We are studying Ephesians and are in chapter one this morning, specifically looking at verses 6-10. The following is a quick look at a few phrases that Paul uses in this section.
"In the Beloved" is an amazing phrase. How many of us would call Christ "the beloved'. It expresses a degree of adoration and intimacy that is unusual. "I am my beloved's and He is mine". Isn't that from Song of Solomon? Our modern misogynist and patriarchal crowds could say some unkind things about that. Yet, I believe we should love God from the depths of our innermost person as the apostles give us examples of.
And speaking of kindness, vs. 6 says that God has made us accepted in Christ. The kindness and unmerited mercy of God is that He sent us His Son, and the Son came to us while humanity was in the midst of depravity. God comes to us all the time when we are spiritually ugly to behold. How many times do we reach out to someone in sin and grant them kindness and mercy. Think of the worst sins that a person could participate in and then ask ourselves whether we would die to save that person from himself. Of course, we cannot do what Christ did, but we can pray for one another, speak the truth to one another, and do undeserved random acts of kindness, and forgive one another. If we follow Christ's example we see that sacrificing self for the benefit of others and doing things that promote the welfare of others is the way we should be living. "Christ came NOT to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many".
"IN Him" we have redemption is another tweek on our perception. When we think of Christ dying for us, we don't think of being IN Him in order to benefit from His incredible sacrifice. Yet, that is exactly what we do in baptism. We die in Christ and are resurrected IN Christ; resurrected to real spiritual life. So, yes, IN HIM we find our salvation in everything. This is something to think about when struggling. The best thing to do is run toward the Lord and get close and closer to Christ in our turmoils. Yet so often we see people question God for allowing something bad to happen instead of realizing sin is something that humans do themselves and to each other. God is our escape, healing, forgiveness, and place of love and understanding. The only wise thing to do is the remain IN Him and snuggle in deeper.
"The mystery of His Will" is indeed all about us. I can see the beauty in the world, the earth and the animals. But humanity became perpetuators of destruction. Perhaps, part of the mystery of God's creating us is this ability to choose that He has given to us all knowing that we would misuse it. But His will is that we come to dwell IN HIM. Elohim wants intimate pure holy communion with us freely, not by compulsion. And the only way to do that was to let us go our own way, learn and suffer from it, and then suffer in sacrifice in order to provide a way back to Elohim's presence by purifying us in His sacrifice.
This is a love that is barely comprehensible, and surely worthy of the phrase "the Beloved".