumed by His love. Once you figure out who you are in Jesus, what to do flows out of that identity…and in Jesus you are the child of the living God.