Ephesians 1:3-14, Why God’s People Praise Him
1. God Blessed Us With Every Spiritual Blessing (v3)
2. God Loved Us And Chose Us From The Beginning (v4-6)
3. God Purchased Our Freedom And Forgave Our Sins (v7-8)
4. God Gave Us An Inheritance In His Good Plan (v9-11)
5. God Gave Us The Holy Spirit As A Guarantee (v12-14)
Ephesians 1:3-14, Why God’s People Praise Him
Ephesians 1:3-14, Why God’s People Praise Him
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Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:00:00]:
This morning, as we look at Ephesians chapter 1, I've titled the message, why God's people praise him. Why do God's people praise him? One of the reasons, of course, is because God instructs us to He commands us to. He is worthy and deserving of all praise. But as Paul unloads here, these verses versus 3 through 14 in Ephesians chapter 1, he really pours out some incredible benefits that we have in Christ. And and as you reflect on these things, it it really is the only appropriate response to praise the Lord in light of what he has done and the great extent to which he has loved us and demonstrated that love. I like the way that Patrick Thomas Constable could encourages us to think about it. He says, in the Greek text, verses 3 through 14 are one sentence. Now, we're not gonna do it right now, but read through versus 3 through 14 again and think about that.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:01:03]:
It's one sentence, super complex, super dense. This is one incredible line that Paul wrote the Greek scholar, Kenneth Weiss, says it's probably the longest most important doctrinal words that have ever existed in one sentence. So powerful sentence that we're looking at today in verses 3 through 14. But going on and from Thomas Consible, he says it is as though Paul was ecstatically opening a treasure chest, lifting its jewels with his hands, letting them cascade through his fingers and marveling briefly at them as they caught his eye. That's kind of the picture that I I think helps us to understand what what is happening here. He's lifting up all of these treasures that we in the Lord, and and he's just like getting giving us a a glimmer of them. There's the light bounces off, you know. The the sparkle happens.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:02:00]:
It's like, this one and that one and this other one and and this beauty and that joy and this promise and this work. There's so much packed into these verses about what God has done for us. But as I was reflecting on these verses and preparing for today, we'll talk about some of those shiny points and those things that God has done for us. What what caught my eye first was the aspect of praise that is throughout this passage. Did you notice that? As I was reading through that there, check out verse 3 at the beginning. Paul says, all praise to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And so, from the beginning, as he's starting this letter, he's calling everyone to give all praise to God. This passage is a call to praise God.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:02:55]:
And then in verse 6, as he's continuing on in the reflection of what we have in the Lord. He says, so We praise God as a direct response to what God has done and and the truths that are being being uncovered here So we praise God. Then jumping to verse 12, he talks about us being the praise I'm sorry, we bring praise and glory to God. Again, in light of the work that God has done, the work that God is doing, the things that he has promised, our response is to bring praise to god. And then in verse 14, the very end of the verse. He says he did this. All that he did, he did this. So we would praise and glorify him.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:03:47]:
So four times, here in these verses, we see this call to praise, this response of praise to who God is and what he has done. 3 of the four times, Paul couples the word glory with the word praise. In verse 6, he says, we praise God for the glorious grace. In verse 12, he says, we bring praise and glory to God. In verse 14, he says, he did this so we would praise and glorify him. This passage is a call to praise God, to bring him Glory. And what does that mean? And how can we really do that? Just talking about praise and glory for a moment before we dive into these gems that Paul has pulled out of the treasure chest for us. To praise In verse 3, it's a different word than the rest of the words that are translated praise and the rest of the passage.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:04:51]:
Verse 3 is different. And it speaks of the inherit worthiness of praise that God has. All praise to God, because God is due all praise. Everything good comes from God. Every good thing is found in God. He is the one who truly is worthy of praise. And so, it speaks of his character. It speaks of his worthiness of praise.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:05:23]:
Throughout the rest of the passage verse 6, 1214 when Paul uses the word praise, It could also literally be translated, applause, or commendation. So we praise God. Yes. Good job, God. We praise God. We applaud God. We commend God. We praise God.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:05:46]:
We lift up our voices. And so this is a response to the God who is worthy of all praise. Now there's a lot of things that we praise. It is, of course, the common thing. I know you've experienced it everywhere you shop, every restaurant you go to, every store that you shouldn't buy stuff from, they want you to praise them. Will you please fill out this recommendation, will you please give a review and praise the store? Not praise the lord. Right? Praise the store. that's what they want you to do.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:06:22]:
