Blessings from God the Son (Part 2)
Ephesians 1:7 – 12
We are given spiritual blessings. We were chosen, predestinated, adopted, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Wonderful things that makes me say “Lord you are an awesome God”. We deserve nothing but death yet, in his great love for us, He saved us from eternal punishment. We will see more blessings as we continue our study.
I. God has forgiven us
A. In the OT there are three words for forgiveness, they are:
1. To cover
2. To lift away
3. To send away
B. In the New Testament forgiveness is the separation of the sinner from his sins through the sacrifice of Christ and upon the ground of pure grace. – R. Lee.
C. Because we broke God’s law, no man can forgive us, only God can. So never go to a human being for forgiveness. Go directly to God.
D. Forgiveness cannot be found in any church, sacrament or ordinance, but is found in Christ alone.
E. Forgiveness is given on the basis of the blood of Christ. Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;. On the cross Christ shed His blood as a ransom and complete payment for our eternal redemption.
F. There were 5 kinds of forgiveness in the Bible. They are:
1. Judicial Forgiveness (The eternal forgiveness of all sins of the one who has trusted Christ. This goes with the doctrine of justification and has to do with the believer’s relationship with God. It is once for all, eternal, and conditioned only on faith in Christ.) The Psalmist says, “ Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Ps. 32:1-2). He also says, “ As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Ps. 103:12).
You can say right now, “As I have trusted Christ, all my sins past, present, and future are forgiven. God remembers my sin no more.” (Ps. 130:4; Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14. See also Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 9:12; 10:17; Jer. 3:34; Eph. 2:8,9.)
2. Paternal Forgiveness (Restoration of fellowship with God the Father after the believer has broken fellowship by continued, unconfessed sin. This has to do with the believer’s fellowship with God.)
The conditions to this kind of forgiveness are twofold: (a) Confession (1 John 1:9; John 13:4-10; Matt. 6:12); (b) Forgiveness of others (Personal forgiveness – see the next kind of forgiveness.)
3. Personal Forgiveness (Restoration of fellowship with another human being).
(a) This facet of forgiveness is so important that Jesus conditions our forgiveness and restoration to fellowship with our Heavenly Father on our willingness to forgive others. Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-35; Luke 6:37; Col. 3:13); Matt. 18:21-35; Eph. 4:31-32)
(b) Personal forgiveness has a vertical dimension—we must release the person to God. This can happen anywhere at anytime. Jesus taught, “ Take heed to
yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” (Mark 11:25)
(c) Personal forgiveness has a horizontal dimension—we must confront the offender and forgive if he repents. “So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17:3)
4. Social forgiveness (Restoration of fellowship with society (John 8:1-10). This may be a personal attitude in our own communities or involve us in ministries like prison ministry.
There is little forgiveness by society today partly because there are very few things that society frowns on.
5. Ecclesiastical Forgiveness (Restoration of fellowship with the church) 2 Cor. 2:5-11; 2 Thess. 3:14-15. This forgiveness assumes a prior discipline by the church body and an evidence of a repentant heart on the part of the one disciplined. The purpose of discipline is restoration, and forgiveness assumes repentance and restoration.
G. The basis for our redemption and forgiveness is “God’s grace”.
1. God’s grace is given to enable believers to understand His will.
a. God gives them wisdom (Sophia). The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them.
b. God gives Prudence (phronesei), intellectual or moral insight. Prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in avoiding evils;
c. Having both wisdom and prudence, believers can always have the discernment on how to live a holy, righteous life, that is pleasing to God.
Illustration: Our Greatest Need
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
II. He has made known to us mystery of His will. (Eph. 1:9 – 10)
A. “Mystery” is a previously hidden truth unveiled by God’s revelation (Rom. 16:25). The Lord used apostles and prophets to reveal the secret things as they are led by the Holy Spirit.
B. This mystery is to bring all things in heaven and on earth under the headship of Christ in the consummation of time.
C. The Scriptures tell us that:
1. Through Christ’s sacrifice, believing sinners are brought into reconciliation with God (2 Cor. 5:18-20; Col. 1:20-21; Heb. 2:17).
2. It is important to distinguish between the reconciliation of persons and things; the former is a present blessing, the latter is millennial blessing. `All things’ will be brought back to God, but not `all persons’ (Col. 1:20-21). Not all persons will be saved . Universal subjection to Christ of all in heaven, earth, and hell (Ph. 2:10) is certainly wider in its range and extent than all things in heaven and earth reconciled.
III. He has given us an Inheritance (Eph. 1:11)
A. In Christ we have a wonderful inheritance (1 Peter 1:1- and in Christ we are an inheritance. We are valuable to Him. Think of the price God paid to purchase us and make us part of His inheritance! God the Son is the Father’s love gift to us; and we are the Father’s love gift to His Son. Read John 17 and note how many times Christ calls us “those whom Thou hast given Me.” The church is Christ’s body (Eph. 1:22-23), building (Eph. 2:19-22), and bride (Eph. 5:22-23); Christ’s future inheritance is wrapped up in His church. We are “joint-heirs with Christ”. Whatever Christ’s is, is ours also.
B. The final result in receiving this inheritance is:
1. That we should be to the praise of his glory.
2. Everything that happens, our election, redemption, justification, pardon, adoption, regeneration, and eternal salvation; should always end up to the glory of God.
Illustration: The Light of the World
As George Matheson said, “Christ has illuminated the world, not by what He did, but by what He was; His life is the Light of Men. We speak of a man’s life-work; the work of Jesus was His life itself. . . . It is good to be told that the pure in heart shall see God, but the vision of heaven in a pure man’s face outweighs it all. They tell us that the Easter morning has revealed His glory; rather would I say that His glory has revealed the Easter morning. It is not resurrection that has made Christ; it is Christ that has made resurrection. To those who have seen His beauty, even Olivet can add no certainty; the light of immortality is as bright on His Cross as on His Crown. ‘I am the resurrection’ are His own words about Himself—not ‘I teach,’ not ‘I cause,’ not ‘I predict,’ but ‘I am.’ ”
Bible Illustrations – Illustrations of Bible Truths.
Forgiveness of our sins, making known to us the mystery of His will, giving us inheritance, making us co-owner with everything Christ has are blessings that we do not deserve but was given to us. It’s all freely given but it cost the Lord His precious blood and life. His love and blessings to us is immeasurable. Will you love Him also? Will you receive Him a your personal Saviour?