Chosen and redeemed
It’s exciting to have a look through and pull out what we think God is speaking to us about at this moment
"The Gospel of your salvation..."
Ephesians is a jam-packed book. It’s exciting to have a look through and pull out what we think God is speaking to us about at this moment. Traditionally, it is believed to have been written by Paul, the writer of the majority of letters in the New Testament, and if this is the case it was most likely written whilst he was imprisoned in Rome, just before his death, around 60AD.
I’m going to whip out four points from chapter one that you can go away and look into in your own time.
"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."
Paul starts his letter with a move towards The Lord. He has nothing to say before this, after his greeting to the church. As we read through Ephesians we will find that Paul constantly stands up, points to God and gives Him the glory. Its the life blood of his words, and everything has to be seen within this context. All is for the glory of God.
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."
He knew what He was doing and He loved His plan
Paul affirms and speaks to the Christians he is writing to with the confirmation in remembrance that we were chosen, before all time. His people were His children before He created all things. There is a word of confidence here that we as Christians today can so easily forget about. It's not just that he knew us in our ‘mothers womb’, albeit true, but he had adopted us through Jesus death and resurrection previous to his creation. He knew what He was doing and He loved His plan. Again in verse six he brings up Gods glory in relation to his grace through Jesus.
Paul poetically explains how God forgave our sin through Jesus’ redemption, His death and resurrection, ‘Lavishing on us’ the riches of His grace. Verse twelve again, we are to be for His ‘praise and glory.’ He reveals that we were included in Christ by hearing the word of truth, the Gospel that saves. Paul then moves slightly and explains how God confirms and seals us, like an old-school letter with a pressed wax seal, with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our deposit, our sign that through Christ’s grace we will be receiving our inheritance. The Holy Spirit Guarantees this in us. Ending this section with... 'to the praise of His glory.'
Christ fills every part and is everywhere ... He seeps throughout and gets into the tiny cracks
Twice more we see glory mentioned and ending with what he thinks of the church. You, me and Christians. Verse twenty two and three. God ‘appointed Christ over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.’ Paul’s has just spent ages saying how thankful he is for these Christians. Their love for all the other Christians (The Saints) and he specifically remembers them in his prayers and then goes on to to explain, these saints, you, this church is the fullness of Christ. He fills every part of it and is everywhere in it and He seeps throughout and gets into the tiny cracks that people forget about... because He is the head and He has chosen the church to be His fullness.
We can so often look at the church and see how awful is has been and can be. We as Christians so rarely feel like we have got it right and rarely do we admit the church ever has. Here we see Paul encouraging and praising these people just for being people of love and of faith. God has chosen this global, insignificant, broken, tarnished, withering church... to be His body, His fullness, His Kingdom. He raised it from sin and death through Christ’s redemption for His glory. The church looks horrendous at times, as we do as individuals, but as sinful people so we are also therefore a sinful church. Yet God has chosen it, He loves it, and by His grace He lives amongst it by His Holy Spirit that seals its salvation.
We see a church that we don’t think does God justice, it doesn’t. It stands in the same category as us as individuals, as it is us, we are it. Sinful, but saved through God’s glorious grace in Christ Jesus our Lord and we do our darned best to glorify our beautiful head, Jesus.