Saving Grace

Election, predestination, remissions of sins and revelation

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. – Ephesians 1:4-9

In many cases, before children are born into a family, or even conceived, the parents make preparation for them. A room is prepared in the family home. Plans are made for college and the likes.

The parents make these plans for their children even though the children may not take advantage of them. But because the parents love their children, they do what is best for them.

Our text tells us a little about God’s plan and gift for humankind. Here the apostle is writing specifically to the church at Ephesus to let the saints know that God’s gift of salvation to the Gentile was a part of his plan from the beginning of the world.

The apostle assures the saints at Ephesus that God had the Gentile in his plans as he did the Jews. He points out that the blessings of the gospel which is so freely dispensed to them is proof of God’s plan for them. For this he gives praise to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

What are these blessings? These blessings are election, predestination, remissions of sins and revelation.

In our blessing of election, our salvation was not something God thought about after the creation.

No, his plan for humankind was in motion even before our first parents were created. Through election, God intended that all humans benefit from his grace.

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the one he loves. God chose, from the foundation of the world, that the gift of salvation would be freely available to all humankind, through faith in Christ Jesus, his suffering servant.

This also tells us that his blessings are not because of our merits. They come to us simply because of his unconditional love for us. We call this grace. Scripture tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

As sinful humans, we are in captivity. We are held hostage by the devil. Therefore, there is no release from our sin, captivity, without redemption, the remission of sins, which comes through blood.

Christ, the son of the father, came into the world to redeem us. His blood was the redemption price laid down for our salvation. This was according to God’s riches grace for humankind.

God’s plan for humankind, especially the Gentiles, was hidden to humanity. It was a mystery. However, when the time was right, he brought forth his son, born of a woman, to reveal his mystery to us.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s revelation to us. He says in John 15:15, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Yes, according to God’s good pleasure, he willed that his plan for us be made known in Christ Jesus.

At the right time, this goodwill, which had been concealed from us, was made known to us through Christ Jesus our Lord and savior, who was from the beginning of time. Amen.

  
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau,  119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; E-mail: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org. 

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