Summary: The grace of God that brings salvation should fill us with wonder and astonishment; with praise and adoration for the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ because—He CHOSE US in Christ… He PREDESTINED US to adoption as sons… and He has ACCEPTED US in
Exposition on Ephesians - #4
‘THE GRACE OF GOD THE FATHER’
Preached on January 7th 2001
Text: Ephesians 1:4-5
Intro: We’ve described our study in the book of Ephesians, as a kind of spiritual treasure hunt. For those of us who have some experience in searching for spiritual treasure, this 1st chapter of Ephesians is a real goldmine!
The large sign outside and over the entrance of this spiritual goldmine has the words The Goldmine of God’s Grace—written in large, bold letters. God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Underneath this sign is a smaller sign that tells us who the people are who have a right to remove spiritual treasures from the goldmine. The smaller sign reads: ‘The saints…and faithful in Christ Jesus.’
That is, only those who are SET APART and exclusively devoted to God; who BELIEVE that all the riches of God are found in Jesus Christ alone… And by that same faith are vitally and irreversibly CONNECTED (united) to Jesus Christ… These, and only these, have a divine right (valid claim) to the spiritual riches of God.
If you are here this morning, and you are not vitally connected to Jesus Christ… you are still welcome to tour the Goldmine of God with us, but you can’t take anything out of it—You can’t take any of the riches out of God’s goldmine of grace until you unreservedly give yourself up to God as a poor, helpless sinner and believe on the Lord Jesus… Then you are welcome not just to tour, but to take anything and everything that you need! -‘For my God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’
Standing just inside the entrance of God’s spiritual goldmine of grace, (v.3) gives us a kind of summary statement of what’s inside the goldmine—‘Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.’ And almost immediately, if we understand anything of God’s grace, we are amazed at the reality of: WHO we are—and WHERE God has brought us—and then we begin to ask ourselves questions like: WHY ME? HOW DID I GET HERE? WHY AM I SO BLESSED?
Was it because you and I had MORE RELIGIOUS desires and inclinations than others?... No, (Ps 53:2-3> ‘God looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any who understand, who seek God. Everyone of them is turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no not one.’
Was it because we were BETTER than other people?—more intelligent; with higher moral standards?... No, (Rom 3:12,23> ‘They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable…For ALL HAVE SINNED and fall short of the glory of God.’
Was it because I had a GREATER FAITH than others?... No, none of us had any faith at all, until God gave it to us.
Beyond a doubt, faith is a key, not only to being a Christian, but to living the Christian life. But where did we get the key of faith?... Faith comes from God—faith is one of the treasures found at the entrance of God’s Goldmine. It is a gift of grace - (Eph 2:1-3—do you see any faith here?—v.4-9).
But going back to those QUESTIONS, questions similar to the ones that every true Christian has, or will have one day when we finally get to heaven. Questions full of surprise, disbelief and incredible, unutterable joy—‘ME? WHY ME? HOW COULD A SINNER LIKE ME GET TO HEAVEN? WHAT DID GOD SEE IN ME’
The answer to the WHY ME questions—is unmerited, undeserved, incredible, incomprehensible, infallible GRACE! The grace of God that brings salvation fills us with wonder and astonishment; with praise and adoration for the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ because—He CHOSE US in Christ… He PREDESTINED US to adoption as sons… and He has ACCEPTED US in the Beloved. Salvation is all of God and therefore all of grace…
The answer to the WHY ME question—is GOD’S GRACE! Verses 4-6 address the important subject of;
1st – THE PLAN OF GOD’S GRACE.
2nd – THE REASON or RATIONALE FOR GOD’S GRACE.
1ST ... THE PLAN OF GOD’S GRACE - a PLAN according to (Web.> is ‘any method of thinking out acts and purposes beforehand.’ Before we do anything important, we should start with a plan. Actually we should start with a: Purpose – What we intend to do; <2> Plan – How we intend to do it <3> Performance of the plan which results in the; <4> Accomplishment of our purpose.
For example: Let’s say that you wanted to remodel your house, how would you begin? You would begin with a PURPOSE (or what you propose to do)—remodel the kitchen and add a bedroom. Then you would get someone to draw up the PLANS; then you would hire a contractor to DO THE WORK of remodeling your home according to the plans and specifications. When the contractor is finished, you have ACCOMPLISHED your purpose—you have a new kitchen and another bedroom.