The REV. LOU TISCIONE
This is the time of the year when I look back over the past year. I’m a “list person” so I make a list of all those blessings that the Lord has poured out on me, my family and our church.
As I write my list of blessings, it becomes obvious that I’ve forgotten more than I can remember. Yet, one that filled our hearts with great joy was the birth of our third grandchild. Her name is Karis, which means grace. God’s grace is extended in every aspect of life. The birth of a child is an extraordinary outpouring of God’s grace and blessing.
In addition to my list of blessings, I have another list. This one contains my resolutions for the New Year. Somehow though, I always seem to forget the resolutions I sought to accomplish in the past year! Rather than look at my failures, I prefer to look forward. I want to have the certainty that this year I will keep my resolutions. There is one resolution that I know will be met!
I hope that your interest has been stirred. The one resolution that will be kept is my pursuit of holiness.
This resolution is not unique to me. It is certain for everyone who is in Christ. Two things require explanation. The first is the meaning of being in Christ. The second is the meaning of holiness. Both the first and second are rooted in God. Those who are in Christ have been brought there by God and holiness is God’s work of free grace that progressively makes the one in Christ more and more like Him.
The Bible declares that those who are in Christ are chosen by God. “… He (God the Father) chose us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” Ephesians 1:4 Notice that God the Father acted by choosing men and women before He laid the foundation of the world. He chose them to be in Christ. This is all by the sovereign will and action of God. This truth revealed by God is called Unconditional Election.