Summary: God’s great goal for man is for man to be found in Christ. The first in a series on the book of ephesians. If we are to have a planned and purposeful life we must recognize God’s undeniable plan, Rely on our available resources, and React to our reasona
Intro: Have you ever thought that if we are only a simple chance combination of molecules that life is without plan or purpose?
There are actually people in the world that believe we happened here by chance. I like use this illustration to tell them different. Take all the pieces of a car throw them in a shed and shake it up what do you get? Well all the parts of a car shaken up in a shed of course.
Paul is not using such a simple argument in Ephesians Ch. 1. However he does believe that God has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives.
As I studied through the book of Ephesians I saw Paul’s natural breakdown. Chapter 1-3 he tells the doctrinal (what we should know). Chapters 4-6 he tells the practical (what we should do).
We could see it as The benefits of Being in God’s family, and the Boundaries of Being in God’s family.
This morning we begin with the Benefits.
I. Recognize God’s undeniable plan
Ephesians 1 “by the will of God”
The apostle Paul realized that God had a plan and a purpose for his life. Life is not an accident. We are not merely an accidental combination of molecules adrift in the sea of life. God has a plan and a purpose for all of us.
Where God wants you, what God wants you, that is God’s will. God’s perfect plan for man is for all of us to be a “saint.”
According to Dr Adrian Rogers there are two types of people in the world there are saints and there are aints.
Paul is talking to saints in His letter to the Ephesians.
A) His Selection
1.1 “to the saints”
1.4 “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.”
Somehow the wrong idea has come about that saints are Christians who lived extraordinary lives of faith. After their death they are exalted to sainthood.
Here we see Paul is writing to the saints. The word merely means “the set apart one.”
It speaks of you new position with God. It not because of what you do but because of what He did. It is who you are not what you do.
1) An Eternal People
God chose before creation to have a people for Himself – It is known as the doctrine of election. (Wise old pastor said God voted for my salvation, devil voted for my damnation I voted with God and got the majority)
2) A Worldly Purpose
“In Christ” 11 times used in Ephesians
(I said you are a saint because of who you are, well who you are should affect what you do!!!)
a) Stand with Christ—Chosen before the foundation of the world
b) Stand for Chirst -- Ephesians 5.1 “Therefore be imitators of God as beloved Children.”
In this world we stand as Jesus’ representatives. As children of mine McKinely and John represent our family, our name. What they do reflects on who I am as a father, a Christian, and even a pastor. It affects how others view me and accept or reject me.
The same is true of God if we stand with and for Jesus we are reflecting who God is. Do we reflect His true character, love, grace, mercy, justice, etc..
If we are chosen then it is our responsibility to stand for Christ.
B) His Intention
If we are to reflect God and His character what does He intend us to reflect?
“To be set apart to God.” It carries the idea of reflecting or representing God’s moral purity. In today’s Culture God is seeking a people that are morally pure.
This word carries the idea of having no spot or blemish. The perfect sacrifice in the OT was this way.
As Christians this will not be completely realized in our life here on earth. But we should in our ongoing relationship with Jesus become more holy and blameless.
II. Rely on Our available resources
The apostle Paul combines two very ordinary words in his greeting. Grace and Peace. One Grace a Geek word you would use walking through a Greek City. Peace is the word of welcome you would use in a Hebrew city. They were both common words to say Hello.
As someone said Paul baptized them into Christianity and elevated them in meaning. They are no longer words of welcome but are wonderful resources.
A) God’s Grace
Eph 2.8 “We are saved by grace through faith”
The hearers of the letter had already received salvation. We see this in that they were called saints and the faithful.
The resource is God’s divine assistance for daily living.
Illustration: We can see God’s divine assistance in the Israelites journey out of Egypt.