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.
The Mystery of His Will
January 13, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards
"To Praise of His Glory"
Ephesians 1:14 • March 10, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards
Paul's three-fold use of 'to the praise of His glory" in Ephesians 1 is rooted in his Old Testament understanding of God's initiative in claiming a people for himself in texts like Deuteronomy 7:6-11. Our response to God's choosing us is lives lived for his praise.
"You Heard, You Believed, You Trusted"
Ephesians 1:12-14 • March 10, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards
We come now to the third and final stanza of Paul’s Great Hymn of Praise to the Trinity. How do we reconcile v. 4 (“chosen in Him before the foundation of the world”) with v. 13 (“you heard, you believed, you trusted”)? If our salvation is all of grace and due entirely to God’s choosing us before the foundation of the world, why is it necessary for us to believe the gospel and to trust in Jesus Christ? God does not save any man or woman against their will. God’s choosing is not God coercing. And yet it is also true that because man is “dead in trespasses and in sins” (2:1), no unbeliever would be willing to believe the gospel and trust in Jesus Christ without God first bringing that person to spiritual life. God persuades the will. He makes the gospel attractive to us. “The goodness of God leads you to repentance.” How then does God bring us to spiritual life?