Have you ever heard a symphonic orchestra play a piece of classical music? What a beautiful music can be made when many individual musicians play together in unity! Of all the classics, one of the most recognizable is the 1812 Overture.
Take a listen here, notice all the differing parts being brought together to produce a wonderfully unified piece of music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2W1Wi2U9sQ
Many people working together harmoniously is a very important part of our life. In almost every aspect of our world around us we can see the results of unified effort. In some cases, it seems like a miracle when you have many individuals fulfilling a different set of roles being brought together to accomplish great things.
The Bible is filled with examples of Christians working together in unity for the cause of Christ. We are given both historical examples, and commands, encouraging the many to work together to proclaim the gospel and serve Him for His glory.
But the greatest Biblical example of unified effort is not found in the service of Christians for the Lord, it is found in the work of the Trinity. In our text we find a PERFECTLY unified effort on the part of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to graciously bring salvation to His chosen people.
Eph 1:3-14 (KJV) – 3) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: 4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him: 11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13) 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, 14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
In our text, note how each person of the Trinity performs different roles in a unified effort to graciously save us from our sins. In Eph 1:3-14, we find the definitive roles of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit explained in detail:
Vs 3-6 – The working of God the Father includes:
- “chosen us in him” – God the Father selected us (the chosen, the elect) out of a sinful, spiritually dead world, so that we would live holy lives and guiltless lives. Therefore, we should serve Him from a heart of love and gratitude for all He has done for us.
2. “predestinated us” – God the Father predetermined that we would become an adopted member of His spiritual family. This adoption would take place based on the work of Christ which was performed in alignment with the desires of God the Father.
Why did the Father choose and predestinate us? So that He might receive all the praise, glory, and honor for the salvation that was to be given to us. We cannot claim that we deserve His salvation… we only chose to love Him and come to Him because He first loved us and drew us to Himself. (John 6:44, 1 John 4:19) Likewise, we were not adopted into His family because we deserved it, it was only based upon His work which resulted in us becoming joint-heirs with Christ. (Roms 8:13-14)
Vs 7-12 – The working of God the Son includes:
- “redemption through His blood” – Christ paid the full ransom that was necessary to purchase us (the chosen) from the bondage of sin and deliver us to the Lordship of Christ. He paid this ransom through His blood that was shed on the cross. (1 Pet 1:18-19) Coming from this ransom payment is the forgiveness of our sins, past present and future… He paid for ALL our sins because we can not make the payment for ANY of our sins. (Hebs 10:10-13) He did all this for us, not because we deserved it, nor because we did any work to attain it, but Because He wanted to show undeserved favor to us.
The salvation that is given to us by grace is a display of His great wisdom and insight into the true nature of our needy, hopeless condition.
- “made known… mystery of His will” – It is through the first coming of Christ that we have on display the mystery of salvation by grace to Jew and Gentile. When Christ came, He taught us (through His words and example) of God’s will for salvation to be given to man by grace. (Rom 16:25-27)
- “gather together in one all things”- At the end of time, as eternity is ready to be ushered in, Christ will gather together all His redeemed into one glorious group of worshippers who will spend eternity with Him. This will be done based upon His work on the cross and the gracious giving of salvation to His people. (Col3:11)
- “obtained an inheritance” - Based upon His death on the cross, those who are adopted into His family look forward to an inheritance. This inheritance involves many blessings, including living eternally with Him on a New Earth over which we will rule (much as Adam and Eve was given dominion over the garden of Eden).(Rev 21:-22:)
Why did Christ do all of this for us? So that He might be honored, glorified and praised, He accomplished what we could not accomplish. He worked salvation from our sins and acceptance by the Father.
Vs 13-14 – The working of God the Spirit includes:
- “ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit” – We (the chosen) came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ only after we had received the gospel message. Receipt and belief in the gospel message is an absolute necessity for our salvation. (Rom 10:14-17) Following our turning to Christ in faith for salvation, we then were sealed with the Holy Spirit. To be sealed involves a spiritual mark identifying the new believer with Christ. (2 Tim 2:19) It also involves a preservation of the believer, securing and protecting Him eternally. (Eph 4:30)
- “the earnest of our inheritance” – The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our future inheritance we will receive. (2 Cor 1:22) Once again, we see the security of the believer in view. The Spirit seals us until we receive our glorified bodies and enter eternity with the Lord. The glorification of the body is the last step in the redemption process and is described here as the “redemption of the purchased possession”. Praise the Lord, we are eternally secure in Him…. NO ONE (including ourselves) can take us out of His protecting hand of grace. (John 10:28-30, Rom 8:29-30)
Why did the Holy Spirit do all of this for us? So that He might receive the glory for His part in our salvation.
To summarize…. The work of the Trinity in our salvation is a harmonious work that encompasses every aspect of our salvation from beginning to end. EVERYTHING involved with our salvation, both His workings and our response to His workings, is an act of His grace.
Jonah, when he was engulfed in the whale’s belly could do nothing to save himself. His only hope was that the Lord might intervene and sovereignly save him from his predicament. Jonah learned the lesson that his physical deliverance was only of God when he said, “salvation is of the Lord”. (Jonah 2:1-10)
As Christians, we should borrow a page from Jonah’s book. We should come humbly before Him and serve Him from a heart of gratitude proclaiming our spiritual “salvation is of the Lord”.
If you have never come to a saving faith in Christ: turn from your sins, come humbly before Him (realizing your inability to save yourself) and trust Him to meet all your spiritual needs. Realize your salvation is in His hands… He promises to pardon any that will come to Him. Rest assured, if you have come to Him (in repentance and faith) He will save you and you will be eternally secure in Him…
John 6:37-39 (KJV)
37) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area. They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.
Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.
Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org
My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”