And and we do. We get excited about something. You find a really good taco place and all of a sudden you're telling everybody you know Hey, there's this really good I found this taco place. They got the best tacos I ever had in my whole life and and we're we're praising the store, praising the restaurant, praising our, you know, favorite teams, our favorite shows, our favorite people, our favorite parties, whatever it might be. We have no problem praising. This morning, let us be reminded that the only one who truly deserves and is worthy of our praise verse 3, all praise, all praise. All praise to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He really is, the one who is worthy of all applause the one who is worthy of all commendation, the one who is worthy of all good speaking and all great reviews, he he alone is worthy.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:07:23]:
of all praise. And so we praise God. We clap our hands at him. We lift up our voices. We tell the stories. We tell other people about how good God is and what he has done. We praise God and The call here is to give him glory or to glorify God. This word, glorify is perhaps more internal than you might immediately think.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:07:54]:
It literally means to think or to recognize. the idea here is to recognize who god is. Recognize the worthiness of God. It's to have a favorable mindset towards God, to have a strong opinion about the reputation, the honor of God. Yes, it does have an outward form that we glorify God and that we help others to accept and adopt that same perspective on God. So that they would think and recognize the glory of God, the splendor of God, the perfection of God. But we don't glorify God in the sense that we add to his glory. That's impossible.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:08:41]:
We direct ourselves and perhaps others to praise God, to have our our minds sets recognizing the glory, the honor, having a favorable opinion of God. giving him the recognition and our own hearts and minds that he is worthy of. And so we need to Praise God. This passage is a call to praise God, to applaud him, to set our minds to think about who he is and the worth that he has, the value that he is, and and how far he exceeds everything else that could be compared with him. These are not things that we have a struggle doing in this life. We praise things. We have glory take glory in things. But sometimes, we direct them to the wrong places.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:09:41]:
And so this morning, let's walk through these verses. And let's let these gems that Paul uncovers help us to bring ourselves back, bring our hearts back, bring our voices back, bring our minds back to a place where we praise, God and glory in Him above all else. We're gonna look at verse 3 for point number 1. God blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Here's why God's people praise him. We praise God because God blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Verse 3 says, all praise to God. the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:10:35]:
Verse 3 is a preview verse. It's overarching everything God has blessed us with everything everything in Christ. We have already He's done the work and blessed us with every spiritual blessing. And so I'll praise to God. This is why we praise God. Because he has blessed us. And I would call to your attention here the tents. God has blessed us.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:11:10]:
What does that mean? That means that he has already done this. The blessing has already been given. Now, don't let that discourage you and think, well, it's already been given and I missed out or it's ran out. No. What Paul is establishing here is that this work has been accomplished and it doesn't run out. And and all of these blessings that he's about to lay out before us in the coming verses, they're all in the past tense. It it is all about what God has already done for us. you know, sometimes as believers, we can kind of approach God with the what have you done for me lately kind of attitude? Right? I don't feel blessed because, you know, this week has been this or this month has been that.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:12:05]:
What have you done for me lately, God? Paul says, look, God deserves all of our praise because of what he has already done. What has already been accomplished is worthy of all of our praise for the rest of our days, even if God never does anything further for us. what he has already done deserves all of our praise for all of our days. All praise to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We're talking about the father here. Yes, we're talking about the son. We're talking about Jesus, but praise to the father. And and this is important because sometimes we kind of misunderstand the relationship between the father and the son and the father and us, and we feel like Jesus is our friend and the father is our enemy.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:13:02]:
And and it it's only for Jesus that, you know, we have any blessings at all, but but here Paul is reminding us. It's the father who has blessed us. It's the father who loves you. It's the father who chose you. We'll see that in a couple verses. It It's the father and the son of course working in unison, but but they're not at odds with each other on this. God the father blessed you with every spiritual blessing. Here's why we praise God, because everything that is good for you, everything that has eternal value, everything that you will enjoy and benefit from for all of eternity, every spiritual blessing he's blessed you with.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:13:56]:
It's promised to you. It's been given to you. It has been declared every spiritual blessing, everything that you need has been given. This is pretty incredible to think about. How many times do we feel like we are lacking in the physical or in the spiritual? that that we don't recognize. We are missing out on what the Lord has provided for us. And sometimes we need to be reminded, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, Paul goes on to say, in the heavenly realms. And so we're not talking about Everyone is gonna have all the material things that you can ever want or wish for, all the financial resources that you could ever desire.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:15:00]:
