Praise be to God for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! Phillips We all too often forget that we are citizens of Heaven. We live in exile on earth, but our true home is Heaven/New Jerusalem. That privilege is only possible because the man, Jesus, willingly allowed himself to be executed so that he could face the Prince of Darkness and defeat him, and Death while he was at it.
For most of us Christians, making use of the spiritual benefits of Heaven is hit-and-miss. We are so embedded in the world that we lose sight of what is ours for the asking. But …
For consider what he has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care. Phillips Even when we are lost and slip away, God is always there with us.
God chose us. We should never doubt it or take it for granted. However, we Christians are not as special as we often like to pretend. The truth is, God chose every human before the foundation of the world to become blameless children. Many have rejected His invitation of Heavenly citizenship. What will happen to them is up to God. Not us. If I sit at the Heavenly Banquet and see Hitler two seats over, I should Praise the power of God.
For consider what he has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care. Phillips We can only be blameless by being inside the body of Yeshua the Messiah. His body is big enough for billions of people. And he wants us to join him.
It is through the Son, at the cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that full and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and opened our eyes to the truth. Phillips The word redeemed needs a little definition. The Greek word here translated is apolutrosis, taken from the word apo, meaning off, and the word lutron, meaning loosen. The early church found this word fitting to describe how our sins are removed from us by the power of God. They are loosened off.
Don’t overlook the statement that our sins are freely forgiven.
For God had allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfilment in him. Phillips We need to understand that God and His Son planned the creation of the universe as well as the creation of humans. The plan included the need for us to be saved from ourselves. We Christians need to get back to the Jewish understanding of Genesis. We have done the first chapters a great disservice. The creation of chapter one is not scientific, it is religious. It is about God and his Son.
And here is the staggering thing—that in all which will one day belong to him we have been promised a share. Phillips I like the staggering thing. It really is mind blowing that we should be given even a tiny bit of the glories of Heaven. It really is giving pearls to swine.
And after you gave your confidence to him you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase, until the day when God completes the redemption of what he has paid for as his own; and that will again be to the praise of his glory. Phillips That is a guarantee that will hold up in any court.
Be righteous and do good.