And he persistently strives to confuse the divinely appointed purposes of gender, marriage, and family. More recently the devil has attempted to combine and legally validate confusion about gender and marriage. As we look beyond mortality and into eternity, it is easy to discern that the counterfeit alternatives the adversary advocates can never lead to the completeness that is made possible through the sealing together of a man and a woman, to the happiness of righteous marriage, to the joy of posterity, or to the blessing of eternal progression.
Principle 3: The ultimate blessings of love and happiness are obtained through the covenant relationship of eternal marriage. The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point in a covenant marriage relationship.
Please notice how the Savior is positioned at the apex of this triangle, with a woman at the base of one corner and a man at the base of the other corner. Because of and through the Redeemer, the man and the woman come closer together. As a husband and wife are each drawn to the Lord see 3 Ne. As men and women, as husbands and wives, and as Church leaders, one of our paramount responsibilities is to help young men and women learn about and prepare for righteous marriage through our personal example. As young women and men observe worthiness, loyalty, sacrifice, and the honoring of covenants in our marriages, then those youth will seek to emulate the same principles in their courting and marriage relationships.
As young people notice that we have made the comfort and convenience of our eternal companion our highest priority, then they will become less self-centered and more able to give, to serve, and to create an equal and enduring companionship. As young women and men perceive mutual respect, affection, trust, and love between a husband and a wife, then they will strive to cultivate the same characteristics in their lives.
Unfortunately many young members of the Church today are fearful of and stumble in their progress toward eternal marriage because they have seen too much of divorce in the world and of broken covenants in their homes and in the Church. Eternal marriage is not merely a temporary legal contract that can be terminated at any time for almost any reason. Rather, it is a sacred covenant with God that can be binding in time and throughout all eternity. Faithfulness and fidelity in marriage must not simply be attractive words spoken in sermons; rather, they should be principles evident in our own covenant marriage relationships.
As we consider the importance of our personal example, do you and I discern areas where we need to improve? Is the Holy Ghost inspiring our minds and softening our hearts and encouraging us to do and to become better? As priesthood and auxiliary leaders, are we focusing our efforts on strengthening marriage and the home? Husbands and wives need time together to fortify themselves and their homes against the attacks of the adversary. As we strive to magnify our callings in the Church, are we unintentionally hindering husbands and wives and mothers and fathers from fulfilling their sacred responsibilities in the home?
For example, do we sometimes schedule unnecessary meetings and activities in a way that interferes with the essential relationship between a husband and a wife and their relationships with children? As we sincerely ponder these questions, I am confident the Spirit is even now helping and will continue to help each of us learn the things we should do at home and in the Church.
Our responsibilities to learn and understand the doctrine of the plan, to uphold and be examples of righteous marriage, and to teach correct principles in the home and at church may cause us to wonder if we are equal to the task. We are ordinary people who must accomplish a most extraordinary work. One evening after the children were asleep, we talked at length about how effectively we were attending to all of our important priorities.
We realized that we would not receive the promised blessings in eternity if we did not honor more fully the covenant we had made in mortality. We resolved together to do and to be better as a husband and a wife. First century Jews had a strong sense of being blessed, called, and predestined. Paul showed that these things are now given to Christians, be they Jew or Gentile. With every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ : This describes both the kind of blessings and the location of those blessings.
These are spiritual blessings, which are far better than material blessings.
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These blessings are ours in the heavenly places in Christ , they are higher, better, and more secure than earthly blessings. But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings.
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A new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of God is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. To have God for our portion is blessed, infinitely more blessed than to own broad acres of land.
God hath blessed us with spiritual blessings. These are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value. If we have no appreciation for spiritual blessing, then we live at the level of animals. Animals live only to eat, sleep, entertain themselves, and to reproduce. We are made in the image of God and He has something much higher for us, yet many choose to live at the level of animals. God wants us know every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. We also note that this includes every spiritual blessing. Just as He chose us in Him : Our possession of every spiritual blessing is as certain as our being chosen by Him, and chosen before the foundation of the world.
We dare not diminish what Paul writes here. Believers are chosen by God, and they are chosen before they have done anything or have been anything for God. The great light of this truth casts some shadows; namely, in trying to reconcile human responsibility with divine sovereignty. Yet the purpose of light is not to cast shadows but to guide our steps. Though they are past our finding out, we know that they are altogether wise and good, but the reasons are all in Him, not in us.
His choosing is according to the good pleasure of His will Ephesians We are chosen in Him. It is not from the sight of our deserving, but because our heavenly Father has engrafted us, through the blessing of adoption, into the Body of Christ. In short, the name of Christ excludes all merit, and everything which men have of themselves.
That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love : We are chosen not only for salvation, but also for holiness. We cannot forget the words in love. Holiness and blamelessness are nothing without love. The person who had been adopted had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family and completely lost all rights in his old family. In the eyes of the law he was a new person.
So new was he that even all debts and obligations connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed. This high position in the family of God gives us something in Jesus that Adam never had. Jesus was completely accepted by the Father. And now we are accepted in the Beloved. Paul realized this plan gave glory to the grace of God. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,.
In Him we have redemption and nowhere else. There is no possible redemption outside of Jesus and His redeeming blood.
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Redemption always implies a price being paid for the freedom that is purchased. He cannot bless in opposition to His righteousness and holiness. Jesus does not redeem us by His sinless life or His moral example, but only by His death in our place — by His blood. It is not redemption through his love, it is through his blood. According to the riches of His grace : The redemption and forgiveness given to us comes according to the measure of the riches of His grace.
It is immense. Which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence : Many think it is unwise of God to lavish such redemption and forgiveness on guilty sinners.
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But it was in all wisdom and prudence that He gave this to us. Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him. They did not write anything more, or anything less, than what God intended them to write. Consequently, the Scripture has divinely determined limits. Not only are the exact number of books presently contained in the Bible, each Book has the exact content that God desired.
This is what is meant when we say that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. When the word inspiration is used in reference to the Scripture, it means more than that the Bible is inspiring literature. It has the idea of God-breathed Scripture.
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This is the claim of Scripture itself—it is not something that humans have invented. Though humans composed the various books of Scripture, the result was an error-free work. This is because all Scripture was God-breathed. God had His hand on the production in such a way that we can accept the entire Scripture as being trustworthy. Consequently, the Bible cannot be categorized with other literature that causes the human heart to be challenged or inspired.
Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry. Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.