You will never understand the way Christ loved the church if you do not first hear about and believe His love for you. You have to know the love of Christ if you are to give it.
But this is the message of the cross: God took the worst evil and made it into the greatest good. He took the cross of Christ and made it into the salvation of mankind.
So the message is a proclamation of our rescue – “the gospel of your salvation.” It means that you simply wait until it comes to you. The message is not “rescue yourself.” It is “here is your rescue!” And that means, you can’t dress up belief as something more than hearing and saying “that’s right!”
It says that we can rest and we can trust that, without qualifiers, God works everything out according to the counsel of His will. We do not have to worry that somehow we will miss God’s will. We are not the protectors or the progenitors of His will.
There is a vast difference between walking around thinking that you have made a decision for Jesus, and thinking that God chose you in Christ before the foundation of the cosmos.
We tend to downplay the value of forgiveness. We want our redemption to be about our “sanctification.” But Paul says here that our redemption is all about forgiveness. It was bought with blood and it is lavish.
Because of His great love for us, God (in His infinite knowledge) determined to adopt us as sons as into a very prestigious family. It turns out, God delights in us and finds great pleasure in us! He considers the adoption to be a great praise to Himself.
It is the whole lot of us that He intends to be holy and blameless. There cannot be a few mature and successful while others are struggling with unholiness and blame. As I always say, if there is a little drop of pee in your coffee, the whole cup is disgusting. If all are not holy and blameless, the whole lot of us together are unholy and blameful.