By John LaVier
These three words tell us of what is ours in Christ, and they should be unspeakably precious to every child of God. If we would meditate upon them, and gain some insight of the wonders wrapped up in them, surely our lives would become much more fragrant and fruitful.
The first is found in Ephesians 1:4: “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” Not only was this true of those to whom Paul wrote, but it is equally true of every member of the Body of Christ. “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). How thankful we should be that it is God who has done the choosing. Men change their minds, and often, because of imperfect knowledge, they later regret some choice that they have made, but the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Precious thought! Chosen by God in the ageless past; long, long before we were born. He who knows the end from the beginning, and to whom the future is as clear as the present, saw us then and chose us in Christ and ordained us to eternal life. Not because of any goodness in ourselves, for we had none. It was all “according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:5), and “according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9).
When an athlete prepares to high jump, he takes a long start, and we can imagine something of the great purpose that God has for us when we see how He began to choose us for it so long ago.
Next, in Ephesians 2:10 we see that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Notice how in these passages the practical side is kept in view. “Chosen … that we should be holy and without blame.” “Created … unto good works,” or as we have in Ephesians 4:24, “Created in righteousness and true holiness.” Surely our calling and conduct should closely correspond.
We have not only been chosen in Christ, but we have been created in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). We are out of Adam, the old creation, and into Christ, the new creation. What a mighty change! What a glorious transformation!
Creation is the work of God. It is He who, by His word, brought the universe into being; and He who, having chosen us, one day spake the same life giving words and light broke upon our darkened souls. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). We could not create ourselves. God is the Great Creator; salvation is of the Lord.
Finally, in Colossians 2:10, it is written, “And ye are complete in Him.” Note the “ye are.” It is not “ye can be complete in Him,” nor even “ye shall be complete in Him,” but “ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” We are perfect and entire, wanting nothing. We are filled full. Nothing can be added that can make our standing before God any more perfect or acceptable than it already is, for we stand before God in all the perfections of His own Blessed and Beloved and Perfect Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Complete in Thee! No work of mine
May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon, bought for me,
And I am now complete in Thee.
Dear Savior, when before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen will I be,
At thy right hand—complete in Thee.
Chosen, Created, Complete; but all in Christ. We are forever linked to Him, and every blessing that we have and enjoy flows from Him. We have nothing in ourselves, but we have everything in Him, so let us magnify the Lord and exalt His Name together; not by lip alone, but by life; by works as well as words.