Main point summary
Praise God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit for what He has accomplished for us to the praise of His glory therefore I desire for you to grow in the knowledge and experience of the grace and greatness of Christ which is for you in Christ alone.
Joy in Chains
e Blessed be f the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing g in the heavenly places,
h even as he i chose us
j before the foundation of the world,
that we should be k holy and blameless before him.
l he predestined us 1
for m adoption as sons
through Jesus Christ,
n according to the purpose of his will,
o to the praise of his glorious grace,
with which he has blessed us in p the Beloved.
q In him
we have r redemption
s through his blood,
t the forgiveness of our trespasses,
u according to the riches of his grace,
which he lavished upon us,
in all wisdom
v making known 1 to us the mystery of his will,
n according to his purpose,
which he w set forth in Christ as a plan for x the fullness of time,
y to unite all things in him,
things in heaven and things on earth.
we have obtained z an inheritance,
a having been predestined
b according to the purpose of him
who works all things
according to c the counsel of his will,
so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be d to the praise of his glory.
In him you also,
when you heard e the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation,
and believed in him,
f were sealed with the g promised Holy Spirit,
who is h the guarantee 1 of our i inheritance until j we acquire k possession of it, 2
l to the praise of his glory.
For this reason,
m because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love 1 toward all the saints,
I n do not cease to give thanks for you,
o remembering you in my prayers,
that p the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, q may give you the Spirit of wisdom
and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
r having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,
that you may know what is s the hope
to which he has called you,
what are t the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,
u according to the working of v his great might that he worked in Christ
w when he raised him from the dead
and x seated him at his right hand y in the heavenly places,
z far above a all rule
and above b every name that is named,
not only in c this age but also in the one to come.
And d he put all things under his feet
and gave him as e head over all things to the church,
f which is his body, g the fullness of him h who fills i all in all.
Joy in Chains
Please open your Bibles to Ephesians 1. We’ll be flying through v3-23. What would you tell your congregation to help them in tough situations in life? How would you rally the troops to keep fighting for joy even in midst of suffering? Would you talk about how great they are to elevate their self esteem? Or would you talk about how great God is and what He has done? What fills up your tank to love God and the church? I believe Paul answers our questions before us in these verses we are about to discuss. You can feel Paul's joy in this letter despite being in prison. Never is it a good time in prison. But yet still in this letter his heart is overflowing with gratitude, joy, and praise. And he desires the believers in Ephesus to experience this gratitude, joy, and praise. Valuable things in our lives brings us joy and is completed with praise. . For example, when your team hits the game winning shot or hits the game winning home run you are full joy on inside and is completed with an outward expression of praise. You would be aggravated if you could not talk about the beauty of the Grand Canyon, the ocean, or your spouse. These things captivate our minds and hearts. You must talk about it! Your words or your praise completes your joy. So what does Paul have a grasp of which is so valuable and gives him the drive? Which helps him in this time of suffering and keeps him going in his christian walk. Is it his own self worth and greatness? Nope. Does he try to lift up his audience's self esteem? Nope. So what does Paul share and desire his audience to know? It is God and what He has done. v3-14 He starts off in verse 1 with praise to God. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,". God is the center of his joy. But why? For he "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,". What He has done is the center of his joy. But is God praising us? Is He giving a declaration of our goodness? No. Because there is nothing good within us to praise about. Take a look at a Ephesians 2:1-3. We were dead in our sins, following the course of this world, and our father is the evil one. We were the very objects God hates. Described as children of wrath. We deserve God's justice. We deserve hell. There is One good. Who is God. This word blessed here has to mean acted kindly toward. Therefore We bless him with our praise. He blesses us with his deeds. Okay then how has He blessed us wretched sinners? How are we in this position of praise when we deserve death and hell from God? This has to blow you away, God has given to us "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places", God has not withheld anything from you right now. He could have but He did not. Labor on this. He has "blessed us" past tense, with every spiritual blessing. Your account is full of spiritual blessings beyond our imagination. Now you see why Paul cannot help himself to talk about God. Sometimes we forget what we have in Christ. God isn't holding these blessings away from you. He has already given them to you in relation to the work of the Holy Spirit. Such as love (Romans 5:5), peace (John 14:27), happiness and joy (John 15:11), and strength (Philippians 4:13). And we possess these now on earth and in the heavenly places. But not only these blessings, so much more is given as Paul goes on in the text. Such as, we were chosen in Christ by God the Father. This word chosen means chosen for oneself. This is a personal choice. A