Yesterday’s devotion focused on Ephesians 2:4-5 where Paul calls those without Christ, Children of disobedience and Children of Wrath. Today I want to look at what Paul calls God’s elect. Those who have Christ as Lord and Saviour, he uses three phrases to identify what true believers are to be know as: children of God, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.
Children of God: this phrase comes as a result of the preceding verse where Paul says we are adopted into God’s family. Adoption of any child means bringing them into the family, as one of our own. The same goes with God, we go from being Children of Wrath (those that are an abomination to God) to His love children. Are all who claim to be “Christians” children of God? The short answer if no, 1 John 3:10 tells us that only those who practice righteousness and love our brethren, are true Children of God. You have to do more than talk the talk, John says you must faithfully practice what you preach (claim).
Heirs of God: Consider this for a moment, what if you got adopted into a family but they make it clear you are not entitled to any of the benefits or privileges of that family. God does not hold back He says the Children of God are also heirs, one who is entitled to possess, all that God has to offer. All His promises, righteousness and salvation are given to the Children of God. An inheritance that can never be taken away, that never diminishes (1 Peter 1:4).
Fellow heirs with Christ: What amazing words, whatever Jesus has we too share in the inheritance. We share in Christs’ glory (John 17:22), His riches (2 Corinthians 8:9) in fact the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus has inherited all things what is it God would withhold from His children?
As Children of God we are no longer slaves to sin and must live our lives accordingly. An easy task, absolutely not. In fact the often overlooked part of Romans 8:17 says “provided we suffer with him” so we are Children because we have or will suffer for and with Christ. This can mean direct persecution because of our work for the kingdom, or just the struggles we endure for our Christian Worldview, that the world around us hates. What separates us, what makes us Children of God, is how we look at and handle those times:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5