This isn't primarily talking about things in the arena of this lifetime. or the physical, but it's in the heavenly realms. They're spiritual blessings. And sometimes that makes us go, oh, well, you know, that's okay then. You can just keep it. You know, it doesn't really help me very much right now. but it does. Listen, God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:15:29]:
although we live in a physical world, although we live in this time, we are not completely separated from the spiritual realms or the spiritual blessings we survive off of. when Jesus talks about that that he desires to give us joy, abundant joy, He's talking about spiritual blessings. He's not talking about physical joys. He's talking about what he is going to do within us internally. He's talking about Spiritual blessings. When he says, I'm gonna give you a piece that the world can't give and that can't be taken away. He's talking about spiritual blessings. You know, all the things that people use in this life, the physical things, the material things, the financial things, they're trying to get spiritual blessings with things that could never purchase those things.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:16:22]:
They're trying to find hope and joy and peace and fulfillment and satisfaction. They're they're trying to find love. Spiritual of blessings. And they're trying to exchange physical things and think if I have enough resources, if I have enough friends, if I have enough popularity, if I have enough power, then I'll have spiritual blessings, but it doesn't work that way. But here we are as believers. And Paul says, I'll praise to god because he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. I like what pastor Charles bridging says about this. He says, our thanks are due to God for all temporal blessings.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:17:05]:
They are more than we deserve. But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujah's for spiritual blessings, a new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of god is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. What we have in Christ is far greater. The riches we have in Christ Supercede the riches of the richest people on the face of the earth. He's blessed us with every spiritual blessing. True.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:17:50]:
We don't always appreciate it. And true, we lust and thirst after other kinds of blessings that are not spiritual blessings. But if we will turn our eyes to the Lord and receive and partake of the spiritual blessings that he has provided. We will find the things that we are truly looking for, the hope and the joy and the peace and the love and the fulfillment and purpose that we are craving. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Jesus said, if you drink the waters that I give, you'll never thirst again. Flowing out from you will be torrents of living water because What I provide is every spiritual blessing. Moving on to Versus 4 through 6 for point number 2 this morning, God loved us and chose us from the beginning.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:18:45]:
Here's why God's people praise him. You know why we praise him? Because he loved us and chose us from the beginning, the beginning of what? Well, look at verse 4. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. When we talk about the beginning, we're talking about the beginning and before the beginning. Even before he made the world, The love extended the choice made regarding you took place even before he made the world. Can you try to picture that for a moment? How do you picture what it was like before the world exists? You go back to Genesis chapter 1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. God said, let there be lights, and there was lights.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:19:58]:
before that. Before there was lights, before there was the heavens and the earth. Hard to picture, hard to imagine. We don't know what it was like. Only God knows what what it was like because he's the only one who was there. But even then, we can see roughly 6000 years of history recorded throughout the scriptures onto today, the choices that God need about you took place more than 6000 years ago. The choice to love you that God need happened over 6000 years ago. You know, sometimes, we feel like that changes from day to day.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:20:48]:
Right? It's like yesterday, I felt like God love me, but today, I don't feel like God loves me. Right? This this was settled 1000 years ago, listen, one day is not going to change God's decision. It's not going to change God's love. even before he made the world. Reveals, of course, the mysteries of God, the superiority of God he is far above. We can't imagine what that was like. We can't imagine what that means fully. We we can only try to try to get pieces of it, but try.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:21:21]:
Try to get pieces of it and try to understand God loved you and chose you before he made the world. He goes on in verse 4 to say, God loved us and chose us in Christ. It's important to recognize this because the the reality of the love and the choice is rooted in our relationship to Jesus. God loved us and chose us in Christ. And it is through our relationship with Jesus Christ. It's through our faith in Jesus and receiving what he has done for us. that we receive all of these benefits and blessings. Again, every spiritual blessing is provided for us in Christ.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:22:13]:
It's all rooted and based on our trust in Jesus and our relationship with him. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you need to understand before the beginning. more than 6000 years ago. God loved you and chose you in Christ. But he goes on in verse 4, to be holy and without fault in his eyes. It's not just that he loved you and chose you, but he loved you and chose you with a purpose. He chose you to be holy. Can you imagine that? Like, if you're gonna pick anybody in the world, say, oh, yeah, that's the That's the one.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:23:03]:
