I've been memorizing Ephesians 1, and this morning as I reviewed I wrote down my random thoughts. Perhaps later I will type up my study and teaching notes.
Ephesians 1:1-10 - Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, just as Paul was an apostle by God’s will, so I am who and what I am by God’s will, to the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus, this is written to people who are already Christians, and although they may be struggling, they are remaining faithful in Christ, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace comes first, then peace. God’s grace brings peace with God, not peace with the world. This is Paul’s prayer for them.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, how in the world can we bless God? I guess like this, in praise of who He is and what He’s done, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, He has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in heaven. Already, not just when I get to Heaven, but now, here on earth, I have every spiritual blessing. This blows my mind, even as He chose us in Him before that foundation of the world, before He created anything, God had a plan that included choosing me and blessing me, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. God’s plan included me being holy and blameless before Him. I am far from holy and blameless. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, He loves me, and He planned my adoption through Jesus from before time even existed, according to the purpose of His will, He chose me, predestined me, because He wanted to, not because He had to, and He did is for a purpose, to the praise of His glorious grace, yes, so that my life would praise Him, praise His glorious grace, so He could do a glorious work in me, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. And it’s through Christ that I am blessed. In Him we have redemption through His blood, this all only works because Christ redeemed me on the cross, the forgiveness of our trespasses, God’s plan from the beginning included forgiving my every sin, He knew exactly what He was getting in choosing me, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us, how big is God’s grace? Huge enough and rich enough to pour on me and my sin in abundance, lavishly even, making me holy and blameless before Him, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, God, in His infinite wisdom, planned and accomplished this, and He reveals it to us, according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, there is a purpose to it all, it’s not random, God is working out a plan that includes all of time, to unite all things in Him, things in Heaven and things on earth. He is uniting me, sinful fallen horrible me, to His Holy Perfect Wonderful Self.
So, God has a plan and a purpose. And this hard, painful, even sometimes terrible path I am on in this world, was planned by God from before time began. Christ’s death on the cross was part of a plan. He knew what my sin would be, and forgiving me through Jesus Christ, making me stand holy and blameless before Him, was part of His plan. Blessing me with every spiritual blessing was part of His plan. All for the praise of His glorious grace. Wow. I feel like singing the doxology.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.