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Ephesians 1:3-6



Intro: We have been in these four glorious verses for the past month or so. As we discovered when we began this study, Paul is praising the Lord in these verses. In fact his anthem of praise runs all the way through verse 14.

      In these first four verses Paul praises God the Father for His sovereign work in salvation. Paul tells us in verse 3 that God Is To Be Praised For His Charity. God is so good to His people! Since He is a good God, He has good thoughts toward those He loves. His good thoughts toward the redeemed manifest themselves in good gifts to His people. I think God deserves to be praised for that, don’t you?

      Then, in verse 4, Paul tells us that God Is To Be Praised For His Choices. This verse drew us into deep spiritual waters, but we found out that our salvation was not an accident. It was part of God’s eternal plan. He loved us in spite of our lost, sinful condition and He saved us by His amazing, marvelous, incomparable grace. I think He deserves praise for that also. How about you?

      As we move into verses 5 and 6, Paul tells us that God Is To Be Praised For The Consequences. His love for us, and His choice of us in salvation, produces for us some powerful and eternal consequences. I want to share those consequences with you today.

      When I am through, I hope you will agree with me that God Is The Be Praised For The Consequences of His love and of His salvation. Let’s examine those consequences together today.


I.  v. 4b    THE SAINTS HAVE

                    BEEN ALTERED

(Ill. God’s purpose in election is to save some from sin and redeem them by His grace. God’s elective decree is eternal and unchangeable. What God purposed in eternity past, He brings to pass in time. Every single person He chose in Jesus before the foundation of the world will be saved, and will join Him in Heaven some day.

      While that is God’s eternal purpose, His elective decree has consequences in the world today. When a lost sinner is saved by the grace of God, that lost sinner is forever altered by the salvation God gives in Jesus Christ. This verse mentioned two of those consequences.)

A.  We Are Altered In Our Practice – The verse says that, after salvation, “we should be holy”. The word “holy” refers to “a most holy thing”. It brings to mind the holy things in the Tabernacle and the Temple that were set aside for the exclusive use of the Lord.

      When we are saved, we become “saints”, v. 1. We become a “holy thing”, set apart for the Master’s use. Now, we all know that we all fall short in our practice. None of us is a holy as he or she should be. We also know that we are not a wicked as we used to be.

      In other words, if you are saved, there has been a change in your life, 2 Cor. 5:17. You have been set apart and you have been commanded to live your life under the will of God our Father, 1 Pet. 1:16; 2 Cor. 6:17. He purchased us to Himself when Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, 1 Pet. 1:18-19. Now, we are His! He owns us in both body and in spirit, 1 Cor. 6:19-20.

      If we are saved, we are His and we are not what we used to be! We have been radically and fundamentally changed by the power of His Spirit.

B.  We Are Altered In Our Position – We are to be “holy” in our practice, but we are declared to be “blameless” in our position. The word translated “blameless” means “without blemish; faultless; unblameable”. It is the same word that would have been used to describe a perfect sacrificial animal.

      Now, we all know that we are not perfect. We all know that we are still wicked sinners prone to failure and gross sin. While we may not be perfect in our day-to-day walk, the Lord sees us as He has made us through our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

      According to the Bible, when we came to Jesus for salvation, God “justified” us. Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” and Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

      The word “justified” means “to render or declare one to be just, righteous, or as he ought to be.” When we were saved, God imputed the perfect righteousness to our account and declared us to be perfect in His sight, Rom. 4:20-25. When God sees one of His redeemed children, He does not see a sinner fit for Hell, He sees a saint worthy of Heaven! He does not see us as we are; He sees us as He has made us in Jesus.

      In Jesus we are complete, Col. 2:10. In Jesus we are secure and we are headed for glory, not because of what we have done, but all because of the perfect, finished work of Christ on the cross!


  I.  The Saints Have Been Altered



                     BEEN ADOPTED

(Ill. Not only have the saints of God been altered by the power of grace in salvation, we have also been adopted into God’s family. These verses reveal several truths about this matter of our adoption into God’s family.)

A.  The Results Of Our Adoption – The moment we were saved, we were adopted into the family of God. Human adoption is a wonderful thing. When human parents choose a child to adopt, they do so because they have found a child they love and want to be a blessing to. That is wonderful.

