God's Great Purpose in Christ

Studies in Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

The Election of Grace

Ephesians 1:3-4 • February 10, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

No doctrine provides more comfort and assurance while at the same time generating so much debate as does the doctrine of election. What does it mean that God has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world? Does God choose some people for salvation and condemn others to hell even if they desire to be saved? If God sovereignly chooses those whom He saves, why does anyone need to repent and believe? These and other questions raised by the doctrine of election are considered in this message,

In Praise of the Trinity: Stanza 1, Part 2

Ephesians 1:3-6a • February 10, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Before we examine the particular blessings which are ours from God the Father through Jesus Christ it is essential that we consider the character of the God from whom these blessings flow. Paul has one phrase to describe God's character: "the glory of His grace."

"The God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ"

Ephesians 1:3 • February 3, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Behind all of the events of human history, and all of the events of your life - both insignificant and life-altering, is God. Paul’s primary objective in his letter to these Ephesians is to demonstrate that the world is not operating by blind fate (1:9-10). There is a God who is in absolute control over the events of history - and your life. This God is a Father. ​

In Praise of the Trinity: Stanza 1

Ephesians 1:3-14 • January 27, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

These twelve verses in our English Bibles are actually three stanzas in the original language, each stanza focused on the work of one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity in devising, executing, and making effectual God's great purpose to redeem sinners.

"The Saints and Faithful in Christ Jesus"

Ephesians 1:1 • January 27, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

DUE TO A TECHNICAL ISSUE THE LAST TEN MINUTES OF THIS SERMON WAS NOT RECORDED. Our being IN Christ does not diminish the responsibilities we have AT Ephesus. But the reality of our lives AT Ephesus must be shaped by who we are IN Christ, and not by the prevailing culture. How then are we to live IN Christ AT Ephesus? The answer, Paul says, is as "saints" and "faithful." What does a saint look like? What does it mean to be faithful?

"At Ephesus...In Christ"

Ephesians 1:1 • January 20, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Our being "in Christ" does not negate the necessity and responsibilities of our being "at Ephesus," which is to say, citizens of the particular communities in which we live. But our being "in Christ" necessarily creates a tension with the prevailing culture within which we must live as "saints" and "faithful in Christ Jesus." How do we navigate this tension?

Chosen in Him

Ephesians 1:4 • January 13, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Why is anyone a Christian? In the eternal purposes of God, from the foundation of the world, God chose a people for Himself in Christ out of all of those who have been justly condemned as objects of His wrath. He did this not because of any merit in those He chose, but according to the good pleasure of His will, according to the exceeding greatness of his grace, according to the riches of His mercy.

The Mystery of His Will

Ephesians 1:9-10 • January 13, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

In Ephesians we are brought face to face with God. In the very first verse and throughout the first chapter we are confronted with the glory of God in His eternal plan - the mystery of His will - to redeem a people for Himself. The mystery of God's will is devised in the counsel of His will according to the good pleasure of His will. God is behind all of the events of history for the praise of His glory and to redeem His people out of the world.

Introducing Ephesians: "Grace and Peace"

January 6, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Our identity in Christ is not a result of us doing the imperatives of Ephesians 4 - 6, but rather resting in the indicatives of all that God has done for us in Christ in Ephesians 1 - 3.