Ephesians 1:3-14, Praise God for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise God for His spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

During WWI German U-boats were sinking as many as 50 ships a week. So, something had to be done. You could not camouflage a ship because the background is always changing. So instead, they tried to make the ship stand out in a confusing way. They would make it so you could not tell which side was the bow vs the stern. They call this Dazzle Camouflage. This is the Zebra idea. The torpedoes took as long as 3 minutes to get to their target and this messed up their aim as much as 60 degrees.

The point is sometimes you just have to think creatively out of a problem. God had a plan for our salvation. God had a creative plan and the devil could not figure it out or thwart it.

As we look at the next eleven verses in Ephesians we see Paul praising God for our awesome salvation.

My theme today is: In Ephesians 1:3-14 we see Paul praising the Lord for our great and awesome salvation.

My application is: Pray like Paul and Jesus, Pray with praise, Praise God!

Let’s open our Bibles and read: Ephesians 1:3-14:

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 insightHe made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 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 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 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, 14 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.

  1. Paul starts with blessings we have from the Father (3-6)
    1. As I look at this passage it is difficult to think of what not to explain. Explaining this text could take weeks and weeks. So, I will focus more on applying.
    2. I would explain that verse 3 says it all. That is the summary. Verse 3 says Blessed bethe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. The rest is explanation and detail.
    3. I would explain that this is all one sentence in the Greek.
    4. I would explain that this is a doxology and a Psalm.
    5. I would explain that chapters 1-3 may all be a prayer.
    6. It is as if Paul cannot contain Himself.
    7. These are often called a doxology
    8. This is Paul reciting what God has done and is an expression of worship and honor to Him
    9. Starts with blessings we have from the Father (3-6) then that come through the Son (7-12) then the Holy Spirit (13-14)
    10. Jewish people used the word bless to express God’s kindness to us and our thanks and praise to Him
    11. Heavenly realms 5x’s in Ephesians: things that are happening are in those realms
    12. Christians have already been made beneficiaries of every Spiritual blessing that belongs to and comes from the Heavenly realms
    13. Verse 4: chose: divine election a constant theme in Paul’s letters
      1. He chose us
      2. He predestined us to adoption. We are part of the family of God.
  • We were also chosen
  1. Having been predestined before the creation of the world: holy and blameless
  2. Holiness the result not the requirement
  1. We could go deeper into predestination, God’s choosing and election. Scholars have debated how this works for centuries. What is clear is that we have a great and awesome and sovereign God who is in charge. He is so great that He can give us some element of freewill, yet still be in control. Some say that this is referring to God’s corporate election, that election is not about individuals but about the church. Another view is that God has elected certain people to witness to others. This is like Israel was elected, chosen and predestined but they were expected to evangelize. That is what Jonah is about.
  1. In verses 7-12 Paul praises God for the blessings through the Son (7-12)
    1. I would love to particularize these and I will more in the application part of this message.
    2. I will say that we have redemption.
    3. The redemption comes through His blood.
    4. When they thought of redemption they would think of buying back a slave. There was a price in redemption.
    5. There was a price in our redemption. Our redemption came at a high cost which was from Jesus.
    6. We have forgiveness.
    7. This is all from grace.
    8. Praise God.
    9. He made known to us the mystery of His will.
    10. That is amazing in itself.
    11. We have an inheritance in Christ. This goes along with adoption.
  • Then Paul praises God for the Holy Spirit (13-14)
    1. I was with Baptist churches and there are unfortunate Jokes about Baptist Churches and their lack of focus on the Holy Spirit. One such joke came out recently: the Holy Spirit is asked to leave.

CEDAR HILL, AL—The Holy Spirit arrived in power at Hope Baptist Church Sunday morning, but was asked to sit in the overflow room as He was making many church members milling about before the service uncomfortable, sources confirmed.

The church immediately activated its contingency plan, designed to cover unexpected appearances of the Holy Spirit.

As the third Person of the Trinity arrived in the foyer, ushers took a strong defensive formation, redirecting Him from the main service into the side overflow room, where He was handed a program and welcomed to watch the service on the wall-mounted TV.

“We have nothing against the Holy Spirit, as long as His arrival is submitted to the church secretary for inclusion on the bulletin by Wednesday at 3 p.m.,” head usher Gary Wall told reporters during the after-service coffee fellowship. “But He can’t just waltz on in here and expect to be given a prime spot in the back row or something. That would be chaos!”

After confining the Spirit in the room, the Baptist church reportedly posted ushers on either side to ensure He didn’t try any “funny business” at any point during the service (http://babylonbee.com/news/holy-spirit-appears-baptist-service-asked-sit-overflow-room/).

That is meant in humor, but there is a sad reality of a tacit way of denying the Holy Spirit. Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God addresses this.

  1. What we see in this passage is that the Holy Spirit secures our salvation.
  2. The Holy Spirit is given to us as a pledge of our salvation. The Holy Spirit is like earnest money in buying a house.
  3. When I asked Meagan to marry me we went to a park and I pulled out a ring and asked her to marry me. I gave her the ring as a promise of my faithfulness.
  4. The Holy Spirit given to us is like an engagement ring.
  1. Some applications under the overall application of praising God.
    1. This is a prayer. We must pray like Paul.
    2. We must pray with praise. Our Father who is in Heaven, holy is His Name. His will be done, His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.
    3. We must praise God for He chose us before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless (verse 4).
    4. We must praise God that He included us (verse 4).
    5. We must praise God that He predestined us for adoption (verse 5 and 1 John 3:1).
    6. We must praise God for His love (verse 4).
    7. We must praise God for His sovereign will (verse 5).
    8. We must praise God for His grace (verse 6).
    9. We must praise God for His forgiveness and redemption in grace (verse 7).
  • We must praise God for grace as His forgiveness, redemption, adoption, love, predestination, election, choosing are all free. We are not given a bill.
  • We must praise God for making known to us the mystery of His will (verse 9).
  • We must praise God for the inheritance (verse 11).
  • We must praise God for the sealing of the Holy Spirit (verse 13-14).
  • We must trust Jesus as Savior and Lord.
  • We must trust that Jesus has given us an embarrassment of riches in Christ.

The German U-boats missed these camouflaged boats and Germany eventually lost the war. The devil will also miss us. The God of the universe is so much more awesome and great and wise and powerful than the devil. God created the devil. God cast the devil to earth like lightning (Luke 10:18). The devil could not figure God’s plan. God loves us and saves us. Worship Him.

Do you know how much God loves you? Do you realize how awesome His love is for you? Do you realize because of His love for you how rich you are in the Spiritual realm? Do you realize that because of God’s great love for you, you are saved or can be saved for absolutely free? You are all eligible for this free gift of salvation. Saved from what? The Bible doesn’t beat around the bush, we are saved from the eternal damnation in hell. Hell is a punishment for our sins. Beyond that God has abundantly blessed us with spiritual blessings. We have spiritual blessings such as adoption, prayer, knowledge, and many others.

My theme today is: In Ephesians 1:3-14 we see Paul praising the Lord for our great and awesome salvation.

My application is: Pray like Paul and Jesus, Pray with praise, Praise God!

Do you know Jesus? Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)


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