Predestined to be Found in Christ
- Date: February 8, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
- From Put On Christ
Look at the first chapter of Ephesians. I want to look at a couple of segments, but I don't want to bog down in Ephesians. We're eventually heading to Colossians. How many of you know that you can spend a long time studying in the book of Ephesians. Romans and Ephesians are the two letters that set our doctrine and our theology in the Scriptures. There is one thing that we want to see about Ephesians that is very important for us, and it will help us in this hour that we're going into. We've been spending a lot of time in these last couple of years not on doctrine, but on practical living, starting with the examination of our own hearts and then with emphasis on our love and care for one another. In some minds there's the difficulty of looking at the predestined consequence of the redemption of Jesus that Paul speaks of in the first half of this epistle to the Ephesians.
When we look at that first half of Ephesians, and we see ourselves flying high, don't we? The first half of Ephesians has us raised up and seated with Him. There are all of these promises that are in Him, and it's exciting to us! I want to make sure that I get the amount right. The phrase "in Him" is used 36 times in this epistle. Aren't you glad that we are in Him? Aren't you glad that we are the righteousness of God in Him? God sees us that way, and we don't want to miss that. When Father looks at us, He sees us absolutely pure, holy, and perfect in Him. Can you say, "Praise God," for that? How many of you don't feel that way sometimes? What do we do when we're reading the first part of this epistle, and we're talking about how righteous we are, how victorious we are, how raised up we are, and then sometimes you feel like crud? Many of us have trouble with making the distinction between this: "Am I what I feel like sometimes, or am I what the Bible says in Ephesians that I am in Christ?" The fact is that you're both. Faith demands that we apprehend who we are in Christ. No man can steal that from us. In fact, the Bible says that that is to be the profession of our mouths. But the reality is that it requires faith to make those statements when you feel downcast or when you feel burdened. We take up the Scriptures that declare nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
I want to deal with this, and I want to make a distinction in the theology here in Ephesians. Ephesians was a circular letter. When you stop and think about it, there wasn't a lot written to all of those churches in the New Testament, was there? Have you ever thought about that? You sit and look. How many books are there today for us study on these books? There are thousands of books written about these books. I think that's kind of interesting. It's ironic in a way. Why don't we read the books? There are thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of books written about these books. There are hundreds, and hundreds of thousands of pages written about three pages. I'd say these three pages are pretty rich, aren't they? We need to spend time in the epistles of Paul. We need to spend time in the gospels of Jesus and realize that for these words alone, nothing written about them is inspired, but these words are inspired. Let's go to the inspiration. Let's go to the living Word of God. It's alive, and it's powerful, and it discerns. It divides between joints and marrow. It's a discerner of the thoughts and the intentions of the heart.
This is a circular letter. It was to be sent around to the other churches. This is one thing that this tells me: every church had the same problems. People are people. There wasn't one doctrine written for "this" church, another doctrine written for "that" church, and another letter sent to "this" church. There are a few that are distinct, but get this into your thinking. This is the point I want to make: people are people. These epistles bring truth to everybody, because we all have the same problem. All of us are full of ourselves. He starts Ephesians by saying, "Since you are so full of yourself, I want you to be sure of the redemptive work, the finished work in Jesus Christ, and who you are predestined to be." We can rejoice in that. We're predestined! Ephesians talks about it. Romans talks about it (Romans 8:29). We are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.