Summary: God’s purpose for our lives
Many islands in the Pacific Ocean appear to be tiny points of land that rise only a few thousand feet above sea level. Yet the foundations of those peaks extend for miles underwater. In fact, if measured from their base, some would tower above the Himalayas.
In a similar way, the salvation that we enjoy today involves far more than our brief experience of it. It extends back through time and even beyond time into eternity, “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). Indeed, salvation brings so many things into play that Paul wrote a 202-word run-on sentence (in the Greek) stretching across twelve verses (1:3–14) as he began to describe it. The exhausting, inspiring picture offers a breathtaking vista for the believer.
One thing it shows is that the salvation of every Christian involves all three persons of the Trinity. God the Father has selected us for His grace (1:4–5, 11). God the Son offered Himself as the sacrifice for sin, paying our penalty and extending forgiveness (1:7). And God the Holy Spirit has “sealed” us in Christ, guaranteeing our relationship with God (1:13–14). This work of God began before the world was formed and has continued throughout history.
Thus the foundation of our faith is anchored in God Himself. In His wisdom He has superintended a massive chain of events of which our own lives are but the most recent links. (Word in Life Study Bible, Thomas Nelson 1997.)
Verse 10 talks of the plan that God has for us and verse ll affirms this plan by saying, Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,* for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. (Ephesians 1:11 NLT).
The NRSV says that it is according to his counsel and will. We have all heard the phrase that God has a plan for us. The response back is What is that plan?
I) In our first question We ask what is God trying to say through Ephesians 1:3-10?
Well first and for most, I am reminded of a series of a sermon I gave almost three years ago, the mantra of those sermons was Salvation is of God, Salvation is a gift, Salvation comes through Jesus Christ.
A) God’s plan for us comes to us via the grace we received through our salvation in Jesus Christ.
B) Each of us have our own IEP (individualized educational plan or IFP (individualized faith plan) but the same goal, “the perfection of our faith. “Mind, body, and Soul”
C) We are not all cookie cutter cut Christians, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses.
D) It is through intentionally deepening our faith that we come to see what the plan is for our lives personally.
II) What does God want people to do or be? Well let us look back at all the things God has wanted us to do on this trek. We are to be in prayer, be seeking justice, being kind and performing acts of mercy, at the same time we are to be humble in the presence of God. We are also to be forward about our faith, and willing to stand up for what we believe in. That we are not useless and God will use us. Now throw in remembering God’s plan for our lives is our salvation and sanctification through Jesus Christ.
A) God wants us to be mindful that it was through his Grace we were saved.
B) Since we are not useless God’s plan must include each and everyone of us as integral part of that plan. Like wise we should help others to see that they do have a role and that God has included them personally in the plan of humankind.
C) In other words people need to understand that God’s plan for them is personal.
D) Maybe even rediscovering what John Wesley called the “means of Grace” Acts of Piety and Acts of Mercy.
III) What would happen if we took this passage seriously. How would our Church and lives be changed?
James the brother Jesus said it best. Faith without Works is dead.
A church that takes this passage seriously will be willing to share its gifts and talents and show all the people in their community and lives the ultimate Goal that God has for their lives. That Church will be willing to accept that not all of us come to that goal the same way. But that through our Salvation in Christ we are all Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
SO here we are near the end of our journey into what God wants for our lives. I hope that as we approach this final week next week you are beginning to see the higher purpose God has for our lives. That in some way we begin to experience a new awakening into our daily walk with Christ.