Ephesians 1: Predestined Relationship with God

 PREDESTINED RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD 

Ephesians 1:1-12   

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:  2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–  6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,  10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment– to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.  11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,  12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, tells us God in Christ sorts out all things by the wisdom of His will.  If I understand correctly, the Apostle Paul in this passage tells us that it is through the God-given image-bearing capacity to give of ourselves that enables us to have a relationship with God as well as the means to share His wisdom with humanity.  The pure of heart see Him as He is. 

If this were not so, the relationship God has with humanity would be as is ours with the animal kingdom.  God would be relating to us as we do domesticated animals and or those more unruly… wild animals.  Such a relationship is not what humans have with God because we are created in His image. 

Jesus and His Apostles teach us this in the Scriptures… 

…. do to others as you have them do to you  

… don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought 

… think of yourself with sober judgment with the faith God has given to each of you 

The life of Jesus is the primary example of such teaching.  Jesus treated people as equals when He lived on Earth.  However, this doesn’t mean He neglected His divine status.  He was willing to receive worship, as in Luke 7:38 when a woman was at His feet weeping.  She wet His feet with her tears, perfumed them, and wiped them off with her hair. 

Friends, God made a way in Christ despite sin for us to be in that reflective relationship with Him.  When we acknowledge God under the stipulation that He is the Source-Authority, we find that He treats us as equals.  Now I did not say we are equal… rather… He treats us as equal. 

This happens relationally when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord.  If we do not acknowledge Him, we cannot reflect God properly in a giving and receive relationship.  God must be acknowledged as the Source-Authority. 

Therefore, I hope you can see that God arranged the created order with ‘relationship’ at the core of His design.  He does this in such a way that He inserts Himself (the Incarnation) in humanity’s reality so that all those who acknowledge Him as Lord can be holy and blameless.  We can respond to His giving nature because we are created in His image. 

God cannot deny Himself and because the Son (God Himself) became human.  God reveals he predestined all (who through their image-bearing capacity will acknowledge Him as Lord) to find Him through His redemptive offer of life and to have a relationship with Him. Predestination is about God’s relational life-giving pattern of sharing His nature with humanity. All things are possible within the unchanging nature of God for those who acknowledge Jesus has God’s Messiah. The God who makes all things work together for those who love Him. 

BMD 

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