Part 1, The Marvelous Plan of God for the Church Sermon Series, A Study of the Book of Ephesians
1. God chooses His Own vessel of blessings.
“3 Our God is in heaven;he does whatever pleases him.” Psalm 115:3
· God acts in way that pleases Him, and what pleases him, glorifies Him.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:1-2.
· Saul was his Hebrew name, and his other name Paul was a derivative of a Paulus, meaning small or humble in Latin.
· He was born in Tarsus about the same time Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
· A Pharisee named Gamaliel taught the young Saul their Jewish religion and tradition.
· As a Jew Saul believed in God but rejected the idea that Jesus was the promised Messiah from their scripture.
· His humbling experience that led him to faith in Jesus in Acts 9.
· Paul would also become one of the greatest missionaries of the world.
· Paul started several churches as he preached to the nations, one of which was the Ephesian church.
2. God destined sinners to become church members. vv.3-6
“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:3-6.
· Nothing is too hard for God, if He wills it, it will happen. v.4
· There’s nothing outside of Himself that influenced God to set the destiny of sinners. v.5
· God elects sinners to salvation to become members of His family by His sovereign will.
· A sinner is adopted by God and blessed her or him, with newness of life.
· In the Biblical sense, an adopted child, is treated as if his or her past life does not exist anymore and are given the same rights and privileges with biological children.
3. God chooses to redeem sinners through Christ. vv.7-10
“7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Ephesians 1:7-10.
· The church comprises of the redeemed and repentant sinners.
· Another greatest blessing the repentant sinners have received, is the redemption that came by way of Christ’s dying in their behalf.
· Jesus paid the price for our sins through His death.
· Jesus did not only save us from God’s coming wrath but to bring unity between God and between believers from different races, ages, cultures, etc.
4. God gives the church the ultimate purpose. vv. 14-23
“you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,”
· The passage mentioned the word glorious twice and the word glory once, in just 4 verses.
· Turning sinners to saints (holy people see also verse 1) brings glory to God.
· Being grateful to God glorifies God. v.16
· The sealing of believers and the assurance of salvation brings glory to God. v.14
· Being enlightened by the Word and living in the Word brings glory to God.
· Unity and harmony in the church also brings glory to God.