A Cause for Humble Praise

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:11-22

Downspouts | Dogwood Canyon Nature Park | October 2019

When our fourth son was born events unfolded that required a trip from the neonatal intensive care unit to a children’s hospital 40 miles away. Before we loaded him on an ambulance I baptized him. It was an emotional moment to say the least. But as soon as he was baptized I knew that there were specific promises that applied to him that had not been prior to that moment. Even more important than the emotion of the moment was the new standing and privilege that is his through faith.

As people of God – people of faith – we have a standing before God and in life. We have a new identity as followers of Jesus. We have great standing and privilege through faith in him. We’ve been brought near to God. We have hope. We have peace with God and a place at the table with all God’s people.

How I wish every follower of Jesus was aware of this. How I wish there was no bragging or posturing or contention among brothers and sisters in Christ! I wish we were all so aware of the undeserved nature of God’s grace to us that we couldn’t even imagine claiming a place of honor before any other Jesus follower.

We are called to remember who we were and with that to recognize how great a privilege we have as God’s people, and how different our life is because of God’s grace to us. We may not have a dramatic conversion story, but make no mistake: without Jesus we we have no hope. And sometime between the time of our birth and this moment God’s Holy Spirit brought us to faith and gave us precious privileges that should be a cause for humble praise.

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