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ES004. Ephesians 1:7-14

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Ephesians 1:3–14 NKJV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Last week we saw that this passage can be separated into three parts: Praise to the Father (3-6), Praise to the Son (7-12) and Praise to the Holy Spirit (13-14). Praise, or giving glory to God is the chief end of man. Then we went on to see in verses 3-6 that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ including being coheirs and co-regents with Him. This only leads to more praise for the glory of His grace.
In the next two sections, verses 7-12, and 13-14 we find out more about how this was achieved.
So, right away we find out that we have the forgiveness of sins because of how rich God's grace toward us is...and that richness was shown to us in that we have forgiveness because blood was shed to redeem us. Redemption means; that we have been bought from the slave market of sin. We have to remember that in the past the slave market was where you went to buy a slave. The standard amount was 30 pieces of silver. You could buy a slave and let them go if you wanted for they were your property. Equally you could hold onto them and use them how you saw fit. This was the price paid to Judas Iscariot for the handing over of Jesus, 30 pieces of silver which in the end bought a potter's field in direct fulfilment of Jeremiah's prophecy. Jesus was sold in an act of betrayal but He instead bought us with something worth more than all the money in the world - His blood. This redemption though was not paid to anyone, certainly not to the devil, but it is a picture of the power of God to deliver us from the power of sin.
His blood is invaluable for His blood was that of the Creator of all things and with His blood He bought us freedom from slavery and complete deliverance.
Colossians 1:14 NKJV
in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross was an absolute necessity for us to have freedom from the power of sin; absolutely necessary for us to be able to be reconciled to God. If Jesus had not died; if Jesus had not risen from the dead; if Jesus had not ascended to God the Father then we would still be lost and without hope and God in the world. No cross, no salvation. If there had been another way to save us it would have been taken.
No one after Calvary can think that sin does not matter to God. And it was at the cross that sin was condemned once and for all.
Surely we can see just how much He has lavished upon us - surely what more could God do to prove His love? The cross is the supreme revelation of God's love.
Philippians 2:5–8 NKJV
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
The cruelty of the cross was not only in the fact it was an instrument of torture but it was also whilst he hung there that the wrath of God that should have been lavished upon us was poured out upon Jesus instead. No wonder there was darkness over the land for those 3 hours of total suffering. Instead of lavishing His anger upon us as we surely deserved He lavished His grace upon us freeing us from any fear of punishment of our sin now or in the future for the price is completely paid.

Jesus … made Himself a sacrifice when He poured out His soul unto death: but in the deepest sense, the sacrifice was God’s. It was God who made the offering, God who paid the price, God who having loved His own which were in the world, loved them unto the end (John 13:1).”1

But before we became Christians we were ignorant and blind but once we started to grasp the significance of Jesus and what He had done, not only for the whole world but for you, personally, and for me, personally, then with John Newton we sing that great hymn:
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found. Was blind but now I see.
The riches of His grace are worth more than all this world can offer, and more than that it was abounding towards us. Meaning that he lavished His grace upon us knowing exactly what He was doing for He did it with His wisdom and prudence. Wisdom is using knowledge in a correct way whilst prudence is insight. They are almost exactly the same word emphasising that whatever nuances wisdom has God used it all. What does this mean? He knew who and what we were and are, loved us enough to pour out His grace and mercy on us nevertheless. But not only that He did it in a way He knew would deliver us. He used all His faculties, His wisdom, understanding and insight, to work out a solution.
And there was a purpose in all this and that is the creation of something not known in the Old Testament where God will bring together all His people no matter what ethnicity or colour or language and to bring all under the authority of Jesus;

all history has been a preparation for, a planning and thinking for, an arranging and an administering for the goal of God—that the world would be brought together as one family in Christ.

