Summary: To get the reader that Christ chose us regardless of our stormy past.
CHOSEN TO BE LOVED
My brothers and my sisters, many of us know how it feels when you have been chosen to be loved, especially if that someone that chose you was someone special. As I think about my choice for the person that I chose to be mine, at best Cheryl and me, considered at that moment the great chance that our choice for one another would be anchored in a developing love. Now before you think that we didn’t love each other at first, I must correct that thought to get you to understand that we did not know enough about each other to rightfully say that we loved each other and the love, the simplistic love that we did have, was enough for me to ask Cheryl for her hand in marriage. In other words I wanted Cheryl to know that she had been chosen to be loved by me, and at this point it is unconditional.
That is what the Lord God did for us before the foundation of the world. Rev. Pierson frequently says; before there was a when or a where, a here or a there, God loved us too much to even think about leaving us alone in a world that He created. But in this big cruel world, the love is not mutual. It is like a song that Van McCoy wrote for the Choice Four in the seventies called (I Can’t make you Love Me.) The words were; “Seems like the one thing that you can’t have, is the thing you want most of all. And when I tried to forget you the deeper in love I fall. But I guess, some things are just not meant to be and having you is not a part of me, so why fight destiny. You can’t find love in a heart of stone, I can’t make you love me, no I can’t make you love me, you know I guess I better leave well enough alone, I can’t make you love me.” Now although Pete Marshall of the Choice Four sang this song about this love sick man during a time when love songs were the norm. I’m here this morning and glad to say that the Lord did not give up on us that easy. He keeps on giving us reasons to love Him. When we were sinners, He gave His only begotten Son. When we did not acknowledge Him, He gave us whether we knew it or not, reasonable health to make a living, to work a job that allowed us to own our homes, drive our fine cars, and to have food in our refrigerators. And when we thought that we were all that, He died for you and me. I tell you that God Father keeps giving us reasons to love Him.
As we explore this Epistle of Ephesians and possibly Philippians and Colossians in this year, we will hear first hand from the Apostle Paul about how the Lord Jesus Christ felt for the Church, that is also called the body of Christ. It is in this text that is among all the great passages of Scripture, which deals with God’s eternal plan for the world. It deals with the great blessings of God which He pours out upon those who trust His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior. So, in this Epistle to the Ephesians it will not cover church order or discipline, but we will witness the Christians’ position through His Grace; the truth concerning the body of Christ or the true Church; and the life lived in accordance with that grace.
So, lets take a look.
First of all . . .
1. LET’S SEE TO WHOM THIS EPISTLE IS ADDRESSED TO (v.1)
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”
We should note the introduction in this Epistle and should notice whom Paul the apostle is talking to. It said to the saints and to the faithful in Christ Jesus. Now I find this note worthy because when Paul wrote to many of the other local churches he had to spend time dealing with the issues and concerns that had distracted them from true worship. In Romans, he had to deal with the Jews and their unbelief. In 1ST Corinthians, he had to deal with the carnality of the believers and he had to defend his apostleship. In 2nd Corinthian, Paul spiritual burden was great. In addition to the problems had to deal within his first letter to Corinth, he had to deal a wave of distrust, and the question of his sincerity along with his apostolic authority being question. In Galatians, he had to deal with the fickleness of the Galatians. They had a love for new and curious things and were swayed to believe loose doctrines. But here in Ephesus, Paul found a group that did not need much correcting, in fact they were a breath of fresh air for the apostle. He was able to write a letter from his prison in Rome that would encourage the saints and the faithful in Christ. So this epistle was to those who not only trusted the Lord Jesus Christ but also those who trusted Paul as well.