24. Ephesians 1:1-6 Introduction~The Blessing of Redemption XXIV.

November 25, 2017

IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST

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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

“Saints”, are faithful IN CHRIST JESUS, and they are never ashamed of who and what they are as Christians. Even though the scripture says some amazing things about us, humility keeps our attitude in check (Php. 2:5). Abraham believed God, and God accredited his faith to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3). The Bible says in Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.” Even under the first covenant, righteousness was an absolute must for an unholy man to please a Holy and Righteous God. Therefore, out of His great love for us, he found one man by the name of Abram, from Ur of the Chaldeans who would take Him at His word. If you are familiar with Abram’s journey, you know he displayed the kind of faith that pleased God (Heb. 11:6). He did whatever God asked of him, even to the point of sacrificing his own son. Today, we as Christians believe in that same God through faith in The LORD Jesus Christ. On the other hand, righteousness isn’t accredited to our account, we’ve been made The Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Abram’s encounter with God happened 430 years before The Law of Moses; we also know that The Law was all about sacrifice and offering, in which God took no pleasure. Abram obeyed God’s Word and gained His favor by walking by faith, not by sight (2nd Cor. 5:7):

Genesis 12:1 “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.”

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How could The LORD have such a powerful influence on this man? His family had no experiential knowledge of God. At that time, there was no written word to share. Therefore, the most logical conclusion would be that the knowledge of Jehovah Elohim came by word of mouth. Remember Gen. 4: 25-26 says, “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” Therefore, the story of creation, the fall, Cain and Abel, and the flood came through one generation on to the next. When we take the time to read Abram’s genealogy, it appears to be right on point. The God of creation, Elohim must have been more like an abstract concept to them. You see the Chaldeans were idolaters (Jos. 24:2). Then one man heard by the name of Abram heard the voice of Jehovah Elohim. Do you remember the day you heard His voice? Believe it or not, the majority of professed Christians today have never heard the voice of The LORD. What many have responded to was someone tugging at their emotions; feelings incited by preachers pumped up on ecstatic gyrations and sweat. In essence, they fell for a show. Unfortunately, no matter how great that show may have been, The Holy Spirit will only manifest Himself as He wills 1st Cor. 12:11; Heb. 2:4). In other words, He can’t be worked up, He won’t be. People involved with the occult work up theirs demons or evil spirits. Our God will not bow down to the whims of man. However, if we call upon His name with a heart of repentance, He will be there:

Romans 10: 8 “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

It goes on to say starting in verse 14 “14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Just like there is a right and a wrong way to study The Word (2nd Tim. 2:15), there is a right and a wrong way to preach it. So many people who have been churchgoers for practically all their lives are becoming church hoppers. Why is that? Disillusionment, that feeling of disappointment, resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as we once believed it to be.

So many of us don’t know the difference between a religion and a relationship. The foundation of religion is sense-based or bottom line…the flesh. However, Galatians 5: 6 says “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” Moreover, contrary to popular opinion, neither faith nor love is a feeling; especially the faith and love that came from the work of The LORD Jesus Christ, it is a knowing (1st John 4:16).

Romans 5: 8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

So how has God blessed us? Eph. 1: 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.” We’ve been chosen IN HIM before the foundation of the world. There is no holy dance, sprinkling, dunking, splashing, foot washing, drinking or eating that will bring down the blessings of God, that’s called religion. This is a hard message, and to be honest I didn’t want to do it. On the other hand, I serve The LORD Jesus Christ and He wants His people set free (Eph. 4:14), and I’m going to say what He wants me to say, even if it kills me. Let me end with this:

Galatians 3:13 “Christ has 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 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Seriously, does this sound anything like feelings? To be continued…

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