Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Study in Ephesians: Pt. 5, Ephesians 1:3-14

The Centrality of Christ

In just 11 verses, Paul refers to various aspects of our salvation and the Father's plan as being "in Christ" or "through Christ" 9 times.
  • We have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens (Eph 1:3)
  • We have been chosen in Christ, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in the Father's sight (Eph 1:4)
  • We have been predestined to be adopted into the family of the Father through Christ (Eph 1:5)
  • We have been favored in Christ with the glorious grace of the Father (Eph 1:6)
  • We have been redeemed in Christ through His blood (Eph 1:7)
  • The Father has revealed to us the mystery of His will, which He planned in Christ (Eph 1:9)
  • This plan of the Father is that, at the proper time, all things in heaven and on earth will be brought together (or brought under one authority) in Christ (Eph 1:10)
  • We have received an inheritance from the Father in Christ (Eph 1:11)
  • We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit* through faith in Christ (Eph 1:13)
Have you ever noticed how easy it is for people to either talk about or look past talk about "God," but that those same people are either uncomfortable with or offended by the name of Jesus? Jesus Christ is the central foundation of the Father's plan to bring glory to Himself through our redemption. Jesus is the One in whose name we pray, and He is the One that cults twist and misrepresent. Jesus is the One to whom every knee will one day bow, and He is the One the world seeks to denigrate as a mythological figure. Jesus is the One who will one day defeat satan and all the evil in this world, and it is only in Jesus that salvation for our sins can be found. Everything of any eternal significance in this world is centered around Jesus Christ.

Even in the centrality of Christ, we see a picture of something that is not normally found in those who are at the center of anything. Christ is central, and yet He is not the first Person of the Trinity. Jesus said He came not to do His own will but the will of the Father (John 6:38). In the ordering of roles in the Godhead, we see in Jesus a submission to the Father. I think the lesson we can learn from this is that submission of our own will to those in authority over us is part of the Christ-likeness we should be striving for. We see that in the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to claim the name of Jesus Christ. No one can be saved apart from Jesus Christ, the historical man, the second Person of the Trinity, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, our Savior and our Lord. I encourage you to be bold with the name of Jesus. I also encourage you to emulate Christ in His submission to the Father, submitting to the leading of your spiritual leaders as they themselves submit to God (Hebrews 13:7).

*See slight correction here.

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