What is the Meaning of Ephesians 1.5-6

“Why the Blessed Father Can Bless Us with Every Spiritual Blessing Reason 1 Part 2” Reason #1 Because He Has Chosen Us Part 2: Predestined to be a Child of the King

Ephesians 1:3-6

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 1.5-6

Ephesians chapter 1. This is our fourth message in the book of Ephesians and we are in verses 3-14. In fact the hymn that we just sang is taken from these verses.

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We saw last time how these verses are divided up. We are in the first section of these verses which is found in verses 3-6. These verses have to do with God the Father and what He has done in eternity past. He elected or chose certain individuals to willingly receive his salvation.

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In verses 7-12, God the Son is in focus. What He has done in this passage is focused on the present time. The key word you remember here is that He redeemed us.

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And then in verses 13-14, the Holy Spirit is the member of the Trinity in focus and He has sealed us with a view into the future. He now is the down payment of our future inheritance.

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Last time we focused on verses 3-4. Here we learned that the blessed Father has blessed us with every spiritual or supernatural blessing. And we said last time that “spiritual blessing” likely refers to the spiritual gifts that we’ve been given.

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So all of those spiritual gifts and blessings that we have right now in our local church is what is under discussion in verse three, where Paul says that we’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

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Now, why can God give us these blessings or spiritual gifts? The answer to that begins in verse 4 and runs down through verse 13. So really, verses 4 to 13 are answering the question, “why has God the Father blessed us with every spiritual blessing?”

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In other words, why has God given us wisdom, all the spiritual gifts and abilities, our sanctification or our growth in Christ, the fruit of the Spirit, our ability to love one another and care for one another… Why has God given us these spiritual blessings?

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The first answer is verse four …. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing because he chose us in him.

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Without God choosing us or electing us before the foundation of the world… apart from that, we would have no spiritual blessings in this church.

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So verses 4-14 make up the three reasons why God the Father can bless “us” …. believers that make up the local church.

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Because he chose us, because Christ redeemed us, because the Holy Spirit is our down payment of the future inheritance. … Because of these facts, God can give us spiritual abilities… And in this book of Ephesians, the focus of our spiritual gifts will be our use of them in the church.

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So the major idea of this passage then is that we have eternal blessings that form the foundation for our use of spiritual gifts in the church. Without the foundation of these eternal blessings in vv. 4-14, we would not have the “church structure” … we would have no have these spiritual blessings in verse 3. The spiritual blessings of verse 3 are to be used in the church, as chapter 4 will tell us.

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Just think of this foundation upon which our spiritual gifts have been built. God the Father choose us in eternity past and Christ’s redeemed us through his blood and the Holy Spirit is in our hearts…. These are foundational blessings for us and on top of this foundation God desires to build his church! He will build his church as we exercise our giftedness towards one another.

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And with these truths in vv. 4-14 as the foundation, how important then is the church?

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This would make an assembly of God’s people a really big deal. This would make our ministry towards one another during the week as we relate to his people of premium importance. God would view our fellowship times on Sundays and Thursdays a big deal in the sight of God.

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I mean we have God’s choice of us in eternity past as the foundation for us operating as the local church as we should and using our spiritual gifts and abilities towards one another.

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God the Father has blessed you with spiritual giftedness. He can do that because he has chosen you and Christ has redeemed you and the Holy Spirit indwells you…. That’s no light matter! Exercise your spiritual gifts in our midst. Serve Christ here!

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Now, God the Father has a goal in choosing us. At the end of verse four He chose us with a goal that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.

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This is mainly speaking to the future. But of course this has obvious ramifications for our present time.

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1 John 3:2-3 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

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There is coming a future day when we will be like him when we see Jesus just as he is. We will be holy and blameless before him in love on that day.

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And for now as we have this confidence in us, we should purify ourselves just as he is pure. We do that of course through our times of prayer and Bible study, but also in Eph. God’s design for our growth in Christ is through the local church.

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It’s because of these things that I am convinced that the most important things going on in God’s universe are not necessarily those reported on the daily news.

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What God the Father is doing through Christ Jesus in the church for his own glory forever is what is the most important thing going on in the universe.

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Ephesians chapters 2 and 3 discuss the nature of the church and how God formed the church. And God did this Ephesians 3:10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” God is making known his wisdom to spiritual rulers and authorities… to angels…through the church. God has chosen the church to showcase His manifold wisdom. He is showing His wisdom to angels because of what He is doing in the church.