We're gonna make that one holy. It'll probably be somebody else. Right? You don't look in the mirror. Well, maybe you do, but that's then you're there's another conversation to be had there. Right? But you don't look in the mirror and say, that's the one. Yep. God, you found the right model for holiness. I'll be the one to show the world how holy a person can be.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:23:27]:
Probably you look in the mirror and you think, I can't even figure out if God loves me today because of how unholy I am. but god chose you to be holy. And without fault, in his eyes. Without fault, as he looks at you, He's loved you, and he's chosen to see you as if there were no faults. Without spot, without blemish, without any issues. God loved you and chose you. Here's what you need to understand, not because of how great you were. He loved you and chose you understanding your failures and frailties even far better than you and I understand our own selves, were much worse than we even realized, but god completely aware of that, still loved you and chose you because He sees where you can be, where he will bring you.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:24:47]:
I was thinking about it this way, maybe it's a silly example, but you go to the store, to buy a puzzle. And you look there on the shelves, and there's all these different images, there's all these different pictures, and Same basic concept, bunch of pieces. You got to put them all together. Some more pieces, some less pieces, more complex, less complex. Same objective though. You take it home, you put it all together. And so you're basically picking the one that you want to see the most. I wanna spend the most time looking at this scene.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:25:27]:
when you buy a puzzle and you take it home, you get it out of the box and you realize, this doesn't look anything like the picture. It's just a bunch of pieces. Some of them are upside down, some are sideways. They're all mixed up. They make no sense. This is a mess. But that's why you bought the puzzle. So you can take that mess and begin to work on it and over time, piece by piece, you build it into that finished picture.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:25:58]:
You have the finished picture in mind when you buy the puzzle. When you're looking at it in the store, You're you're looking at the finished picture. You're envisioning that in your mind. You know there's gonna be a bunch of pieces and it's gonna be a lot of work and it's gonna be a big mess. You know that going into it. But you pick the one that you want to see. You pick the one that you wanna spend the time with. And you buy that, and you put it together.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:26:24]:
This this pictures how god loves you and chose you. He saw you on the shelf. He said, oh, that one's gonna be great. Yeah, a mess. Definitely. No no no denying that. But I wanna spend a lot of time on this one, and there is a beautiful picture that I can paint as I bring this one to be holy, to be conformed into the image of Jesus. verse 5, god decided in advance to adopt us into his own family.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:26:57]:
God decided in advance Again, before the world began to adopt us. This is a little bit stronger than just choosing adopted Now a legal status granting equal rights to the actual biological descendants. In Roman culture, adoption was pretty normal, But don't think of it like, we might think of it today as as adopting a baby or a child. Adoption primarily happened with adults. Like, what? Why would you adopt an adult? to give them the legal status of your child. So many times, the Roman emperors would adopt their heir. because the one that they are passing on the kingdom to wasn't necessarily their child. And so they would adopt so that that child would then inherit the empire.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:27:55]:
It was that kind of equal status. This is what God has done. He's decided in advance to adopt us to give us access to himself, to give us a status of relationship to the lord, like the sun. He did this, he says in verse 5, by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And so it's through the work of Jesus. Again, through our relationship with the lord, we have these incredible benefits God loved us and chose us from the beginning. But the end of verse 5 really kinda strikes me. This is what he wanted to do.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:41]:
and it gave him great pleasure. This is what he wanted to do. Do you ever find yourself thinking like, well, okay. I can accept that God chose me, but it was kinda like, you know, his arm was pinned behind his back. Okay. Okay. Fine. Fine.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:58]:
Fine. I'll choose Jonathan. This is what he wanted to do. God didn't have to do nothing. He wanted to choose you. He wanted to love you. He wanted to adopt you. He wanted to bring you into all of these blessings that he's provided at his own expense.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:29:24]:
He wanted to do this. And so he did it. He loved you and he chose you, and it gave him great pleasure. Now sometimes, you want something and you choose it and you find great regret in making the choice. Right? I wish I would have never bought that car, you say. Like, I wanted it. I chose it, but, no, man. Now I regret it.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:29:48]:
