Ephesians 1:7-14

Ok, verses 7-14, we’ll pick it up at the end of verse 6.

[6] to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

In the previous blog, we ended saying that God blessed us so that we would praise Him and His grace. Paul continues in verse 6 to say that it is in God’s grace that we have been blessed in the Beloved (Jesus). Paul then moves forward to identify how God’s grace has blessed us, or some of the specific things we, as Christians, can directly attribute to God’s grace.

Before we can look at this though, we must make sure we understand what we are talking about when we use the word “grace”. Merriam-Webster defines grace as “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification”. The Greek word for grace is charis, and conveys a similar meaning, only it uses the word “favor” instead of “assistance”. Grace is the unmerited favor of God.

So, when we think of grace, we must realize three things:

1) It is a gift
2) Being a gift, it is not something that we can earn. God’s grace was poured out on us completely independent of anything we may have done.
3) The fact that God gives us the gift of grace, something we can’t earn and don’t deserve, means that it was something that we lacked, something we needed.

If grace was something we could earn, or something we deserved, it wouldn’t be grace. What we received from God would not be favor, or a gift, it would be a wage, something we are paid in return for services rendered in some form or fashion. Yet, Paul uses the word grace to rightly proclaim that what we have received from God is not something we have earned, but something we have been given despite the inability to earn it.

Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV

[7] In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, [8] which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight [9] making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ [10] as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. [11] In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, [12] so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. [13] In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, [14] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

The Blessings of Grace:
1) Redemption through Christ’s blood. The word redemption literally means “a releasing for a ransom”, to be purchased out of slavery to sin, never to be sold again. Sin was our master, we did as sin commanded us, and we had no alternative because sin was our master. Jesus’ blood was the payment necessary to release us from our bondage to sin and enable us to do that which is right in God’s eyes.

2) Forgiveness of sins. People tend to treat redemption and forgiveness as the same thing, and while they are definitely interlinked, Paul mentions them separately for a reason. While the redemption is the act of purchasing us from slavery to sin, forgiveness is the official pardoning of those crimes against God and our fellow man. Redemption is changing our nature from being enslaved and owned by Sin, and forgiveness is the washing away of the previous actions our old nature caused us to perform. It is seeing our crimes and passing a verdict of “Not Guilty” because the price has been paid by Christ’s blood.

3) Revelation of the mystery of God’s will. This phrase in the Greek refers to the revelation of something that was previously either partially or completely hidden in the past, but has now been made more fully known.

4) Unity in Christ. Paul makes it clear that God’s will is to unite all things in Christ. This is such a blessing to Christians because all of us spend our lives searching for a place to belong and community. God has met this need and desire in Christ, by uniting us together with each other and Him through Christ’s blood.

5) Obtained an Inheritance. The Greek behind this text, according to the ESV Study Bible, literally means “to allot [a portion]”. This means that though we are receiving the inheritance, it is God who is allotting the inheritance to us. Just as a person would write out a will before they die, God assigned Christians our inheritance (eternal life with Him) from eternity past, before the world was created, and that inheritance was distributed upon Jesus’ death.

6) Security. The final blessing that Paul lists here is security. We have security in Christ because God declared our relationship with Him in eternity past (1:4), predestined the timing of our coming to know Jesus as Lord and Savior (1:5, 11), and then sent us the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of the inheritance we will receive. God set things in motion by choosing and predestining us, Jesus paid the price for us to be redeemed and reconciled with God, and the Holy Spirit is the down payment until we receive our inheritance in full, either when we die or when Jesus returns.

The Reason:
Why is God doing this? Didn’t we commit open treason in the Garden of Eden? Don’t we commit treason on a daily basis? Why is God sparing any of us?

Ephesians 1:6, 12, and 14 tell us that God is doing all of this for the purpose of bringing Himself glory. While these verses say much about Christians, they say much more about the King. As much as God has done for Christians, and even non-Christians when we consider the common grace He shows everyone through Christ, we are all merely reaping the benefits of God working to display His own glory. And that is absolutely fantastic!

One response to “Ephesians 1:7-14

  1. Pingback: Ephesians 1:15-23 | TransformingWords

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