Blessings in Christ


Series: Ephesians

Title: 1. Blessings in Christ Ephesians 1:3-14


  • 2018-03-03: White Rock Lake


  1. 337: Redeemed!

Scripture: Ephesians 3:3-14

  1. Intro
    1. How often do you praise God?
    2. Paul often began his letters by praising God.
    3. Background: Ephesians 1:1, 2
      1. Written by Paul to the church in Ephesus (western Turkey), and possibly intended to circulate to other churches, as well (possibly including Laodicea).
      2. Probably written while Paul was imprisoned in Rome for the first time, at about the same time that Philemon was written, perhaps around the year 60.
      3. Unlike most of Paul’s letters, this one doesn’t address any particular problem. Instead, it focuses on teaching about Christ and love.
  2. V. 3: Main idea of the first section
    1. Verses 3-14 are all one sentence in Greek, showing that they’re all closely connected.
    2. This verse is followed by praise for each member of the trinity. After the praise is expressed, each section ends with an explicit expression of praise.
  3. Triple praise for God’s blessings in our lives
    1. Ephesians 1:4-6: The Father has chosen us in eternity past
      1. Chosen before the foundation of the world
        1. The plan of salvation wasn’t just some last-minute, cobbled-together solution to the sin problem.
        2. Revelation 13:8b (“him” refers to the beast power): The plan of salvation was in place from the very beginning.
      2. Chosen to be holy and blameless
        1. It is God’s work that makes this possible, through the gift of salvation.
      3. Predestined for adoption
        1. Adoption
          1. Adoption in Roman society wasn’t only for minor children. It was a way to ensure that there was an heir to receive the father’s inheritance. A wealthy man with no heir would commonly adopt a younger man who was deemed worthy, so that man would inherit the estate from the older man.
          2. Thus, adoption refers both to joining the family and receiving the inheritance.
        2. Christ’s work didn’t merely save us from our sins; it enabled us to be brought into the family of God and to inherit eternal life.
        3. Predestination is related to God’s choosing us. It doesn’t remove our choice; rather, it reflects God’s will.
        4. From the very beginning of time, God foresaw humanity. He foresaw the sin problem, but He also foresaw the solution. God left nothing to chance, but made a plan from the very beginning to make all who are willing a direct part of His family.
    2. Ephesians 1:7-12: The Son has redeemed us in the historical past
      1. Redemption through His blood
      2. He gathers all the redeemed together into one
      3. The adoption of the Father becomes an inheritance as a result of Jesus’ death for us
    3. Ephesians 1:13, 14: The Holy Spirit has sealed us in our personal past
      1. The result of salvation is receiving the seal of God–the Holy Spirit
        1. Many people identify the seal of God as the Sabbath, but the Sabbath is only a part of the seal.
        2. Nowhere does the Bible explicitly call the Sabbath the seal of God. People make the connection merely by analogy.
        3. However, the Sabbath is repeatedly called a sign. E.g., Exodus 31:12, 13
        4. It’s clear from the First Angel’s Message in Revelation 14 that the Sabbath holds special significance in the end times. However, even there, the issue is broader than just the Sabbath. We are commanded to “Worship.” Thus, true worship, which specifically includes the Sabbath, is in view.
        5. Similarly, we will read later in Ephesians that we “have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
          1. Since salvation is the work of God in our lives, Paul states in Ephesians 1:13, 14 that sealing is also God’s work through the Holy Spirit.
          2. The Sabbath, together with the fruits of the Spirit, is an outward sign of the seal, but not the seal itself.
      2. So, to return to our point, the result of salvation is sealing with the Holy Spirit.
      3. The Spirit is the ἀρραβών of our inheritance.
        1. Good translation: down payment
        2. “The Greek word ἀρραβών (arrabōn) denotes the first payment or first installment of money or goods which serves as a guarantee or pledge for the completion of the transaction.”—Net Bible note on Ephesians 1:14.
        3. In other words, the presence of the Holy Spirit shows that God is serious about our salvation, and that Jesus really will return as He promised to take us to be with Him.