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What Has God Done For Us Ephesians 1: 15-23; 2:1-15 Ephesians 2:6-22; 3:1-11 Four Steps to Power
Fourth Step to Power The Body of Christ Our Minds Our Attitudes
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Ephesians 1:1-14

“What God Has Done For Us” 

Ephesians 1:1-14, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (or "things") in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  In whom we have [the] redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.        In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Introduction:  Have We Taken For Granted The Most Important Thing In Our Life?

Six chapters, I hope that you read through it during the week, the book of Ephesians.  Familiarize yourself with it.  It divides very easily.  First three chapters are in regards to what God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit have done for us.  The last three chapters, chapters 4 through 6 are in regards to our response to that.  First three chapters, doctrinal, last three chapters, practical.  First three chapters about the wealth that we have in Christ, the last three chapters, about our walk in Christ.  Watchman Nee did an old commentary called "Sit, Walk, Stand", because in the first three chapters we're sitting in heavenly places in Christ.  Chapter 4 begins 'Walk therein, worthy of the vocation God has called you to.'  And the last chapter, of course, 'Stand' in regards to the warfare that we have.  But the point is, we can't continue sometimes in our walk if we don't know where we stand.  We can't move forward without struggle if we're not  assured of where we stand in Christ.  Now we find ourselves easily condemned, easily sometimes wanting to just throw up our hands and give up because of our failings.  And I think it's as we grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ, as we realize what is finished as far as God is concerned, that then we're encouraged to get up again, to confess our sins, to know he's faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and to continue, and to go onward.  You remember that Paul came to Ephesus in Acts chapter 19, and when he arrived there, there were a number of disciples.  He noticed there was something different about them and he asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit, and they said, ‘We haven't even heard that there is such a thing as the Holy Spirit.’  He said, ‘Unto what baptism were you baptized then?’  They said, ‘Into John's baptism [John the Baptist's].’  And he explained to them the way of Christ more perfectly, they were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, he laid hands on them, they received the Spirit, and then Paul labors there  [see https://unityinchrist.com/baptism/What%20is%20Baptism.htm].  We know he's there at one point for three years.  You remember, so touched was the community that the local craftsmen that made little statues of Diana of the Ephesians, started an uproar because he was shutting down the trades.  The temple to Diana was there, it was one of the seven wonders of the world, it was the banking center of that part of Asia Minor, and Paul so touched Ephesus and the outlying districts that sales dropped off for these little idols of Diana because people were believing in the true and living God, that it started a riot, and Alexander the coppersmith was the man there that started all of this trouble [see https://unityinchrist.com/Acts/Acts%2019-1-41.htm].  But Paul as he writes now to the Ephesians, it's a letter to a church that's not filled with correction like the Galatian letter or the Corinthians.  This is a letter where Paul breathes out some of the most remarkable things about Christ and his love, and about their walk before the unsaved world and their testimony.  But it's important for us to take note of these first three chapters, because this is about 64AD, it's about 5 years after Acts chapter 20, and within 25 years to 30 years, John will be on the Isle of Patmos.  And Jesus there will dictate these letters to the 7 Churches which are in Asia.  And the first one will be to the church at Ephesus.  And the Lord will say there, ‘I've observed your works, you're filled with good works, you're doing everything that a church should do.  You're trying those who call themselves apostles that are not, you're filled with good works.  But, you have left your first love, what should be driving and moving everything in the church has waned.  Not lost your first love, left your first love.’  He says, “Remember therefore from where thou art fallen,” because Paul takes us up into the heights, ‘Repent, do the first works, come back to your first love.’  That will be the call to this church, which is a remarkable church.  Within 25 years Jesus Christ has to say to the church, ‘You've got all the machinery moving, but there's no more gas in the tank, there's no more fuel.  What should drive you is no longer there.’  I think it's important for us, because we are this June at 20 years, since we started a Bible study with 24, 25 of us [ http://www.ccphilly.org year 2001],  20 years have gone by.  And I think it's always a great challenge to us, is: “Have we cooled?  Have we taken things for granted?”  Do we (are we saying to ourselves) ‘Oh yeah, we're in this chapter, Oh yeah, I heard that chapter before.’  Do we realize that in churches across America, teaching through the [entire] Scripture is not the rule, it's the exception?  Do we appreciate the freedom that we have to come and sing simple choruses and bring our heart before Jesus Christ and ask him to speak to us and to open his Word?  Do we appreciate the freedom that we have in Christ?  Or have we grown up in it?  We've been raised in the church, been around (it) our whole life, and somehow we don't appreciate it until we get out and get in trouble, the doctor says ‘You have cancer,’ till some trauma comes, and all of a sudden we wake up, ‘This is all the most important thing in my life.  I have forgotten that, I have taken it for granted.’  Well so easily that can take place.  And that's why it's so important, these first three chapters, to see the things that God has done for us.  Before we worry about what we need to do, it is essential that we know what the Lord has done for us, so that our heart may continue to be stirred.  ‘We love him because he first loved us,’ that's what the Scripture says.  And certainly, Paul tries to develop that and hold those things before us as we begin and as we look into these first three chapters.

 

Who Are We, By The Will Of God?

