3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love Eph. 1:3-4
Had the Apostle Paul written just this single sentence and closed the letter and sent it to the Ephesians, that letter would still have made perfect sense to them. The Letter to the Ephesians would have been the shortest Book in the Bible, but still the words written here would be read over and over by millions of believers worldwide and their lives would transformed.
Why is this scripture so important? It is because it reveals God’s will for us. This, beloved, is God’s will for us. The Bible says much more, of course, but in this singular sentence, we learn what God’s will is for us as His children. God’s will for us is that we be holy, blameless and that we should walk in love towards one another.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 the Bible says:
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…”
Our sanctification is the will of God.
What a grace to know this! What a privilege and what a joy that God should reveal to us His will!
Beloved, this is what we should put all our effort into: living a sanctified life.
What exactly does it mean to live the kind of life that God wants us to live?
I cannot find any other answer in the Bible other than to put our lives at the altar; in other words, to take up our cross and follow Jesus. The Bible here tells us that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings to the end that we should live the sanctified life. That means that God has given us His Holy Spirit for that very purpose. But God has given us something else. He has given us to suffer with Christ. Paul puts this best in Philippians 1:29-30:
“29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. We must deny ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The message of the crucifixion of the old man of the flesh was the singular message that was given to the Apostle Paul. Through this alone can we find ourselves doing the will of God.
That is why we must hear that message more and more, and none other. As we obey the message of the cross we will find ourselves well able to align our lives with the will of God.
[Below: The gospel is about sharing the love of God as well]