You Are Included

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

included

One of the main differences between Christian denominations is understanding when you are saved.

Arminianism theology believes you are saved when you make the election to choose God. Calvinism theology on the other hand believes God has already predetermined your life’s final destination. And Trinitarian theology believes God has already chosen you but you need to exercise faith to experience the fruit of salvation.

I find adoption theology gives a good example of explaining the differences.

Under adoption theology, God through Christ has adopted humanity through his life, death, and resurrection. Just like a parent adopts a child into the family fold, God has adopted humanity into the family circle. The child may either accept his position as a new family member and become engaged with the family culture, or not. The child is already included within the family whether or not she accepts her role. Her actions are either to accept the family or rebel. When she accepts, she enjoys the fruit of family living. When she rebels, she is still a family member, but lost from sharing life with the family and the family treasures.

Arminianism theology on the other hand teaches that the child selects the parent for adoption. You are not included in the family until you decide to make it so. The parent only offers adoption, and the child is the one who legally binds the offer. The weight is on the child choosing to be adopted or not.

Calvinism theology teaches that God has adopted some and has not adopted others. Some will experience eternity with God and others are predestinated for eternal lost. As a child, you have to figure out whether you are included or excluded from God’s family.

When you understand that salvation is what Jesus accomplished and not what we make happen, then we find salvation is more about a familial relationship with the living God rather than a business transaction. There are those who treat salvation as something you earn by achieving a goal, or something you acquire by keeping score of good behavior, or some noble actions toward others. When you realize its about being included within the Eternal God’s circle of Father-Son-Spirit, it changes your perspective of God, family, and life.

Paul writes that God chose humanity before the foundation of the world to become his children. When Christ rose from the dead, he not only defeated death for himself, but included all of humanity with him. Our home is with him. You cannot be lost unless you already have a home. Those who don’t truly know Jesus Christ yet have a home waiting for them. They have already been adopted into the family but don’t realize the riches that await them.  When they accept Jesus and His lordship, life changes. They become engaged in the Family business and enjoy the fruit of God’s redemptive plan. However, if they continue to rebel against participating in God’s family endeavors, and choose not to be engaged with Christ, there will be unpleasant consequences; including the loss of everlasting life.

Our chose is not whether or not we want to be adopted, our chose is whether or not we want to accept our position within the family and participate in the family business. You are already included. The question then becomes, what are you going to do about it?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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LOST

 

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 ESV

 lost 2

Ever suffer from an identity crisis?

I think everyone does somewhere and someplace in their life. For humanity is wired to easily gravitate toward those situations and circumstances that feed the soul. When the soul is hungry and has difficulty discerning the good from the bad, it sometimes jumps unwisely into a frying pan that is softly simmering at the time. By the time the situation deepens, the frying pan is hot and getting out is more difficult than before. Sometimes it may even be too late.

Most people don’t realize they are lost until they are found. The comic who shares the joke of the father reassuring their family while driving the auto that everything is well and that they are making good time is like most of us. We are making great time but not sure where our destination is. We can’t admit we are lost. Pride gets in the way.

Generally speaking, we simply identify ourselves with what is most important in our life. We typically confuse the roles we play with our identify. And when the role ends, we go into crisis mode because our identity is taken away from us.

We see this when a person places their identity in their work. When they retire, they find themselves depressed and confused. When the children leave the nest, a mother seems lost not knowing what to do with her time. A mate places their identity with their partner and experiences a crisis when the relationship ends. When a person is identified with a winning sports team and then the career ends, what are they to do? Our identify is inappropriately placed in shifting roles which change over time.

As a believer, we are blessed to have our identity found in Christ. Our home is in Christ. In fact, when Christ died and arose again, he redeemed all humanity. He restored the relationship that was broken by Adam & Eve. Instead of wondering through the desert seeking refuge in temporary dwellings, he became our cornerstone. In baptism, we identify with him in his death, burial, and resurrection. In the breaking of bread and drinking of wine (communion), we identify with him. In the Body of Christ, we are his hands and feet, he is the head. In the age to come, he will share his throne with us. As believers, we are his royal, priestly children. Nothing will ever separate us from him.

So when you see someone that looks lost, pray for them. Pray that the Holy Spirit may lead them home. Home is wherever Jesus resides. Today Jesus resides in us via the Holy Spirit. He also resides in heaven where our reward and treasure awaits us.

We are most thankful that he came to restore and reconcile humanity with God. To give us a taste of what home looks like when we live within his domain. I’m not lost; but found. Found by Jesus who wants everyone to experience the real blessings found within the family of God. How about you? Are you still looking to return home or have you been found?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

What’s It All About?

Jesus came to redeem the world. Since Adam & Eve rebelled against God, this world’s beauty has become disarrayed by evil. As a people we have messed up almost everything we have touched. We have tried to create a world order apart from God. But the good news is that through Jesus each one of us has the opportunity to taste how life was initially created to be.

Sin is an old-fashion term but a modern day event. Many people don’t even know what the definition of sin is. There are those who make it into some religious ritual. There are others who call sin anything that is fun and enjoyable. Others define it only as an action and not a thought. Some define it as a spirit or attitude that opposes the Will of God.

sin3

The Bible provides us with several definitions of sin. Whether we miss the mark, transgress the law, break His commandments, rebel against God, live alienated from Him, or perform any action without faith, hope, and love are all symptoms of sin. We are surrounded in sin and many of us are even saturated in sin. We lavish in sin and even enjoy the pleasure of sin. But until sin’s penalties leave its mark on us causing pain and sorrow, we live life trying to ignore it.

Many of us try to manage sin. We believe we are stronger than any sin that comes our way. We seek temptation rather than flee from it. Many times we are blind to sin’s attempt of capturing us. We walk right into sin’s traps like a dodo bird in a fashion show. We parade our stuff only to lose again at evil’s game.

The Bible also states that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. We all must die. There is no escaping that fact from planet earth. The question remains then what? If there is no life hereafter, than we might as well party and wallow in our sins. If this is all that there is, than mankind is one cruel joke. Simply put, if Jesus lived His life like history records it, than many of us better look twice. For either He is the Messiah or He is not. If He is not, than we better have sufficient proof. But if He is, like many who believe He is, why not accept His offer?

His desire is that you enter into a relationship with Him and His Dad now and for all eternity. His plan includes everyone that freely and willfully accepts His offer. His offer includes all the benefits of being a child of God. His plan is to bring you back into the Family of God, to redeem you from this world and sin, to grant you His gift of eternal life and all its treasures. His desire is that your life be rich and successful like His. Daddy knows best. Why not accept His offer?

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Wonderful Dad, thank you for being so merciful with us. Thank you for allowing us the freedom to choose. We know there are many who choose you out of fear. There are those who choose you out of self-preservation. But we also know that there are many that choose you because of your love. You are the most loving, giving, gracious being we have ever known. We thank you for being involved in our life Though we are sinful with a natural disposition towards sin, we thank you for loving us even in our sins. Help us to live life away from sin. Change our heart with Your Spirit. Keep sin and its power away from us. Let the righteousness of Jesus surround us. Bathe us with your righteousness. Wash us thoroughly from all that we naturally are. Let your Holiness abide in us without pain or discomfort. Let your Home always be within us and let our home always be with You. Thank you Jesus for everything in your name. Amen.

Dr. Mike