Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of January 26, 2003


BEFORE GOD—HOLY, BLAMELESS, AND IN LOVE

… He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love … Ephesians 1:4

This verse reaches from eternity to eternity. In eternity past, God chose us “in Jesus” to be before him holy, blameless, and in love. Believers who have gone on to the Lord are now in this blessed communion with Him—lasting throughout eternity future.

Some would take Ephesians 1:4 to mean that because we are “in Christ,” God sees and accepts us now as filled with love, holiness, and blamelessness.

But is there Scriptural evidence that believers can experience such a lofty reality in this life? There is.

Romans 6:3-5 teaches that all believers are already crucified, buried, and resurrected. In Colossians 3:1-4 Paul mentions Christ being the life of believers who are experiencing crucifixion and resurrection.

It is so because that person experiences the crucifixion and burial of the old man and the filling of the Holy Spirit. He also experiences life in the heavenlies with Jesus in the presence of the Father. He experiences what is called “the exchanged life.”

When Jesus as his life the believer is in the presence of the Father, filled with love, holy, and without blame. One who is “holy” is available to God.

The experience may be only for a moment, but it is real and can be a growing experience. In Philippians 3:8-14 Paul says he has reduced his life to one thing—experiencing life in the heavenlies.

Paul knew experiencing life in the heavenlies is being in the presence of God in love—holy and blameless. This awareness must have motivated him to reduce his life to that one thing.

We experience our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection by obeying the five commands of Romans 6:11-13.

In Ephesians 1:3-6 Paul states that this eternity to eternity blessing results in praise to the glory of God’s grace.