Entering Ephesians (1:3-14)


I found inspiration recently by a post on Chelsey’s blog. It was a reflection from the book of Ephesians, and it led me back to those pages too. (For the record, I have NO IDEA why the print coming up is so small!  Grab your bi-focals if you need.)

This morning I read this from 25-cent version of the J.B. Phillips NT

Praise be to God (“Why?”, we ask.)

for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! (We–you and I–have been given every benefit that would befit a citizen of heaven. God HAS held, and He WILL CONTINUE to hold, NOTHING back from us.)

For consider what he has done

before the foundation of the world
he chose us to become, in Christ, (To become what?)

his holy and blameless children (Good people to be.)

living within his constant care. (Good place to live.)

He planned, in his purpose of love,(Always God’s purpose.)

that we should be adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ –
that we might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son. (The love that the Divine Father has for the Divine Son… THAT is what WE are invited into!)

It is through the Son,

at the cost of his own blood,

that we are redeemed,

freely forgiven

through that full and generous grace (That’s the kind of grace I need.) which has overflowed into our lives (That’s the kind of flood I need.) and opened our eyes to the truth. (And I could use that sight too.)

For God had allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this:

he purposes in his sovereign will

that all human history shall be consummated in Christ (Consummated=achieved, perfected, completed.),

that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfilment in him. (Jesus brings to the table what you and I–along with the rest of creation–need to be perfected and fulfilled.)

And here is the staggering thing (Because nothing staggering has been said yet!) –

that in all which will one day belong to him

we have been promised a share (What’s His is ours! This isn’t to promote greed; it’s to get it straight in our heads that being part of God’s Kingdom is to be part of the ONLY Kingdom.)

since we were long ago destined for this by the one who achieves his purposes by his sovereign will, so that we, as the first to put our confidence in Christ, may bring praise to his glory!

And you too trusted him, when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation.

And after you gave your confidence to him (Great way to describe faith.)you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase,

until the day when God completes the redemption of what he has paid for as his own (What a day that will be! The ultimate consummation of Lover and Beloved, and the grand fulfillment of all that the Creation–and you and me–are intended to be!);

and that will again be to the praise of his glory. (I’ll bet it will be!)

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