“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Gracious Works Of The Trinity In Salvation: Ephesians 1:3-14
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 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: 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: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
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.
We now begin the first section of Paul’s explanation of the gracious works of the Lord in our lives. In this section, he looks at the individual workings of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation. This section can be broken up into three basic parts:
1. The work of the God the Father vs 3-6
2. The work of the God the Son vs 7-12
3. The work of the God the Spirit vs 13-14
In this morning’s devotional, Paul now turns our attention to the work of God the Son in our salvation experience……
Paul now explains to us more about this “mystery” that is revealed to us by God’s grace….
(Eph 1:10) 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:
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times
The idea behind the word “dispensation” is the idea of steward or controlling manager. This teaches us that God has absolute control over the whole period known as “time” (the period that extends from eternity past to eternity future). (Psalms 22:28, Psalms 115:3, 1 Chronicles 29:11)
he might gather together in one all things in Christ,
As the Steward (manager) over “time”, God then uses the events in time to gather and take full account for the whole group of people He has chosen to save.
During this period under the management of the Father, through the work of Christ as Savior and Lord, He:
1. secured payment for the sins of His people, (John 10:15-16, John 11:51-52)
2. summoned them to salvation (John 11:51-52, Acts 2:38-40)
3. adopted them into His family. (Galatians 4:4-6)
4. sealed them with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:20-22)
…and many others.
This secures His chosen people eternally so that none of His chosen would be lost…
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 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. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)
both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Of these who are eternally secure in Christ, some of them are found in heaven (those Old Testament saints who died prior to Paul’s writing of Ephesians) and those found on earth (New Testament saints who are living in Paul’s day and would be born following his death.) Everyone who is brought to a saving faith in Jesus (looking ahead to the coming Messiah, or looking back at the crucified Savior) are secure in Him. (John 10:25-29, Romans 8:29-30, Romans 33-39)
God found great delight in making plans in eternity past that included the providing of salvation for mankind and the gracing man with manifold wisdom and prudence. May we all come to appreciate His great grace in revealing to us these riches of His grace.
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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