Blessed by God!
Ephesians 1:3-14; FBC, January 14, 2007
3 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. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11 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, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
In the heavenly world: the Greek phrase is found in Ephesians five times (1.3, 20; 2.6; 3.10; 6.12) and nowhere else in the New Testament. The adjective means “heavenly”; it can be used as a substantive, as in Philippians 2.10, “the heavenly beings,” and Hebrews 9.23, “the heavenly things.” In all occurrences of the word outside (Ephesians John 3.12; 1 Cor 15.40, 48–49; Phil 2.10; 2 Tim 4.18; Heb 3.1; 6.4; 8.5; 9.23; 11.17; 12.22) the meaning is clear, the reference being to heaven as God’s abode, as distinct from earth; but the matter is not so simple in Ephesians. In this letter the word “heaven” (literally “the heavens”) occurs four times: 1.10; 3.15 (in both passages it is contrasted with earth); 6.9 (“your Lord and theirs is in heaven”); and 4.10, where the phrase “above all the heavens” defines the phrase “in the height” in the quotation in 4.8 (see below). But the Greek phrase “in the heavenlies” cannot simply be equated with “heaven” as a place distinct from earth. It does have this meaning in 1.20 (where God and Christ dwell in power); in 2.6 the writer says that we have already been raised together with Christ and made to sit with him “in the heavenlies”; in 6.12 the “(evil) rulers and authorities” against which we now fight are “in the heavenlies” (as they are in 3.10). Briefly, the term is not an exact synonym for “heaven,” thought of as the place removed from the world, where God lives; it has a broader reference. It is the spiritual world, the timeless, supra- material realm where those spiritual events referred to take place. Westcott’s definition is: “the supra–mundane, supra- sensual, eternal order.” Barth speaks of it as “not defined by geographical limits but determined by the exertion of power…[which is] not limited to an intangible and invisible sphere but…exerts its influence upon life, history, and conduct on earth.” TEV has the heavenly world; Mft “the heavenly sphere”; Gdsp “the heavenly realm”; TNT “the supernatural world.” It seems advisable to use some word or phrase different from “heaven” or “the heavens.” (Handbook on Gk NT)
Blessed be God...who has blessed us...in heavenly places...in Christ
Chose us to be holy and blameless
Predestined us to adoption as sons (through Christ)
In conjunction with His will
To the praise of His grace (which was freely bestowed on us in Christ)
Redemption through His blood
The forgiveness of sins
According to the riches of His grace
Grace lavished on us along with wisdom and understanding
Revealed the mystery of His will
According to God's kind intention
This He purposed in Christ
To be enacted at the right time
Purpose: to bring all together under one head, Christ.
Chosen in Christ, according to God's plan:
Purpose--Jews be praise of His glory
included in Christ when "heard"
Having believed, marked with seal
Deposit guaranteeing inheritance
TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!
God wants you! God chooses you to enhance his reputation here on the earth!
In all his wisdom and insight 9God did what he had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan he had already decided to complete by means of Christ. 10This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head.
11 All things are done according to God’s plan and decision; and God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ because of his own purpose, based on what he had decided from the very beginning. 12Let us, then, who were the first to hope in Christ, praise God’s glory!
(Good News Translation)
Aor Ind Mid verb meaning to pick out; in the Middle voice, means to choose for oneself, not necessarily inplying the rejection of what is not chosen, but choosing with the subsidiary ideas of kindness or favor or love. Lu 6:13;9:35
In Cl, Words originated in military vocabulary, but quickly moved into the political sphere, referring to elections. These included elders for the cities; general conscription of men to military service; selection of individuals from an entire army for particularly difficult or glorious mission.
In Rom 9-11, Paul comes to the conclusion that Israel is counted as God's chosen people because of a free decision of God, dependent not on conditions, but solely on the one who elects.
When? Before the "casting down" of the world. I Pet 1:20
Reason: To be holy and blameless in his sight.
II Thess 2:13,1413 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose youa to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachingsb we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Phil 2:15, Eph 5:27, I Pet 1:17-19
In love, predestined--an activity of God's with men directed toward their fellowship with him.
* Rom 8:28,29
Son ship is described as grounded in the predetermining love of God.
Sons: Cl, the accepting of a child as one's own.
The condition: In accordance with his pleasure and will.
The ultimate goal: To the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the one he loves.
* God is always going to act in a manner consistent with his loving and holy character.
1. Chose us to be holy and blameless
2. Chose us to be adopted as sons
(Importance of the blood) Lev 17:11; Heb 9:7,22; John 6:28ff.
-the forgiveness of sins
-also given: Wisdom and Understanding
-of the father Jn 1:18; 5:15; 17:26
-of the mystery
Isaiah 49:6; Matt 22; Eph 3:6
A. Part of his decision
B. Part of his desire
To be put into effect--
at the appropriate time
to jointly, bring all things together
The Theology of Oneness
Opening Illustration: The game plan of the World Series
Prop: God has a game plan. He has chosen us for himself, included us in himself, and marked us as his own property.
a Some manuscripts because God chose you as his firstfruits
b Or traditions