Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In lovehe predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Take some time to re-read this passage from Ephesians a few times. Some of the sentences are long, but it is worth reflecting on the amazing blessings God has poured out on us because of the death of Jesus.
But there’s even more… It’s not just about us! In the last sentence of this paragraph (v10) Paul speaks of God wanting to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. This is a challenge to us if we have ever thought of the message of the cross in an individualistic way. Yes, it’s true that God loves me; he loves each one of us. But the message of the cross is ultimately about putting right all things in creation.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
Once again we can see Paul putting the message of the cross into the perspective of the whole of creation. When Adam and Eve first disobeyed God, even the environment was affected, as the ground was cursed. But now that we are called children of God, this is good news for the whole of creation.
What is our attitude to God’s creation? Do we ignore environmental problems if they have no direct impact on us? Or do we believe that it is part of God’s plan for us to be stewards of the world he has created?