Ephesians Series - Part Two
by Pastor Kent Munsey
August 11, 2019
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
From the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, we learn that when we are in Christ, our identity is received, not achieved. To be “in Christ” is a spiritual location. In Ephesians 1:1-6, we learn more about who we are because of who God is and how he sees us. When we are “in Christ,” we can receive the following aspects of our identity:
In Christ, I see God clearly. Our God is a Father (Matthew 6:9-13). When we recognize that God is our heavenly father, it helps us to understand our identity as a son or daughter of God.
In Christ, I am blessed. The scripture says that we are blessed in the heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Often times we are blind to our blessing because it’s not material. It’s possible to have material blessing that’s not rooted in spiritual blessing; the scripture warns about how this can be a stumbling block. We have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Material blessing will always flow from spiritual blessing (Matthew 6:33).
In Christ, I am chosen by God. We didn’t choose God; God chose us. Our God loves us so much that he’s gone public with it. Our God loves us so much that he chose us (John 3:16).
In Christ, I am holy. The concept of holiness has been ruined by religion--in religion, holy means perfect. What holy really means is set apart, dedicated and devoted. In God’s sight, we are holy because Christ took all of our sin on himself. In Christ we are blameless--no charges can be held against us. The natural response to God’s love is to make ourselves available, to be devoted to him. He doesn’t expect perfection from us; just that we make ourselves available to him.
In Christ, I am predestined. “Predestined” in Greek means to “circle before.” Before God formed the earth, he predestined us--he circled us, he marked us to be his sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:5).
When we begin to see who we are in Christ, God teaches us the rhythms of grace. Our God is a loving father who blesses us with every spiritual blessing, he chose us, he calls us holy, blameless, and he’s predestined us before he laid the foundations of the earth.
God loves you and has always loved you. His grace is sufficient in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 12:9). Keep rhythm with his grace because God has chosen you for such a time as this. There is nothing you can do to disqualify yourself from his plan.
How have you been blessed by God, both spiritually and materially?
Did you know that God sees you as holy? How does this new understanding of holiness change the way you relate to God?
How does the way God sees you change how you see yourself?
What impact does it have to know that God chose and predestined you before he created the universe?
How does God’s love for you change the way you see others?