Ephesians 1:3-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
Redemption in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
Rejoice! Followers of Jesus Christ are rich heirs!
--Romans 8:17 states, "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him."
--"Heirs of God," to all His riches in glory, here..
--For God is more glorious than heaven itself.
--"Joint-heirs with Christ," His potential purpose!
--Friend, welcome to the riches of God's grace!
Many are heirs to God's riches, and don't know it.
--So St. Paul is writing about it in Ephesians 1.
--We may be "together in one all things in Christ."
--"Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3).
--"As He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy .. without blame."
--"Having predestinated us to adoption as sons .. in whom we have redemption through His blood" (v 5-7).
--"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance" (11).
The Word of God has dozens of verses on our "inheritance" we have now, and that awaits us in heaven.
--We are blessed, not just for Jews, but all others!
--"Those who will inherit; salvation":(Hebrews1:14).
When my Dad and Mother had died, we children each received an inheritance of what they had left us.
--In our wills, most of us do that for our children.
--So does our loving Heavenly Father - God wants all people to be included. He has chosen us in Jesus.
--Have we chosen Him? As our Savior, and Lord?
What an inheritance of bliss it is, only God bestows.
--Between trains in St. Louis Union Station going to Texas from Philadelphia as a sailor, we were talking about the joys of knowing the Lord.
--I've never forgotten how this lady expressed it as she said, "Jesus is better felt than telt."
--How true. Easier to know His grace than tell it.
God never asks of us but what He already gives us.
--"He chose us in Him that we should be holy."
--We were "sealed with the Holy Spirit .." (v 13).
God our Creator has chosen us all as "His elect."
--"To an inheritance," as "heirs of eternal life."
--Chose us "in Him!' - that is, in Jesus Christ.
--The sinless Savior who took our place on a cross.
--Who arose again from a sealed, guarded tomb, as He said; and seen by many prior to ascending before a group who saw Him, back into heaven (Acts 1:10f).
Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself" (John 14:3).
--To the abode of God. Of our inheritance, eternal.
You know dear friends, it is when one loses the most dearest on earth, that we most value our inheritance.
--And we rejoice and are comforted when we have this assurance our loved one has gone to be with Jesus- "which is very far better." One day, to join them.
--To meet, and greet, and be with those we've so loved but have lost awhile. Never to part again!
--Jesus said, "Come to Me all you who labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28).
People sometime say to me, "I'm not one of God's elect." They feel sort of left out, or too sinful.
--They feel unworthy, or not good enough for God.
--Maybe they have sinned and broken God's Commands.
--Yet, haven't we all? That's why Jesus came!
--No one is perfect. Nor have to wait to be so.
--Jesus invites us, "Come!" Just as we are, to Him.
--Jesus and the Holy Spirit will clean us up aright.
It is like fishing. First you catch the fish - then you clean them up. First we must come to Christ. Let no one ever feel they are destined to be lost.
--God doesn't send anyone to hell! We each decide.
--"God is not willing any should perish" (2 Pet.3:9).
--We determine our own destiny, for eternity. How?
--By our own decision. God wants us all born again.
--Satan wants us all lost. We must choose aright.
--To "an inheritance ..reserved in heaven" (I Pet 1:4).
In a large family of children, most of them saved.
--All loved, chosen, prayed for, and taught the Word. Each child had the same love, teaching, and prayer.
--All predestined to an inheritance - all alike.
--But each child, by their free-will, chose his way.
--One or two, did not fully follow the Lord, as yet.
--They were not cast out - they just went out.
--That's why we need saved parents guiding children.
--With prayers, Bible teaching, worship and counsel.
--So let no one say, "I'm not one of the elect."
--We all are .. by the Lord. We must make it sure.
No one is good enough to get to heaven by himself.
--The chosen people, Israel, could not keep The Law.
--They needed God's grace. Today it is in Jesus.
When we consider who we are - and Whose we are - we will do all in our power to live pleasing to God.
--You and I are a nobody, but a somebody, in Jesus.
--To rejoice in it. And live more like our Lord.
--To be "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross .. now at the throne," we read in Hebrews 12:2. Praying for us.
--To Him we can come with our hurts and heartaches.
--With our petitions and our problems and pains.
Through all of life, we must abide in Christ Jesus.
--To continue in faith, even when distressed, discouraged and depressed; for God will make a way!
In Acts 27, Paul was a prisoner on a ship at sea in a treacherous storm, for over two weeks, in peril.
--Wondering if all could survive. Couldn't eat.
--Hope waned for all on board. But Paul prayed!
--God answered. Paul went to the Captain, ".. be of good cheer., for there shall be no loss of any life .. for there stood by me this night the angel of God .. saying, 'Fear not.' Except these abide in the ship, you cannot be saved" (Acts 27:22-31).
--Likewise, we must abide in Christ.
The elect are "whosoever will" and non-elect are the "whosoever won't" - but each decides for himself.
--We are saved by Jesus - not a church, or by works.
--Joining a church, good works, shows our gratitude.
Our churches have served rescue missions and jails.
--With hymns, prayers, messages of God's love.
--The Lord Jesus is a God of another chance for all.
--I heard of a man in Chicago, an heir to a fortune.
--They were unable to locate him; searched all over.
--They finally found him, in a Rescue Mission there.
--He was barely living. All the while "an heir."
He had drifted far away from God; lost what he had.
--Knew not of two inheritances awaited, he so needed.
--At the Mission he was not only told about Jesus as Savior and Lord, but also of his inheritance, from a loved one, for a new start in life, as an heir!
I cannot promise you earthly wealth, only heavenly.
--But I can assure you, in Christ, He will provide! "Chosen. Elect. Heirs of God, joint-heirs of Jesus Christ." Think of the riches of His grace, for all.
May I illustrate simply, that helps us understand.
--Suppose, you and I are in New York, walking a busy, crowded street, and we pass a beautiful church.
--Services are on. Heavenly music can be heard.
--Above the doorway, carved in stone, "Whoever will may come." That includes us, so we go inside.
In the presence of God, His Word, heavenly music and prayers, this sermon touches our hearts.
--We both accept the invitation to receive as Savior the Lord Jesus Christ .. and are saved, changed.
--As we leave, we see over the door, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God" (I Peter 1:2).
--We were one of God's chosen, heirs; sealed, because we made a choice, personally, to follow Christ.
All the time God knew it. He provided it in Christ.
--But we, individually, had to make the decision too.
Are you one of God's "missing heirs" of Jesus?
--Come, make sure. You are a "chosen, heir of God."
--May I ask, friend, have you done anything about it?
--God is looking for you to give you an inheritance!
--Come, for new life! - Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. 918