loving gracious choice by God. When did God make this choice? "before the foundation of the world". Before the world was created we were chosen in Christ by God the Father. For what purpose? "that we should be holy and blameless before him." How do we go from sinful to holy? Imperfect to perfect? We must know this because we must be holy and blameless to stand before God. So how? Christ lived the life billions of people everyday could not live. He put your sin in His account and paid the debt you owed to God. We deserve death for our sin. He died for us and our sin was on Him. Christ lived a life holy and blameless. He did this so that when you have faith in the redemptive work of Christ, God credits Christ's holiness and blamelessness in your account. Secondly, God in eternity past determined before hand (predestined) that we would be his adopted sons through Christ. God could've set us up as angels. God could've put in hell for a little while. God could've justified us and not given us a seat at the family table. But no, God has made us sons! We have a seat at the family table! We are no longer apart of the kingdom of darkness. We are in the kingdom of God! We are heirs. We have the same relationship as the Trinity has within himself. We have the same love as God the Father has for the Son. Thirdly, we have redemption and forgiveness. God has rescued us from the penalty of sin.Christ satisfied the justice for us from the Father demanded on us. Christ paid the debt owed to the Father. God the Father has crushed the Son on our behalf. Christ provided the righteousness we could not attain. He died the death we deserve. And we are being recused from the power of sin right now in our christian lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Also in the future we will be away from the presence of sin and in the presence of God. As God redeemed Israel from the slavery of Egypt. God has rescued us from the slavery of sin. Now we are slaves and sons in Christ. Fourthly, God has made known to us the mystery of the gospel which is the Gentiles are "fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:6)." This mystery has been made known to us by God's grace. By God's purpose alone this mystery is revealed to us and all things in heaven and earth will be united in Christ. Not only did God predestined us to be sons, but He predestined that all things will be united in Christ full of glory and praise which we will partake in that on that day of redemption. Fifthly, we have an inheritance. Because of God, who works all things according to the good intention of His will and has predestined us to have this inheritance. All that Christ has is ours. We are now heirs. We also are an inheritance. Think about this, Christ has inherited us. God the Father before all time chose a people as a love gift to the Son. We brothers and sisters are a love gift from the Father to the Son. We are his sons and we call Him Father. And finally, how do we know we have this inheritance? God has sealed us "with the promised Holy Spirit". God has promised you the inheritance by giving you the Holy Spirit. This giving of the Holy Sprit in our lives marks us as His children. The Spirit is the down payment. You know for certain you have the inheritance because the Holy Spirit is in you when you believed the gospel and you are now His until the day of redemption away from sin in its entirety. God has done all these things not because of your own doing. Not because of anything value within you. God has done all these things according to His will so that He will be praised (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14) God is the more valuable than anything in this world. He Himself and what He has done for Himself is full of beauty and majesty which brings us joy. Therefore let us complete our joy in praise to Him everywhere we go. Our house. Our workplace. Our churches. Everywhere in all that we do. Do it to the glory of God. Read v15-23 Due to all these facts presented to us and also hearing the faith in God and love for the saints, therefore Paul is moved to pray for them. What does He pray for? Money to increase in their accounts? Self esteem increased? Health and wealth to increase? No. He prays that the people know Him better. The Christian life is a continual desire knowing Him. That is eternal life to know Him. Too many people today claim today claim their going to heaven because they made a decision a long time ago but yet see no progress or desire to know Him. Christianity is not just a claim your ticket to heaven. Do you know God better than you did a year ago? Two years ago? Are you growing? Is your faith in God and love for the saints growing? So that you may see more of the redemptive hope which he has called you to be justified, sanctified, and glorified. Also know the riches you have in Christ and know the same power and work that rose Christ and seated Christ above all rule, authority, power, and dominion is also in you! 1) So let us also pray for each other that we may grow in knowledge and love for God and His work which He has done for us (chosen us; predestined us), doing right now(Redemption; Justified; Sanctified), and will do (Glorified; also creation which we partake in due to His work he decided all time and creation; Unite all things in Christ). 2) Let us pray to God and study that He may enlighten the eyes of our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit that we may see beauty and riches of the hope and power revealed in Christ through His word. 3) Keep fighting in your Christian life. Kill sin and strive for holiness and believe God because of who He is and what He has done and promised to you so that you may know Him better. He is worth it because He far above more valuable than anything in this world. Put the Grand Canyon, Ocean depths, everything that brings delight to your eyes put it on the scale and put Christ on the other He outweighs them all! He Himself is our joy and delight. Give all that you are to all that He is. Repent and believe God.