Ephesians 1:1-14: Already There

Alright, J-Blog Bible Study: Here we go!

Have you ever been driving, completely lost in your own thoughts, and wind up where you were going without remembering the details of how you got there? This happens to me all the time. I don't know if it's some distraction caused by the number of thoughts in my head, or if I just get way to into a song on my iPhone or something like that. But it happens with frightening regularity. I wonder if I've ever hit any pedestrians... (that's not funny!)

Now imagine you find yourself in this situation. You planned to go from point A to point B, and after stepping into your car you come out of your hazy dream-filled state at point B. You're there, but you can't at all remember how you got there. You don't remember doing the work involved to get from point A to point B. So, as you stand directly on point B, you reason that because you don't remember traveling the distance, you must not be at point B. There's no way! You can't have the reward without having done any of the work.

It seems silly in that example, but there are times in my life where I do that with Christ's grace. I stand as a forgiven child of God, but I don't really remember doing any of the work involved in getting here. I don't remember giving up my favorite sins. I don't remember giving up some of the key decisions in my life. If I haven't done the work to be redeemed, I obviously must not be redeemed.

Paul would slap me silly...

These first few verses seem to put the rest of the book into perspective. We're already there. We've been "blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" through Christ. We were "chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love." "In Christ, we have also obtained an inheritance." Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it doesn't seem like there are instructions for how to accomplish these things, they're already done for us through the blood and redemptive love of Christ.

I think sometimes we as Americans can get extremely caught up in trying to earn our salvation. I think youth workers have it even more so. We feel like if we aren't gunning at full break-neck speed, that we aren't going to be as worthwhile or worthy to Christ. That line of thinking is a lie, and we need to eliminate it. Jesus will not love you more if you plan one more lock in. He won't be more impressed if you increase your weekly attendance from 45-50. You will be no more or less redeemed if you fail. You are simply a beloved child of God. We're already there.

So take a few moments today to reflect on that. Set your to-do list aside, turn your computer off, and let yourself be loved. Let Christ speak to you through this passage, and let him remind you that you've already been saved and redeemed.

Tomorrow we'll rock out 1:15-23. Later gators!