Grace and Peace to You

Ephesians 1:1-6

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul opens up his letter in familiar fashion. He says grace and peace from God and from the Lord Jesus Christ. He addresses his letter to the saints which are in Ephesus, and to all those who are faithful in Christ Jesus. This letter was not meant for those outside the church. It is meant for those who have already accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. It is important to remember that as we go through the text. Today we know that there are many verses in Ephesians that we use as entrance verses to the kingdom of God. This was not the case in Paul’s day.

 Sending grace and peace to them, as Paul always did at the beginning of his letters, is a way of saying hello in our language today. Sometimes I wish we’d be more formal. Can you imagine the reaction if you walked into a business or walked down the street and used that greeting?   Grace and peace be to you from God!  It might be just  the encouragement they need that day. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to adopt that!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love

God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places. Notice that he adds the fact that these spiritual blessings are in Heavenly places. If we want to stay in those spiritual blessings it’s important that we stay in the Heavenly places. How often do I walk contrary to the law of God and hope that his blessing will be upon me?  I don’t see any where in scripture that will back that thinking up.  If you desire the spiritual blessings of God,   you  need to stay in the Heavenly places in Christ. Don’t get sidetracked. If you’ve read through the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness,  God kept telling them not to turn to the right or to the left. This same admonition that he gives us today. Don’t turn off the path to eternal life.
And here Paul talks about the fact that before the earth was even formed God had made the decision that Christ would need to be sacrificed and that we could come to Him and be made holy and blameless in love. God chose us in Him. That is the only way that we can appear holy and without blame before God. To be in Christ Jesus

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Now we get into a difficult portion of scripture. Talking about predestination. All of us have probably heard of the fact that we have free will. We have the ability to choose whether we will serve God or not. We have the ability to turn from sin or walk in sin.  We have the ability to turn away from God, even if we have accepted Him as Savior. God will never turn from us. But we can’t turn away from Him.  When Paul says here that God has predestined us into the adoption of children by Christ Jesus according to the pleasure of his will, what does that mean? Well to me it means that by Jesus Christ we can be adopted as children. That determination was made long before we were born. And we can decide whether we will walk into it or not. God wants us to but we have a choice.
If we decide to walk into that predestination and be adopted as children by Jesus Christ then we need to give the glory to God for the grace that He showed us. He has accepted us into the fellowship of the beloved. We did not deserve it.  We did not earn it,  We did absolutely nothing to gain it. Jesus Christ did it all on the cross.  He make it possible for us to be heirs together with Him in Heavenly places. We will never be able to earn a thing from God. He gives it to us by His grace and His mercy.
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5 thoughts on “Grace and Peace to You

  1. Speaking to the lost sheep of Israel, Jesus said, “many are called, but few are chosen.” In Romans Paul tells us that the chosen in Israel believed, and the rest were hardened. He also tells us the same Potter makes all the pots, some for indignation, and others for mercy. He also tells us in Romans that all the ones chosen, are called. In other words, whomever God chooses before the foundation of the world, as it says here in Ephesians, he now makes sure they get called, hear, and believe, right on schedule. Ephesians 1:11 tells us he is “operating the all, according to the counsel of his will.” Jesus told his disciples, “I chose you; you did not choose me.” If you read the Bible without the blinders of “free will” on, you’ll see it’s a lie of Satan, the same one who told Eve, “you shall surely not die.” Now here in Ephesians, the ones “DEAD in offenses and sins”, are being made alive in Christ. We are unable to hear and believe God, unless he first gives us life to hear him. The very faith we have is a gift from him. Any ability to decide to follow him is a gift from him. All the glory is already his, because he’s the one making everything happen. He doesn’t need anything from us. He’s the one giving everything to us. If you see this, you’ll realize that your salvation and future are grounded in God himself. He hasn’t made our salvation an option. He makes it happen, no matter how iffy it may seem to us. The believers are believers because of God, and the unbelievers are unbelievers because of God, as Peter said, “to this doom they also were appointed.” I left a comment on a blog today that addresses some of the issues involved here.
    https://jessicamaymoore.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/gods-purpose/
    Grace and peace to you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Those people whom the Lord Jesus doesn’t know as his, will go into outer darkness, where there will be gnashing of teeth, not much fun. Unbelievers whose names are not in the book of life, will be cast into the lake of fire and die a second death. However, I believe the outer darkness and lake of fire both will be a temporary chastening, with a view toward correction. I don’t believe they will be eternal or forever and ever like some versions say. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul says, “All who are dying in Adam, shall be made alive in Christ.” Then he goes on to explain three different groups, sets, or classes of people being made alive in Christ. The last class he mentions are given life at a time beyond the book of Revelation, when death itself, the last enemy, is put under Christ’s feet. At that time all the dead who have ever died will be given the life of God that we believers will already have been enjoying for quite some time. Here are some posts from my site that may help here: https://worddispensary.wordpress.com/2016/12/09/good-vs-bad/
        https://worddispensary.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/forever-or-durations/
        https://worddispensary.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/eternal-or-durative/
        The word “eternal” as we know it is actually found nowhere in the Greek Bible manuscripts, even though the Greeks had such a term. In Luke, speaking of Jesus’ kingdom, it says, “of his kingdom there shall be no consummation (finish, end).” So we know that the kingdom Jesus will hand over to his Father at the conclusion of the durations (ages, eons, time periods) will go on without end, when God is all in all. That means endless security for all, which makes sense, because in Romans, Paul tells us the same creation which has been subject to vanity and corruption, is going to be freed, into the freedom of the glory of God’s offspring, which is us. The creation obviously includes all the creatures. The message brought to us by Paul is so good for everyone everywhere, its unbelievable, unless God shows us.
        The salvation we are enjoying now in Christ, is secure. If we are his, we are his for good, and our Father disciplines all of us. Even the brother Paul delivered to Satan, it was that his spirit would be saved. Our works are going to be tested with fire, and if they all burn up, we will still be saved. We will be giving an account to God for everything done, whether good or foul, and I believe everything will be straightened out there, so we’re ready to move on to better things. If someone goes off and stops believing that Jesus is God’s son who died for our sins, I’m supposing he never was a genuine believer, God knows. But I believe unbelievers will become believers after their judgment and second death in the lake of fire. Eventually every knee will bow and every tongue avow that Jesus Christ is Lord, something that can only be done in the holy spirit of God. Jesus truly is the Savior of the world, who took away the sins of the world. And as Paul told Timothy, “We are relying on God, who is a Savior of all humans, especially of believers.” I do believe all our mistakes and the discipline we receive from them are all arranged for us by God, for our learning. So we can relax, do our best, and know that whatever happens has been arranged by God for our good and the good of all. He’s making everything work together for good, truly.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Interesting, but we will to agree to disagree. I have neither the time nor the inclination to write another post in my comments section. I’m sure the subject will come up again. Thanks for your input

        Liked by 1 person

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