BIG IDEA: Before the foundations of the cosmos, in full knowledge of the rebellion that would come from his creation, knowing that the death of his Son would be the only means of redemption for his creation, God chose to create. God chose us.
The book of Ephesians relates God’s plan for creating a new society by his grace and for his glory. It is “…doctrine set to music. Just as [Paul] proclaimed God’s order to the post-Augustine Roman era which was marked by a process of social disintegration, so Ephesians is today the most contemporary book in the Bible, since it promises community in a world of disunity, reconciliation in the place of alienation and peace instead of war” (John Mackay, President Princeton Theological Seminary, 1948).
SCRIPTURE to CONSIDER: Ephesians 1:3-14
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love  he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.  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,  so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  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,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)
- God’s gifts are full: we have inherited all things from God because he has adopted us as his children.
- God’s gift of grace is deep and powerful: we are now forgiven through Christ and have right standing with God.
- God has been waiting a long time to give us his greatest gifts: before God created time itself, he chose us to redeem us out of love, and he has waited for that revelation to reach our hearts and turn us back to him.
- CONFUSING? The revelation that God chooses us before the foundation of the world, can be a confusing mystery to wrap our minds around. But that does not make it less true. When we receive this as revelation (see last week’s sermon) and do not immediately attempt to bring this truth down to our level of understanding, what we receive is the fullest definition of love that can possibly exist.
If when we read of the immensity of God’s love for us, we truly receive it, it will lead us into two obvious responses.
- We will Praise God: When we see God’s grace in it’s fullness, or even get a glimpse of its fullness, it will lead us “To The Praise of His Glorious Grace” #TTPOHGG
- We will want to read and re-read these revelations: While we are studying Ephesians, attempt to read through the book of Ephesians ONCE A WEEK. Read it is multiple translations (ESV, NIV, NASB, NLT, The Message, NKJV) and let the truth wash over you. I guarantee you will not be the same if you commit to doing this.
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Questions to Consider:
- How does God choosing us before the foundations of the world, change your perception of his love for us?
- How does knowing the fact he chose us knowing full well that he would have to send his Son to redeem us change the way you view his love?
- God freely chose to gift his blessedness based on no merit of ours. How does that change the way we think about the blessing we “own”?
- If you were created “to praise the glory of his glorious grace,” how do you feel like you are living in that calling?