 

He begins, verse 1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.”  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God.  Important to know where you are and who you are by the will of God.  You can cross out Paul and cross out apostle and fill that in “yourself,” by the will of God.  Where are you?  You know, sometimes we have this foolish struggle that one thing is more sacred than another.  I mean, John, a carpenter by the will of God.  That's the way Jesus spent the first 30 years of his life, he only had a public ministry for three and a half years.  Was one more sacred than another?  When he came to be baptized in the River Jordan the voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am alreadywell pleased.”  Hadn't preached a sermon, hadn't done a miracle.  But he had fellowshipped with his Father, day in and day out in the carpenter shop.  Suzie, a grandmother, by the will of God--who knows who's behind those little freckles, whether it's a Whitfield or a Deborah or a Ruth, and what influence you're going to be in their lives?  A mom, can that possibly be by the will of God when you see the pile of wash every day?  You know, it isn't the pile of wash, how big it is, it's years long.  It just doesn't go away, it's endless, it replenishes itself.  [And you know, guys, it's not a bad thing to help out your wonderful wife with some of those chores, or even to share them with her, as much as is possible.  Check out the two “Love For A Lifetime” transcripts at: https://HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.com]  And it's decades sometimes before you see or hear the fruit of your labor.  “Thank you, bye.”  Your God is now my God.  Long labor, sometimes.  ‘Paul, an apostle by the will of God.’  How important it was for him to stand in those things, how important for him as he, in Acts 20, his meeting with the elders from Ephesus, on the beach at Miletus, headed to Jerusalem, knowing that bonds and afflictions await him.  Saying, ‘None of those things move me, that I might finish my course with joy.  I haven't ceased to warn you over a period of two or three years that after my departure grievous wolves will come in from the outside, not sparing the flock.  Men are going to come out of your own midst and draw disciples after themselves instead of after the Lord.’  Then it says ‘Commending them to the grace of God.’  Something that was certain in his own life.

 

“To The Faithful In Christ Jesus” -- That’s Us Folks! -- We Live In Two Realms

 

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.”  Now that's to us, also.  ‘To the saints that are at Ephesus, to the faithful’ -- well you might say, That's not to me, I ain't faithful’--no it's not faithful in that sense.  It's to the believing, to the trusting--those who believe or trust Christ.  “To the saints at Ephesus” -- you know, we've done a disservice to this whole idea of "saints", Gr. Hagion, hagios,  [Strong's # 40, Hagios: sacred, (phys. Pure, morally blameless or religious, cer. Consecrated): (most) holy, saint.] to be holy, to be a saint, to be set aside.”  And we think that if you're a saint, you're on somebody's dashboard or on somebody's front lawn.  The Bible says that you are saints.  All those at Ephesus were saints.  Look next to you, the person next to you is a saint, you're a saint.  Your life has been set aside by God for his purposes, holy.  We're going to see how that he's going to talk about that in these first three chapters.  “The saints at Ephesus in Christ” -- we have two addresses.  First three chapters are written to those in Christ, the last three are written to those at Ephesus.  We have two addresses, you and I,  in Christ and in Philly, and our problem is in Philly, not in Christ, if you've noticed.  We have two addresses, we live in two realms.  We're in Christ, and that's something that's settled by the work of Jesus.  As far as God is concerned that's signed, sealed, and delivered, we're in Philly, in Christ.  In traffic, around people, would be nice if there was nobody on the planet but you, Huh?  You'd never have any temptations or trials or lose your temper “behavior that is becoming saints and worthy of our vocation,” and that's the second half.  “To those saints which are at Ephesus, and to the believing in Christ” -- that's us, it includes us in this letter without any question.  The greeting, verse 2, “Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ” -- always the order, grace then peace, we'll never have peace without grace.  Grace, [Strong's 5485, Greek: Charis, the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.]  [You might say by this central part of the definition, that the Grace of God is the cleansing influence of his Holy Spirit acting on our lives, cleaning out the sin, giving us the power to overcome sins we'd not be able to on our own, and replacing that with God's nature, the fruits of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:21-22.  So grace, the grace of God comes first, and then as a result of that, a great inner peace is the end result.]  the typical Greek greeting, and then from the Jewish tradition, which was Shalom, but here in the Greek, peace, [Strong's 1515, Eirene; peace; prosperity:--one, peace, quietness, rest + set at one again.]  the peace, which means ‘to put together’ when something is disjointed or something is disconnected, there's no peace.  You know how that is.  It means to bring together.  Of course it's the believer in God, but peace.  ‘Grace, peace be to you from the Lord Jesus Christ.’  Now the Lord, Kurios, [Strong's # 2962, Greek: Kurios, kuros; supreme authority, i.e. controller.  God, Lord, master, Sir.]  is title.  He is the Lord.  Jesus is his name.  When you first get saved, you think “The Lord Jesus Christ” is like “Smokey the Bear,” you think it's all his name.   The "Lord" is who he is, Kurios, he's Lord, not just Savior, he's Lord.  Jesus, Joshua, [Yeshua in modern Hebrew, for the Messianic Jewish believers reading this], his name.  Jesus or Yeshua of Nazareth.  [For example Judas Iscariot is really in Hebrew "Judas Ish Keriot," which = "Judas, man of Keriot", Jesus of Nazareth would be in Hebrew Yeshua Ish Nazareth, or Jesus  man of Nazareth.]  Christ is his mission, Christ is the Greek for Messiah.  It's "The Lord" Yeshua Meschiach, the Lord Jesus the Messiah.  He's the one who has been prophecied, of the line of David, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, the Jewish Messiah, according to the Hebrew prophets, born of a virgin [Isa. 7:14].  [To see this awesome chain of fulfilled prophecies of who Jesus is, the authenticity of his Messiahship, log onto http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/prophecies/1stcoming.htm.]  This is the One, the Lord, Kurios, Jesus the Christ.  “Grace be to you and peace, from God"--notice--"our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