But that's not the result here. He wanted it. He made the choice. He made it happen, and then what? It gave him great pleasure. What in the world? gives them great pleasure to deal with our mess, to put the puzzle together, to bring us to completion, From the very beginning, he knew what he was getting into, and he loves you, and he chose you and it gives him great pleasure to bring you to completion in the work that he's planned out for you. verse 6, so we praise God for the glorious grace. He's poured out on us who belong to his dear son. So we praise God, right? Is there another reasonable response? 1000 years ago before it all began He loved you, he chose you, knowing the mess, loving the results, enjoying the work with you, the work through all of the issues, and the the things that he would have to develop you in and grow you in and the patience that he would have to have with you, and it gives him great pleasure to do all of this.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:31:04]:
It's what he wanted to do. Is there any other response than us saying, so we praise god for the glorious grace he's poured out? What other response is there? This is why we praise God because he has loved us and chosen us. And and he's poured out this glorious grace. This word poured out. Literally, it speaks of us being honored with blessings are highly favored. The the the word that's actually used here is only used twice in the new testament. here in Ephesians 1:6 and then also in Luke 128. Do you know that verse off the top of your head? Probably not.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:31:53]:
It's when the angel says to Mary, rejoice, highly favored one. The Lord is with you, blessed are you among women? Highly favored one. When it talks about us receiving this glorious grace, this glorious grace being poured out on us. You can look at Mary and understand she is a highly favored one. God declared it to be so. and so are you. Now some people pray to Mary because of this idea that she's highly favored, but so are you in Christ? It's the same word. You have similar status in Christ You're highly favored.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:32:37]:
He wanted to spend time with you. He wanted to work through all of these things with you. It brings him great pleasure that he has chosen you and loves you. That's why God's people praise him. Well, there's more verse 7 through 8 give us point number 3. God purchased our freedom and forgave our sins verse 7 and 8 says. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us along with all wisdom and understanding.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:33:17]:
Paul continues on examining the jewels and gems coming out of this treasure box of all that God has provided for us. And he says, boy, there's an abundance here. There's a a wealth. He is rich in kindness and grace. Kindness in grace. That that is what God has in abundance. Kindness in grace. when he looks at you, when he thinks of you, when he reaches out to you, it's always with an abundance of kindness, and grace.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:33:57]:
Grace is goodness that you don't deserve, that you could never earn. Kindness and goodness. That's what God has for you. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his son, calls back to the reality of our enslavement to sin and death. Apart from Christ, we have no hope. Apart from Christ, we are enslaved to sin. We are destined to death and eternal punishment. But because of his abundance and kindness increase, his wealth He purchased our freedom.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:51]:
This was a concept that the Ephesians knew very well. There were tens of millions of slaves in the Roman Empire. They are bought and sold. And the ultimate thing for a sleeve, was for someone to purchase them and then set them free. That's redemption. to be bought out of slavery. This is what Christ has done for us. He purchased our freedom.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:35:23]:
It's not like, you know, you were doing pretty good. And then if you let Jesus, he'll help you along and do a little bit better. Now it's we're in terrible condition. We're bound up in sin. We have no choice but to serve our sinful nature and to bring upon ourselves more and more wrath and judgment that is deserved by our rebellion against God and and running from him, And then he purchased us out of that. Pull this off of that path and set us on the path of life. He purchased our freedom with the blood of his son. For god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:36:13]:
Jesus and Unison with the father, he's not forced into this, but with Paul's focus on the father here, he's saying, this is what the father did. He sent his son to pay the price to purchase our freedom with his blood. And it's important to remember that. Peter reminds us of that in First Peter, chapter 1, God did God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors, it was not paid with mere gold or silver. which lose their value, it was with the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless lamb, of God. Redemption, it's not a work of the power of God. It's not a work of the love of God. It's a work of the blood of Jesus Christ given because of his love, but it's not just like I love you so much.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:37:09]:
We're just gonna forget about all of that sin and the, you know, the issues that you have. And so we're just gonna, like, you know, wink wink at that and all that's gone. That's just pretend like it never happened. No. It was purchased. You were purchased out of that enslavement to sin and death. God purchased our freedom with His blood and forgave our sins. He forgives us and he has the right to.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:37:39]:
He has the opportunity to because all of the judgment for sin was paid for by Jesus at the cross. So, he has washed away our sins. And in its place, verse 8, he has showered his kindness on us. Washed away our sin, and in its place showered on us kindness. This word showered, it means to be in excess. It's an abundance and it's an overwhelming amount more than enough, more than could be received. When something is showered, it is filled, and then spilled all around. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:38:33]:
