Calling of the Church - March 25 AM
Sunday AM March 25, 2007
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Pray for Worship
Please turn to Ephesians 1:1-6 and stand for the reading of the Lord’s Word.
CALLING OF THE CHURCH
All knowledge may be divided into 2 categories:
Pure or Imaginary
Applied or Practical
Paul begins with pure knowledge and
ends with practical knowledge.
In this epistle the first 3 chapters deal with doctrine,
THE CALLING OF THE CHURCH
And the last 3 chapters with application,
THE CONDUCT OF THE CHURCH
Paul was made an apostle of Christ Jesus through God’s WILL or decisions.
It was not Paul’s own choosing or plan.
Paul had God’s authority behind him.
As an apostle Paul was commissioned and sent by God with the gospel message.
This letter is addressed to us.
Those set apart for God’s use.
We are a part of the universal church by virtue of our salvation in Christ.
We have our very life in Christ.
Paul opens his letter “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord
“Grace” expresses God’s dedicated love toward man.
“Peace” shows the relational state as a result of that grace.
A. Praise for God’s Planned Spiritual Blessings (1:1-4)
Paul discusses the reason God is to be praised.
He is to be praised for the Spiritual Blessings He has planned for us in Christ.
1. Provision of Spiritual Blessings
Paul states that God is to be blessed or praised.
The word praise here means “to speak well of.”
Praise should be given to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 2, God is the Father of believers.
In verse 3, God is the Father of Christ.
In verse 2 the first Person of the Trinity belongs to us.
Verse 3 shows that we belong to Christ,
the second Person of the Godhead.
Since He is the Son of God and believers are connected with Him,
we are also related to the Father.
Paul’s use of the past tense “has blessed” points to this blessing
or prospering of believers as having occurred in eternity past.
What are we blessed with?
With every spiritual blessing
Every spiritual blessing refers to every spiritual enrichment
needed for a spiritual life.
Since these benefits have already been bestowed on us, we should
not ask for them but rather appropriate them by faith.
In Joshua 1:3-4, Joshua was not to ask for land since God had already
promised it to him.
He was to enter into the enjoyment of that provision.
The manner or area of this enrichment is in Christ.
The place of these “blessings” is in the heavenly realms,
as opposed to the earthly realm.
Thus these blessings are spiritual not material,
heavenly not earthly
eternal not earthly
Ephesians 1:3 tells us about God’s blessings on us:
When: eternity past
With what: every spiritual blessing
Where: in the heavenly realms
How: in Christ
2. The Basis of Spiritual Blessings (1:4-6)
Paul continued his discussion of believers’ spiritual blessings by showing that they are based on the work of the 3 Persons of the Trinity:
The selection of the Father
The sacrifice of the Son
The seal of the Spirit
a. God’s choice for Himself
We are told when God’s work of choice took place:
Before the Creation of the world.
God blesses believers through the threefold work of the Trinity.
Spiritual blessings for us are because of OR on the basis of the work of the Trinity:
God blesses us because of the Fathers choice,
The Son’s dying and the Spirit’s sealing.
Both concepts seem to be included:
Spiritual blessings are the work of the three Persons of the Trinity,
the work of the Trinity is the basis of all of our spiritual
Spiritual blessings begin with and are based on being chosen,
He chose us of which God is the
subject and we are the object.
God’s sovereign work is choosing some to believe.
Salvation is God’s doing, NOT man’s.
Though it is an act of grace,
based on His will,
we are responsible to believe.
II Thessalonians 2:13 says, But we should always give thanks to
God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord because God has
chosen you from the beginning for salvation through
sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
He is the Head and Representative of spiritual humanity.
The time of choosing is in eternity past,
the purpose of choosing is that we will be holy and blameless in His
sight for all eternity.
What God has begun in the past will be accomplished and completed in the future.
Christians are “holy”,
we are set apart to God, which is the purpose of His grace.
The cause of choosing is God’s predestination of us unto sonship.
Predestined is “marked out beforehand.”
So the emphasis of predestination is more on the “what” than on the
“who” in that our predetermined destiny is our
being “adopted” as full-fledged sons of God through
Jesus Christ, the Agent of the adoption.
The concept of adoption is also found in Romans 8:15 (page 1646) turn
there with me (read) not go to Galatians 4:4-7 (read)
In adoption a son is brought into a family and is given the same rights as
a child who is born into that family.
Predestination logically precedes choosing;
After God looked forward to the glorious destiny of adopting
us into His family,
He looked down on sinful humanity and chose us.
That is He delighted to impart His spiritual benefits to His
All this was done “in accordance with His pleasure and will.”
He delighted to impart His spiritual benefits to us.
The ultimate goal of God’s choosing us is that we are
“to the praise of His glorious grace.”
A similar expression of praise is also given after the description of the
work of the Son and of the Spirit.
“His glorious grace” has been “freely given us.”
Ephesians 1:6a might be said,
“to the praise of His glorious grace which He graced to us.”
Since salvation is all of God’s grace,
we certainly ought to praise Him for it.
And that is why we were chosen: To give Him praise.
“In the One He loves” stresses the manifestation of God’s love to His Son.
This reference to Christ also furnishes the transition to the second
Person of the Trinity.
God the Father loves His Son;
and we, being in the Son, are also the object of God’s love.
Thank you Jesus