Sermon Titled “The Role of God Our Father” (Ephesians 1:3-6) – Sunday 29th September, 2013
- Ephesians 1:3-6 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.
After hearing last Sunday’s sermon, I realized that there is so much more that I have yet to learn. I’ve read the book of Ephesians many times, and while I have always found each reading to be incredibly uplifting, I don’t believe I’ve ever really dug deep enough to contemplate the full meaning of Paul’s words.
Pastor Reimer’s teaching of the above verses, emphasized first of all, just how difficult it is to understand how God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit are a complete and whole entity, yet also not the same. God’s role, as our Heavenly Father, is fulfilled by God Himself, and by Jesus Christ (who speaks with the authority of God the Father), and by the Holy Spirit (who was sent by Christ to reside in us and serve as our “helper”).
Trying to make sense of God being three persons in one, is simply not possible, hence the reason that our bible is filled with scriptures that encourage us to have faith despite our lack of understanding. Paul suggests however, that if we would persevere and believe in the face of uncertainty, then many spiritual blessings await us. In the most simplest of terms, let me attempt to further explain Paul’s words, in his letter to the saints of Ephesus:
- Vs.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.
Paul could not have made it any more clearer, that God has equipped us with every spiritual blessing that we could possibly need to help us walk through this life as faithful believers. He indicates that such blessings are from a spiritual source, that is, given directly to us by God Himself, through Jesus Christ His son. Such blessings of forgiveness, and personal guidance (provided by His word), and answers to prayers, and the promise of eternal life – these are all examples of the spiritual blessings for which we are to praise God.
- Vs. 4 For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.
This verse implies that God’s decision to choose us, and make us one with Christ, was a choice He made before the world was even created. God is eternal; He has always existed, and He determined before we were born that we would be His – but, we cannot take this to mean that we are automatically “saved.” No, God sent Christ to pay the penalty for our sins, and we can only stand holy and blameless when Christ justifies us before God, only when we have committed in our hearts to follow and obey Him.
- Vs.5 In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.
As verse 4 states, God “predestined,” or chose us, to become His adopted children. I loved the example Pastor Reimer used to illustrate the loving heart of one who is willing to adopt. He showed a video clip which gave us a peek into the lives of a special family, built entirely on a foundation of “adopted” love. The parents had adopted all eight of their children, from different parts of the world, and from backgrounds which would have either harmed these children, or literally killed them. One of the adopted sons said in his interview, “If I hadn’t been adopted, I might have died.” He was born with a deformity (no upper limbs), and was consequently ostracized. His adopted parents however, saw only a boy who needed to be loved, and they took him and nurtured him and grew him into an amazing young man.
God has done the same for us. He has overlooked our “sinful” flaws, and lovingly welcomed us into His home, as adopted sons and daughters, with rights to an eternal inheritance that will only be passed on to those who have entered into a relationship with His son, Jesus Christ.
- Vs. 6 to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
God is worthy of our praise! He chose us, He has blessed us, He has redeemed us, and He has graced us with everything we need to know about Him. We don’t have all the answers, but God has given us enough provision and information to understand that His offer of adoption (and eternal life with Him in Heaven) is His gift to us, provided we choose to live a new life in the One He loves – in Christ!