Tim Keller | May 10, 1992
Ephesians talks about how incredible God’s love is. It explains how we become God’s children through Jesus Christ, and how this shows God’s grace and forgiveness. It also introduces us to the Holy Spirit and talks about how we will be redeemed, or saved, which helps us understand life better. It emphasizes that we can only come to God because He first reached out to us, reminding us that becoming a Christian is not about what we do, but about what God has done for us.
1. No one can make himself or herself a Christian
Being a Christian is all about God’s grace, which means we can’t boast about it or think we’re superior. Our faith grows as we understand and accept this grace. It’s not just about being good, it’s about realizing that our faith is all because of God’s choice and revelation to us.
2. You can’t want God, and that’s why God has to choose you
We all have the ability to choose God, but we often get sidetracked by our desires. The Bible says that we can only truly follow God if He changes our hearts, enabling us to fully obey the Ten Commandments. This sets Christianity apart from other religions, as it focuses on God’s grace and acknowledging our own sinfulness, rather than just following rules.
3. The sweetness of it is that God’s love is always prior and, therefore, is unconditional
The story of the prodigal son shows how God’s love is always first and assertive, reaching out to us before we even know we need Him. This love, which we can call “mugging love,” doesn’t depend on us saying sorry first, but actually helps us do so. This shows that becoming a Christian is a change started by God, not by ourselves. It’s important to enjoy the sweetness of God’s love without getting distracted by how He deals with others.
4. You are predestined and chosen to be holy
If you accept Christ as your Savior, He will never let you go. But this doesn’t mean you can live carelessly thinking you’re saved anyway. True Christian motivation comes from a loving relationship with God, not from being afraid. The idea of election, or being chosen by God, shows us God’s unfailing, unconditional love. This helps us fight against feelings of worthlessness, arrogance, and self-pity, and assures us of God’s grace in making us holy, with the promise of salvation being greater than any difficulties we face.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer