Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Study in Ephesians: Pt. 2, Ephesians 1:3-14

Chosen, Redeemed, and Sealed

There is so much in these few verses. I will probably spend several posts here. One thing that is really interesting to me is that much of what God is showing me I have seen by considering these verses as a whole rather than individually. Paul is weaving several thoughts throughout this section, and it can be easy to miss such insights if we only go to familiar verses without considering the surrounding context.

There is a beautiful picture of the Trinity in these 12 verses. The Father chooses, the Son redeems, and the Spirit seals. Each person of the Godhead has a role to play in the salvation of each of God's children.

Before the foundation of the world, the Father chose us in Christ (Ephesians 1:4). That was His plan from before time began,  and He did this magnify the beauty of His grace (Ephesians 1:6). A church I was attending a while back did a study on Ephesians, and they described it this way: We are trophies of God's grace. One of the purposes of your life as a believer is to serve as a testimony to the grace of God. And one of the best ways you can do that is to give that grace to others.

Every time someone wrongs you, you have an opportunity to show grace. Can God take delight in your actions when such an opportunity arises? Are you shining in God's trophy case of grace as a example God can point to? Or are you a trophy covered in the dust, dirt, and grime of sinful responses to hardships in your life?

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God... (ESV)