This is why God's people praise him. He purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Point number 4, as we continue on in verses 9 through 11, God gave us an inheritance in his good plan, verse 9 says. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ, which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan. At the right time, he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ, everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God for he chose us in advance and he makes everything work out according to his plan. Here, Paul makes it clear, he's talking about the plan of God.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:39:30]:
And in Christ, we have a part in that plan. Now, God is sovereign. He rules overall and he will fulfill his plan. And so it's great to know that we get to have a part of that plan, that we are involved in that plan. The plan was a mystery for generations revealed that the coming of Jesus revealed at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The mystery of Jew and Gentile, being united together into one body, the body of Christ, so so much that we could reflect on there. We talked a little bit about it on Wednesday as well. You can go back and watch that if you want to dig into that mystery a little bit.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:40:24]:
But, again, he says here, he's revealed to us his mysterious will which is to fulfill his own good plan. God has a plan. He has all power and authority to execute that plan. He's going to execute that plan. It will happen. It will take place exactly what he desires and what he plans. And you need to know it's a good plan. It's the best plan that can be.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:40:57]:
There is no better plan than God's plan The plan is a good plan and it is a plan for good to do good That's why we know all things work together for good, to those who love God and are the called according to his purpose. There's a lot of similarity between Romans chapter 8 and ephesians chapter 1. Paul here is reminding us God who has all power and authority has made a good plan, a plan for good, it's been revealed to us Here's the plan. Verse 10. This is the plan. At the right time, he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ everything in heaven and on earth. Christ is seated on the throne at the right hand of the father right now. But we don't see all of that fulfilled just quite yet, but we will.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:41:58]:
He's going at the right time to bring everything together and his rightful place and authority will be clearly revealed everything in heaven and on earth will be brought together. There will be a united Kingdom of Jesus Christ. That's the plan. Why is he taking so long? It's not the right time. At the right time, he will do this. Why isn't he revealing himself right now? Why didn't he reveal himself a 1000 years ago? He could have, but it wasn't the right time yet. At the right time, he's going to accomplish his purposes and bring about his plan. So Paul says in verse 11, furthermore, because we're united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:42:52]:
For he chose us in advance, makes everything work out according to his plan. So he is king of kings and lord of lords. He rules overall, he has the plan to good plan. He's gonna bring it together and because we are in Christ, because we have a relationship with the father by faith in Jesus Christ because we have received what Christ has done for us and accepted the forgiveness that he offers because we are united with Christ he said. We have received an inheritance from God. An inheritance, A portion assigned to us. That is ours. It belongs to us because he chose us in advance.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:43:39]:
And he's accomplishing his plan, and we have a guaranteed part in that plan. when Weirby puts it this way. God wrote us into his will, then he died. So the will would be enforced. Then he rose again that he might become the heavenly advocate to make sure the terms of the will were correctly followed. He wrote you in the will, If I say, hey, I'm gonna put you in my will and you're gonna inherit 75¢ on my death, you only get that 75¢ if I die. Jesus wrote you in his will, and then he died. So, the will's in effect.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:44:18]:
But then, he resurrected, that doesn't cancel out for will, It's so that he can now execute the will and make sure it's followed exactly according to his wishes. God gave us an inheritance in his good plan. You have a part. You have a place. You have good. They got us planned and prepared for you. Well, finally, point number 5 in verses 12 through 14. Here's why God's people praise him, because God gave us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:44:47]:
Verse 12. God's purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. and now you gentiles have also heard the truth, the good news that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit whom he promised long ago. God gave us the holy spirit. He promised long ago this holy spirit to his followers. Paul here first outlines the role of the Jews and the gen titles. This salvation appointed to the Jews first.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:45:37]:
They were the first to trust in Christ to the end that they would bring praise and glory to god. That's what Paul says in verse 12. But now, Gentiles, those who are not of Jewish descent, have also heard the truth. And this is the mystery that Jews and Gentiles have access to the father through the same good news, through the same gospel. that by faith in Jesus Christ and what he has done for us, we have forgiveness. We have right fellowship with God. and every spiritual blessing that there can be that this was poured out upon Jews and gentiles. You gentiles have also heard the truth.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:46:23]:
