Eph 1:1-14 (ESV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The passage that we are looking at is something that I really needed to hear and dwell on this morning.
Before we get into the passage let me give you a little background to the book. Acts 19 is where we get some information regarding the early church in Ephesus.
The letter to the Ephesians was written by Paul while he was in prison. In this letter, Paul has high praise for the Ephesians. He is excited about their faith and where God is leading them so the letter focuses on these things rather than rebukes or admonitions against something that is not right with the church.
The sad thing to discover, as we read Ephesians, is to learn what happens with the church in Ephesus in the future. In Revelation, Jesus admonishes the church for abandoning the love that they had at first (Revelation 2.4). For some reason, they’ve wandered away from their love for Jesus and for one another.
This passage does two things that I just love. First, notice that the phrase in him is repeated six times in the passage with the emphasis being on what we receive and have when we entrust our lives to Christ. In Christ we have redemption, forgiveness, we are united with Christ, we have an inheritance, and the Holy Spirit. All of these are imparted to us when we entrust our lives to Christ.
The second thought is even more powerful when I consider it; this is all at the initiative of the Heavenly Father who is pouring out His love and grace upon us. This is all the loving initiative of God who is not just giving us a simple measure of His grace. Instead, notice that the riches of God’s grace, His very presence with us and all that this implies, is lavished upon us as His adopted sons and daughters.
Are you getting a sense of Paul’s passion here for the believers? In these verses, Paul is painting the larger story of every believer who has entrusted their life to Christ. It is a celebration and triumph of God’s upper story promises being fulfilled in the lives of each Christian. It’s the story of what we couldn’t do for ourselves, yet God has done it for us through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
God has taken the initiative, God has done what was necessary, and God has given us His Spirit as a sign and a taste of what is to come. The inheritance is ours now and at the same time is yet to come.
If you’ve entrusted your life to Christ, all this is yours in Him.
A lavish inheritance received. So what are we going to do with our inheritance? Receiving such a lavish gift should change our lives.
God bless you and know that I am praying for you this morning.