Tuesday, April 5, 2022

In Christ

  Read Ephesians 1

The church in Ephesus received a lot of first-century attention.  They were trying to stay the course and press on towards the goal.  They were trying to grow in grace.  Part of that growth would come through Paul’s long-distance counsel.

It’s interesting to note that this church was also the recipient of one of the letters in Revelation, noting they had lost their first love. They were counseled to consider how far they had fallen and repent. The church to whom Paul wrote, still seemed to be living in the love of Christ and seeking his kingdom.

In its original form, the first half of this letter to the Ephesians, after the salutation, might have been one long run-on sentence. The language is more formal, yet softer than what Paul wrote to the Galatians. Listen to this first part as Paul expounds on the richness of blessings that we have in Christ—in Him.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

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, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Let’s go from the narrative to the Kiplinger style as we delve into these blessings.

In Christ, we:

Are blessed with spiritual blessings

Are chosen before the beginning of the world to be holy and blameless

Are predestined to be adopted as sons

Are to live according to his will and bring glory to God

Are given grace

Are redeemed through his blood

Are forgiven of our sins

Are granted wisdom and understanding

Have eyes to see the mystery of God’s will revealed

Are part of the plan

Are marked in him

Are sealed with the Holy Spirit

Have the guarantee of an inheritance

Are part of God’s perfect timing

We are blessed because God gave us life and he loves us.  He loved us so much that he gave his Son for our redemption and fullness of life.

In Christ we are blessed beyond measure.


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