“You also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation... You were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit... ” — Ephesians 1:13
Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians with great praise to God for all the blessings we receive in Jesus. Back in eternity before he created the world, God worked out “the mystery of his will” with “all wisdom and understanding.” Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three persons in one God working together—designed a way to include us humans in their family. Though we are imperfect and weak and even sinful, Christ came to give up his perfect life to pay the debt of our sin. And when we believe in him as Savior, we receive the Spirit of God himself to work in us as the guarantee of our inheritance with God forever.
One cannot read words like “the mystery of his will” without wondering, “Can we even begin to understand God’s will?” Books have been written in attempts to understand the will of God. And when it comes to ideas like “predestined” and “adoption” into God’s family, we have to admit this is a mystery. We cannot comprehend it.
Still, we have the assurance of knowing we’re included—in Christ—having heard the message of truth, the gospel of salvation! We have received the Holy Spirit as a seal of our salvation. And with joy and delight we can see the work of the Spirit bearing fruit in us—“to the praise of his glory”!