 

The Spiritual Blessings That We Have In Christ

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, [that’s 4.3 billion years ago, by the way] that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”  Now verse 3 down to verse 14 begins the doxology, where he begins to pour out some very remarkable things about our position in Christ.  Verse 15, after he pours all of these things out, he says, “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love for all the saints, cease not to give thanks and making mention of you in my prayers that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.” (verses 15-17)  So he goes through the first 14 verses and says, ‘This is who you are, this is where you are, this is what God has done, this is how he has accomplished it.’  And when he gets to verse 15 he says, ‘Wherefore, because of all that, I don't ever stop praying that God would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, that you might understand the truth of all of that.’  In the first 14 verses, verses 3 to 6, he talks about the things that the Father has accomplished.  Verses 7 to 11, he talks about the Son, and what Christ has done.  Verses 13 and 14 he talks about the Spirit and what the Spirit has done.  And in all of those realms, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Spirit, he talks about the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ Jesus.  He begins by talking about that in verse 3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”  Now ‘Blessed be the God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,’ it isn't the same as ‘blessed are the meek, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn’ that we have in Matthew 5 in the Sermon on the Mount.  That is a word that means ‘happy, fulfilled, happy are those who mourn, happy are the poor in spirit.’  This is a different word, we get ‘eulogize’ from the same word, ‘to speak well of.’  When we go to a funeral the last thing they say about a person you're there to honor is the eulogy, speaking well of that person.  And that's this word “blessed” here.  Paul says ‘to speak well of, to praise, to glorify, to say the things that need to be said, blessed, well spoken be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all.’  Notice that, not most, but all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”  

 

The Six Spiritual Blessings Listed Which God Gives To Us

 

Now by the way we're going to look at some of these spiritual blessings this evening.  Some of them he lists here are: (1) “election,” (2) “predestination,” (3) “redemption,” (4) “revelation,” (5) “inheritance,” and (6) “the sealing of the Spirit.”  He really goes through a list of remarkable things that are ours.  And these are these spiritual blessings that we have received in heavenly places in Christ.  Now look, they are for spiritual men and women.  They are not for carnal men and women [and I might add, carnal, unconverted men and women would not appreciate these spiritual blessings, nor would they understand what they're all about, cf. 1st Corinthians 2:11-16.]  They're for spiritual men and women, where our heart should be in relationship to the Lord.  There's people here who come to church who just come to scope out, and see if there's any chicks here, there's people who come to church just to date, there's people who come to church looking for this, there's people who come to church and say, ‘Nobody said Hi to me!’ ‘Nobody shook my hand!’  ‘That's the second time I've been there and nobody paid any attention to me!’  There's all kinds of reasons why people come to church, what people want.  And we're certainly not here to supply carnal things.  [One word about dating.  The other side of the coin on that matter is this.  It's not wrong to get interested in a gal or guy in church, as opposed to dating a non-believer outside of church.  The Bible cautions us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and that is talking about marriage.  So by all means, find that special one the Lord has for you within the church environment.  But that is not to be your central aim for attending church.  That is what Pastor Joe Focht is getting at.]  If people want sex and people want alcohol and drugs and want pornography there's a whole world out there filled with it.  Have at it!  We don't supply it here.  Hate to disappoint you, that's not what the church is about.  The world is filled with that, if that's what you want, if you're not done yet, until you're done with it, go out there till you puke from it.  [And if someone you're interested in likes pornography or any of those other things (even though he/she may be attending church) find someone else -- they're not spiritually minded -- use discernment, marriage is for a lifetime, and divorce is an extremely painful way of undoing a mistake in choice.]  But if we want spiritual things, if we want truth and we want light, and we want to take inventory of what the Father has done for us in a world that's falling apart, in a world where there's war--in a world where the apostles and prophets told us things would wax worse and worse until Christ would come--and if in the middle of all of that, we want a Rock under our feet, we want a Foundation to stand on, we want something that transcends this present world with all of its problems--well he says to us here, ‘We have all spiritual blessings in Christ in heavenly places.  That's why we should speak well of him [the Father].  Because all of those things have been made ours now in Christ.’  Ten times in the first 13 verses he says “in Christ.”  27 times, I believe, in Ephesians, he says “in Christ.”  In fact, I think there's over 200 times the prefix “en,” “to be in” is used in the book of Ephesians, but “in Christ” specifically, 27 times, and 10 times in the first 13 verses.  That's where the spiritual blessings that the Father has for us are, in Christ, and because of Christ.  Not because of us, not because we deserve them, not because we've earned them, they're in Christ.  And he's going to begin to talk about that.

