Rev. Rick Anderson\r\nPleasant View Baptist Church\r\n\r\nWhen I was a little boy I can remember riding on my grandfather\u2019s foot. He would cross his legs and I would sit on his foot while he lifted it up in the air riding me up and down. The older I got the less Grandpa was able to give me a ride. It finally came to the point where I weighed too much to ride Grandpa\u2019s foot.\r\nThat\u2019s the way it is in our lives. We try to lift ourselves, but no matter how hard we try, there\u2019s not real progress. Only God can truly lift us up.\r\nIn Ephesians 1:3-7 Paul shares the blessings God gives in lifting us up to Himself.\r\nIn Ephesians 1:4-5 we read these words: \u201cJust as He chose us in HIm before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (5) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.\u201d (NKJV)\r\nThough we have lived in rebellion to God and alienation from Him, yet in Christ, God has adopted us into His heavenly family. Just as a child without parents can be adopted into a new family, God has chosen us to be part of His family.\r\nSin had separated us from God, but God has brought us back to Himself as children, with all the rights and responsibilities of being family.\r\nAdoption is not a requirement; it is a free choice. A couple adopts a child because they want to, not because they have to. God does not have to save us; He does so because He wants to. Adoption is based on God\u2019s love and mercy. What a wonderful God we serve that He would even consider bringing us into His family.\r\nNot only have we been adopted by God, we have also been redeemed by God. Paul mentions this in verses 6-7 of Ephesians 1: \u201cTo the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.\u201d NKJV\r\nWe have been chosen by God, and this is possible only because we have been \u201credeemed through His blood.\u201d This is the theme of the Bible: God\u2019s ongoing effort to redeem humanity.\r\nThe ultimate proof of God\u2019s redemption is the change it makes in lives. George Whitefield had gone to preach in an outdoor meeting in Exeter. A man came with a pocket full of rocks, prepared to break up the meeting. He began listening, and thought, \u201cI won\u2019t throw until the prayer is over.\u201d\r\nA few moments later he thought, \u201cI won\u2019t throw until He finishes reading the Bible.\u201d Then Whitefield began preaching about the grace of God, and those rocks were never thrown. After the meeting the man approached the great preacher and said: \u201cI came to break up the meeting, instead, God has broken up my heart.\u201d That\u2019s the power of redemption.\r\nThe old hymn says, \u201cI\u2019m redeemed by love divine, glory, glory Christ is mine.\u201d Yes, Christ is ours but more importantly, we are Christ\u2019s by adoption into the family of God and through His redeeming blood.\r\nPaul was right. Those who have been born into the family of God through the redeeming power of Christ\u2019s blood are truly a blessed people.