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Ephesians 1 - Redemption - Free Bible Teachings

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Ephesians 1 – Redemption

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Three Stages


There is a funny cartoon that shows a pompous lawyer reading a client’s Last Will and Testament to a group of greedy relatives.  The caption reads, “I, John Jones, being of sound mind and body, spent it all.” 

 

When Jesus Christ wrote His Last Will and Testament for His Church, He made it possible for us to share His spiritual riches.  Instead of spending it all, Jesus paid it all.  His death on the cross and His resurrection make possible our salvation.  He wrote us into His Will, then He died, so the Will would be in force.  Then He rose again that He might become the Heavenly Advocate (Lawyer), to make sure the terms of the Will were correctly followed. 

Redemption: Experienced in Three Stages

Stage 1:

We have been redeemed through faith in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:7

In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;

Stage 2:

We are being redeemed as the Spirit works in our lives to make us more like Christ. 

Romans 8:1-4

1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Stage 3:

We shall be redeemed when Christ returns, and we become like Him. 

Christ is the Bridegroom and His Church is the Bride and He will return for His Bride. 

1 Timothy 6:17

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor  trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

This Scripture tells us that God gives us richly all things to enjoy.  In Christ you and I have the things money can’t buy and these spiritual riches open up to us all the wealth of God’s vast creation.  We enjoy the gifts because we know and love the Giver.  There is really no need for us to live in poverty when all of God’s wealth is at our disposal.  By faith we can claim God’s promises and draw upon His limitless wealth to meet every need we may face.  

Some of the greatest art treasures of the ancient world were housed in magnificent buildings.  In this letter, Paul compared the Church of Jesus Christ to a temple and will explain the great wealth that Christ has in His Church. 

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is as carefully structured as that great Temple of Diana, and it contains greater beauty and wealth.  In studying Paul’s outline carefully, note how he balances doctrine with duty. 

We inherit the wealth by faith and invest the wealth by works. Without this balance, our spiritual riches do us no good. 

When Jesus Christ wrote His Last Will and Testament for His Church, He made it possible for us to share His spiritual riches.  Instead of doing like many people, spending or hoarding it, Jesus Christ paid it all.   

His death on the cross and His resurrection made possible our salvation.  He wrote us into His Will; then He died so the Will would be in force.  Then He arose again that He might become the Heavenly Advocate to make sure the terms of the Will were correctly followed.

If redemption were according to the measure of man’s merit, there would be no redemption.  Who can measure the wealth of God’s grace? 

God’s resources are ample enough for the saint, to cover all past debts, to meet all present liabilities and to provide for all future needs.  The average Christian is not fully aware of all the inheritance which is his in Christ.  The Christian is not left to just wander around in an uncharted course.  God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. 

He bought us, purchased us, redeemed us and secured for us an inheritance.  He became our “earnest.”  He seals us.  God’s eternal purpose is that none should perish but that all shall come to repentance and salvation.  The call is to “whosoever will.”

Ephesians 1:7

In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; 

God has lavished the riches of His grace upon those who will receive and accept Him.  He does not force upon unwilling persons the spiritual blessings for which they have no desire or appreciation. 

Man has the power of free choice, but we must not forget that our relationship to God is based on His adoption of us. We are undeserving, but God, through His love, has purchased us. 

Though millions have accepted Christ, and the family is large, we don’t have to worry that the inheritance will be diminished.  God’s great abundance is adequate to satisfy all. 

We marvel that God can take us who are so different, who have such diverse backgrounds, and fashion us into one big family, but that is precisely what He has done.  We are the people of God. 

Though we are rich in Christ, sometimes we live like paupers, way beneath our privileges.  Remember we are sealed until the day of final and perfect redemption.  We are claimed by Him and stamped with His signature, in blood, His blood.  We, you are to “walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His Kingdom and glory,” 1 Thessalonians 2:12

We are separated.  We are Christ’s peculiar treasure.  God put His stamp of ownership on His children by giving us the Holy Spirit He had promised.  The Spirit strengthens in difficulty and temptation. 

A person may go the full length of sin in the eyes of the laws of earth and be imprisoned as a thief, a gangster, a murderer or he may be a highly respected citizen, even occupying a professor’s chair or a pulpit, in whose inmost heart God sees pride, unbelief and enmity toward Him, but one is as “far off” from God as the other, for both are without Christ and without God and without hope. 

There was a story once where a couple were discussing money matters not realizing their little boy was listening.  Finally, the little boy broke in with a suggestion.  “Why don’t you write one of those pieces of paper?”  He did not understand that you must have money in the bank to back up those pieces of paper.  We never face that problem when it comes to our spiritual wealth.  By faith we can claim God’s promises and draw upon His limitless wealth to meet every need we may face. 

We discovered that we were born rich when we were born again, but this is not enough for we must grow in our understanding of our riches if we are ever going to use them to the glory of God. 

Too many Christians have never read the Bank Book to find out the vast spiritual wealth that God has put to their account through Jesus Christ. 

In the prison prayers of Paul, we discover the blessings Paul wanted his converts to enjoy.  In none of these prayers does Paul request material things.  His emphasis is on spiritual perception and real Christian character.  He does not ask God to give them what they do not have, but rather prays that God will reveal to them what they already have. 

Ephesians 1:15-23

15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and  love unto  all the saints, 16cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling and, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to  us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, 20Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church. 23Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.

Philippians 1:9-11

9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all judgment; 10That ye may approve things that are excellent: that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Colossians 1:9-12

9For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10That ye may  walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light:

The hope that belongs to our calling should be a dynamic force in our lives, encouraging us to be obedient and faithful.  The fact that we shall one day see Christ and be like Him should motivate us to live like Christ today. 

We must have God’s power because there are enemies who want to rob us of our wealth in Christ and we studied about that in Chapter 6.  That’s why we need every piece of armor.  We could never defeat these spiritual foes in our power, but we can live victorious lives through the Spirit’s power. 

No wonder Paul wants us to know the exceeding greatness of His power to us.  Apart from this power, we cannot draw upon our great wealth in Christ. 

It is grace that supplies the wealth, but it is faith that lays hold of the wealth.  The greatest “power shortage” today is not in our generators or our gas tanks; it is or can be in our personal lives.  We can know from experience, by faith, God’s calling, God’s riches and God’s power. 

We see that the richness of God’s mercy and the greatness of His love are creating a saint out of a sinner. 

 


  

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan
(Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

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