Letter to the Ephesians Message Two
As we begin this second message on the Letter to the Ephesians, we need to pay particular attention to the first word of verse three – “Blessed”. We are familiar with this word and read it many times around the time of Christmas in the account given by Luke in chapter one.
Mary was called blessed, and so she was. We note the testimony of the Lord as relayed by His messenger, Gabriel. We note her willingness to serve the Lord in whatever way she could. We note her knowledge of the Scriptures as she met with Elisabeth –
She was certainly deserving of the greeting as recorded in –
Luke 1:26-28 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
It is interesting to note though, that the greeting to Mary, ‘blessed’, is different from the word used by the New Testament writers speaking to God, as we read in this letter in verse 3 “…Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…”.
We must remember there is infinite difference between God and men, no matter how faithful the believer, with mankind always falling short of God. This is why the word, eulogéō, used by the writers when speaking about men, is different every time, from the word, eulogetos , used only when speaking about God.
Mark down the testimony of God Himself –
Isaiah 44:8 “…. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”
Isaiah 45:5,6 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isaiah 45:21-22 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
When we consider the Person of the Lord, His being, character, and nature, we can understand why the word ‘blessed’, that is used of God, should not be used for man.
Paul, who constantly experienced the grace and peace of God, considered all that God is and could say no other thing but “…Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” as he presented –
II. Praise unto God. Ephesians 1:3-14
A. God’s Grace through infinitely perfect decisions.
1. Decisions made before the creation of the world – “Before the foundation of the world…”
2. Decisions made according to His own good pleasure – “…according to the good pleasure of his will….”, “…according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself…”
“…according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will…”
3. Decisions made for His own glory – “… to the praise of the glory of his grace…”
“…that we should be to the praise of his glory…”
4. Decisions made to accomplish His ultimate purpose, all things becoming one in Christ – “…he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.
B. God’s grace through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. That in Christ –
a. All spiritual blessings are available – “…all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…”
b. All spiritual blessings in Christ were determined before the creation of the world –
“…chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…”
2. That in Christ, salvation is available
“…we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…”
3. That in Christ, being one with God is available
“…he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him…”
C. God’s grace to man.
1. That the believer’s sins should be forgiven.
2. That believer’s are adopted, in Christ, as children
3. That we are accepted in Christ.
4. That we are, in our standing before Him, holy and without blame in Christ.
5. That we have obtained, but not yet received an inheritance in Christ.
6. That we are sealed, safe, in the Lord through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Notice that believer’s have received all of this through the grace of God. That in His infinite grace –
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
And that being in Christ –
2 Corinthians 5:17 “…any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…”
The praise which is given to God for His grace could only begin with that one word “Blessed…”
No other is like Him, nor can be. Will admit this today and lift our praise unto Him for His wonderous grace?
Have you turned to God for salvation?
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Grace and Peace – God’s gift to you in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.