Aug 31, 2022

Aug 31, 2022

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
August 31, 2022

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, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:3-14

One of the dangers when we read our Bibles is we can study our Bibles for the wrong reasons or study them in the wrong way, like the Pharisees. They spent a lot of time studying their Bibles, they became enamored with the details and the doctrines and missed seeing the Savior. So when you hear words like election, sanctification, justification, and glorification, they should never just stimulate our brain cells, or become abstract or speculative doctrine.

That’s why Ephesians 1 is a great read and a great place to go in terms of meditation. Arguably the greatest chapter in the Bible is Romans 8 but I would put Ephesians 1 right up there as second on the list. It has been called a sentence that begins in eternity. If you have an English translation you probably have five different sentences in that first chapter, but in reality it’s one long sentence. It’s a run-on sentence. What ties it all together is a key prepositional phrase, “In Christ” or “In Him.” I think that is used over 100 times in the New Testament. In this chapter notice verse 3, 4, 6 “In the Beloved,” 7, 11, 13. Paul wants us to know that all of our blessings are ours in Christ, in union with Christ. We find similar language in Romans 6, 8, 2 Corinthians 5 and Galatians 3. If you are in Christ all of these blessings are yours. There is no one who is a have not when it comes to these blessings. If you are in Christ, in union with Christ, all of these blessings are yours.

He starts off in eternity past, Ephesians 1:4, God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. That means before you were born, before there was a world, before there was a sun or a moon in the sky God chose you in love and purpose to save you in his grace. Next to God’s love in terms of eternity past there is also this love that we experience in the here and now in terms of everyday love. Paul brings that out in Romans 8. It’s another passage where he picks up that language, “In Christ” with respect to God’s love, “But he chose us in him, in love before eternity past and right now in terms of everyday life and experience, you and I who are united to Christ are protected and kept by his invincible, inseparable love.” So once that love takes hold of us it will never let us go. Paul is convinced of that. Think of what he says in Romans 8, “I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Then back to Ephesians 1:7, If we are in Christ we are redeemed, we are forgiven of all our sins. Verse 10, you have been reconciled; verse 11, destined to glory; we have obtained an inheritance; and verse 13, sealed in him with the promise of the Holy Spirit.

So every spiritual blessing we enjoy is because of our union with Christ. That’s something to sing about. Spurgeon said this about union with Christ, “There is no joy in this world like union with Christ. The more we can feel it the happier we are.”

I have thought that if we got up every morning and before we even began our day and drank our coffee, just looked in the mirror and reminded ourselves of who we are in Christ. Just say, “Who am I in Christ?” and go over those blessings that are yours in Christ. I am sure that would help a lot of us in terms of contentment, rejoicing more, handling our trials and afflictions with greater confidence and assurance.

Notice in Ephesians that as soon as he contemplates what we have in Christ, what happens? He breaks into prayer. Look at Ephesians 1:15-18, “For this reason because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you remembering you in my prayers.” In Romans 11, after he contemplates all that we have in Christ what happens? He breaks into prayer and praise, “For from him and through him and to him are all things, to him be glory forever.”

One of the reasons why we go to prayer, brethren, is to praise him for everything he has done, for everything he is doing, and for everything he will do. From eternity past to eternity future. Let’s give thanks to the Lord for what he has given us in Jesus Christ.