 

1.  “We Are Chosen, Before The Foundation Of The World, In Him, Once And For All, Out From The World”

 

He says, let's read verse 3 again, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” -- I know you'd like some blessings in earthly places once in awhile, and God does that, but we have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places “in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him” -- in Christ -- you want to take note of all the “in whom, in him, in Christ”“according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be.”  Not because we be, but “that we should be.”  He's making us into something, not blessing us because we were something.  "that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love."  Now, “according as he has chosen us in him,” “he hath chosen us in him.”  Now we're going to see something as we move through here.  In Christ, first of all, realize this.  Our experience will never equal our position this side of heaven [or "eternal life" to some readers].  Our experience is never going to match our positions.  Positionally we're in Christ, justified, sanctified, glorified -- we stand before the God who calls things that are not as though they were -- he sees us complete, and pronounces the very righteousness of Christ upon us.  That is our position.  Our experience is “working out our own salvation with fear and trembling” -- the God who wills to do his own good pleasure -- working in us, we're being changed from glory to glory.  But positionally we're complete.  He's going to tell us where we are because of Christ and in Christ.  And the first thing he says here to us about that, he says, “that we are chosen in him,” very interesting phrase here.  First of all, and some of this will bore you, but hopefully you'll see why it's important.  It's in the aritis tense [not sure of spelling], which means ‘once and for all.’  He's chosen us once and for all, out from,” in the choosing there's a pre-fix which means “out from,” he's chosen us out from this world,” and it's in the middle voice in the grammar, which means “for one's self.”  Paul says a very remarkable thing here, “God has given us all of these spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ, according…”  Now this is the way it begins and this is the way it happens.  “He has chosen us once and for all, out from among this present world unto himself for himself, as a treasure.”  God has looked down at your life and my life and the world in human history and he has chosen, he's made a choice, election, he has made a choice.  OK, somebody's going to argue, let's settle this before we go any further, ‘What about man's responsibility?  What about God's sovereignty?’   ‘Just teach the next verse and shut up!’ -- that's what God tells me.  You know why?  Because they're both in the Bible.  You have a Jesus who says “Of all those the Father's given me I won't lose one” – and – “any man who comes to me I'll in no wise cast out.”  He gives us both in one verse.  That should calm everybody down.  “Of all the Father's given me I won't lose one, and if any man who comes to me,” that's sovereignty and responsibility in one verse.  And the Bible is filled with it.  If we're too much in Arminius we put all the responsibility on man, we rob God of his glory and his sovereignty.  If we're too much of a Calvinist on the other side, we rob man of his responsibility.  We shouldn't be anybody, because they're both in Scripture.  Hugh Ross gave my favorite analogy when I talked about this day in my Bible class.  But he's a scientist, he's a brilliant guy, and he said, “To me, sovereignty and responsibility, trying to reconcile those two is like this.”  And he held up, he had a photograph of a triangle.  And he said, “No matter how many times I turn this, because it's a photograph, it only has height and width, it's only two dimensions, it can never be a circle.  It's got three angles and three sides, no matter which way I turn it, it's a triangle.  Both things can't be true.  It can't be a circle and a triangle.”  But then he showed a photograph of the same object from above and it was a cone sitting on the fat end.  He says “Now by adding one dimension both things can be true, it can be a circle and a triangle.” [this analogy fits man trying to explain Law & Grace as well.]  He said, “As a scientist, when I see the contradiction between sovereignty and human responsibility in Scripture, it tells me that where God wrote this book from, he enjoys more dimensions than we do, and from where he is both things are true.  Because we lack dimension we can't reconcile them.  We can't understand.”  We find both things in Scripture. [There are other "doctrines" some ascribe to, that oppose other Scriptures which form Bible doctrines--like the promises of God to the Israelites, Israelis, in the millennial kingdom of God, promises of kingdom and land -- Ezekiel 36, and Jeremiah 31, whole chapters of prophecy, which at first glance appear to be cancelled out by what Paul wrote elsewhere.  Yet Paul later wrote in Romans 11 that the promises are in no wise cancelled out to the Jews.  Again, aren't we thinking inside a box again, or two or even one-dimensionally, while the Lord God who inspired and wrote the Word of God in its entirety is looking at how these apparent contradictory Scriptures really properly fit together? Hmm.]  And certainly in the beginning of Ephesians we don't want to take an iota away from the wonder of what this is saying to us. He's chosen us, not just that he's chosen people, there's a greater wonder, he's chosen us.  Look around, let it really blow your mind, us!  Look, he's chosen us.  And how he did that was, he made up his mind, once and for all, he picked out from among whatever [and each of us should remember back to when and where you were when God first started really calling you].  And he did that, in the middle voice says, to bring us to himself.”  Is he going to change his mind?  Is he sitting in heaven saying, ‘I got a lemon, I didn't realize that.’?  No, look what it says here.  You can tell because of when he did it.  “He hath chosen us in him” -- look -- “before the foundation of the world.”  No mistakes there.  “That's in heavenly places.”  “He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, that we should be holy and without blame before him.” (verse 4)  Another remarkable phrase, "before" comes from caennta-opion.  Before is: “Cata” is down, “enn” is “in,” “opion” is “to look.”  “He has made a once and for all choice and chosen us out from among human history for himself before the worlds were framed, that we should be holy and without blame as he looks down into us in love.”  It says exactly what it sounds like.  He looks past all of our failings, in Christ.  He looks past all of our faltering and our weaknesses, in Christ.  He looks past all of our sin, in Christ.  And he looks down into us with pleasure.  He cherishes us, we're the object of his desire.  He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  And Paul says, it begins, “According to” -- he brings pressure on it, this is how it begins, ‘that he's chosen us.’  It was an election, before the worlds were formed.  He chose us out from among the whole train of human history, with a decision that will never be changed, it was once and for all, and the reason he did it was for himself, that we may be holy and without blame, as he looks down into us, he sees us holy, and without blame.  And he looks down into us in love.  Now to me that's a spiritual treasure.  I don't know about you.  That's a spiritual treasure in Christ.

