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
    I think a little background might help me describe this thing I eventually referred to as the Shovelation. This growing compilation began in 1998 during a Wednesday evening men's group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Well, the meeting was supposed to be a men's group, but after I reluctantly, but... READ MORE (Posted: May 23, 2000 / Updated: Aug 10, 2014 - 8:28 am)
  • Homosexuality and acceptance > Question-Answer > sexual-issues
    Good morning Jim. I have been following your blog for a few years now, and have appreciated your perspectives. Specifically, the drinking from a dry well perspective. I've struggled for years with drinking from a dry well rather than looking to Jesus for healing and validation. Lately, I've... READ MORE (Posted: Jul 31, 2014 / Updated: Aug 2, 2014 - 5:07 pm)
  • 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)

Comments recently added by theShovel

(These are my longer responses to comments. Jim)

  • Hello my friend Yves (aka Sidney), When a ritual becomes — in the minds of those who follow and observe it — something other than what it represented from the beginning, are we still following Jesus' example in the doing of it? For those who come together to witness a testimony to our union... READ MORE
    (added: 2014-07-29 17:10 > Arguments about the Bible? )
  • Hello my dear Mrs Vicky, I'm not sure why you think I would have supporting verses for something I did not say. Consider a statement I made in my article: On the one hand, we've got the vastly popular statements that declare Jesus died for every single man, woman, boy and girl, old and young... READ MORE
    (added: 2014-07-26 08:02 > Did Jesus die for the sins of all people or only the elect? )
  • 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? )