Blessed by God part iii (Ephesians 1)

10 07 2006

[Included here are sermon notes & application questions from this past Sunday morning at Omaha Bible Church you may listen or download here– ListenDownload]

This is part four of the series on the realities of the blessings in Ephesians chapter one that come to a Christian as a result of who Jesus Christ is and what he does in the life of the believer. The first three blessings were election, predestination, & redemption.

This morning we’ll consider two more blessings, first the believer’s ENLIGHTENMENT. This enlightenment is not transcendental nirvana or heightened reasoning, but rather a special and super natural revealing of who God is and what he does.

This enlightenment is by grace. Notice in verse nine, we are told that this enlightenment was as a result of God acting and making it known. We know based upon Romans that God has previously and continually made himself known, but we the creature look at the creation and say, “What a great creation, let’s worship it!!” According to Romans one this is suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (cf. Rom. 1.18-2.1).

Notice the reasoning why: Ephesians 1:9 according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

Why does God do this? Why does God do anything? It is for his own good pleasure. This is why we see in the Scriptures saints appealing to God to act based upon his character, for his good pleasure, for his name’s sake. God enlightens us for his own pleasure.

The building blocks are building to a pinnacle. There is a purpose: Ephesians 1:10 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

What is the apex of the divine will? It is Jesus Christ, he is the culminating point, the apex, the pinnacle. Jesus is everything. What is God’s ultimate plan for everything that he can get his arms around (which is everything!!) it is Jesus Christ!! This is the will of God.

Even as we see in Genesis God creating everything for his name’s sake, and here in Ephesians that everything is created for the purpose of exalting Jesus Christ. Here we have the architect of the world turning the light on in our noggins to show us that the reason for everything, the supreme reason for everything is the glory of Christ. God has always been about one thing, he has always pointed to Christ as the worthy object of his affections.

Consider the thunderous proclamation from heaven from the Father:

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

And he followed this up with:

listen to Him!” (Matthew 17.5)

And this only makes sense because he (Jesus) is supreme.

And if Jesus is supreme, if he is number one then he gets first place. Jesus is number one to God so therefore, we are to follow suit and praise this great Savior.

There is a tremendous emphasis upon Christ in this passage, but there is also a tremendous emphasis upon us. The focus of the plan is Jesus Christ, he is supreme, but he also cares about sinners like you and like me. This is why Paul is on his face praising God for the blessing received in Christ (v.3).

The Fifth Divine Blessing that God has given in Christ is the believer’s INHERITANCE (v.11)

Ephesians 1:10-11 In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

The word for inheritance can also be translated ‘choosing’. The Father has chosen to give believers something of great significance and worth, he has given us the inheritance of eternal life just as Peter said concerning this inheritance (1 Peter 1.4)

So why do we get an inheritance? Is it because we are such good “sons”? No! Consider chapter two, “dead in trespasses in sin” the only reason why we have an inheritance is because God is good and gracious.

Notice in verse 11, this inheritance comes as a result of predestination of rebels to son ship. Why? According to his great and glorious and gracious kindness and mercy…He does all of this to come back to “the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1.12).

God does everything for the exaltation of his own character, renown, glory and pleasure. And this is why does he rescue sinners and lavish them with grace while putting Christ at the apex of the plan!!

Consider the fact that you are able to experience the comforts of forgiveness, the joys of a clear conscience, the hope of eternal life, the blessings of an inheritance, all for the praise of his glory!! He was marred more than any man, beaten, mocked, assaulted and set up to guzzle the wrath of God…why? To the praise of his glory!!

So therefore, we want to be committed to the praise and the glory of his grace. This is why we can get over trivialities between one another, this is why we want to sing the most Christ exalting songs we can sing, why we want to read and study the Bible…so we can absorb this reality; rejoicing in it like saints redeemed by grace!

Application Questions………………………………………………………

  1. According to Ephesians 1 (specifically verses 6 & 12) why does God bless believers in Christ?
  2. What is your reaction to the fact that God’s chief aim in the redemption and rescue of sinners is to amplify his renown and beauty?
  3. What does this fact teach you about God’s character?
  4. If Christ is God’s chief treasure what should be your chief treasure?
  5. Identify items or people that are competing with the will of God for your life (exalting and enjoying Jesus Christ).
  6. This passage connects the dots for us, it is not just getting rid of competition but changing our minds from valuing these things as higher than they ought to be and undervaluing Jesus Christ. In light of this how will you, this week, set out to teach and train your heart to supremely value the Lord Jesus Christ?
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