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Every Spiritual Blessing

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  54:43
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Opening of Ephesians (1:3-14)

It has been said that John 3:16 is “the gospel in a nutshell.” If this is true, the section of scripture that we are going to look at today is the tree that the nut fell from.

A New Life From God (1:3-2:10)

Broken into two parts
The first is praise (1:3-14)
The second prayer (1:15-2:10)
The Greek is One Long Sentence (1:3-14)
Paul is standing on his tippy toes in excitement, crying out praises to God.
He can’t express in words just how huge God’s plan of salvation is, so the original text runs as one long sentence.
An Amazing Expression of God’s Plan of Salvation
Paul jumps headlong into one of the most profound discussions regarding God’s plan of salvation for humankind found in the Bible.
Ephesians 1:3–14 NIV
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. 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 sonship through 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. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Paul has given us a wonderful explanation of salvation. He explains its origins from before Creation, illustrates the parts fulfilled by each expression of the Trinity, and concludes by outlining how humankind experiences the benefits of this gracious plan.
The trinity is expressed in this section of scripture as the source of salvation. Paul shows us each trinitarian role within God’s salvation plan.

It Was Planned by the Father (1:1-6)

Salvation was a plan put together before creation.
Before God even made humankind, he knew the direction we would go. So Paul expresses in this opening of Ephesians why God created us anyway, knowing we would fall into sin.
This entire section Paul talk’s about how blessed we are as God’s people, to be given this plan of salvation.

He Blessed Us (1:1-3)

Ephesians 1:3 NIV
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.
We are given seven spiritual blessings that all of God’s children share:
We are chosen (v. 4)
We are predestined to be adopted (v.5)
We are given grace (v.6)
We are redeemed (v.7)
We are told the secret of His will (v. 9)
We are made a heritage (v. 11)
We are sealed with the Spirit (vv. 13-14)
Praise be (literally means “blessed be”) which echoes a Hebrew liturgical phrase common in Jewish synagogue worship.
When Paul says Praise be to God, he is literally acknowledging God’s grace, praising God’s glory, by worshiping him. To bless God means we worship Him.
Paul’s reference that our blessings are in “The Heavenly Realm” means that our blessings in Christ are not simply material, they are spiritual. The heavenlies is where the spiritual world functions, at work all around us. This is where we are from, where we belong.
In the concept of the two Kingdoms, we are from and belong in the heavenlies, yet are physically here on earth. It’s like we are in exile from our homes, waiting to return.
Our blessings are spiritual, not material. In the OT often when God blessed, it was with a child, or with livestock. In the NT when God blesses, it can be material, but more importantly it’s spiritual, because that is what transforms us into the likeness of Christ.

He Selected Us (1:4)

Ephesians 1:4 NIV
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
When did this selection occur: Before he made the world.
Why did this selection occur: So that we might be “holy and blameless.
God chose us, we are not forced upon Him, He wanted us!
This verse can be wrongly understood as saying God chooses some people to go to heaven and some to go to Hell, regardless of a persons choice, they would say our destiny has already been predetermined.
This view ignores the fact that throughout the NT people are told to repent and are offered salvation, and their destiny depends upon their response.
Luke 13:5 NIV
I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
John 3:16–18 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Acts 2:38 NIV
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 17:30 NIV
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
Revelation 22:17 NIV
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Also Jesus taught that to be included among the “chosen,” people must not only be invited, they must also accept the invitation. (Matthew 22:1-14)
God reaches to us, and we reach out to God in response, please don’t read this verse wrongly and feel your salvation has been sealed through you blood line, you ethnicity, or the fact that you grew up in a Christian home.
Salvation is about choosing God, in response to Jesus and his work on the cross. We are not our looking for the elect, we are all the elect because God chose to make humanity, and wants to save everyone.
Yet, not everyone will chose God. But God is reaching out, giving them every opportunity to find Him.

He Adopted Us (1:5-6)

Ephesians 1:5–6 NIV
he predestined us for adoption to sonship through 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.
Those who accept Christ have been adopted into God’s family. God didn’t predestine which people would accept Christ; He predestined that whoever did accept Him would be adopted into the family.
The word “predestine” in greek (proorizo) means literally “to set out boundaries in advance.”
God has set out boundaries for the group he would adopt, those “in Christ”. Essentially what this means is it depends on what you have done with Jesus. Do you believe he is the son of God who came to save you, or do you believe that you don’t need saving. The answer to this question sets the stage for what boundaries you live under. The world or Christ.
This adoption is done through Christ.

It Was Purchased by the Son (1:7-12)

What Jesus Did (1:7-10)

He redeemed us by his blood
Ephesians 1:7–8 NIV
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
b. He will someday gather us in his name
Ephesians 1:9–10 NIV
he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Why Jesus Did it (1:11-12)

That we might give praise to God.
Ephesians 1:11–12 NIV
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

It is Preserved by the Spirit (1:13-14)

What the Holy Spirit does: His presence serves as a special seal on our hearts.
Ephesians 1:13 NIV
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
b. Why the Holy Spirit does it: His presence guarantees our eternal security.
Ephesians 1:14 NIV
who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit is the evidence of our salvation, the one who gives us our security living here in a kingdom that we don’t belong in.
The Holy Spirit is the part of the trinity that works in us, convicting us so we live within the boundaries set out by God. It is the Spirit that draws us to Jesus Christ and conforms our character into His character.
The Spirit lead life is the evidence of salvation. Paul expresses this in Galatians.
Galatians 5:18–24 NIV
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
It is these character traits that the Spirit leads us to. Become more like Jesus, and less like the world we live in.
Big Idea: God has laid out a plan for our salvation since before the creation of the world. He has blessed us to the fullest, adopted those who believe into His family, and given us the seal of His Spirit so we can live our lives according to the calling we have received. That call is to live “in Christ” together as his body, the church.
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