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Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Everlasting Arms

It's late at night. You're on your way to Grandma's house. And you don't have to worry about a thing -- not drunks, not speedtraps, not cows that wander out onto the road -- because you're six-years-old, and your father is driving.

That's what Paul meant by "security" -- the feeling you get when you know that somebody who loves you is in charge of your life.

And that's why Paul uses such scary language in Ephesians 1:3-14 -- language that stresses the fact that God is running things (and we're not).

I mean, if you grew up with the idea that "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul," then it's a little worrisome to be told that your salvation is solely due to the fact that:
  • God chose us.
  • God predestined us.
  • God adopted us.
  • God included us.
  • And God marked us with His seal, i.e. the Holy Spirit.

But let's be honest: if you were Paul (and you became a Christian the way that Paul did), then you're going to have a pretty healthy appreciation for God's ability to make things happen.

And if your were writing to the church in Ephesus -- a church that was dealing with terrible opposition from the outside and horrible divisions on the inside -- then yes, you'd probably emphasize the idea that nothing surprises God, nothing flusters God, and nothing (but nothing!) can ruin His plans.

In short, you'd emphasize the same thing that Paul does in these verses; you'd emphasize the sovereignity of God.

And no, this doesn't mean that we don't have a say in what happens to us; in fact, Paul assumes our freedom of choice in the rest of this book.

But when it's getting late, and the road is dark, and you don't know what lies ahead . . .

That's when it's nice to know that somebody else is driving.

Pastor Greg

And remember: "We must believe in free will; we have no choice!" -- Saul Bellow.


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