God’s master plan for the church has 3 parts:
– Eph. 1:4-6 starts in eternity as God united us with Christ which: Justified us Adopted us Reconciled us
Remember that it meant: • In justification the sinner stands before God as accused and is declared free • In adoption he stands before God as a stranger and receives sonship • In reconciliation he stands before God as an enemy and is led to friendship.
* All by Christ!
Then, Eph. 1:7-12 looks at what Christ has done on the cross for us. • Christ redeemed us buying us from slavery to sin • Christ forgave us wiping out the sin that condemned us before God • Christ let us in on God’s inner circle with spiritual wisdom and insight. • Christ gave us to God as an inheritance to glorify His name • Christ gave us great blessing of all His promises as our inheritance.
Now we come to Part 3, the final aspect of God’s maaster plan.
V. 13-14 – we are spirit sealed. What does he mean by that?
We now meet the third person of our triune God and see His preccious ministry.
Note three points of our study:
I. The Plan of Salvation II. The Personality of the Spirit III. The Purpose of the Spirit – The Pledge of Security
I. First the Plan of Salvation. Read v. 13. There are many descriptions of salvation:
A. In the Old Testament it is described as: • By David Ps. 18:2 A horn or source of power • David’s last Psalm 2 Sam. 22:51 A tower or place of refuge • Is. 59:17 A helmet or guarded mind • By David again 2 Sam. 22:36 A shield or place of protection • Is. 62:1 A lamp so no longer in darkness • By the Psalmist in Ps. 116:13 A cup so ever refreshed • By Isaiah Is. 12:3 A well so never run dry • By Solomon in 2 Chr. 6:41 Clothing because it’s so personal and must be individually taken
B. In New Testament there are graphic illustrations:
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• Acts 26:18 (turn there) Remember 7 things that happen • James 3:17 (turn) 7 dynamic Christly character qualities when God descends into the life
C. But here in Eph. 1:13 we have the entire process of how a sinner becomes a saint.
1. He “hears” the gospel of salvation. You say, but what about election? Wiersbe put it well: “The Ephesians ‘heard the Gospel’ and discovered it was for them — ‘your salvation’ (v. 13). Even though the Bible teaches election, it also announces, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). A soul-winner does not discuss election with unsaved people, because it is a family secret that belongs to the saints. He simply announces the truth of the Gospel and invites men to trust Christ, and the Holy Spirit does the rest. D. L. Moody used to pray, ‘Lord, save the elect–and then elect some more!’ The same God who ordains the end, the salvation of souls, also ordains the means to the end, the preaching of the Gospel in the power of the Spirit.”
2. Next, they “believe”. 3. And faith brings salvation! Eph. 2:8-9 Rom. 10:13-15 Exactly God’s plan
Note it carefully: Present Word of God, If believed, Faith brings salvation and, 4. Holy Spirit enters sealing, baptizing and indwelling that believer at the moment of salvation. Don’t let anyone rob you of this truth. Acts 10:34-48 shows this order and timing as does the rest of the New Testament. So, God’s Plan of Salvation.
II. Now, we’ve seen God’s plan of salvation. The next two words “in Him” introduce us to the Person of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force, rather He is a very real person with a vital plan to our salvation life. Let’s note His:
A. Personality seen as He spreaks and calls (acts 12:2), commands, permits (Acts 16:6, 7), leads (Rom. 8:14), instructs (Jn. 16:13), comforts (Jn. 14:26), intercedes (Rom. 8:26), bears witness (Rom. 8:16), and can be grieved (Eph. 4:30)–All expressions which can be used only of a living, personal being. Also in the baptismal command (Matt. 28:19), and in the benediction in II Cor. 13:14, He so plainly stands son the same level as the Father and the Son that He, exactly as They, is to be acknowledged as a Divine Person (Ego).
III. Thirdly, what is the overall Plan or Purpose of the Spirit’s work toward us? It can be distilled to five marvelous facets.