But God…

Christian, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, following the course of this world, and children of wrath. But God, because of His great mercy, made you alive with Christ, seated you in Christ in the heavenly places, and adopted you as His child. (Ephesians 2:1-5)

You are indeed the Elect of God. Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, you are set aside to be holy and blameless before Him. Your doctrine of free will does not matter here, the context of the sovereignty of God. Free will is merely the reflection of what God has done from eternity.

But what God did from eternity He also did in this temporal world. Christ came and propitiated the wrath of God towards us. The man Jesus died to fulfill the blood sacrifice. As He rose and ascended to heaven, He became the precedence for our residence there, and our current legal position as citizens of heaven.

Presently, God does not rest with His past work of redemption (though it is complete), but the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of the Christian. Taking him from a temporal child of wrath to an eternal son of the Father, the Spirit initiates and produces in us the visible marks of faith and obedience. (James 2)

In the future, God will work Glorification in us, bringing us into a perfect likeness of Christ. This is all guaranteed by God himself–there is no work that the Christian must fulfill to maintain His favor. No lack of sacrifices, prayers, holy war, penance, confession, or pilgrimage can separate us from the love of God. In fact, nothing on earth has the power to separate the Father from His adopted children: no power of hell, no scheme of man, no force of nature, no random chance. He Himself guarantees it, today and with us just as He did in His covenant with Abraham. (Genesis 15)

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.

Children of Wrath

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. – Ephesians 2:1-3

Children of wrath. In Adam, all die. For all mankind, having descended from Adam by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first sin.

The sin nature is a hereditary condition, passed down to all mankind from Adam, due to His original sin. As we are all part of Adam’s family, so we have inherited his curse. Family curses do indeed exist, for the Lord metes out punishment for the ungodly to the third and forth generation of those who hate Him.

Christian, your heritage from Christ is at war with your heritage from Adam. For in Christ, you have been made alive. We were children of wrath, but God, who is rich in mercy, adopted us as sons through Jesus Christ. The Lord punishes to the third and fourth generation, but shows kindness to thousands of those who love Him. The first field of dominion is not at the doors of the state and culture, but at the doors of your heart. Sanctification is the process of evicting the old man, and installing the new man created in Christ.

Inheritance goes both ways–not only are there familial curses but covenantal blessings for the children of God. Not only do wicked fathers curse their prodigy by their sinful deeds, but righteous men create canopies of blessing that protect and provide for their families. In Christ, we have obtained the richest blessings of our Heavenly Father.