As Christians, we belong to God. The moment we trusted in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for our salvation, we were forever redeemed, or bought back from sin and death, by His blood. Because of His amazing love and grace, the Father chose to forgive all of our sins by accepting the one time sacrifice of His only Son in our stead (vv. 7-8). This glorious truth of Jesus taking our place to buy our souls back from hell was foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament, but now it has been fulfilled and revealed to us in the New Testament (vv. 9-12). All the angels in heaven rejoice with us over our redemption and join with us in giving all of the glory to God through Jesus Christ. In His great wisdom, God has guaranteed us a home with Him in heaven in forever. The down payment for that home is the Holy Spirit, who came to live in us the instant we first believed in Jesus (vv. 13-14). The Spirit will never leave us. His presence and work in our lives is the “seal” or sign of God’s certain promise that we now belong to Him forever. When God looks at us, when He looks at you, He sees the righteousness of His Son Jesus and the mark of His Holy Spirit and says, “Bought and paid for – mine for all eternity!” Do you struggle to accept that all this could be true? Read about these promises below and believe what God says!
The Text (Ephesians 1:7-14)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Questions to Think About
- Do you ever struggle to believe that God has forgiven you of all your sins through Christ? Take your doubts to God in prayer and memorize verses like Ephesians 1:7 and Romans 8:1 (“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”) to quote whenever fear assaults you. God gave us such Bible verses because He knew that when our sin-weakened hearts tried to condemn us, we would need the power of His Word to give us certain hope and confidence in our salvation.
- What evidences of the Holy Spirit’s work have you seen in your life since you accepted Christ?
- How can knowing that God’s Spirit will never leave you help you in your daily walk with the Lord?
• The “mystery of His will” that Paul discusses in verse 9 is probably talking about the spiritual blessings described in the rest of this passage. We don’t totally understand everything about God’s final plan of redemption for Christians and the world through Christ. However, enough of the gospel has been revealed for us to be saved and then understand the meaning of that salvation for our own relationship with God and our destiny in His kingdom.
• The “we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ” in verse 12 is most likely a reference to Paul, the apostles, and other disciples in the first group of people to become Christians. This group was mostly made up of converted Jews. The “and you also were included” group in verse 13 would then be a reference to those who came to faith in Christ later, many of whom would have been Gentiles. But we should not make too much of this difference. The promise of a certain inheritance in heaven is true for both of these groups, just as both groups received the Holy Spirit as the sign of their salvation. And for all Christians since then (including us!), these promises remain true.