 

2. Predestination:  God Has Predestinated Us Unto The Adoption Of Children By Jesus Christ

 

He continues, verse 5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will.”  He has “predestinated,” “pro-horizo.”  It's, “pro” is “before,” “horizon” is “to mark out a boundary.”  We say horizon.  He's marked out our boundaries.  Now “election” is in regards to us as individuals.  Predestination is in regards to what he's called us to, the boundaries that he's set for our lives.  He'll tell us in the second chapter that there are good works fore-ordained, that we should walk in them.  It tells us in Romans, remember, whom he did foreknow, he did predestinate,” only uses that idea of foreknowledge there and in Acts chapter 2 and in 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 2.  In Acts chapter 2 it says there that Christ was offered, he was crucified, “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”  By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God--there's a Granville-Sharps rule in the Greek there that makes “the determinate counsel” and “the foreknowledge of God” the same thing.  In other words, what it's saying to us is “God does not foreknow something idly.”  He doesn't just foreknow, and because he foreknows then he makes choices.  No, his foreknowing, because of who he is, is directly connected to his determinate counsel.  His foreknowing, it tells us in 1 Peter 1 is directly connected to his “electing.”  God doesn't foreknow without activity because of his very nature.  So somehow, remarkably, choosing us, making us his own, that he might look down into us and see us holy and without blame [and who has he chosen?--this will blow you away.  Read 1st Corinthians 1:26-31, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”  Doesn't that last part sound just like what we're studying here?  Coupled to a sound reason in the overall plan of God as to why he predestinated and chose us over the mighty, the wise, the beautiful of the world.  All those will be at the back of the bus in the kingdom compared to us, those he's chosen.]  Jude tells us that in verse 24, ‘he's going to present us faultless before his throne with exceeding joy.’  He says “and having predestinated us”--set our horizons--unto what? unto the adoption of children”--not slaves, but children.  ‘He's predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, who himself according to the good pleasure of his will.’  Now, he's made us his children.  That was his predestinating work, to make us his children.  And it was in Christ, it says here, an adoption.  Now it's an interesting idea.  When we hear of adoption today, we do have an idea, and it certainly includes that, the idea of picking a child.  And there's a beautiful side to that, that the Lord picked us.  You know, you have a bunch of your own, you didn't pick any of them, they showed up.  That he chose us.  But there's more than that.  Culturally, that word is also used to describe the day when a father would take a son who had come to the point of maturity, where he would bequeath him with the inheritance of the family and recognize him publicly as an heir, as adult.  He has predestinated us to that, that one day we will stand with Christ and be recognized eternally and publicly, joint-heirs, God's children, by Jesus Christ, God did it to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.  What is his will for your life?  Important for us to see.  Important for us to understand.  Revelation chapter 4:11 tells us that we were created for his pleasure, celama, same word, for his will, his good pleasure.  What is his will?  Why did he create you?  Very important, because we hear all kinds of things--that we were created to glorify God.  Well, I think we should glorify him.  That we were created for his pleasure, his will is that we should serve him.  Well, you know what?  I think we should serve him.  But it says here, that he predestinated us ‘unto the adoption of children,’ that that was his good will.  I have four kids.  I didn't have any of them to serve me.  It's not like you have one kid, and when they get to be three or four years old, you know if you have a four or five year-old what it's like.  You're painting, ‘Daddy, can I help?  Daddy, can I help? (Augh, this is gonna drag things out.), 'Ah, you can help’--because you know, they're going to take the paintbrush and in about five minutes they’re going to do this, and they're going to think ‘Why am I doing this?  This is boring.’  And they're going to drop it and run somewhere else.  And then you're going to have to patch up what they did.  But you let them help because it blesses them.  That's what I think God does with me.  Let's me be a pastor because it blesses me.  And I trust that after we talk about predestination and election he'll patch everything up when I'm done.  But it's not like you have one kid paint, and you say to your wife, ‘You know, if we have four we could get the whole house painted.’  ‘I think we should have more of them.’  [And right about then she clunks you with a frying pan!--it's the women primarily that are in slavery to their young children till they're older!  