On October 5th, 2014, Pastor Darin continued his series in Ephesians with a sermon from Ephesians 1:6-14 entitled The Purpose of God. In our text today, Paul focuses our attention on God’s eternal purposes, all of which are centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ in whom God now lavishes upon us His grace and love. So the message of the sermon is that God’s purpose is to display the lavishness of His grace toward us in Christ so that our lives would be changed forever. 3 points to related to this:
1. What is God’s Purpose?
a. God is purposeful. God created all things in an orderly fashion and acts with purposeful precision in all things to include your life. Example: Joseph. In Genesis 50:20, we read that what happened to Joseph was meant for evil by his brothers, but, God meant it for good. God had a purpose for the evil which would be for the good of His people. Dig Deeper: Read Rom 8:28-29 with Phil 1:29. God’s sovereign purposes in all that we endure is our conformity to the image of Christ (see Rom 8:29). Rest in His sovereign purposes.
b. Verses 9-10 are the centerpiece of the text that shed light on God’s ultimate purpose which was a mystery in that it had not yet been fully revealed until Jesus came to earth. But now v. 10 says that God’s purpose is to unite all things in heaven and on earth in Christ. Eph 2:6-7 sheds light on this where it says we were “raised us up with [Christ] and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” The purpose of God is a display of His grace which is immeasurable toward us in Christ.
1) Dig deeper: Read Rom 9:22–24. God could wipe out all evil immediately, but He is longsuffering to make known the riches of His glory. What if God had wiped you out before you came to Christ? God wants to open your eyes to a greater sense of His grace.
2) Dig deeper: “all things in heaven and earth” means that the entire creation (along with God’s redeemed people) will be glorified when Christ returns to create the new heavens and new earth (Rom 8:17-25; Rev 21:1-5).
3) Dig deeper: Tip for your bible study: look for key words and/or phrases, especially those that are repeated. In this passage, key words/phrases are “purpose” and “in Christ” (or “in Him”). This helps us to begin to understand the big idea of the text.
2. How does God display His Purpose?
In verse. 10, the word for “unite” was used for the closing arguments in Roman court cases. Paul is summarizing the closing argument about how all things are summed up in Christ and what God thinks of us in Christ. Three ways that God displays His grace come into view:
a. In Christ I have forgiveness: Verse 7 “redemption” = pay the price that sets the slaves free. Your sins give you a debt that you can’t pay. Jesus says look at my wounds on the cross, I have paid the debts. The result of this redemption: forgiven of our trespasses.
1) Dig deeper: we must come to grips with the fact and the depth of our sin before a holy God that is deserving of eternal condemnation. Think of it: the eternal Son of God shed His blood for sinners like you! The work of Christ on the cross is at the heart of this text, God’s Word, and the Gospel. We must keep the person and work of Christ before us every day to fully appreciate and appropriate God’s grace and goodness toward us. Read and reflect on Heb 12:1-3 and 1 Cor 1:17-31; 1 Cor 2:2.
2) Dig deeper: Christ is at the center and the reason for everything good that comes to me from God. Every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ (v. 3). God lavishes His grace on me and loves me because I am in Christ. He has justifies me because I am in Christ. He adopts me and gives me an inheritance that will never fade away because I am in Christ.
3) Dig deeper: Some don’t go to church because they think they’re not good enough. But never think that grace corresponds to something good in you and your performance. That’s the opposite of grace! God lavishes His grace and love on you not because of you, but because of Christ. So rest in Christ and His perfect work on your behalf.
b. In Christ I have an inheritance (Rom 8:17-23; Matt 5:5; Rev 21:1-7). Ultimately, Christ is our supreme treasure and God is our inheritance. Dig deeper: How would your life change if you took hold of this promise? No matter how good or bad things are on earth, God is preparing something for us that is far greater. So, set your minds there (Col 3:1-2).
c. In Christ I am sealed by the Holy Spirit (verse 13): the seal is the stamp of the King that authenticates His message. If you are believer, the Holy Spirit—the third person of the Trinity—is the guarantee from the desk of God that all of His promises in Christ are yours, and you will be preserved to the end to inherit the promises that are yours in Christ.
3. God’s Purpose Brings Change
a. If you have not trusted in Christ, turn from your sins and trust in Him alone today so that you can partake of all of the lavish grace and love of God that is found only in Jesus Christ!
b. If you are in Christ, have you forgotten what God has done for you? Have you thought that God is only a little gracious toward you? God wants you to discover more and more of his grace. How? By setting your gaze each day upon the person and work of Jesus, who shed His blood so that you could be a partaker of the glorious riches of God’s immeasurable grace. This grace teaches us to live a life that keeps turning away from sin and toward God, so that we can praise Him for His glorious grace and bring Him glory! Amen.