Summary: An exposition of Ephesians 1:3-14
Islington Baptist Church
November 6, 2005
Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 2
The riches that are ours in Christ
Please help me out by completing this sentence, “I am rich because…..”
Health? Family? Friends? Materially? Canadian? Educated?
Regardless of how you might otherwise answer, if you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord you are richer than you know. You have riches that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet know nothing about. Gates and Buffet –who are two of the world’s wealthiest men- have nothing compared to what you have in Christ.
Today we are going to take a look at Ephesians 1:3-14. In this passage, whose scope goes far beyond what we can cover in 25 minutes, Paul joyously reviews for us some of the blessings and riches that we have in Jesus.
A SAMPLING OF THE RICHES/BLESSINGS THAT ARE OURS IN CHRIST
1. We were chosen by God before the creation of the world v.4
Picked, selected, set apart. This applies to those of us who call Jesus “Savior and Lord”.
How mind boggling that God chose us, who have been “born again”, before the world came to be.
Aspects to God’s choosing of us
i. God’s choosing of us was not based on foreseen faith or foreseen morality or goodness in us.
-we saved by grace alone
ii. God’s choosing of a person is purposeful
Note v.4 which says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Also note Ephesians 2:10 which says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We need to cooperate with God in this matter and pursue righteousness and holiness in our lives. By way of application, Paul tells us exactly how to do this in the latter half of the book of Ephesians.
iii. God’s choosing unto salvation is irrevocable and irresistible
“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,” Ephesians 1:11
Our response. “Praise be to God” v.1
2. We have been adopted as his sons and daughters READ v.5
I hope the father that you have/had was a good one. Unfortunately only some are. Regardless, we, who are the followers of Jesus Christ, have a heavenly Father who: loves us, wants the best for us, lavishes good things on us, cares for us, listens to us, protects us, has our future all taken care of, is committed to training us and shaping us, will never abandon us, considers us to be the apple of his eye and treasured possession.
We have all this because, as a demonstration of his great love, God determined before we even came to be, to bring us –who now love Him-- into His family
God’s adoption of us testifies to his amazing grace v.6
We, who are the followers of Jesus, are trophies of God’s grace, love, and mercy. On earth and in the heavenly realms- which cannot be seen with the naked eye- we are on display as examples of how awesome and generous and amazing God is—who would of his own free will take undeserving rebels and forgive them and bring them into a saving and eternal relationship with Him.
3. We, by the blood of Jesus, shed for us, have had our sins- past, present, and future- forgiven v.7
Note verse 7 which says “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (See also Matthew 26:28)
A person has no greater need than the forgiveness of their sins. No other need comes before this in terms of priority or importance.
All of us are sinners. All of us are guilty of breaking God’s laws. The Bible declares that the consequence of this is death and judgment and that such is deserved, rightful, and just. The Scriptures also declare that God is loving, merciful, and gracious, and that He has made a way for people to be reconciled to Him. The way is Jesus and the cross upon which he died and shed his blood.
Have you gone to Jesus, in faith and with a repentant heart, and asked for the forgiveness of your sins?
There is room at the cross for you! No matter what you have done that is wrong and shameful, it can be forgiven- if only you would humble yourself and ask God for it.
4. We have been given wisdom and understanding into the mind, plans, and purposes of God v.8-11
There is a difference between being “In the loop” or “Out of the loop”. There is a big difference between being “In the know” or “Not in the know”. There is a difference between being an “Insider” and an “Outsider”.