I’m excited to begin a new series on the book of Ephesians. Ephesians is often regarded as the most profound book Paul ever penned. Chapters 1-3 are very doctrinal; Paul explains the message of the church – the Gospel. In chapters 4-6 he deals with life – marriage, relationships, conflict management, forgiveness, etc. These chapters are very practical. What you believe determines how you behave.
The Father Planned It
Don’t let biblical words like elect, chosen, or predestination intimidate or scare you. There are many things we don’t understand and can’t explain in life. Looking at Ephesians 1:3-6, we know that the Father’s role in our salvation was one of divine election. We are born with a sin nature. No one has to teach us to do wrong. In our sin, we have no desire to come to God unless God puts it there.
What does it mean that God chose us? We are not a burden to Him! You may feel like you never get picked for anything, but the God who chose Abraham, Israel, and the Apostles, has chosen you! God chose to bless us (v. 3) in Christ before creation (v. 4). Salvation was no afterthought and it was more than foreknowledge. There has never been a time that God did not know you and love you. He chose you not because of what you could do for God, but because of what He could do for you. From God the Father’s viewpoint, I was saved before the creation of the world.
The Son Provided It
From God the Son’s viewpoint, I was saved when He died for me on the cross. Look at verses 7-12. Verse 7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins….” Jesus provided our redemption. There are six Greek words for redemption meaning to buy from the marketplace, to repay and cancel a debt, to set free from slavery, to reconcile two individuals, to adopt as a child, and to justify. Jesus did all of that for us. He purchased us, cancelled our debt, freed us from sin, reconciled us to God who adopted us, and He enables us to stand justified before the Father. He also cast our sin as far as the east is from the west and holds it against us no more!
Verse 9 refers to all of this as a mystery. Some things we do not fully understand on earth, but this we know, He did it because He wanted to. Jesus said, “No man takes my life from me. I willingly lay it down.” God the Father planned our salvation. God the Son provided it. There is no salvation apart from Jesus and the Gospel. It is heresy to think you can be “elect” and not know it. All who will be saved come to faith in Jesus Christ.
The Spirit Protects It
God the Holy Spirit protects our salvation. Look at verses 13-14. From the Holy Spirit’s viewpoint, you were saved when you heard the gospel and believed. People may break their promises, but God always keeps His word. The Holy Spirit protects our salvation with a seal. In Scripture, a seal means security, authenticity, and authority. We also read in verse 14 that the Holy Spirit is a “deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” When you trust Jesus, you get the down payment of an inheritance with the promise of payment in full. There is an inheritance reserved in heaven for you. Jesus has put part of Himself in us, through the Holy Spirit, with the promise to make us complete like Him one day.
Everyone is in one of two groups: in Adam or in Jesus. In Adam means you are still in your sins. All you had to do to get in that group is be born. The only way to get out is to be born again, to be in Jesus. God the Father planned it before time began by choosing you. God the Son provided it on the cross by dying for you. God the Holy Spirit protects it for all of eternity and makes it real to you today if you will hear and believe.