Who we are “In Christ”:God’s Unique PossessionEphesians 1:3-14 Forest Hills Bible Chapel 16 December 2007
Ephesians 1:3-17 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Ephesians 1:3-17 In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:3-17 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Ephesians 1:3-17 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:3-17 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
God’s Unique Possession • Fact #1: We are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ – v. 3. • The “heavenly realms” indicates the presence and realm of God Himself. • We are “in Christ” – we belong to Him by His grace, and we are His possession. • God can no more separate us from His presence than He can separate Himself from His Son.
God’s Unique Possession • This reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes - • Max Detweiler in “The Sound of Music” (1965) – “I love rich people. I love the way they live. I love the way I live when I’m with them.”
God’s Unique Possession • Fact #2: He has chosen and predestined us to be his holy, blameless children – vv. 4-5. • It is significant that the language of election before the foundation of the world occurs here in the context of thanksgiving. It is part of an expression of gratitude for God’s inexplicable grace, not a logical deduction about the destiny of individuals based on the immutability of God’s decrees. And, unlike the language of Romans 9:13, 18, 22, Eph 1:4 provokes absolutely no speculation about the negative side of election, reprobation. Over-whelmed by the blessing of being chosen in Christ, (Paul) does not attempt to find explanations but can only praise the God who is the source of such blessing.
God’s Unique Possession • Fact #3: We have redemption and forgiveness, in accordance with his grace – vv. 6-8. • The only reason we are here is because of God’s grace. • If God has related to us fundamentally on the basis of His grace, then we ought first and foremost to show grace to one another. • Grace is essential for a community of imperfect people who are “in progress.”
God’s Unique Possession • Fact #4: God has made known to us the mystery of His will – vv. 9-10. • The bottom line is that, in a very basic way, we know what God is doing in the world. • This is not a reason for us to be proud and arrogant; it is a reason to glorify God.
God’s Unique Possession • Fact #5: God has chosen us in Christ, so that our lives might be lived for His praise – vv. 11-12. • Our lives belong to Christ, and we are to live for His glory and praise. • We are to be “trophies” of His grace.
God’s Unique Possession • Fact #5: We are included in Christ, and marked with a seal – the Holy Spirit. • We have been safeguarded as belonging to the King of kings.