Dad gets to go to work for a break.]  I think that your kids should serve you as they grow, they should understand their relationship to you and to Christ.  But that's not why you have them.  You don't have them to glorify you.  Got a bunch of little kids when you come home from work and they're waiting, ‘Oh Daddy, Oh Daddy, praise you.’  And you say, ‘Honey, let's have 15 or 20 of these, it's wonderful, we could start a choir, they could sing to me when I get home.’  No, that's not why you have them.  And I think that as your kids grow, they should be a glory to you.  The Scripture agrees with that.  But that's not why you have them.  You have them out of love, you have them because of the relationship.  What's important to you is to look into their eyes and to watch them and to know that they're going to come to Christ and you're going to spend eternity with them.  There's nothing that they can give you that's worth more than that.  “According to his will,” God compares his relationship with us with that of parents to children, he compares his relationship with us to that of a bride and a groom.  That's a little hotter than a husband and a wife, you know he stays at that stage, they're bride and groom, there's heat there, romance and excitement still.  It's at the engagement ring stage (the suffer-ring syndrome comes later), bride and groom.  Now guys, if you're not married yet, listen to some very sound advice here.  You don't get married so that your wife can serve you.  [laughter]  I think she should, don't get me wrong.  And if you love her the way Christ loves the church, that should be a natural response.  You don't get married, men, so that your wife can glorify you, ‘Oh honey, am I glad you're home from work’--but I think that should happen in the process of--if you walk in Christ, certainly your wife gives glory to you [and vice versa--or should be].  You get married out of love.  You get married for the intimacy, to take a life-partner.  And here it says ‘He has chosen us out from among the world, never to change his mind again, to make us his own, that he may look down into us and see us there blameless and holy before his sight, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children.’  Man, that's good stuff when the world is falling apart.  I don't know about you, I like this.  by Jesus Christ himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace wherein he made us accepted in the beloved.”  [And it is the grace of God -- God working in us through his Holy Spirit to purify us -- that makes us “accepted in the beloved, in Christ.”  Remember, grace precedes peace.  There can be no peace without the grace of God working in us by his Spirit, purifying us.] 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (verses 3-6)  Now look, verses 3-6, this is what he said, “to the praise of the glory of his grace.”  Now look, in verses 7 to 12 he's going to talk about the Son.  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  that in the disposition of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are on earth; even in him:  in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (verses 7-12)  And look at the way he ends it in verse 12, “that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”  Verses 13 and 14, he's going to talk about the Spirit, and look at the way he ends that, “unto the praise of his glory.”  “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:  in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (verses 13-14)  I get the idea that all of this happens and in the ultimate issue of all of this is the glory of God, that he could chose you and I, picks us out from among the world, makes us his own, and makes us holy and blameless, to be his children, to inherit, to stand one day and to be sons of God, joint-heirs with Christ.  It's to his glory.  Then he moves to the Son and the redemption he has given us.  All of that, he says, is to his glory.  Then he moves to the Spirit and the things the Spirit has done on our behalf, and he says, it's to his glory.  Each time, he ends with that idea, “to the praise of the glory of his grace.”  Now that's amazing, his grace is so glorious that there should be praise that the glory of his grace should be praised, so that we would praise the glory of his grace -- “wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” -- caused us to be accepted in the beloved, good place to be.  “In whom”--"in the beloved”--now we move to the Son, in the beloved.  That's the rule.  In whom, in the beloved -- “we have [end of verse 6, verse 7] and there's a definite article in the Greek here, “In whom we have "the" redemption,” salvation that the whole Bible talks about.  “The” redemption, in Christ.  We have "the" redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."  Redemption is the word that's used in the market place to buy a slave out of the market place for the express purpose of setting him free.  We have redemption.  Christ has purchased us from the slavery of sin and of the world, to set us free.  In whom we have "the" redemption, he says.