Have you heard the truth? Have you heard the gospel message? Have you heard of what Jesus has done for you? Paul says, when you heard, you believed. So hearing is one part of hearing the gospel, hearing the truth of what Christ has done for us, and then believing it. And that's saying that I don't just hear about Jesus. I don't know just that Jesus died upon the cross for my sins, but now I believe it And my sins are forgiven because I believe I receive from Jesus. that forgiveness, but offer of salvation and redemption that he offers to me. You have heard the truth, the good news that god saves you. And when you believed, He identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit. He certified, yes, you really did believe.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:47:25]:
so that you can know so that everyone can know. You did really believe. You did really receive. You have become born again. evidenced by the Holy Spirit. He identified you as his own by the Holy Spirit. the identification of God upon us, but it's also the guarantee of the completed work. Paul goes on to say in verse 14, the spirit is God's guarantee.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:47:57]:
The word guarantee is not like a warranty. It's like a deposit. When you put $10,000 down on a home, You're saying, I'm serious, I'm gonna spend the next 30 years paying for this home until it's completely paid off. It's the down payment. reflecting the seriousness. This is the guarantee that I will complete this work that I began. and God gives that guarantee in you, it's the Holy Spirit. and every believer in Jesus Christ is born again by the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:48:43]:
and has the Holy Spirit as a down payment deposited into your heart. We are Those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, pastor David Guzik says that word guarantee is used only in the New Testament of the whole spirit. He's our only down payment of coming glory. Nothing else is provided or needed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment. The proof, the evidence. that we have been born again, that he who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it in us. In verse 14, that he would give us the inheritance he promised.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:49:24]:
The Holy Spirit is our guarantee, the deposit that we will receive the inheritance that he promised. It's the proof of purchase. Verse 14, he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this. Why verse 14 says? So we would praise and glorify him. We have the Holy Spirit in dwelling within us as believers in Jesus. Now some believers have the indwelling, but not the, what you might call, outflowing, not going to get into the major doctrines here, but it's interesting that it was in ephesus that Paul found a group of disciples and said, hey, there's something different about you guys. Did you believe in the Holy Spirit or receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? And they said, we didn't even hear that there was a Holy Spirit.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:50:17]:
They were disciples. They were seeking God. They were religious. They were genuine. Perhaps they even knew of Jesus. Maybe they were believing in Jesus and had the Holy Spirit in dwelling within them, but they didn't even know that the Holy Spirit existed yet. But what Paul is talking about with them is not just the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but the outpouring of the Holy Spirit acts chapter 2, you'll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, well, it's acts 18, but it's acts 2 when it happens. the outflowing of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:50:51]:
And and this is something that the disciples in the book of acts received ongoing repeatedly, not just a one time thing. And so the holy spirit as a guarantee is we have the indwelling of the holy spirit. And there's the work that he's doing and the fruit of the spirit that he is producing, super valuable, this work that the Holy Spirit is doing within us. We also have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Again, drink of the water that I give you Jesus says, talking about the Holy Spirit, You'll never thirst again, and torrents of water will flow forth from you. The indwelling and the outpouring The deposit of the Holy Spirit, it's our guarantee God has done the work and will complete the work that he began in us. And so, here's a quick glimpse. Just kind of running some gems through our fingers for a few moments, so much more that we could consider and that God has provided, but here's why God's people praise him.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:51:57]:
We've been so blessed with every spiritual blessing. God loved us and chose us from the beginning. He purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. He gave us an inheritance in his good plan. and God gave us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. Again, I would remind you, all of these are past tense. We praise God not just because of good things that happen right now today, but regardless of what's happening today, there is Reason for us to praise God to applaud, to celebrate, to speak highly of, to rejoice, and all that God has done for us, to give him the glory, to recognize the worth of who he is and what he has done for us. It's a good place for us to be as we come to the communion table this morning.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:52:50]:
We come to the table that the Lord provided for us to remind us of his body that was broken and his blood that was shed. He says, do this in remembrance of me. Remember all the spiritual blessings you have. Remember, purchased with my blood, this work on your behalf. Remember the forgiveness that you have by faith in me. It's all accomplished for us at the cross. And so the word points us back to the cross. There is the bread.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:53:22]:
There is the cup. Praise Jesus. Set your mind and set your heart to recognize the value and the worth of Jesus. And make sure you honor him above all else and praise him above all else. This this is what God deserves. This is his rightful place. Warren Wearsbee says this. We often have the idea that God saves sinners mainly because he pities them or wants to rescue them from eternal judgment.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:53:54]:
