Sermons

Summary: There are three astonishing things I was reminded of this week

“The Mystery of His Will”

June 23, 2019

Ephesians 1:1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

As I was reading the Scripture this last week I was blessed by the wonderful reminder of three astonishing things. First, before the world began, God had plans for us. Our Scripture says,

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world…” Ephesians 1:4

Think of that! Before God created the world – you were on His mind. In case you missed it – he repeats it again in the next chapter. The Scripture says,

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

The Psalmist says,

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16

Do you begin to understand? You were on God’s mind before you were ever born! He knows everything about you. He knew what you would do before you ever did it! How awesome is that. God is space and time transcendent, the theologians say. He is above it. He is not bound by it as we are. And before time began – you were on God’s mind. He had plans for you. He loved you and planned what He wanted for you. So, First, understand that Almighty God the Father, loved you before time began and made plans for you.

Secondly, God has plans for us in this life. We know what some of those plans are because he told us. He said,

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Ephesians 1:4

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

That’s a little disconcerting – because we know we are not holy and blameless or perfect. We had done things and said things and thought things that were far from holy. None of us are righteous – not one. Isaiah said,

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way” Isaiah 53:6

“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:10-12

The Good News is that Jesus came to make us holy and blameless. The Scripture says,

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27

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