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God's Blessings

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Ephesians 1:3-14

Introduction:  J. C. Macaulay told of visiting the lovely Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina. He was accompanying a group of college students who was preparing for Christian service on the mission field. They were impressed as they viewed the fabulous treasures on display and the luxuriant surroundings.     As they returned to their summer conference grounds they began singing with joy in their hearts:    “When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your blessings—money cannot buy Your reward in Heaven nor your home on high.”     Macaulay thought to himself, how much richer are these young people who are investing their lives in the Lord’s service than the owners of the most treasure-laden castles of this world!

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We, too, are blessed by God.   God be blessed, who has blessed us with blessings.

I. He chose us    vs. 4      ἐκλέγομαι: to make a special choice based upon significant preference, often implying a strongly favorable attitude toward what is chosen; to choose, choice.

     A. Before the foundation of the world

     B. Purpose:  to be holy and blameless

          1. It adds a whole new way of looking at our responsibilities when we understand that God selected us to be used by Him

          2. ἅγιος: pertaining to being holy in the sense moral qualities and possessing certain essentially divine qualities in contrast with what is human; holy, pure, divine. Pertaining to being dedicated or consecrated to the service of God; devout, godly, dedicated.

     C. Destined us for adoption   vs. 5    

          1. προορίζω: to come to a decision beforehand; to decide beforehand, to determine ahead of time, to decide upon ahead of time. This comparatively rare and late word is used in the Greek Bible only 6 times in the NT in the sense to foreordain, to predestinate. Since God is eternal and has ordained everything before time, προορίζειν is a stronger form of ὁρίζειν. The synonyms and textual history show that the reference in προγινώσκειν is the same. Rom. 8:29: οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, Ron. 8:30: οὓςπροώρισεν (A: προέγνω), τούτους καὶ ἐκάλεσεν.

          2. Sonship is not regarded as a natural one but as a sonship conferred by God’s act    Gal 4.5


II. He gave us grace    vs. 6-8

     A. 6Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!    GNB

     B. Gives us what we do not deserve and cannot earn

III. He redeemed us    vs. 7

     A. ἀπολύτρωσις: to release or set free, with the implied analogy to the process of freeing a slave; to set free, to liberate, to deliver, liberation, deliverance.  Originally: buying back a slave or captive, making him free by payment of a ransom.     

B. The price was his blood / death

IV. He forgave our trespasses     vs. 7

     A. ἄφεσις: to remove the guilt resulting from wrongdoing; to pardon, to forgive, forgiveness.

     B. παράπτωμα: what a person has done in transgressing the will and law of God by some false step or failure; transgression, sin. παραπίπτω does not mean to fall away, but to offend, to fall, to sin.

V. He revealed to us the mystery about the Messiah    vs. 9-10

     A. Unite all things    vs. 10

     B. We should live for the praise of his glory   vs. 12

     C. We heard the word of truth / the gospel    vs. 13

VI. He sealed us with the HS    vs. 13-14

A.   σφραγίζω: (derivative of σφραγίς mark, seal) to put a mark on something, primarily to indicate ownership but possibly also to mark group identity; to mark, to seal.

B. Guarantee

VII. These blessings ought to lead to several things:

1.    A Consistent Walk with God  (a. Authentic Worship, b. Bible Study,
c. Prayer)

2.    A Contentment with Life  (a. There is no need to be stressed out—you have it so good!; b. You are secure in your salvation; c. There is no room for pride—God has done all the work!)

3.    A Sense of Duty for Service   (a. Use your spiritual gifts; b. Promote  God’s Kingdom through the church, i. In Ministry, ii. In Evangelism)
Sermon by John Shearhart

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