By grace, I am a child of God. I was dead in my trespasses and sins, under the sway of the world and the devil, and by nature an object of wrath (Eph. 2:1-3). But now I am no longer under the condemnation of God; no longer under the dominion of sin, the world, and the devil.
In Christ, God has delivered me and pardoned me from all my sins. He has purchased my redemption not with gold or silver but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
With the apostle, I praise the Lord saying, “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, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph 1:3-4).
In His wisdom and love, God predestined me and many others, out of the billions of the world, “for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:5, 6).
God’s electing grace is not something that I deserve. I cannot boast of anything I have done nor I could ever do in order to earn such glorious grace. I could only wonder why such love or kindness has taken notice of such a speck in this world as me.
Now that I am in Christ, knowing that in Him I have been chosen unto such a glorious salvation, I am forever grateful to the One who loved me from the very beginning and continues to love me until the very end.
I thank God that in time He made me alive even when I was dead in sin. He made me realize I was a terrible and miserable sinner in need of a perfect and wonderful Savior. He caused me to turn away from my sin and to run and embrace by faith His only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In God’s unfathomable wisdom, He used the foolishness of gospel-preaching to convict me of my sin and to call me back to Him through faith in Christ. And He will continue to call people back to Himself and convict them of their sin and convert them. He shall sanctify them by the power of His Spirit using the ordinary means He appointed, that is, the preaching of Christ and Him crucified.
Faithful preaching of the gospel is God’s ordinary way of calling people back to Himself and devoting them unto holiness and holy service in His kingdom. One faithful preacher writes, “[As] in the beginning, so also in all times of the Christian dispensation, it has pleased God that sinners shall be brought ‘into captivity to the obedience of Christ’, and made partakers of His salvation, by the obedience of His ministers to that one original charge and command, ‘Preach the gospel’.”
“Faith by hearing,” he adds, “gospel faith by hearing gospel truth, and such hearing by the preaching of the Word of God, is His standing rule according to which he bestows His Spirit for the conviction, conversion and sanctification of men” (Charles P. McIlvaine, Preaching Christ: The Heart of Gospel Ministry, 3).
We hope you enjoyed this post from the “Pearls of the Orient” blog series by Rev. Vic Bernales. Rev. Bernales is an ordained minister in the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church. He pastors the Davao Covenant Reformed Church in Davao City, Philippines. He earned his Master of Divinity at Mid-America Reformed Seminary at Dyer, Indiana, U.S.A