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I mean, God could have used world events to showcase his wisdom to angels. God could have chosen political infightings or lawmaking…human response to tragedies …but no, God has chosen the church.

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The angels in other words are not spoken of as marveling at God’s wisdom in the secular world … The Bible does not say that they are marveling at God’s wisdom through the kings and queens of various lands… No no, the angels marvel at God’s wisdom in the church.

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That’s why I view what is going on with you folks throughout the week and on Sundays and Thursdays as some the most things going on in the universe.

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And again, we can say this because of the glorious foundation that we have as believers: The Father chose us, Christ spilled His blood for us, and the Holy Spirit indwells us. This is the foundation upon which God is building His church and why what we’re doing here by His grace is very important.

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So last week we dealt with what he did to begin forming this foundation: he chose us before the foundation of the world.

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Now this morning, we are going to talk about why he chose us. What was God’s motive in choosing us? We already know from last time that it is not because of anything that we are, because he chose us before the foundation of the world.

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So what is God’s motive in choosing us? And the answer to that …that this passage gives to us is this: He chose us because He predetermined our destiny. What is our destiny? Eph. 1:5 says that our destiny is adoption as sons. Let’s read Ephesians 1:3-6 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as [or because] He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

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So God the Father chose us why? Verse 4 … because he predetermined our destiny to adoption as sons.

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And the end of verse five tells us that he did this because it is something that he delights to do. Verse six it’s all done so that he might receive praise for giving us his grace.

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So a large part of the message this morning will be dealing with that first phrase in verse five “He predestined us to adoption as sons.”

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And adoption as we will see concerns God making us His child when we were in another family to begin with. And now because I am his child, I have an inheritance. And part of that inheritance is that I will reign with Christ.

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So, it gives me joy this morning to preach on this topic: Predestined to be a Child of the King

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  1. God the Father Predetermined Our Destiny

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First, look at the end of verse four and into verse five. If you have a New American Standard at the end of verse four it says that he chose us so that we would be holy and blameless before him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons.”

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If you have a New King James that last part says that the goal of God’s choice of us is “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love having predestined us to adoption as sons.”

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And as I said last time, we are using the wording of the New King James. It is the more literal translation in this case.

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What does this mean…He chose us … “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love having predestined us to adoption as sons.”

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Verse four, he chose us …skip to verse 5 … having predestined us.

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“He chose us having predestined us.” What does that mean? It means this: He chose us because He has predestined us to adoption.

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The word “having” there gives us the motive behind God’s choosing us. He chose us and his motive for choosing us was that he predestined us to adoption.

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Now, don’t worry, this will become clear when we discuss what the Lord means here by “predestinating us to adoption as sons.” At the end this morning we’ll wrap it up with an extended Christian analogy that I trust will bring it all together for us.

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What is predestination? Well first, let’s talk about what it is not.

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  1. Predestination is not predeterminism. Predeterminism is the idea that every thought and act is determined in advance and humans have no ability to alter it.

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In other words, the Bible does not teach that God has determined the thoughts and choices of, for example, lost people. People have real responsibility to please God. Our choices matter and we are held responsible for them in the sight of God.

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And so predestination is not God mapping out beforehand every thought and choice of people.

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  1. Also, predestination is not election.

Election is God choosing us before the foundation of the world to willing receive His salvation.

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God chose us just like that, our text says, because (v. 5) He predestined us to adoption. God elected us because He predestined us to adoption … that means that election can’t be predestination.

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So, if predestination is not predeterminism and it’s not election, in fact, predestination is actually God’s motive behind His electing us, then what is predestination?

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It is this: God predetermined that believers would reach 3 destinies …. So, predestination goes somewhere. God will make sure that His people arrive at 3 different destinations.

They are

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  1. That we be adopted as sons (Eph. 1:5)
  2. That we be Christ’s inheritance (Eph. 1:11, we’ll get to that.)
  3. That we ultimately be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Ro. 8:29)

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So God predetermined the destiny specifically of believers. The Scripture limits this teaching of predestination to believers only. God predetermined the destination of believers. Your spiritual destination are described in Scripture as three things: that you would be adopted as sons, that we be Christ’s inheritance, and that we ultimately be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

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All biblical teaching on predestination will only concern the destiny of believers only and can only discuss unto what the believer has been predestined. And then they will either talk about adoption as sons, we being Christ’s inheritance, or we being conformed to the image of Christ.