We are all being brought into the family of God in Christ. This would have been a great surprise to the Jews for they were the special people. But, actually, the Jews and Gentiles are now in Christ. Now God has not finished with the Jews for there are still promises God has made that have yet to be fulfilled and God always fulfils His word. But we are in the era of the Church something that was only revealed once Jesus came.
And what Paul has said here he confirms later in the letter to the Colossians:
Colossians 1:20 NKJV
and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Verse 11 is very interesting: it can mean that we have gained an inheritance like the Israelites of Old whose territory was decided by lot and we have been given a possession in Christ. How this would look is difficult to tell for we know so little about Heaven and what will happen once we are there but verse 11 can also have a flip side to it which is very exciting and I think that the Greek of this verse contains both ideas.
And the flip-side is, we become God's possession or inheritance. So, on one hand we gain an inheritance in God but God also gains an inheritance in us. Such is the topsy-turvy world of the Kingdom of God. We both possess God and are possessed by God; we both inherit and are inherited. We are His and He is ours. And that is kind of what marriage is, right? We belong to our spouses for we are no longer independent. And that is what we are; we are the bride and Christ is the bridegroom. And Christ is the beloved of Heaven and all things will come under His headship. And rightly so. All this resounds to the glory and praise of Jesus. He is both our creator and saviour especially of those who put their trust in Him.
And so says the next paragraph: when we heard the good news of Jesus calling for us to repent and believe we put our trust and faith in Him and the result is that the Holy Spirit seals us. Notice that all the Godhead is involved in this process: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We were chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
So, what does this mean? How does the Apostle Paul understand this. Well, we need to turn to the great Magna Carta of Paul's writings, the Book of Romans:
Romans 4:11 NKJV
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,
Abraham was justified by faith for He had put his trust in God when he was told to sacrifice his son believing that he would receive his son back alive from the dead. Putting your trust in God may mean doing things which put us to the test but there was not a doubt in Abraham. His faith was enough to make him righteous in God's sight. It is this same faith that makes us right in God's sight. And within us the Holy Spirit testifies that we are His. The Holy Spirit possesses us. There is not a Christian on the planet who does not have the Holy Spirit inhabiting them, there is no choice, it simply happens.
Let me say something about those who are truly Spirit-filled - these are people who are all about Jesus. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus. He is the shyest member of the Trinity for He wants to point attention away from Himself to Jesus. Therefore, it follows, that one who is filled with the Holy Spirit will do the same. Are we more about ourselves or more about Jesus? Such is the measure we are filled with Him. The Holy Spirit and Jesus glorify the Father and the Father glorifies the Spirit. Jesus said, though, if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, in this life or the next. All the Trinity are looking out for one another. A blasphemer of the Holy Spirit is one who calls the work of the Holy Spirit the work of demons when they know full well it is not. Christians cannot commit this offence. We, having the Spirit living in us and this gives us certain privileges:
The result of us being sealed is that He is the guarantee of our inheritance. This is not upon us. Nothing can be done to take away this by us or anyone or anything:
Romans 8:38–39 NKJV
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Salvation cannot be lost for it is in three parts:
It is a past fact
2 Timothy 1:9 NKJV
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
It is a present experience:
2 Corinthians 2:15 NKJV
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
It is a future hope:
Romans 13:11 NKJV
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

The Holy Spirit functions in the present, giving us power and guidance to “work out our salvation.” The Holy Spirit also guarantees our future salvation. But it is more than a guarantee, it is a present foretaste of the fuller inheritance of our redemption.

Charles Wesley in his hymn: 'Father of everlasting grace' wrote. I'll read the whole hymn but hear about the Holy Spirit especially:
Father of everlasting grace, Thy goodness and Thy truth we praise, Thy goodness and Thy truth we prove; Thou hast, in honour of Thy Son, The gift unspeakable sent down, The Spirit of life, and power and love.
Send us the Spirit of Thy Son, To make the depths of Godhead known, To make us share the life divine; Send Him the sprinkled blood to apply, Send Him our souls to sanctify, And show and seal us ever Thine.
So shall we pray, and never cease; So shall we thankfully confess Thy wisdom, truth, and power, and love; With joy unspeakable adore, And bless and praise Thee evermore, And serve Thee as Thy hosts above:
Till, added to that heavenly choir, We raise our songs of triumph higher, And praise Thee in a nobler strain, Out-soar the first-born seraph’s flight, And sing, with all our friends in light, Thy everlasting love to man.
As with this hymn we see the whole of the Trinity involved in our salvation past, present and future. It is as if he read today’s passage in Ephesians for it gives glory to God: God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Spirit though reveals God, helps us live in the power of Christ's sacrifice, perfect us, and seals us forever as belonging to God and each other in Christ.
In whom will we put our trust and to whom shall we give thanks?
Praise to the Father, praise to the Son, Praise to the Spirit, the Three in One.
Song: Praise God from whom all blessings flow
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