 

3rd, “We Have The Redemption Through His Blood, And 4th, We Have God’s Revelation, The Mystery Of His Will

 

Verses 7-8, “In whom we have "the" redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”  verse 9a, “having made known unto us the mystery of his will,”  So look at these riches in Christ.  1) election, 2) then we have predestination, 3) then we have redemption in verse 7, now in verse 9 we have 4) revelation, “having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself.”  He has made known unto us the mystery of his will.  As we sit here this evening, think about all the things we take for granted.  He's made known unto us the mystery of his will.  Think what you believe tonight.  You believe Jesus Christ is returning [see http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/prophecies/2ndcoming.htm ].  Do you believe it?  And do you believe at some point, whether you're pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib (all pre-millennial interpretations being referred to here), that he's going to make the sound of a trumpet and a shout, the voice of the archangel, and we're all going to be caught up off the face of the earth in an instant, the speed of light, in the twinkling of an eye, and this corruption is going to put on incorruption and this mortal is going to put on immortality [cf. http://www.UNITYINCHRIST.COM/corinthians/cor15-16.htm and see also https://unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm]     Do you believe that?  And that in the world, scientists are out there trying to figure out how it all got started, looking at evolution, looking at the Universe, the Big Bang, trying to figure out, you know, ‘there's a Doppler effect, you can quantify this light effect over here.’  and they're coming up with all this stuff.  You and I know they can just turn to Genesis chapter 1, verse 1 and find out where everything came from [and to read an interesting account of that log onto https://unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/dinosaurs.htm and see also https://unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html].  Is there a problem here?  We know what the future holds.  We know it's not going to go on for another 1,000 years and some day humans are going to have real big heads and little spindly arms that are not working and we're going to get real smart, you're laughing.  There's Ph.D's out there that believe all that!  What's wrong with you?  Or what's right  with you?  “He has made known unto us the mystery of his will”--but not by our five senses, but by an internal Light. We're saved, he's made these things real to us, that in this troubled world we're looking forward to something.  We have a hope.  It says that we should be ready to give an answer to every man for the hope that we have, particularly in these crazy times.  That's “revelation,” it revelatory, it isn't learned with the eyes, the ears, the taste, the touch.  That's another one of the spiritual blessings we have.  And he's going to give us spiritual blessings.  Here we sit this evening, our lives are completely changed, transformed, because we see beyond the present world.  Not that that's a problem for someone who's saved, because they [the outside world] think we're out of our minds.  ‘He goes to that church, they're all excited about dying and going to heaven up there, I don't know what's going on.  They're all nuts, they're gonna be drinkin’ cool-aid in a week, I know it.’  No, no, no, no, you just come, you listen, you keep breathing, you hit 40, 50, 60, you'll get a little bit more excited about the next world, I guarantee you that.  But the way this world is going, it's going to happen faster than that.  [When this sermon was given we had just experienced the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack where the Twin Trade Towers were collapsed and incinerated before our very eyes on television, live!  I saw it, the Pentagon in DC, hit, a hijacked airliner crashing into it.  Over 3,000 dead in a couple hours in those three locations.  Do you realize that within 2001-2003, the Israeli's have suffered through 13,000 terrorist attacks?!  Now it’s 2020, and since March to now 130,000 Americans in the U.S. have died of corona virus, COVID-19, the economies of the world have collapsed, as the world waits for the development of a successful vaccine, and in the midst of all that, the long-stalled Civil Rights movement of the 1960s has revived, bringing times of protest and rallies, similar to the times of the late 1960s, Nixon, Watergate and Vietnam.  Crazy times we live in.]  It's going to happen faster than that.  And you see, we know that in the next world it's not like we're all going to die and waste away to dust and live in some mythical realm, we believe in resurrection, we believe Jesus Christ is coming, and he's going to raise the dead--Peter, James, John, all the saints who have gone before us, along with us--their frames are going to be raised from the dead, your grandparents and those that you love, that have died, that have deteriorated, they're going to be raised from the ground [in one of the two resurrections, see that study in 1 Corinthians 15 I linked to a little ways back in this study].  We don't just believe in spiritual realms, something ethereal, being ghosts forever.  We believe in resurrection.  “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on the earth, even in him.” (verses 9-10)  “In the dispensation of the fulness of times” -- go to Revelation 21 & 22 and you read ‘after this heaven and earth pass away, after all the judgments have been made [Rev. 20], he creates a new heaven and a new earth’ --creates, “bara,” it tells us in Isaiah 65, ‘behold I create--bara--I create from nothing,’ [Strong's # 1254, bara indicates this word can have several meanings for “create,” one of which is to create out of nothing, others such as "a formative process" i.e. reformative is possible.].  People think he's just going to remodel.  [based on other Scriptures, as in II Peter 3:10-11, it looks like God will refashion the heavens and the earth, melting them down and remaking them--or as "bara" indicates, this could be part of the Big Bang of creation in reverse, rolling up the heavens and the earth like a scroll--just before recreating them, again, out of nothing that is material, matter as we know it.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  It’s going to be exciting!]  No, he's not remodeling.  [Again, tiny secondary point in doctrine.  As I say, wait and see.  The macro of God's Word--whole prophecies, whole passages and chapters, have to agree with the micro of God's Word--specific grammatical meanings of specific Hebrew and Greek words in question--and vice versa--in order to accurately create a true Bible doctrine.  And in some areas, we just won't know till the prophecied event comes to pass—the Bible just doesn't say enough about it--period.  This may be one of those areas.  In the interests of unity in the body of Christ, I don't like to get that dogmatic on a tiny point that could go either way.]  This heaven and earth are rolled up like a scroll, they pass away, never to be found again, and he starts all over.  And we're going to be standing next to our Father, and we're going to hear Him say “Let there be light.”  We're going to stand with him and watch him go through the act of creation all over again and be eye and ear witnesses to it.  Our Dad, in the dispensation of times, he's going to gather all things together in Christ.  There will be one throne, the throne of God and of the Lamb, it says in the book of Revelation.  And in the ages to come, chapter 2 verse 7, he's still going to be revealing his grace, his mercy to us.

 

5th, “In Whom We Also Have Obtained An Inheritance”

 

“In whom,” here we are again, “also” (I don't know if I can take more Paul) verse 11,  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”  ‘Well [you may say], I don't believe in God.’  It don't matter.  Because he works everything after the counsel of his own will.  He didn't think to invite you to be part of the decision-making process in eternity.  ‘Well I don't believe in God.’  You will.  You will.  We have an inheritance.  And he's predestinated us, he marked that out as one of our horizons--an inheritance.  That's why it says in Peter, it's reserved, it's undefiled, it fadeth not away, reserved.  The reason he's reserving it is because he knows we get there.  He wouldn't bother to reserve it if none of us were coming.  He wouldn't have made reservations.  But because he's chosen us, and he's worked all of this by his own power, and set it in place before the worlds were formed--he knows, that one day, we will be standing there.  We are working on believing that, and growing in the grace and in the knowledge of Christ, increasing in faith.  He knows, and sees us complete, in eternity.  Verses 11-12, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will.  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”  Those of us who have hoped in Christ, that all of that would be to the praise of his glory. 

