The Blessings of Redemption

Door B B Koster gepubliceerd in Theologie

Part one

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:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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 would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1:1-14

 

Paul's letter to the Ephesians is different compared to many of the other New Testament letters he wrote. Like Romans, Ephesians was not written so much to address problems in a particular church; more so, it was written to explain some of the great themes and doctrines of Christianity. (Guzik)

“The Epistle to the Ephesians is a complete Body of Divinity. In the first chapter you have the doctrines of the gospel; in the next, you have the experience of the Christians; and before the Epistle is finished, you have the precepts of the Christian faith.” (Spurgeon)

Notice the beautiful words the apostle Paul starts this paragraph: the saints and so are we who are faithful in Christ Jesus has been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ! God the Father chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.             In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed (donated) on us in the Beloved.

Every true born again believer in Christ is predestined to adoption, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which the Father freely (grace, we cannot work for it!) granted (donated) on us in Jesus Christ, the Beloved!

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

In our Lord Jesus we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses (offences), according to the riches of His grace which He lavished (pampered) on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He (God the Father) purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

In Him also we have obtained (accessed, realized) an inheritance (possession gained through the death of Jesus), having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge (word of honor, agreement) of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

 

Part two

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Faith and love do not earn us participation in this great work of God. They are evidence of our participation in God's plan. (Guzik) For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) Wherever faith in the Lord Jesus exists among Christians, there will be love for the saints! Paul writes that because of the good message about their faith he doesn’t cease giving thanks for them (the Ephesians), while making mention of them in his prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Verse 15-17)

The apostle Paul wants to emphasize that he prays that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened, so that they will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Knowing our spiritual poverty, we wonder how God can find any inheritance in the saints. Yet God can make riches out of poor men and women because He invests so much in them. He has invests riches of love, riches of wisdom, riches of suffering, riches of glory. These things accrue (accumulate) to a rich inheritance in the saints.) (Guzik)

And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Verse 18-23)

The eyes of our hearts must be enlightened to be able to grasp all the wonderful things (hope, riches, greatness) what we have in our Lord Jesus Christ! The hope of His calling has its perspective on the future. The believer has a glorious future of resurrection, eternal life, freedom from sin, perfected justification, glorious elevation above the angels themselves. (Guzik)  

The eyes of our hearts where darkened through the entrance of sin and the apostle makes it clear that there is a progressive way in the enlightening of the eyes of our hearts! "The word 'heart' in Scripture signifies the very core and center of life, where the intelligence has its post of observation, where the stores of experience are laid up, and the thoughts have their fountain." (Alford) God the Father raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, and put all things in subjection under His feet! Doesn’t this speak of the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ?!

Many Christians do not know this power - or they only know it from a distance. God wants resurrection life to be real in the life of the believer. "The very same power which raised Christ is waiting to raise the drunkard from his drunkenness, to raise the thief from his dishonesty, to raise the Pharisee from his self-righteousness, to raise the Sadducee from his unbelief." (Spurgeon)

If the death of Christ is the supreme demonstration of the love of God … the resurrection of Christ is the supreme demonstration of his power." (Bruce)

 

Written by B.B. Koster © - Translated from Dutch by Google; corrected by author.
Used Bible translation: New American Standard Bible
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19/10/2017 12:55

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