For the next eight weeks my messages will be based on texts from the Book of Ephesians. We’re about to spend the summer in Ephesus.
The Apostle Paul formally opens this letter in Ephesians 1:3-6
 “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. In love  he predestined us 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.”
While a great deal is said in very few verses, my attention was arrested by Paul reminding us in verse five that we are adopted by God.
This may sound a little odd to some readers. After all, in Psalm 139:13 King David reminds us that…
 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
While this is true, it does not take in account the impact of sin on our lives. It is difficult for us to grasp just how devastating the impact of sin is on any relationship with God. The authors of Scripture tried to explain how sin totally cuts us off from God. For example, the Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 2:13 that we were “dead” in our trespasses. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that anyone who is in Christ is a “new creation.” Sin so cuts us off from God that we literally must be made new.
Even though sin is spiritually fatal, God the Father in merciful. Jesus has indeed suffered the wrath we deserved for our sins. When we were brought to faith in Christ, we were adopted in God’s family. According to Romans chapter 8, we are God’s adopted children and heirs of God.
The grace of God found in Jesus is so clearly proclaimed in our adoption as children of God. What we could not do for ourselves, God the Father has done in Christ. For this we are literally eternally grateful.
Until next week, the Lord bless and guide.
(These devotional messages are written for the congregations of the Ohio District – LCMS. You can learn more about the Ohio District at oh.lcms.org.)