Tuesday, September 09, 2014



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 before 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.  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 in all 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 earth—in Him.  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 you 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 1:3-14, emphasis added)
When we are born physically into this world, the umbilical cord is cut and our existence is severed from that of our mother.  This illustrates the spiritual condition in which we enter this earthly existence also.  Sin is the scalpel that severs us from Holy God.  We are born into this world, no longer in Him, but apart from Him.  To die physically in that condition is to be forever in that state of separation.

Jesus came to restore the connection.  Through faith in Him, we are connected to Him and back to God.  Paul repeatedly in these opening verses of Ephesians drives home the reality of redemption—we are “in Christ” and uses the phrase, “in Him” or something related to it again and again.  I have noted eight such expressions in only twelve verses.  Paul’s point is obvious:  we are connected in Christ.

As we examine what it means to be a member of the church and be connected with each other, we must begin with the fact that such a connection is only possible because of that connection with Christ.  We are joined together as members of His Body, because we are joined to Him as our Head.  Just as sin separates us from God, it also separates us from one another.  The sin barrier is broken in Christ and a bridge of grace spans the gulf by His cross. 

The wonderful blessings that we have—all of them and there are many—flow from this connection.  We praise our Triune God from whom all blessings flow; we praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  All three Persons of the Trinity are mentioned in these verses as bringing our salvation.  The Father has chosen us.  Christ has redeemed us.  The Spirit has sealed us.  It is all to the praise of His glory!  May our hearts be filled with wonder and our lips with worship as we meditate on God’s marvelous grace!

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