      Humans have been adopting children for thousands of years. In fact, adoption was quite common in the Roman world. When a Roman citizen adopted a child, certain rules applied that brought great benefit to the one being adopted. The word "adoption" means“to place as a son”. The picture of adoption is a beautiful picture of what God does for the repentant sinner.

      In the ancient world the family was based on a Roman law called "patria potestas", or “the father's power”. The law gave the father absolute authority over his children so long as the father lived. He could work, enslave, sell, and if he wished, he could pronounce the death penalty. Regardless of the child's adult age, the father held all power over personal and property rights.

      Therefore, adoption was a serious matter. Yet, it was a common practice to ensure that a family would not become extinct by having no male children. When a child was adopted, three legal steps were taken.

1. The adopted son was adopted permanently. He could not be adopted today and disinherited tomorrow. He became a son of the father--forever. He was eternally secure as a son.

2. The adopted son immediately had all the rights of a legitimate son in the new family.

3. The adopted son completely lost all rights in his old family. The adopted son was looked upon as a new person, so new that old debts and obligations connected with his former family were cancelled out and abolished as if they never existed.

      That is what happened to us when we came to Jesus Christ for salvation. We were instantly adopted into God’s family and became, as the text says, “children”, Rom. 8:15. We were removed from our old family, and placed in Jesus. We were removed from the death and darkness of our past, and reborn into the family and kingdom of God, Col. 1:13. So now, in Jesus Christ, we are the sons of God, 1 John 3:2; Gal. 4:6. That will remain our standing throughout eternity!

B.  The Road To Our AdoptionVerse 5 says that God “predestinated us unto the adoption of children”. The word “predestinated” bothers a lot of people. It should not cause us concern. On the contrary, it should fill our hearts with praise. The word means, “to foreordain, to decide beforehand, to predetermine”.

      Election has to do with God’s choice of some for salvation in eternity past. Predestination has to do with God’s work in time to bring us to faith in Christ. Election determined who would be saved. Predestination determined that all those who would be saved would be adopted into God’s family as His children. The ultimate goal of predestination is God taking lost sinners, saving them by His grace and making them like His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

      It seems that God would not be satisfied until He had surrounded Himself with sons and daughters. It seems that God would not be satisfied until He had filled His family with a redeemed people who had been conformed to the image of His darling Son, Rom. 8:28-30. It seems that God would not be satisfied until He had claimed for His Son a perfect, holy and redeemed Bride, in whom was no spot or blemish, Eph. 5:25-27.

      So, God was at work before you were born to see to it that you would cross paths with the Gospel at the precise moment when you would be ready to hear it, repent of your sins and embrace Jesus Christ for your salvation.

      Every event in our lives, up to the moment we were saved, was God working to bring us to faith in Jesus Christ. Every hurt, every heartbreak, every move, every miracle, every valley, every victory, every broken promise, every shattered dream, everything that took place in life was God placing us sovereignly, precisely, perfectly, so that we would hear the Gospel, believe on Jesus, be saved by grace, and become a child of God. Thank God for how He brought us to Jesus!

C.  The Realm Of Our Adoption – The only place adoption could occur was “by Jesus Christ”. When the Son gave His life to redeem His Bride from her bondage in sin, the door was opened for us to be adopted by the Father. Salvation is possible only because of what the Son did for us on Calvary, Eph. 1:7. The death of Jesus on the cross made our adoption by the Father a reality.

D.  The Reasons For Our Adoption – The reasons for our adoption as sons are twofold. First, God predestined us to the adoption of children “in love”, according to verse 4. God loved us, and because He set His love on us, He redeemed us and placed us in His family.

      Now, I will be the first to admit that I cannot fathom the love of God. How can an infinitely holy God love such vile creatures as us? Yet, the Bible tells us clearly that He does, Jer. 31:3. In fact, His love for us was so great that He gave His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins, John 3:16; Rom. 5:8. Even when we were trapped in the darkness and deadness of our sins, God Almighty loved us, Eph. 2:1-4. We are His because He loved us!

