Summary: 1) Why God Chooses (Ephesians 1:3), 2) When God Chooses (Ephesians 1:4), 3) For What did God Choose (Ephesians 1:5-6)
There is a point in any group athletic competition when teams are chosen. Sometimes they are chosen by tryouts where coaches make the final selection. In impromptu games, there are often more casual methods. Sometimes captains are selected, and they pick the teams. Other times random numbers are assigned or someone else picks the teams. After the selection, the players sometimes wonder why they were selected. For the people of God, the same question is a natural one.
In the Greek, Ephesians 3–14 comprise one sentence and encompass the past, present, and future of God’s eternal purpose for the church. It is Paul’s outline of God’s master plan for salvation. In 3–6a we are shown the past aspect, election; in 6b–11 we are shown the present aspect, redemption; and in 12–14 we are shown the future aspect, inheritance. As it is sometimes expressed, history is simply the outworking of “His story,” which has already been planned and prewritten in eternity.
Basic to any believers understanding of Salvation should be the understanding that they did not deserve eternal life. A rudimentary understanding of God's holiness and our innate sinfulness tells us this. In understanding how people are naturally dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1), this must lead a believer to realize that it required God to bring them to repent, and believe what He provided for eternal life. An understanding of this should not only motivate worship, but direct a life in humble service. Such a life would counteract the critique that Christians are arrogant and self-righteous.
The record of God’s redemptive history is that of His reaching down and drawing to Himself those whom He has chosen to save. In Ephesians 1:3-6a, the Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of eternity past. He lets us eavesdrop as God planned to save us—not only long before we were born but long before the earth was born. He reveling God plan for the redeemed, he shows: 1) Why God Chooses (Ephesians 1:3), 2) When God Chooses (Ephesians 1:4), 3) For What did God Choose (Ephesians 1:5-6)
1) Why God Chooses (Ephesians 1:3)
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, (ESV)
The blessed redemption of people is introduced appropriately by praise to the One who has made such provision: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. From eulogeoô (blessed) we get eulogy, a message of praise and commendation, the declaration of a person’s goodness. Because no one is truly good but God (Matt. 19:17), our supreme eulogy, our supreme praise, is for Him alone. The whole paragraph, which is a paean of praise, is intended to instruct the readers and cause them in turn to respond by magnifying and glorifying God, who is worthy of their adoration. Paul’s eulogies do not express a wish; they describe a fact (‘Blessed is God’), as he proclaims that God is the source of blessing (O’Brien, P. T. (1999). The letter to the Ephesians (p. 94). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.).
• When people consider their own lives, the impact of God bringing them to redemption often happens too late in consideration. Too many testimonies or descriptions of spiritual walk almost make God's actions an afterthought. Any consideration of eternal life and redemption, must start with the One who achieved it and brought it about: God.
Goodness is God’s nature. God the Father not only does good things, He is good in a way and to a degree that no human being except His own incarnate Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, can be. Consequently from Genesis to Revelation, godly people, recognizing the surpassing and humanly unattainable goodness of God, have proclaimed blessing upon Him. Melchizedek declared, “Blessed be God Most High” (Gen. 14:20). In the last days, “every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them” will be “heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever’ ” (Rev. 5:13). Doctrine, if it is rightly understood, leads to doxology. If we discover who God is and what he has done for us, we will praise him (Boice, J. M. (1988). Ephesians: an expositional commentary (p. 8). Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library.).
• Nothing is more appropriate for God’s people than to bless Him for His great goodness. In all things—whether pain, struggle, trials, frustration, opposition, or adversity — we are to praise God, because He is good in the midst of it all.
Please turn to James 1 (p. 1011)
Consistent with His perfection and praiseworthiness, the One who is to be supremely blessed for His goodness is Himself the supreme Blesser who bestows goodness. It is He who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. The us whom God has blessed refers to believers, “the saints … in Christ Jesus” Paul addresses in verse 1. In His wonderful grace, marvelous providence, and sovereign plan God has chosen to bless us. God has eternally ordained that “those who are of faith are blessed” (Gal. 3:9). Believers are not isolated entities; they share a common life through faith in Christ, and this common life is nothing other than his resurrection life. Elsewhere in the letter this is expressed in terms of their common membership in the body of Christ, as in v. 23. This is the setting in which God grants his people every spiritual blessing—from eternal election to eternal glory (Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (p. 254). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)