 

6th, Now The Holy Spirit Is Involved In This

 

Now the Spirit's involved in this.  Verse 13, “In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.”--it's having believed, having heard, is the idea here.  There was a divine act.  Having heard, not just with the human ear, but with the heart.  Having heard, having believed, those two things happening--"in  whom you also trusted, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (verses 13-14).  You were “sealed” with the Holy Spirit of promise.   In that culture, say you were shipping something.  The shipping lanes were open, usually from March through November.  If you were going to ship something, to one of the major ports, Putoli in Rome say, you're shipping to.  What you would do is the owner of the household would put wax on the cargo and then put the imprint of his ring on there, and it was sealed.  And when cargo would be unloaded then in Rome, the servants would come and look through the cargo and find all the cargo with that stamp on it because it was a sign.  It did two things, it provided ownership and it provided security.  Because if the seal of the owner was on it, no one else was allowed to touch it.  And with the seal of the owner on it, it guaranteed it would get to its destination.  So that's a couple wonderful things that have happened in our life.  God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise.”  Having heard, having believed, the second we believed we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.  We are getting to our destination.  Because the Dad, our Father, has sealed us.  And nobody can break that seal.  It's the same word that's used in Revelation when Satan is bound for a thousand years, and it says ‘an angel put a "seal" on that place where he was bound.’ (cf. Revelation 20:1-3)  He had no power to break that for a thousand years.  Couldn't break it.  Same word.  You and I are sealed.  Can't break that either.  We're sealed, we're homeward bound--“by the Holy Spirit of promise.   Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”  The earnest, the down payment.  You know what an earnest is in a transaction.  It's the down payment, it's he deposit.  Here's the remarkable thing.  The Holy Spirit doesn't just seal us, he Himself is part of the down payment of our inheritance.  Jesus, remember in John 14, he said he would leave, he said he would send to us the Spirit of truth who would abide with you forever (read John 14:16-18, 21, 26).  So the Holy Spirit that has sealed us is part of the inheritance, and will be with us forever.  The arrhabon, the arrhabona, the earnest, it also, in Greece today, the arrhabon, the arrhabona is the engagement ring.  [Strong's #728, Arrhabon; pledge, i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest:--earnest.]  It's not just cargo, there's an emotion that's attached to the word many times too.  When somebody puts the engagement ring on your finger, you know that you have a destination, that's the altar, that's the wedding day [and for us Christians in the resurrection to immortality, cf. Revelation 19:7-9].  The Holy Spirit of promise, we're sealed by Him and He is the down payment, but not the down payment only, he's the engagement ring upon the Bride of Christ, waiting for that day that the Lord will come, it says until the redemption of the purchased possession.”  [and in today's world, the wedding ring has taken the place of the dowry payment, a payment where the Groom actually paid a payment to the Bride's family, a purchase payment.  See how it all fits?]  The earnest of the purchased possession.  You were the most expensive thing in the universe.  You are the purchased possession.  [Husbands and future husbands are supposed to love their wives and prospective brides like Christ loved and gave himself for the Church.  How much did Jesus’ wedding ring cost, which he said would be bestowed on believers in John 14, after he left this earth?]  How much did it cost?  God's Son, his suffering, his blood shed.  God has never paid a greater price for anything than he's paid for us.  That's because Paul tells us, he goes through this doxology.  Now he's going to say, next week when we get to verse 15, he's going to say, ‘I pray all the time that you guys will get hold of this stuff, that God will make this stuff alive to you, that you'll see it.’  He's sealed us until the day of redemption, until the purchased possession is gathered in.  Before the foundation of the world he chose us.  Today, he's looking down into us, and sees us holy, without blame.  Because of that, he's predestinated us to the adoption of children, we're accepted in the beloved, who's provided the redemption, who's revealed to us the mystery of his will and has set out an inheritance according to the counsel of his own will, and predestined us to be partakers in that, so he then, knowing all of that, the moment that we heard and believed, sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise, put the seal of ownership and destiny upon us, which is also the promise of the Wedding day, the coming of the Bride to her Groom.  Sealed unto the day of redemption, purchased possession, we'll be gathered home [carried across the threshold of eternity in His arms].  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Ephesians 1:1-14, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

1. Who is the Lord Jesus Christ? seehttps://unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm

 

2. We have God’s Revelation, The Mystery of His Will.  seehttps://unityinchrist.com/Prophets_Prophecy.html and https://unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm (Bible Prophecy, the future foretold)

https://unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm and https://unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm (the two Bible resurrections, doctrines about heaven & hell)

https://unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html and https://unityinchrist.com/Does/Genesis%201%201-31.html and https://unityinchrist.com/ProofOfTheBible-FulfilledProphecy.htm (Creation & Proof that God exists and Bible is true)

https://unityinchrist.com/history2/index3.htm (Creation of the Church)

 

 

 

 

 
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