Ephesians 1:1-14 God Chose You!
Although Paul wrote this letter to the church in Ephesus while he was in jail, it is his most optimistic and encouraging correspondence to the young churches. He tells of the advantages a believer has in Christ and instructs believers on how to “live a life of love.”
Ephesians 1:1-14 God Chose You!
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, d the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship n through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Living God’s Word:
Why would God choose some and not others? A better question is, Why would God choose anyone at all? We will never fully plumb the depths of God’s purposes in election, but Ephesians 1:4 gives some insight into them. We are to be “holy and blameless” before him. When we select members of a sports team for awards, we look for those most capable, desirable, and worthy. Not so with God; he seems to delight in choosing the most unlikely. And in calling us “before the creation of the world”—before we had done anything to demonstrate our own worthiness or lack thereof—God shows that his decision has nothing to do with our righteousness, and everything to do with his compassion. When your head spins with the mystery of election, let your heart also swell with the reality of grace.
Words to Live By: Paul directs the Ephesians away from themselves, teaching them to trust in God’s promises in Christ. Pride tempts us to trust in our commitment to God; doubt makes us worry that we are not committed enough. Jesus blesses us spiritually by leading us to repent of sinful pride by the Law and calming our worried hearts through the Gospel.
Prayer: Father, forgive my self-centeredness, and teach me to rely on Your loving plan for me; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
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The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.