      The second reason for our adoption has to do with “the good pleasure of His will”. God chose us, redeemed us and adopted us for no other reason that it pleased Him to do so. There was, and is, nothing in any of us that would cause God to set His grace and love on us. He did everything He did for us in spite of what we are.

      Thank God that He did everything He did just because it brought Him pleasure. He did what He did because doing it the way He did it brought Him the most glory! He did what He did because He loved us!


  I.  The Saints Have Been Altered

 II. The Saints Have Been




                   BEEN ACCEPTED

(Ill. I have already touched on this earlier in the message. But, God has accepted us through our relationship with Jesus Christ. When God saved us, He justified us, declaring us holy and adopting us as His children. This verse adds to that thought.)

A.  The Place Of Our Acceptance – This verse says that He has “made us accepted in the beloved”. This simply means that it is a relationship with Jesus that makes a person acceptable to the Lord God.

      God will never accept anyone on his or her own merits. The best we fallen humans can produce within ourselves is wretched and dirty in the eyes of the Lord, Isa. 64:6. Apart from Jesus, all of our efforts at religion and holiness are a sinful abomination to the Lord, Rom. 14:23.

      But, when a lost soul comes to Jesus by faith, that lost sinner is forgiven of sin, adopted into the family of God and accepted by the Father in Heaven. Jesus, and Jesus alone, makes the difference between a life that is lost is God’s eyes and in one that is saved. John put it this way, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life,”1 John 5:12.

      Several other verses make this thought even clearer:

·      John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

·      John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

·      John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

·      1 Cor. 1:30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”

      The question for you today is this: Are you in the Son? Have you believed on Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation. If so, you should rejoice! If not, you should come to Jesus right now and call on Him for salvation! The place, and only place, for our acceptance is in the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ!

B. The Purpose Of Our Acceptance – Why did God do all this for us? Why did He set His love on us? Why did He want us to be His children? Why did He choose us? Why did He send Jesus to die for us? Why did God do all these things for the likes of sinners like us? He did it for “the praise of the glory of His grace”.

      Above all, God elects, saves, converts, keeps and blesses for His Own glory. As Paul would say in Phil. 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” There is no other explanation. God does everything He does for His Own glory.

      If you look at creation, everything that exists glorifies the Lord. Everything does His will and brings Him glory. The beasts of the field glorify God, Isa. 43:20. The heavens above declare His glory, Psa. 19:1. The only rebels in God’s universe are fallen angels and fallen men. Everything else glorifies and honors God.

      The fallen angels have all been condemned to judgment already. They are hopelessly lost forever. And, fallen men who will not repent of sin and turn to Jesus for salvation will join the fallen angels in flames of Hell, where they will endure God’s wrath for eternity.

      Before this world was formed, God chose a Body for His Son. God chose to redeem some from sin so that He might be glorified through their salvation. God so worked out His plan that no one would be able to take credit for what had been done. God did the choosing. God did the saving. God did the converting. God does the keeping.

      Those He has redeemed by grace live for Him in this world, bringing glory and honor to His name. That is why God completed the plan of salvation before He ever created the world. He did it so that no man might claim the glory that belongs to Him alone.

      If we had a part in our salvation, we would brag about what we did. Since we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, we have no ground from which to boast. We were just dead, blind sinners on our way to Hell when He called us to come to Jesus. When we came, He gave us the faith to believe and He saved us by His grace. Now, we are in Him, eternally saved, and kept by His power. We can do nothing but lift our hands and voices to Him in praise for what He has done in saving us. Thus, we should live every moment of our lives for His glory, 1 Cor. 10:31. We owe Him that!


Conc: My friend, are you saved? Has God, in His sovereign power, come to where you were, calling you to Jesus and saving your soul? Do you understand that you have what you have in Jesus simply because He got glory and received pleasure from your salvation? Don’t you think you should humble yourself before Him to thank Him for His grace in salvation? Don’t you think you should live every moment for the praise of His glory?

      If you aren’t saved, I invite you to come to Jesus Christ today. If He is calling you to come to Him, He will save you. He will not turn you away, John 6:37.

      Has He spoken to your heart through this message? If so, you come and obey Him as He leads you today!

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