Thursday, March 12, 2020

2020.03.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 1:3–4

Questions from the Scripture text: Whose God does Ephesians 1:3 begin to praise? What else does it call Him? What does this combination remind us about Jesus (cf. WSC 21)? Whom has this God blessed? With what? Where? In Whom? What did God do to us (Ephesians 1:4)? In Whom? When? To what end? Before Whom? In what? 
After the greeting—which was already rich with the glory and grace of God in Christ—the apostle explodes with a twelve verse run-on sentence of praise. Just the first two verses’ worth are full of so much rich doctrine…

Christ’s humanity and deity. God is both His God (in His humanity) and His Father (in His deity).
Christ’s person and work. He is the Lord—the eternally blessed and only living and true God, Who created all things and rules over all things. He is Jesus, for He is the One by Whom the Lord saves. He is Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed Prophet who reveals God’s will, Priest who intercedes for God’s people, and King who exercises God’s authority.

The completeness and greatness of God’s blessing. Every blessing. Even in heaven.

The means and Mediator of that blessing. The Holy Spirit (it is spiritual blessing) is the One who applies it to us, and He applies it to us by uniting us to Christ. We know that it would be impossible for us to be seated in heaven, let alone blessed in heaven, apart from Christ. But every blessing of God comes to us in this same way.

The source of that blessing. God’s free choice. The nature of election. Not just a bare choosing, but a choosing in which God considers someone in connection and unity with His Son. The timing of election. Before the foundation of the world. The end result/goal of election. Holiness and blamelessness. The greatness of this holiness. It is not merely a blamelessness before creatures, but a blamelessness and holiness before the holy, holy, holy God!

It is no surprise that many of these are the very truths that have been compromised and attacked throughout the history of the church. The world, the flesh, and the devil hate the glory of God. And so these truths are to be defended vigorously!

But not just defended. Delighted in. Rejoiced over. Turned back Godward in praise! This is, after all, the use of these truths in Scripture and the reason for defending them to begin with.
How well can you defend the truths in this text? Why is that important?
Suggested songs: ARP152 “Faith and Peace” or TPH427 “I Sought the Lord, and Afterward I Knew”

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