3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. 5 He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ 10 as a plan for the right time—to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him. 11 In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory. 13 In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. 14 The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.
Growing up in the southern part of the United States, I know there is one thing that must be done well: sweet tea. There is nothing like a perfectly cold glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day. The only thing that can make that tea bad is if the person who makes it goes light on the sugar. There are few things more shocking than when you expect to drink sweet tea, only to discover that you are basically drinking slightly sweetened, “unsweet” tea.
There are many of us who view the Lord and His grace in that way. Instead of realizing that the Lord has lavished His love and grace on us, we tend to think He has simply given us just enough to get by—just enough to get us into heaven.
However, Ephesians 1:3-14 tells us that not only has the Lord had a plan for our salvation, but He also delights in giving us every spiritual blessing in heaven, because it brings honor to His name. He “richly poured out” wisdom and understanding on us. In this passage Paul is telling the church in Ephesus that the Lord had a plan to adopt them since before the world was formed. They were chosen (v.4). God planned on adopting sinners into His own family, and He was going to accomplish this with Jesus’ death on the cross—a sinless Savior sacrificed for sinful people.
It is because of God’s plan that we have total and complete redemption, forgiveness, and a divine inheritance. All of this doesn’t lead to selfish indulgence or pride, but rather it causes His children to “bring praise to His glory.” Finally, God’s children are not left alone, but are “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” Paul says the Holy Spirit is our “down payment” or our assurance of salvation until Jesus returns or we go to be with the Lord in heaven.
So in the end, God’s rescue plan for us was thorough, complete, proactive, and lavish. This passage reminds us that we are not alone. God doesn’t just spoon feed us spiritual blessings, but pours them out on us so we might show the world that our Lord is a good God! Salvation is not just good for the afterlife, but for this life as well. We can rest assured that there will be hardship, but because we have every spiritual blessing from the Father, we face the troubles of this world with a different point of view and with a different power source.
You might be feeling left alone and abandoned today. Please know that you are God’s temple and His presence is always with you. Or you might have been a Christian your entire life, but your faith feels more like an academic exercise. Know that you are empowered to live a flourishing life which points back to Christ because of what God has given you. You are God’s child, you are God’s soldier, and you are God’s beloved. Live for Him today.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- In what ways does your relationship with Christ feel distant and disengaged? How does knowing that God’s grace is “richly poured out” upon you change that?
- How does knowing that God had a plan to redeem you before the foundation of the world change the way you see your salvation?
- What is one way today that you can outwardly express your gratitude for your salvation?