Monday, October 10, 2005

In Christ — For the Glory of God

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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame in Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which he made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6)
In Christ, we have been blessed by God with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies. The nature of the universe is that the natural proceeds from the spiritual (cf. John 4:24 and Genesis 1:1), so every spiritual blessing makes available to us every natural blessing as well.

In Christ, we have been chosen by God before the foundation of the world.

In Christ, we have been predestined to be adopted as sons of God. We are in the family of God, bearing His name and partaking of the inheritance He has for all His own.

In Christ, the Beloved, we have been accepted by God the Father. The Greek verb behind “accepted,” literally means that God has bestowed us with His favor.
In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He made to abound toward us all in wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 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 the earth — in Him. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
In Christ, we have redemption through His blood. We have been bought and brought out of the slave market in which we were held captive. The ransom price that has secured our freedom is the blood of the Lord Jesus Himself.

In Christ, we have forgiveness of sins. The Greek word for “forgiveness” here is aphesis and signifies a release. We have been released, not only from the bondage of sin, but also from the penalty of sin.

This is all according to the overflowing riches of God’s grace. Out of His wisdom and prudence, He has given us insight and discernment, which has revealed to us the mystery of His will. God is pleased to do all this, not out of any obligation, but completely out of the desire and purpose of His own heart.

In Christ, we are being gathered with all things in heaven and earth into a unity in Christ. This is the “dispensation of the fullness of times” in which we are now living. Heaven and earth are being made one.
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, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after your heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:11-14)
In Christ, we have received an inheritance. Whenever you see the word “Father,” you can know that there is always some sort of inheritance involved. In Christ, we have God as our Father. Therefore, there must be an inheritance.

In Christ, we have a secure expectation. The word for “trusted” in this passage would better be translated as “hope.” It is the anticipation of good things we have because of Christ.

In Christ, we are signed and sealed by the Holy Spirit. We belong totally to God and are secure in Him (God is not careless with that which belongs to Him). The Holy Spirit is Himself the guarantee, the earnest, the first deposit of the inheritance God has promised. What God has begun in us, He will bring through to completion.

What we receive in Christ is all to the praise of God’s glory. He is letting us in on a good thing — the goodness of who He is. Let all the world know, that they might come to Him and enjoy His goodness throughout eternity.