Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessings from God the Father

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessings from God the Father January 14, 2014

I want to begin a sermon series about being a blessing to other people. I have made it a New Year resolution to be a blessing to other people. If we are called to be the church, then we are called as Christians to bless other people. I want to spend some time these next three weeks sharing with you the basis of being a blessed people.

We can praise God beginning this year because He has blessed us. We have not just one spiritual blessing. We don’t have just a few spiritual blessings. We have every spiritual blessing.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.” (Ephesians 1:3, HCSB)

When you read the book of Ephesians, you will find this passage at the beginning after the greeting. In the original Greek, Ephesians 1:3-14 is one sentence – one long sentence. Within this sentence, we see a pattern that emerges. A pattern which outlines the entire book. It is a pattern based on the divine community. God exists in Three Persons (Father, Son, and Spirit). He exists in community.

Ephesians Trinity Chart

Each of these blessings, which come from each Person in the Trinity represent a comprehensive help as we live as a community of believers. These blessings are not individualistic. These blessings are for the body of believers.

Let’s spend some looking at the blessings that God gives us. As God the Father, we can see that there are three blessings which He provides for every Christian.

Blessing #1 – God blessed us by His (s)election of us. 

For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4, HCSB)

We see here that God blessed us with a corporate election. I have heard many debates about the use of this word: chosen. Let’s break this down into simple terms:

God did not choose us because we are better than other people. God chose us because he wanted to bless us so that we could bless others.

“The Lord was devoted to you and chose you, not because you were more numerous than all peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your fathers, He brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:7–9, HCSB)

So God did not choose us because we were more or better than anyone else. He chose us because God keeps His promises. He chose us because He loves us for who we are. Because love is the foundation of God’s relationship with each and every one of us, He made us and then He chose us. However, His election or selection of us came with a purpose:

For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4, HCSB)

We are called to be a holy and blameless people.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9, HCSB)

When God chooses people, He doesn’t choose individuals. His election is a corporate affair. I don’t get to think that I am blessed because God chose me. We get to be blessed because God chose us.

For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4, HCSB)

This was part of God’s plan. God chose His plan for salvation. He did not just choose me. He just chose me to be part of that plan. He chose  you to be part of that plan. What was the plan? The plan was that everyone should hear the Gospel, so that they may come to God through His Son Jesus Christ. God’s plan was not for one individual, but for a world of people.

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, HCSB)

So we are a chosen people. Why? So that we can share this message of God’s love with other people. We are called to live as a chosen people. We are called to be different. We are blessed to be chosen. But we get to share that blessing with people who need to be blessed.

Blessing #2 – God blessed us by His acceptance of us into His Presence

For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4, HCSB)

A result of God’s selection of us is that we get to be in God’s presence. That could only happen because of Jesus’s death on the cross.

Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1, HCSB)

God’s plan made us holy so that we could be in God’s presence.

“Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days”—the Lord’s declaration. “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them” —this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin.”” (Jeremiah 31:33–34, HCSB)

One result of God’s acceptance of is that we be accepting of other people. From “the least to the greatest” as Jeremiah says. We need to reach out to as many people as can. It doesn’t matter if they reject. We have to learn to be accepting of other people.

Blessing #3 – God blessed us by His adoption of us into His heavenly family

He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will,” (Ephesians 1:5, HCSB)

When you adopt someone, you don’t do it out of obligation. You do it because you love someone enough that you are willing to take on the extra responsibility it requires to care for someone who was not originally yours in the first place.

In a legal term, it means that all would eventually belong to your biological children would now also be available to your adopted children. The difference is that you can disinherit your biological children. You can’t disinherit your adopted children.

Adoption means that someone loves you enough to take responsibility for you, to put up with you, to help you, to teach you, so that you can make it in life in the absence of your biological parents.

Spiritually, this means that God loves you enough to take responsibility for you, to put up with you, to help you, to teach you, so that you can make in this life as well as in the next.

It also means that as a church, we learn to adopt people who need to hear about this good news of grace. God adopts you. However, He expects you to be a spiritual foster parent to another unsaved person. You foster them. You build a relationship with them. You get to know them, care for them, and prepare them for their adoptive parents. Legally, the foster parent can become the adoptive parent. Spiritually, Christians in the church become foster parents to unbelievers to help introduce them to their true Adoptive Father.

Foster care parents are in the business of helping children become part of “forever families.” In time, as foster parents care for, help out, teach, and eventually build relationships with foster children, we help them find a family who will take care of them for the rest of their childhood. No foster child who becomes adopted is ever alone.

The same is true with the church family. We need to spend time fostering unbelievers who that become part of a spiritual “forever family.” No spiritual foster child should ever be left alone. We are blessed to be a blessing to people who need to be introduced their heavenly forever family in Jesus Christ.

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