“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:3-13 ESV)
This is one of those passages that Paul sets before his readers like a thick, beef stew. It’s loaded with carrots and potatoes and onions and peas and celery and, if you’re lucky, fried mushrooms. As you ladle a steaming portion onto your plate your mouth waters, and you wonder why you don’t eat stew more often.
Just look: in a few dozen words Paul shares all the ingredients of God’s marvelous plan of salvation for mankind. We have God the Father’s “glorious grace,” our adoption “as sons through Jesus Christ,” and “the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance.” Here we have the Trinity in action, nurturing our faith and nourishing our lives unto Kingdom come. And all this, God “lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ.”
And dutiful as ever, Paul show us God at work in our lives. This passage alone, were a person to commit it to memory, would both satisfy one’s spiritual palate and, at the same time, yield fresh flavors of truth for the believer. Here the apostle serves the reader a banquet of divinely inspired, Spirit-guided truths meant not just for the church at Ephesus, or even for the fellowship of believers throughout Asia Minor, but for the whole world, including you and me.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your Word nourishes your children like nothing else. Give us a hunger to come taste of its bounty every day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. How do you determine the type and size of Bible text you will study?
2. How many different theological ideas do you find in the passage above? Writing them down would be helpful.
3. Can you pick a verse from the Bible and memorize it this week?