(More about) if Jesus had not been born…

If Jesus had not been born there would be no promised Spirit, and without the Spirit we would never know that God is actually our Father. And not knowing God as our Father we would never know what it’s like to be his child. And not knowing what it’s like to be his child we would never experience, or even know about, the two great gifts that God has for his children.

Those two gifts are grace and peace, Ephesians 1:2.

Grace begins with this little gem in verse 4, that “Before the world was made God had already chosen us to be his in Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him.” That’s God’s first gift to us, the understanding that our eternal future as his perfect, unblemished children was already done and dusted before the universe even appeared.

In other words, this entire plan for us humans was completely accomplished before we even existed. And from beginning to end it is all God’s doing too: He’s the one who chose us, he’s the one who makes us perfect, and he’s the one who provides us with Christ and the Spirit to make it all happen. God designed us in such a way, therefore, that everything about us and for us would be a gift. It would all be based on grace.

And because Jesus was born, that little gem is now being made known to us in the same way it was made known to Paul, that “everything in heaven and on earth will be brought into a unity in Christ,” verse 10, meaning it’s going to happen, it’s purely by God’s doing, it’s he who makes it all possible in Christ, because he’s our loving Father.

So where does that leave us? If it’s now dawned on us that it’s all by God’s grace that we become his eternally happy children, and all by God’s Spirit that we come to understand his “secret purpose” and “the plan he determined beforehand in Christ” (verses 9-10), and all by Jesus Christ being born as a human that everything is going to work out just marvellously in the end for the entire universe, who wouldn’t be at peace?

Exactly; because that’s the second gift awaiting God’s children when their eyes open to his plan: It’s beautiful, wonderful peace, that’s endlessly stirred and revived by knowing that no matter what happens to us in this life our loving Father has it all in hand. And he has it all in hand because of Christ. And because Christ was born, everything in our lives now is unfolding exactly as planned as well.

Grace. And peace.

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