Oct. 1: Ephesians 1
the sweep of redemption
As Paul begins his doxology in the opening verses of Ephesians, he pens a marvelous sentence which gives us a panorama of redemption. Every spiritual blessing is ours in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). There is nothing we need that God by his grace does not supply. That is a wonderful and a remarkable fact.
Many comments could be made about Ephesians 1:3-14, with its stunning vistas and its remarkable views. Let us simply highlight the Trinitarian nature of the redemption of which Paul speaks.
God the Father has blessed us in Christ, having chosen and adopted us, and having planned all our salvation to the praise of his grace. Before time began, he worked for our salvation; after time ends he will have all the praise in it. His determination was to make us sons through his Son, and to bring us into the family of God, adopted as his children and given the status of sons and daughters.
God the Son has made all this possible: it is through his blood (Ephesians 1:7) that we have this redemption. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the purpose of God which would have forever remained hidden and mysterious had God not appeared in the fullness of time to take away sin by the giving of the Son. His death and resurrection have implications for the whole cosmos (Ephesians 1:10), and are the means by which we are enriched, as a great inheritance comes to be placed in our possession.
And God the Holy Spirit seals us (Ephesians 1:13). He is the one who seals, and he is the seal itself, since the presence of the Holy Spirit is the pledge of our eternal inheritance in Christ. We can know that we are his, and that his blessings are ours, through the Holy Spirit that he has given us.
Little wonder that Paul exudes this great paean of praise to the God of all grace, who has done all things well. The work of salvation is his work, from beginning to end. Apart from him, there could be no redemption at all. 'This is the Lord's doing, it is marvelous in our eyes' (Psalm 118:23).
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