But God's main purpose is that he might be glorified. His creation reveals his wisdom and power, but his church reveals his love and grace. There there is a praise and a glory that we express when we partake of communion. And that's what he desires. That's what he deserves. That's his rightful place. And so this morning, I want to encourage you to remember why we praise him. Enjoy the blessings, enjoy all that he has given, receive what he has provided.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:54:37]:
and praise the lord. We're gonna do things a little bit differently as we partake of coming in today. Why don't we have the worship team you can come on up and the guys for prayer can come on up. we wanna praise the Lord, and so we're gonna have a little bit more worship than we usually do for a time of communion. Because we also want to give opportunity for you to receive from the Lord anything you might be lacking. One one commentator bible teacher talking about this passage here in Ephesians chapter 1 likened it to a bank statement. It's like looking at all the stuff that's in your account. Like, look at this account.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:55:20]:
Wow. Look at that account. There's just like abundance that God has provided. But maybe as you look at this account, you realize, there's a balance there, but I haven't been accessing it. I haven't been living according to what God has provided. And so it might be appropriate for you this morning before you partake of communion to come and get some prayer. And so, Richard and Josh are here, if you're outside, Rick is out there, and specifically to give you an opportunity before you come to communion to reset some things perhaps in your heart and in your mind. Maybe this morning, you need to receive the good news.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:56:09]:
Paul said in verse 13, you've heard the truth Have you believed it? Do you have that time in your life where you have come to, yes, I know what Jesus has done. But now it's come to Jesus. I believe in you, and I receive the gift of life and forgiveness and salvation that you offer to me. Listen, if you've never received the good news, if you don't have that moment of placing your faith and being born again, Now is a great opportunity for you to do that, and these guys would love to help you do that. And then you can partake of communion and rejoice in the finished work of Christ for you upon the cross that you have just received. But maybe this morning you need to focus on spiritual blessings, maybe The Lord's been speaking to you about where your heart's been and where your mind's been and you've been distracted away from spiritual things and focused on maybe some financial things, some material things and maybe pursuing those things or maybe bummed out because you don't have them And maybe the Lord's saying to you, you need to kind of re center your your heart and your mind on the spiritual things that are of much greater value. Or maybe today, as you're looking at this bank statement and you're realizing, you know, I I know it says the Holy Spirit's given as a deposit as a guarantee, but I I don't know. Maybe I'm like Ephesians.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:57:35]:
I never really knew about the Holy Spirit. I don't know if I have the Holy Spirit, or maybe yes. I've been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but I need to be refreshed. and recharge so that I might be able to feast what God has set before me. These guys would love to pray with you to receive the Holy Spirit as well. Maybe you've been dealing with some struggles. And the idea that God loved you and chose you to be wholly and without fault? Maybe that's where your minds camped out today. And you need some help.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:58:08]:
James tells us, hey, you're struggling with something? Come get prayer, confess, and pray with one another that you might be delivered. Maybe you need wisdom and verse 8, He showered us with kindness along with all wisdom and understanding. Again, James tells us, if you need wisdom, ask. So maybe you're looking at the treasures that we have and realizing you're missing out on some of the wisdom that God wants to provide, some of the work that God wants to do. Whatever it might be on your heart, according to you, what the Lord is speaking to you. Before you come to the table, if you need prayer, Come receive prayer. If you don't need prayer, just go straight to the communion table, no problem. But we want to be available for you to agree with you in the work that God is doing in your life.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:58:59]:
And so they're going to lead us in a time of worship and I want to encourage you Don't just rush to the table, but let the Lord lead you and guide you. If you need prayer, come get prayer. The communion elements are here in the sanctuary on the front of the stage and the outside behind you guys. Help yourself. Grab the bread, grab the cup, remember Christ, partake and receive and be refreshed and renewed in all that God has provided for you. Let's give God an opportunity to lead us and direct us to receive from him a little bit more. I mean, we can't get it all not going to get it all in one go, but a little bit greater understanding, grabbing hold a little bit more, of all that he has provided to us. Lord, I pray that you would help us to recognize all that you have provided, or that it might turn into praise and rejoicing and glory in our hearts towards you.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:59:59]:
And God, I pray that you would help us to respond as you speak to our hearts and as you lead us this morning, that we would remember you, that we would reach out to you, and that we would worship you according to who you are. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.