0 6 mins 11 mths

Series EPHESIANS with Pastor Mark Finley  |
Lesson 2: God’s Grand, Christ-Centered Plan  |
God’s divine plan: The core message of Ephesians 1 |
Lesson 2 delves deep into God’s grand and Christ-centered plan as presented in Ephesians chapter 1. This lesson highlights the divine predestination of believers in Christ, the costly redemption, and generous forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice. It also emphasizes God’s comprehensive plan to unite everything in Christ in the fullness of time. Furthermore, Paul reminds believers of their identity as heirs of God and the role of the Holy Spirit as a seal and guarantee of their future inheritance.
Memory Text: Ephesians 1:9 – 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.
Content:
2.1 Chosen and accepted in Christ
Spiritual blessings in Christ
Ephesians 1:3-6 celebrates the abundant blessings God has granted us in Christ before the world began. It emphasizes God’s loving choice and acceptance of believers as His beloved children, chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in Christ. This act of providence reveals God’s deep love and His clear desire for our salvation, having chosen us in Christ before our existence – a manifestation of His grace and dedication to our salvation.
2.2 Costly Redemption; Lavish Forgiveness
Freedom from death and guilt: The significance of redemption in daily faith
Ephesians 1:7-8 underscores the costly redemption and generous forgiveness that God grants to believers through Christ. These terms, mentioned in other New Testament passages, reflect the metaphorical liberation from the bondage of sin. Through Christ’s sacrifice and His forgiving love, God lifts us from the slavery of sin and lavishes us with His gracious generosity.
The concept of redemption involves liberation from slavery, symbolized by Christ’s sacrifice. Through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, not only are our sins forgiven, but we are also given a new identity as free citizens of heaven. Despite feeling unworthy, the cross emphasizes this very fact – it is a demonstration of God’s undeserved grace and love towards us, accepting and redeeming us despite our unworthiness.
2.3 God’s Grand, Christ-Centered Plan
Completion in Christ: God’s eschatological plan revealed 
The passage in Ephesians 1:9-10 reveals God’s magnificent plan aimed at uniting all things in Christ in the fullness of time. This comprehensive plan, established before the foundation of the world, emphasizes unity in Christ as the divine goal for the universe.
Paul refers to God’s plan being focused on summarizing everything in Christ, spanning across all times and spaces – a vision that begins with the death, resurrection, and founding of the church. Thus, this redemption in Christ is a significant part of God’s comprehensive and final plan, aiming to unite all things in Christ and manifest unity in Christ’s name.
2.4 Living in Praise of His Glory
The precious inheritance in Christ: Understanding and gratitude
Verses in Ephesians 1:11-12 emphasize that believers, as heirs through God’s predestined will, are called to live to the praise of His glory. Paul reminds them of their identity as children of God, highlighting that their blessings are based on God’s counsel and eternal decisions to unite everything in Christ.
The term “inheritance” in Ephesians 1:11, 14, 18 emphasizes that believers are not just recipients of blessings but are considered heirs of God. This underscores that their position and blessings are not based on their efforts but on God’s grace through Christ.
Paul points out that Christians have not only received an inheritance from God but are God’s inheritance, meaning their identity as children of God and heirs is a central element of their faith. This underscores that their blessings are not earned but received through God’s grace.
2.5 The Holy Spirit: Seal and Down Payment
The seal and guarantee of the Holy Spirit
In Ephesians 1:13-14, Paul briefly describes the conversion process of his readers. He emphasizes receiving the Holy Spirit as a seal and guarantee for believers. The Holy Spirit serves as a seal, identifying believers as belonging to God, and as a down payment on the future complete inheritance of salvation and redemption through Christ. This highlights that the precious presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is a foretaste of the future inheritance and is received as a gift from God.
2.6 Summary
God’s Magnificent Plan
Lesson 2 addresses God’s plan centered on Christ as presented in Ephesians 1. It emphasizes the predestination and acceptance of believers in Christ before the creation of the world, the costly redemption and generous forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice, and God’s intention to unite everything in Christ in the fullness of time. Paul reminds believers to live as heirs of God, their identity and blessings rely on God’s grace, and the Holy Spirit serves as a seal and guarantee of their future inheritance.
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