Ephesians 1 3-14

Categories: Brother to Brother.

May 7, 2017 // By:Dave // No Comment

The letter to the Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the New Testament. It is written to a flourishing church established in the greek city of Ephesus. This was perhaps the most important city in Asia Minor because of the fact that it had a harbor opening to an attached waterway giving access to the Aegean Sea and also because of an intersection of major trade routes.

Last week, In Ephesians 1:1-3, we covered the purpose and target of the book, as well as defining who the saints and faithful were in Ephesus.

This week, we dive into the proclaimation of praise which Paul uses to address his audience. He directs the praise for what God has done in Christ.

 

 

Let’s look at his list of blessings in the praise! Eph 1:3-14

  • blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ
  • chose us in Him
  • we would be holy and blameless
  • in love we are predestined
  • adopted as sons
  • according to His kind intention
  • to the praise of the glory of His grace
  • freely bestowed on is in the Beloved
  • we have redemption through His blood
  • forgiveness of our sins
  • riches of His grace
  • lavished on all of us
  • made the mystery of His will known to us
  • obtained an inheritance
  • predestined to His purpose and will
  • sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise
  • a pledge of our inheritance

“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

We are looking at gifts from God that cannot be purchased with any amount of money on this earth. There is no level of power or authority on this planet that can be used to barter or bargain with God to exchange for these gifts freely bestowed to any and all who believe that Jesus is the Christ and accept His free gift of salvation.

There are those who have tried. Lucifer tried to create his own success and blessings by revolting against God in Heaven (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28). Adam and Eve tried it back in Gen 3 in the garden of Eden (refusing to obey God’s authority and create their own, hoping that knowing good from evil was all that was needed to be as God). Let’s jump forward to Solomon, who sampled all the physical pleasures the earth (Eccles 2:1) had to offer and in the end discovered the emptyness of placing the wrong god on the throne of his heart. in fact, Solomon tried just about everything the earth had to offer and came up empty (Eccles 1:16, Eccles 2:1, Eccl 2:4-11). Solomon concluded all in Eccles 12:13-14.

The very writer of this epistle to the Ephesians, Paul,  was at his pinnacle of success as a pharisee of pharisees.

(Phil 3:4-8, Acts 23:6)

In Phillipians, Paul compares his wordly accomplishments to the blessing of knowing Christ and concludes that this wordly list is rubbish in comparison.

σκύβαλον = rubbish = refuse, dung, this can refer to any number of rotten decaying things, all that is worth getting rid of  – Greek Dictionary.

Here in Ephesians, one book previous in our bible, Paul is outlining a breakdown of what it means to know Jesus. This may very well be what he spent three years in the desert digesting what it meant by “Jesus of Nazereth is the Christ”

These blessings are all “in Christ”; he is not only their source but also their sphere (Col 1:14). They are enjoyed by the believer in the present.

Redemption and forgiveness are commonly used as terms regarding the payment for our sins (Jesus’ blood shed on the cross to purchase our salvation) and often thrown about in conversations about our eternal security since the debt we could not pay was, in fact, paid on our behalf by the One who owed no debt at all. He gladly paid in full to secure our redemption and forgiveness (John 19:30). How often we overlook that we are also able to live in and experience this freedom daily (not having to wait until we stand before Him and are asked what or who we place our faith in to please the Father). These blessings listed are to be partaken and enjoyed each day He gives us breath.

“Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings; with which we cannot be miserable, and without which we cannot but be so. This was from the choice of them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that they should be made holy by separation from sin, being set apart to God, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, in consequence of their election in Christ. All who are chosen to happiness as the end, are chosen to holiness as the means. In love they were predestinated, or fore-ordained, to be adopted as children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and to be openly admitted to the privileges of that high relation to himself. The reconciled and adopted believer, the pardoned sinner, gives all the praise of his salvation to his gracious Father. His love appointed this method of redemption, spared not his own Son, and brought believers to hear and embrace this salvation. It was rich grace to provide such a surety as his own Son, and freely to deliver him up. This method of grace gives no encouragement to evil, but shows sin in all its hatefulness, and how it deserves vengeance. The believer’s actions, as well as his words, declare the praises of Divine mercy.” Matthew Henry Commentary

My pastor reminded me this morning in this Sunday’s Sermon that “the only thing God expects from me it to Mess Up!”
(I dont have to satisfy Him through the law (an impossible task), but to live freely through Him who did satisfy the law, Jesus ! (Rom 8:8, Rom 10:4) What a difference from the OT believers who had no option but to live under the law and by the law, living under the condemnation of constant failure to meet God’s standard of perfection.

I would like to leave us all with a song from Hawk Nelson “Live Like Your Loved”

Listen to the words, listen to God reaching out to you from inside your heart and consider all the spiritual blessing given to you, set aside for you like a christmas gift wrapped in the beginning of time waiting for the day you would open it.

Here are the words:

“You’re not the only one that feels like this. Feeling like you lose more than you win
Like life is just an endless hill you climb. You try and try but never arrive

I’m telling You something This racin’ This running
Ohhhh You’re workin’ way too hard
And this perfection you’re chasin’ Is just energy wasted
‘Cuz He loves you like ya are

So go ahead and live like you’re loved It’s ok to act like you’ve been set free
His love has made you more than enough So go ahead and be who he made you to be
And live like you’re loved

Live like you know you’re valuable Like you know the one who holds your soul
Cuz mercy has called you by your name / Don’t be afraid to live in that grace

Oh I’m telling you somethin’ This God we believe in Yeah He changed everything
No more guilt No more shame
He took all that away Gave us a reason to sing

So go ahead and live like you’re loved It’s ok to act like you’ve been set free
His love has made you more than enough So go ahead and be who he made you to be
And live like you’re loved

Live like you’re loved Walk like you’re free
Stand like you know Who you’re made to be
Live like you’re loved Like you believe
His love is all That you’ll ever need”

 

next week

εν διακονια τω θεω, Dave Cadieux

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