One Sunday I preached on this passage and it was very well received. One gentleman came up to me afterwards and said, “That was like a big hug from God.” Let‘s see how this passage encourages us so wonderfully.
First of all notice how often Paul repeats the phrases, “in Christ,” and “through Christ.” Paul says that all of our spiritual blessings come to us because we are in Christ. We are chosen in Christ. We are adopted in Christ. We have been given an eternal inheritance in Christ. So, what this tells me is that all that I need I have IN CHRIST. I have it all. He is my surety, my guarantee of all present and future blessings. I can live now in the light of my eternal inheritance because it is kept by God and is secured by the very blood of Christ. So, my blessings are not ultimately dependent on my circumstances or contingent on my being a good person. The Spirit of Christ in me is changing me to live a life that pleases the Father and reflects the very character of Christ. It is not my efforts at trying to be good that secure my blessings. They are IN CHRIST.
Secondly, the love of the Father is not dependent on my earning His approval. He chose us before time began. Our testimonies are that we have known God for a certain amount of time, but He has known us forever. He chose us and adopted us in Christ before we were even born. This is such great news because this means His love is perfect and consistent with His perfect character. While I can grieve the Father by my disobedience and while He disciplines me in love, His love for me is never diminished. It is in keeping with His good pleasure and His will that I am His. From what I know about God’s will, nothing can thwart it. I can never be snatched out of His hand.
Thirdly, my destiny is that I am going to be conformed more and more to the very image of Jesus. All of God’s children were saved toward that end. The very life of Jesus guarantees this reality. This is also related to the wonderful blessing of knowing that I am sealed in the Holy Spirit as a down payment of my eternal inheritance. I will stand before God as blameless because I am clothed in the righteous robes of Christ. So, this is the end to which I am being taken and God has also given me all that I need to be encouraged and strengthened to walk the walk of faith and trust. Knowing that I am a son of God in whom the Father delights greatly motivates me to do all things to the praise of His glory.
What a great hug from God. Though He knows every sin I will ever commit, He also knows every tear that I will cry. In spite of it all, He has set His love on me, which is a love that conquers the hardest of hearts.