Real Life, Freedom ... and Faith

Expressions of life, grace, love, and true freedom from the perspective of Jim Minker (aka. theShovel)

Blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ

I took this piece from an older article I wrote on Ephesians 1.

Blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm … already. He had determined this before we did one thing or had considered one thought. He set this in motion before the “katabole” —usually translated foundation, although the meaning, casting down, may very well relate to the entrance of death through sin. Either way, God put this into play before sin brought death to mankind. He not only already knew, but also had planned for death to be swallowed up in victory through the life of his son, Jesus Christ. His blessing is not a reward but is totally of his grace. To consider it any other way would make grace something other than grace. That he has chosen us to be holy and blameless before him testifies to the working of his spirit within us. The promise made later to man had been in his heart before this world fell apart. He didn’t choose us for this so that we might TRY to be holy and blameless, but that we would be. His love set the course by which our adoption as sons through Christ Jesus would be made real. Keep in mind that God’s determination for us has everything to do with all things being summed up in Christ. Feel yourself being carried along in the unstoppable determination of his grace and purpose in Christ. For Christ was not an afterthought, he is the key, the centerpiece, the one upon which all of human history finds meaning and purpose. For this is God’s will, and it all leads to the glory of his grace. If it testifies to his grace then it cannot be based upon anything other than his grace. If it is to the praise of HIS grace, grace that has been freely bestowed upon us, then it was bestowed in the full knowledge that we were not deserving of it. Each one of us will have our own story of how that grace rescued us from all our futile efforts to either hinder it or even attempt to help it. What we have gone through in this world has given us the song to sing to the grace that has saved us, and continues to deliver us from the futility of the fleshly mind that he has put to death.

Recently posted or updated

  • Shovelation Bible > Compilations > Shovelation Bible
    Maybe a little background will help me to describe this thing I call the Shovelation. In 1998, when I penned my rendition of the Galatians letter, it coincided with the start of my very first website, At the time, I thought to use my new pen name, and so I started it this way: "I am... READ MORE (Posted: May 23, 2000 / Updated: Jul 13, 2014 - 10:12 am)
  • Why do we need the Bible if the truth is in us? > Question-Answer > bible
    I've taken this from a response to a blog article Arguments about the Bible so that it might be easily found by those who search the QnA. Can you help me to better understand what you mean by "But I say that we don’t need any specific statements to make it or prove it to be true. For the truth... READ MORE (Posted: Jul 9, 2014 / Updated: Jul 9, 2014 - 4:26 pm)
  • Galatians 4: Legitimacy > Compilations > Shovelation Bible
    The intimidation you feel is not from God but from the system. Where do you get the idea that membership means anything to God? The time for His people to be led about by the hand in such a way is long gone. But many, like little children forming a clubhouse with rules to join, want to say who does... READ MORE (Posted: Aug 27, 1999 / Updated: Jul 5, 2014 - 12:47 pm)
  • First Corinthians 4: Examination > Compilations > Shovelation Bible
    Why, then, do you compare Apollos and myself to those who boast in themselves and in their own accomplishments? See us for who we are, for we are servants of another, who is Christ. Regard us not as those who build their own kingdoms but as those who have been made managers of God's mysteries.... READ MORE (Posted: Mar 1, 2004 / Updated: Jul 5, 2014 - 10:57 am)
  • First Corinthians 1: Life-source > Compilations > Shovelation Bible
    Paul, one who was chosen by God’s desire and sent forth to testify of Jesus Christ. I address this letter to the new creation of God in Corinth, for you are those who have been claimed for God’s own possession in Christ Jesus, together with everyone everywhere who miraculously recognize... READ MORE (Posted: Mar 1, 2004 / Updated: Jul 5, 2014 - 10:39 am)

Comments recently added by theShovel

(These are my longer responses to comments. Jim)

  • Julie, I so understand the infuriation of those who lost their hold on me. I know it was often chalked up to a matter of interpretation or of viewpoint by some who couldn't understand what had happened, but I always found it interesting how the actual cause of the difference was totally overlooked... READ MORE
    (added: 2014-06-16 16:12 > 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved )
  • The truth of Christ has indeed been put within us, as Christ himself has been put within us. And yes, I know this can drive us crazy with speculations as to whether we might or might not need the Bible ... or each other, for that matter. The Bible is filled with amazing testimonies of the workings... READ MORE
    (added: 2014-06-14 14:29 > Arguments about the Bible? )
  • Hello Sidney :) You asked about my statement: "But I say that we don’t need any specific statements to make it or prove it to be true. For the truth is the truth. It only seems complicated to us because we’ve listened far too long to those who have used the Bible as a legal document upon which to... READ MORE
    (added: 2014-06-14 08:17 > Arguments about the Bible? )
  • Hello my dear friend and brother Ricky!! :) I grew up in the Lutheran denomination so I know how controversial it can be, especially if you do not "baptize" your children! While I received enough instruction over the course of 20 years from my teachers and pastors to cause some serious... READ MORE
    (added: 2014-06-13 18:20 > Arguments about the Bible? )
  • Hello Janis. I remember the conflicts that kept popping up as I slowly began to realize the depths of what it meant to be alive in Christ, to have been made a new creation. It was daunting, to say the least. At first, it was often easier to put off dealing with some of the more familiar objections... READ MORE
    (added: 2014-06-11 18:31 > Believers convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit? )