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Predestination is God’s predetermining the destiny of believers to something specific … and in our passage, it’s a predetermining the destiny of believers to adoption as sons.

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TRANS: So why did God choose us to willingly received the benefits of his salvation? It is because he has predetermined our destiny to adoption as sons.

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So what is our destiny? Our destiny is adoption as sons. What is that?

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Adoption is when God transfers a believer from the consequences of Satan’s family to the privileges and responsibilities of God’s family.

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Adoption in the ancient Roman world of Paul’s day works very similarly to the way it works today. There are only 2 differences.

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  1. The father in the Roman world had complete authority over his family. Unlike today, the father in the Roman world ruled over his family. He could be above the law to carry out certain practices within his family and not be punished for it, whereas others in society would be punished for such an act. He completely ruled over his own family.

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  1. The father would adopt a child out of motivation to find an heir. In other words, the adopted child is adopted because he is to receive an inheritance. In the Roman world, part of that inheritance is that he would take his father’s place and become the ruler over that family in the next generation and thus receive the entire estate.

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So God has predetermined the destiny of believers which is that he transfers believers from the consequences of Satan’s family to the privileges and responsibilities of God’s family. It’s a transfer from one family to another family.

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If you have not come to Jesus Christ for salvation, do you realize who your spiritual father is? And do you realize what kind of son or daughter you are? Do you realize what will happen to you if you stay in that family? You have a choice and you should trust Christ today!

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And if you have trusted Jesus Christ, do you realize your old family?

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Before you came to Christ, Ephesians 2:2 says that we were “sons of disobedience” and verse 3 of that chapter says that we were “children of wrath.” Before trusting Christ, our lives were characterized by disobedience and by the future wrath that is to come!

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John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

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Before we trust Christ, the wrath of God abides upon us!

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Before trusting in Him, Jesus says our father was the devil. Speaking to lost religious people, Jesus says … John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.

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Once you trusted Jesus Christ to save you from that kind of life, God transferred you into his family and you are now a child of God and you have all the privileges and blessed responsibilities as a child of God.

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You are no longer a slave to sin that characterizes that family and so you don’t have to fear any punishment for sin.

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Instead of any fear of punishment that would come with being in Satan’s family, … instead of that, we have received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the One who brought us this good news to our hearts that we are His children!

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So our adoption into God’s family happened when we received Jesus Christ! That destiny was determined beforehand by God!

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But that’s not all! Not only were we adopted into God’s family at the moment we trusted in Christ, but there is also a future to this adoption.

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Just like an adopted child in the Roman world awaits the time of his life when he receives the inheritance from his father, just like that, so also we as believers are awaiting our future inheritance.

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Ro. 8:23 says that our adoption will be fully realized at the resurrection. Romans 8:23 says that we groan within ourselves as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

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Our adoption will be only fully realized at the redemption of our body. The redemption of our body is the resurrection when Jesus comes back. So upon the return of Jesus Christ, our adoption will be fully realized and we will receive our inheritance.

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And the Scripture elaborates on what our inheritance is in great detail. We will inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus says in the beatitudes that we will inherit the earth. Revelation 20:6 says that we will reign with Christ. We will be glorified and incorruptible and there will be crowns: the incorruptible crown, crown of righteousness, the crown of life, crown of rejoicing, and the crown of glory.

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So just think where you have come from … Having the devil as your father, being a son of disobedience and a child of wrath…

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[….wow!…] You had God’s wrath abiding upon you… But in Christ, you are a son of God, a child of the King, you will reign with Christ and inherit the earth and be glorified, incorruptible and rewarded for your service to God.

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TRANS: What a transfer! But how can this be? I received all of this as a child God? How can God transfer me from Satan’s family to his own family?

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Paul says verse five that he chose us because He predetermined our destination to be adopted as His child … And this all happened, middle verse five, through Jesus Christ to Himself.

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God the Father can do this through Jesus Christ. This is exactly what we have in verses 7-12 this chapter, specifically verse seven.

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Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

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Through Jesus Christ, we have the right to be adopted into the Father’s family.

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In Jesus Christ we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of our sins. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, God the Father can predestined his people to be removed out of Satan’s family to be transferred to His own family.

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God Himself came to this Earth in a human body and he died on the cross. That death is effective to take away the penalty of our sins, which was separation from God forever.

