Adopted - Day 5 - The Gift of Redemption

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Ephesians 1:7-10 - 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Learn

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt stuck? Maybe you have struggled to lose weight, or maybe you have struggled to kick a bad habit or habitual sin. If so, you know what it’s like to be enslaved by something. What do we do when we feel stuck or enslaved? We remember the truth of v.7 which says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses...”

Redemption is one of the most powerful themes throughout the bible. Redemption is when someone is liberated or freed from bondage or slavery. In the Old Testament, God redeemed his people by delivering them out of slavery in Egypt, so they could be free to worship God in the promised land. However, the redemption of Israel was just a foreshadowing of a greater redemption that is now found in Jesus.

How did Jesus secure our redemption? Verse 7 says, “through his blood...” Our redemption was extremely costly - it cost Jesus his life. Jesus sacrificed himself and shed his blood on the cross, so our sins could be forgiven, and we could be set free from the power and bondage of sin. This means we are no longer slaves to sin. In Jesus, we are free! When you know you are free, you are empowered to say no to temptation and yes to living for God. How can you exercise your redemption in Jesus today?

Live

• How does being redeemed (in Jesus) make you feel?
• What difference does the blessing of redemption (in Jesus) make in your life?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for redeeming you (in Jesus).

Adopted - Day 4 - Adopted by God

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Ephesians 1:3-6 - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Learn

Did you ever see the movie Little Orphan Annie? In the movie, all Annie wants is to be loved and have a family. It’s a familiar story that we can all relate to. Deep inside all of us is a longing to be loved and accepted. This is what makes gift of adoption so amazing.

Verses 4-5 says, “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ...” Why did God choose to save us in Jesus? Because he loves us. Due to our sin, we were separated from God and unable to have fellowship with him, but because God loves us God sent Jesus to die in our place for our sin. Jesus’ sacrificial death atones for our sins, making it possible for us to be forgiven by God and have fellowship with God. No longer are we like orphans longing for love and acceptance. In Jesus, we are loved! In Jesus, we are accepted! Through Jesus, God adopts us as sons and daughters. This means we are no longer spiritual orphans. Because of Jesus, we now are part of God’s family and have a place in God’s kingdom.

Live

• How does being adopted (in Jesus) make you feel?
• What difference does the blessing of being adopted (in Jesus) make in your life?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for adopting you (in Jesus).

Adopted - Day 3 - Chosen by God

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Ephesians 1:3-6 - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Learn

As a kid I loved to play dodgeball at school. The teacher would pick team leaders, and then each team captain would pick his or her team. Nobody wanted to be picked last because being picked last meant no one wanted you on their team. Have you ever been that kid, standing around waiting to be chosen?

When it comes to team Jesus, God chose his team a long time ago. v.4 says, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” This is incredible. Notice the nuances of v.4: it says, “even as he chose us in him...” This means God the Father chose us to be saved in Jesus. When did God choose us? Verse 4 says, “before the foundation of the world...” Before the earth was created and long before you or I were born, God decided to save us. What was God’s goal in saving us? Verse 4 says, “that we should be holy and blameless before him.” God wanted to set apart a people for himself who could be made holy and blameless by the blood of Jesus.

What does all this mean? In eternity past, before God created the foundation of the world, God looked through the corridors of space and time and chose for himself a people to be made holy and blameless in Jesus. This is what the theologians call the doctrine of election.

The fact that God chose us is truly amazing. Think about it. God did not have to choose us. God wasn’t obligated to choose us. No one could have forced God to choose us, yet he still chose us. Why? Was it because of us? Was it because of something we did? No, he chose us before we were even born, which proves that his decision to save us isn’t because of anything we have done or could do.

What does mean for you? First, it means that you are not an accident. The fact that you exist is part of God’s divine plan. Second, it means you are wanted. God has chosen you, which means you have a place on team Jesus, and that is something worth celebrating.

Live

• How does being chosen (in Jesus) make you feel?
• What difference does the blessing of being chosen (in Jesus) make in your life?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for choosing you (in Jesus).

Adopted - Day 2 - The Blessings of God

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Ephesians 1:3-14 - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Learn

In the Greek, Ephesians 1:3-14 is one very long, complicated sentence that sets the tone for the entire letter. The primary theme of the letter is found in v.3, which tells that God the Father “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places...” Notice that we are blessed “in Christ.” This is very important because it reveals that Jesus is the source of God’s blessings. Also, notice that these blessings are “spiritual” blessings, which means they are of the Holy Spirit. Simply put, God the Father blesses us in God the Son (Jesus) through God the Holy Spirit. To be clear, without Jesus there is no blessing. Because of Jesus we can and do experience the blessings of God.

The entire letter of Ephesians expounds on the various ways in which we are blessed in Jesus. Notice the specific ways in which verses 3-14 speak of blessing: v.4 tells us we are chosen in Jesus to be holy and blameless before God, v.5 tells us that we are adopted into God’s family through Jesus, v.7 tells us that in Jesus we have redemption - the forgiveness of sins, v.9 tells us that the mystery of God’s will is revealed to us in Jesus, v.10 tells us that God is uniting all things to himself in Jesus, v.11 tells us that in Jesus we have been given an inheritance, v.12 tells us that in Jesus we have been given hope, and v.13 tells us that when we believed in Jesus we received the gift of salvation and were sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Live

• How does being blessed (in Jesus) make you feel?
• What difference do the blessings of Jesus make in your life?
• Action - spend some time in prayer praising God for the spiritual blessings he gives us in Jesus.

Adopted - Day 1 - A Warm Hello

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Ephesians 1:1-2 - Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jes us Christ.

Learn

The letter of Ephesians is believed to be a circular letter, which means it was sent to the church in Ephesus (modern day Turkey) and then sent throughout the region to the various churches in nearby towns and cities around Ephesus. Who sent the letter? Verse 1 tells us that Paul wrote the letter (to read Paul’s conversion story see Acts 9:1-22). Notice in verse 1 that Paul said he was an apostle “by the will of God.” Paul didn’t make himself an apostle, but rather he was set apart by Jesus and sent to bring the gospel message to the gentiles (those were the non-Jewish people).

Notice what Paul said about the church in Ephesus: first, he called them “saints,” and second, he said they “are faithful in Christ Jesus.” Paul's words give us a good indication as to who qualifies as a saint. A saint is someone who is “in” Christ Jesus and is “faithful” to Christ Jesus. As Christians, we are saints not because of what we do but because of who we are. It is a person’s relationship with Jesus that causes him or her to be (or become) a saint. As saints, we are called by God to love, worship, and serve God. Knowing you’re a saint gives meaning and purpose to your life. When your identity is “saint,” you know that you have been set apart by God to live for God.

Live

• Do you consider yourself to be a saint? Why or why not? 
• What does it look like for you to be faithful to God?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for making you a saint.

Adopted - Week 1 - Memory Verse

Ephesians 1:3-5

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will...