including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, (ESV)
There is something special about being included. How many times have you been hurt because a large group of people were part of something exciting and you were left out? I remember when sides were being picked for football on the playground as a child. I was the last one picked. If there was a stray dog around it would have probably been picked before me.
Paul spoke in the previous verse about the gospel being preached to the whole world. Here in verse 2 he says, "including you." I love that phrase, "including you." You were not forgotten, but rather you were included in God's plan to bring God's salvation to the world. You were not left out of the greatest experience ever, but rather you were included.
What does it mean to belong to Jesus Christ? After all, that is what Paul is saying we were called to. Belonging to Jesus Christ means so many things. Primarily it means that we have a right relationship with God. Our sin that separated us is now forgiven by God as we place our faith in the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
Right relationship with God brings us from aliens and rebels from God to being declared sons and daughters through adoption. We go from foreigners to family. Talk about being included! This is cause for celebration. Celebrate the fact that you were included. More importantly celebrate that your inclusion means that you belong to God's family.
Have you responded to God's calling? Have you repented of your sins and placed your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross? If so, celebrate! If you haven't, do so now!