Someone has described Ephesians as the Alps of the New Testament. Paul, our mountaineering guide, takes us on a rapid ascent in Ephesians 1:1-23. We are quickly breathless and amazed at the view from the summit.
Reflect on Ephesians 1:1-23. What especially inspires you? What peaks do you see?
Ephesians 1:3-14 functions like a map at a mountain’s summit that identifies the peaks on the horizon, as Paul orients us to our blessed place in the vast landscape of the plan of salvation. The scenery covers the full span of salvation history, from eternity past, through God’s grace-filled actions in Christ, to eternity future. God’s redemption of believers reflects divine initiatives taken “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), which are now being worked out in our lives (see Ephesians 1:7-8, Ephesians 1:13-14, ). These pre-creation strategies will be fully accomplished at the end of time (Ephesians 1:9-10, ). Then, “all things,” both “in heaven” and “on earth” will be gathered together or united in Christ, and God’s plan for “the fullness of time” (ESV) will be fulfilled (Ephesians 1:10). Then, we will experience fully God’s mysterious plan (Ephesians 1:9). In the present, we may be certain that the Christ-centered salvation in which we stand is an important part of God’s wide-reaching plan for the redemption of “all things.”
Being on a mountaintop inspires thanksgiving. In Ephesians 1:15-19, Paul gives thanks to God as he prays that believers may experience the salvation God has planned for them. We find ourselves on another steep climb as he points us upward to the risen, ascended, exalted Christ, who rules over every imaginable power for all time (Ephesians 1:20-23).
Through the grace of God expressed in Christ Jesus, we may live this day on the mountaintop!
|Ephesians 1:4 tells us that Christ “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (NKJV). Think about what that means. Chosen in Him before the world existed! What great hope should this offer you in regard to God’s desire for you to be saved?|