23. Ephesians 1:1-7 Introduction~The Blessings of Redemption XXIII.~IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST
November 26, 2017
Ephesians 1: 1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who 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 with every spiritual blessing IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST, 4 just as He chose us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons THROUGH JESUS CHRIST to Himself, ACCORDING TO the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His GRACE, which He freely bestowed on 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”
1. IN CHRIST JESUS vv. 1
2. IN CHRIST vv. 3
3. IN HIM vv. 4
4. THROUGH JESUS CHRIST vv. 5
5. IN THE BELOVED vv. 6
6. IN HIM + THROUGH HIS BLOOD vv. 7
Col. 1: 13 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 IN WHOM we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Here we have two verses of scripture saying almost the same thing. But, from a different aspect of the same subject, redemption. There is a lot more to redemption than being redeemed. What does it mean in both instances based on the scriptural setting? In Eph. 1: 7 redemption is framed by “IN HIM” and “through His blood. The Blood The LORD Jesus Christ was the price paid for our redemption, which is equivalent to “the forgiveness of our trespasses”, and “according to the riches of His Grace.” The Grace of God through Christ Jesus is exceedingly rich.
The abundance of His Grace is the currency The Father uses in all transactions done on behalf of His kids. Grace has saved us; our sins are also under His Grace. We have been justified or made righteous freely by His Grace (Rom. 3:24), which is also through the redemption found only IN CHRIST JESUS. The precious promises that we’ve inherited are by His Grace (Rom. 4:16). The list could go on and on. However, I don’t think there will be any need.
Ephesians 1: 7 and Colossians 1: 13 have two things in common, redemption, which according to both verses is the forgiveness of our sins/trespassed. Paul often repeated the same message to different churches. He always drove home specific aspects of The New Covenant without creating divisions. Interesting sidebar, these epistles were circulatory. They passed throughout all the churches in Asia Minor. Making sure that everyone was on the same page. This was and still is the will of God, that all His children should be teaching and preaching the same thing. And those who practiced the faith knew and understood the Doctrine of The LORD Jesus Christ. Jesus made this statement once:
John 17: 17 “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself”.
For some reason, we don’t seem to be able to practice or “do His will nowadays. We have this nasty habit of cherry picking the scriptures, particularly when they suit our denominational whimsy. This results in more and more division in The Body of Christ. We do this for the sake of the traditions of the men we love so dearly. Men who’ve been dead and buried for centuries, without Resurrection. Resurrection And traditions, according to Christ, makes His Word ineffective. Ineffective is when we’re not producing the desired result set before us by our Heavenly Father. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it. This house, the Body of Christ divided against itself will come to ruin come to ruin…oh, I’m sorry, Jesus said that. But, I won’t keep beating that dead horse. People seem to have this need to be a certain brand of Christian; we can’t seem to just BE A CHRISTIAN.
In other news, The Word says the price that was paid was so steep, no sinful human being could ever pay it. We were all sold under sin; we all were guilty of breaking The Law of God. It took an innocent and spotless Lamb from heaven to break Satan’s hold on us. It’s time we took abvantage of that.
Acts 20: 28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
That’s what I really want for Christmas, to be set free from fulfilling the lust of my flesh (Rom. 3:14). But wait a minute, there’s even more:
Galatians 3: 13 “Christ REDEEMED US FROM the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
The Church has inherited The Spirit of God through faith. In my humble opinion, The Spirit of God is more than a tool we use in order to can flow in the Gifts of The Spirit. He is a necessity, of course. We need Him for everything pertaining to to life and godliness. Because without Him, the overseers will never bring us (Eph. 4:13)…”to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ”. And again:
1st Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
That is what I crave more than anything. To be preserved and complete, without blame when He says, “come up herethere”. If an alcoholic can go without one drop of liquor for 30 years, and some don’t even knowing Christ. How much more can we who’ve been filled with The Spirit of The Living God do? We’ve been washed in His precious Blood. Let’s look at one more verse and I’ll let you go. I don’t post very often, but when I do it can be lengthy. I pray that they are worth your time and attention.
Hebrews 12: 1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
This is a message of encouragement, we can do this…He wants to do it, in and through us, if we would just yield to Him. The Church can achieve the things we think to be impossible, in this life. We just need to follow His instructions. Fix your eyes on Jesus and stop looking at the things that are seen, but at the things that are unseen. Because all of this stuff we keep stumbling over is temporary, but the unseen is forever settled in heaven; (-2nd Cor. 4:18; Psalms 119:89) To be continued…