The Blessings of God
Among all the great passages of scripture, this is one of the greatest.
Itís importance can never be overstated.
It deals with Godís plan for the world...his eternal plan.
It deals with the great blessings of God that he pours out upon those who trust his Son JC as their Savior.
Verse 1...Paul begins the letter to the Ephesians with one of the greatest subjects imaginable.
The call of God.
Nothing could be any more meaningful to a person than to be called of God.
Paul says that he was an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.
To share the message...
Christ needs messengers
Acts 26:16: Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.
Also there was a God call to the church.
Look in the last part of verse 1.
God calls believers to be the saints and faithful.
In the Bible the word "saint" does not refer to just a few people who have done great work for God.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.
If we live in Christ there are blessings for the saint.
In the OT, God blessed man with material blessings.
He promised Abraham and Israel land, wealth and fame.
But Israel misused and hoarded the material blessings, instead of sharing its blessings.
Since Christ God deals with man spiritually, blessing him with spiritual blessings...
Look at verse 3:
I want us to look at 7 blessings of God.
Look at verse 4.
God has chosen us to be holy and blameless....
God determined before the world was ever created that he would have a people....
Who would be in him, that is his son, JC...
Who would be holy and blameless...
Who would live in his sight, in love, forever and ever.
This means the most wonderful thing.
God wants us to be with him.
God does not want us separated from him, gripped by sin and shame, sorrow and pain, death and hell....
God will have a people who will live with him.
Look at the great blessing of God what we will be holy and blameless.
The word "holy" means to be set apart and consecrated to God.
The word "blameless" means to be free from sin and dirt and filth...to be above reproach, without blemish.
Simply said, the great blessing of God is perfection.
The believerís perfection is in Christ and Christ alone.
No man, not even a believer, can live a sinless life.
Our only hope of ever living with God is to believe in Jesus Christ.
Believe so much that God will take our faith and count it as the righteousness of Christ.
God loved us so much that he has accepted us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
He has taken our faith in Christ and counted it as the righteousness of Christ.
Look at verses 5 and 6.
The second blessing is that God has adopted us as children.
This is most striking when we consider how sinful and depraved and how much we have cursed, rebelled and rejected God.
The word "foreordained" does not mean that God chooses some people for salvation and everyone else for eternal punishment.
The Bible teaches the opposite.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Verse 7: the third blessing is God has redeemed us and forgiven our sins.
The word "redemption" is one of the greatest words of the Bible.
Example: a prisoner of war or kidnapped person.
Every man is powerless to free himself.
Man has been kidnapped by several forces.
But God loves man with an unbelievable love, a love so great that it spurs him to do whatever is necessary to save man.
Read verse 7.
Fourth blessing in verse 8.
God has given us wonder and understanding.
Again both of these blessings come through Jesus Christ.
The word "wisdom" means seeing and knowing the truth.
It is seeing and knowing what to do.
This wisdom is found only in Jesus Christ and is promised only to those who search after him with all their heart.
James 1:5: If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
The word "understanding" means seeing how to use and do the truth.
It is the ability to solve day to day problems.
Proverbs 2:6: For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
The fifth blessing is that God has revealed his blessing to us.
Remember a mystery in the Bible is not something mysterious and difficult to understand...
Rather it is a truth that has been locked up in Godís plan for ages until he was ready to reveal it to man.
But when the time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are son, God sent the spirit of his son into our hearts, the spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father". Galatians 4:4-6
He is Godís head over the church.
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the first born from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy. Colossians 1:18
His representative body upon the earth.
As the instrument of the Lord, the church is to do two things.
#1 Ė the church is to take Christ and his message of reconciliation and peace to the world.
Through his body, the church.
#2 Ė the church is to practice reconciliation upon the earth.
In the church all laws, barriers and divisions are to be done away with.
The church is to be a speck, an embryo of heaven upon the earth.
The sixth blessing God has chosen us and given us an inheritance.
He must, for only God knows what is best...
And nothing could be better than to be given the greatest inheritance possible.
#2 Ė the inheritance is clearly stated in the words that we "might be"....
That is, that we should exist eternally.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. I Peter 2:9
#3 Ė the reason God chooses us or makes us his inheritance is that we should exist to the praise of his glory.
We will live forever in the new heaven and earth as the perfect demonstration of his glory.
#4 Ė how does a person receive the inheritance?
There are two ways:
#1 Ė by hearing the word of God.
A person has to hear the word of God before he can ever know the truth.
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
#2 Ė by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life."
Look at verses 13 and 14...
The seventh blessing Ė God has sealed us with the HS.
The word "deposit" means pledge, a guarantee, a down payment...
The HS is given to the believer to give the believer perfect assurance of his salvation.
We know that we are redeemed.
We know that we are Godís cherished possession.
By the HS who lives in us.
Through these blessings.
We find the eternal plan of God for the Christian believer.
What a plan!
What hope! What a blessing!
You can have that blessing.
If youíll turn your life over to JC.