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Jesus died but that was not the end! Three days after he died, he rose bodily from the dead to prove Himself to be the Son of God. If you will put your trust in Jesus and repent (or turn away from) your sins and ask Jesus to save you from your sins, you will experience the Holy Spirit coming and indwelling you and you will be adopted into God’s family.

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And if you do that, then at that moment you will be His. You will have a loving heavenly Father as your father. You will have an unselfish loving and caring Father who lavishes His grace and mercy upon you. And you will be His. If you trust Jesus Christ, you will be God’s very own.

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And it will become clear at that moment as verse 5 says … that he has adopted you through Jesus Christ to Himself. You are His.

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And from God’s standpoint, this is his pure delight.

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You should know that when he chose you before the foundation of the world he did that because he predetermined your destination to become his child. And when he did that you became his and he has the best of intentions in this.

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End of verse five, all of this was “according to” or “in keeping with” the kind intention (or the good pleasure) of his will. In other words he did all of this because of the pure delight that is in his will toward you.

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This is the warm and loving heart of your heavenly Father. Now all this does have a goal, an eternal goal and that is found in verse six.

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All of this is to the praise of the glory of his grace. What that means is that when he chose you he did that with a heart of pure delight toward you and with the end goal of receiving praise for his glorious grace.

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He is working out all things after the counsel of his own will with the goal that he might receive praise for giving us His grace. And it is that very grace, verse six, that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. The Beloved there is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the beloved one. God the Father addresses Him in the Gospels and says “This is my beloved Son.”

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God freely gives us his grace because we are in Jesus Christ, who is the beloved Son. God freely gives to us his grace because we are spiritually united to the One who is uniquely called the Beloved. God has rich grace and free love toward us because we are united to Jesus Christ.

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Since we have trusted in Christ, we are the rich beneficiaries of God’s love.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 1.5-6

There is once a filthy beggar. And that beggar was the son of a wretched King who would beat and torment him.

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This king was wicked and gave his sons moldy bread crumbs to eat while he himself feasted in luxury.

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In another kingdom, not far away, there lived a righteous Prince whose father, the King, was equally righteous. This King and his Prince had great sympathy for that poor, filthy beggar.

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So the King and his Prince son agreed that the Prince should destroy that other king and his kingdom but also he should rescue some of those sons from complete destruction.

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And so before coming and destroying that king and his kingdom, the Prince comes as an Ambassador. And he pleads with the sons of the wicked king to turn from their wicked ways and to trust him. “Soon,” the Prince says, “soon I will come and destroy this wicked kingdom. But if you will come to me, My Father will make you His own child and you will reign with me as a rightful heir.”

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But most of the children of this wicked king say, “No, why!? We have all we could ever want! Our father, whom you call wicked, feeds us quite well. We will stay as we are.”

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The Prince gave his word and left turned back to his father’s kingdom.

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And there was that one poor beggar who was the son of this wicked king who realized he was a beggar and was filling his stomach with things that could not satisfy him.

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He longed for the pure delights of infinite grace and love. And so, he sent a letter to this Prince saying “I will trust you and turn away from this wicked and awful life in this kingdom. Please save me before you come and destroy this wretched place.” Other beggar sons also wrote the Prince a similar letter.

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The Prince then sent his Servant, who is as equally righteous as the Prince and His Father the king. And this Servant always stayed near the filthy beggar and told him that he is no longer a child of his wretched natural father, but that he was been adopted into the family of the righteous king.

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And this Servant gave this poor beggar many gifts while he awaits his full inheritance as a child of the righteous king. And the Servant told the beggar that the righteous King says, “Use these gifts. They will train you and others to rule with the Prince when He comes for you.”

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And so the beggar used his gifts for himself and for the benefit of those whom the righteous king had also adopted. These gifts strengthened him and others as they trained for their future reign with the Prince.

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And the filthy beggar who was about to be eternally destroyed but has now become the son of the righteous King asks himself “why have I of all people been given these gifts?” And he knows that that righteous King chose him to be entirely trained up so that he could reign with the Prince.

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That is an illustration of what is going on in Ephesians 1:3-6. Verse 3, Why have I been given spiritual gifts? Because, the Father has chosen me to be all trained up…to be holy and without blame.

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And he chose me because he predetermined my destiny that I would be adopted as his son.

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So, use those spiritual gifts in our assembly! Why, the righteous Father has chosen you to be His child and to reign with His Son. That is why we have spiritual blessings in our life every day.

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