1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 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, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
I was attempting to begin a study in the book of Ephesians when I just got overwhelmed and excited about the first few verses. Paul starts out by saying that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ - by God's will! This asserts to me that Paul understood that he had been called into apostleship because of God's will. He understood that it was not by anything that he had done - not because he was smart, not because he was articulate, not because of any standing he held in the community - and not even because he was so good - but strictly because of God's will. God is sovereign and in that sovereignty He gets to choose whom to use and whom to save! Isn't it awesome to know that no one else has the power to say whether or not you can be saved or whether or not God can use you? It it God's will to do with us as He chooses - it is our response to humble ourselves in submission and allow Him to make that purpose and will manifested in our lives.
Then Paul salutes the church at Ephesus by calling them faithful in Jesus Christ. Can others say about us that we are faithful? When our names come up in conversation - does the word faithful come to the minds of others? Being faithful means that God can depend on us to allow His Word to take root in our hearts and in our lives and in our behavior!!! Are we faithful?
Verse 3 - surely we need God's grace and peace. Grace is what God gives us instead of what we deserve and peace is what He gives us when we focus our mind and attention only on Him - despite what's going on around us. What an awesome gift set that is for us - grace and peace - worth more than silver or gold!
Paul says that blessings belong to the Father because he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We are seated in heavenly places - we are blessed with eternal things - an intimate relationship with Him, an eternal home, salvation from sin, death and the grave! How awesome is that?
Verse 4 - He chose us from the foundation of the world - before He placed the sun in its socket, before He engineered creation - He chose YOU, he chose ME - he had a purpose for our lives before He even put dust on the ground! He called us to be holy and blameless before him in love - but He knew that we wouldn't be able to pull that off! He knew that we would be sinful and enemies of His - so he predestined us to be adopted into His family through the blood of his son, Jesus Christ! Jesus would be the mediator between us and God so that we could fellowship with Him!
How wonderful it is to know that before anything was - God loved me enough to devise a plan that would redeem my sinful soul and allow me access to Him - in spite of me-and it all falls in line "according to the good pleasure of His will! It is His good pleasure and His will to make us acceptable through Jesus Christ in the Beloved! He can now call me Beloved because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.
c/2006 Candie A. Price
Candie A. Price is the editor/founder of WOW! Women of the Word Magazine, a free magazine that seeks to Inspire, Encourage, and Empower Christian women toward a closer walk with Jesus Christ. WOW! can be found on www.wowemagazine.com. Contact Candie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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