Psalm 107:1–3, 17–22; Genesis 9:8–17; Ephesians 1:3–6 (read online ⧉)
Destined to be a child of God. This is such a comforting phrase. As in all comfortable things, there is a danger. This comforting phrase is often, and understandably, taken as being directed toward individuals. Yet, if we use both Old Testament and New Testament phrasing, it is better (and more safely) understood as a corporate destiny.
As part of Noah’s covenant, we are corporately covered insofar as God will never flood the entirety of the earth again. Just as the 12 Tribes of Israel were the Chosen of God, corporately, so too is the Church. How an individual behaved and responded toward God was, and remains, separate from the corporate selection.
We are all part of the corporate destiny, and we have our place in it (accepting the gift of redemption and salvation). To be clear, accepting the gift does not mean that the act required (Christ’s death on the cross) for salvation was anything but God’s.
There is a tension here. Salvation is also quite personal and individual. Salvation is best expressed and the saved life best lived within the community of believers. There is a balance, and we don’t want to be overly weighted to individual or corporate salvation.
We testify and give thanks through our worship and praise of God. As part of both our corporate and personal activity (our “liturgy”) is to praise “… his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us….”
The psalmist declared…
1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. 2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble 21Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. 22And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell of his deeds with songs of joy
1) When thinking of your salvation do you tend to think of yourself as an individual?
2) Have you ever thought of your salvation as being part of the Body of Christ (the Church)?
3) Why do you think there is a difference? What difference does it make to you?