Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the Bible. There are so many treasures there; so many promises and reassurances for all believers. Let's take a look at just a few of my favorites.
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us
in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3)
Paul wrote this book to the faithful Christian believers in Ephesus, those who had already believed the gospel
message and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Paul points out that
our loving Heavenly Father has blessed us in the heavenly realms with all the spiritual blessings possible.
- He gave us every spiritual blessing, not holding anything back from us. That means we don't have to work our way up to better blessings. They are all ours, from our Heavenly Father.
- These blessings are in Christ; that means we must be in Him and abide in Him to receive these blessings. We cannot expect to live in an un-Christ-like manner and still receive the blessings.
- The blessings have already been given, they are not for some future time. We exist in a time frame; God does not. When He says something is done, it is a "fait accompli"; it is done, even though we may not see it right now. When God speaks a word, that word is already true, whether we see it or not, or for that matter, whether we BELIEVE it or not!
According as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the
world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love,
having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ
to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise
of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the
beloved, in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the
remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
Paul also points out that God chose us, before the world was ever created, to be His adopted sons and daughters, and to be holy and
blameless in His sight, through Jesus Christ. God did not choose us because we were somehow holy and blameless, but rather we were made holy and blameless BECAUSE He chose us.
Holiness is the result of, not the basis for, God's choice. The Bible tells us that we are in fact the righteousness of God, in Christ Jesus. (II Cor. 5:21)
In whom you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel
of your salvation: in whom also after you believed, you were sealed with
that Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until
the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
In addition, Paul assures believers that we are marked with a seal, the Holy spirit having been given as a deposit, a guarantee of
our inheritance and our redemption. A deposit is a small payment now, ensuring a larger one later. There is a world of difference between simply a
hundred dollars, and a one hundred dollar deposit. And our redemption is also guaranteed. To redeem something is to trade it in for something
better, and of greater value. We were redeemed by Christ Jesus, and will be changed for something far far better than we were before He redeemed
Why did God do all of these things? Why did He choose unworthy, sinful people, and redeem them by the blood of His own Son? Verse 14 tells us: to the praise of His own glory. He redeemed us that He may be glorified! God is love, and He is full of grace and mercy toward us, who were created in His own image, for His own glory.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto
you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes
of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the
hope of his calling, and what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in
the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who
believe, according to the working of his mighty power. (Ephesians 1:17-19)
The apostle prayed for God to give believers a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, for one reason: that they may know Him better. Paul wanted them
to fully understand three things: the glorious hope to which God had called them, the riches of His glorious inheritance, and the incomparably great
power for those who believe, the power of His own strength.
Let me ask you: do YOU fully realize these three tremendous promises? Do you understand that when we accept Christ Jesus as our
Lord and Savior, we first receive a wonderful, glorious HOPE, for both this life and eternal life. We are not like those of the world, who are without hope.
We have that hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and it enters into the inner sanctuary behind the veil, where Jesus himself went
on our behalf. (Hebrews 6:19,20)
In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began. (Titus 1:2)
To them God has chosen to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Then, do you understand the riches of His inheritance? He promised us eternal life in glory, as joint heirs with Jesus Christ!
I don't know about you, but that just blows me away! To think that God has chosen to allow me to share in the riches of His glory, right
alongside my Lord Jesus, is almost more than my finite little mind can comprehend. How truly awesome is His great love for us!
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:17)
And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)
And last, but certainly not least, do you fully understand the power of God that is available to all believers? The Bible tells us,
in Ephesians 1, verses 19-23, that the power God makes available to us is like the mighty power God used to raise Jesus from the dead and
seated Him at His right hand in heaven, raising Him above all: every ruler, every power, every authority on earth, not only now but in the age to
come. God placed all things under Christ's feet, appointing Him to be head of everything and everyone, giving Him all dominion on earth and in
heaven. And that same power is available to us!
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea,
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the
Greek. (Romans 1:16)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7)
The Bible says that we believers, who are the church, are the body of Christ, and all things are under His feet. That means that all
things are also under OUR feet! Every power of this world, including the devil himself, is under our feet! We do not have to live as powerless victims
or helpless slaves--- We have the POWER of GOD! The Bible tells us:
"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
Hallelujah!!!!What a tremendous difference it would make in our own lives and the lives of those around us if we would only learn to walk in His power,
rather than foolishly trying to stumble along under our own power!
What wonderful promises from our gracious and loving Father! But there's plenty more! That was only chapter one, and we barely even scratched the surface of that chapter. But let's move on to another one of my favorite promises. In chapter 2, we are told that we are God's "workmanship".
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
The word "workmanship" in the original Greek text is "poiema", and is usually used in the context of a great work of art, or a masterpiece.
How many of us really understand what that means? When we really take this verse to heart, it will radically change how we walk with the Lord.
Being something of a poet myself, I easily see the word "poem" in that original Greek word. Each one of us is a work in progress; a poetic
masterpiece, greater than anything any of the world's greatest literary giants could ever write. The lines of our life may not rhyme right now,
and there may not seem to be any rhyme or reason to
the events of our life; in fact, here and now it may only look like a jumble of words on paper, but in the end, when God is all finished with us,
our life's poem will be a poetic masterpiece, written by the greatest master of them all, our loving Heavenly Father.
And again, why did God go to such great lengths to create us, to mold and shape us into His own masterpieces? This verse
gives us the answer, plain and simple: so that we could do good works, which He had prepared for us in advance. We do
good works BECAUSE we are saved, not in order to BE saved. From eternity past, He has works prepared for each one of us!
Doesn't that blow you away?
God, in His infinite love, grace, and mercy, has a plan for each one of our lives. Nothing is left up to chance; He is in complete control every step
along the way. Even the bad things that happen to us (and no one goes through life without experiencing bad things!) are used by God to shape and
mold us into the image of Jesus Christ.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.