Sermon: The Spiritual Blessing of Adoption (Ephesians 1:3-6)

The Spiritual Blessing of Adoption

Ephes. 1:3-6 (ESV)


    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,  [4] even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love  [5] he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,  [6] to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 

The Apostle Paul begins the letter to the Ephesian Church with worship. Paul writes May the God and Father of our Lord be glorified, may God be highly exalted

He is worshipping God because of all the benefits God has given Paul and also given the Church. That is exactly why we should worship God. He has done so much for His people that He alone deserves to be worshipped.

 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, 

The best way to understand this verse is to see it as a statement the Apostle makes. He makes this blanket proclamation and then he spends the next ten verses showing us just how much we are blessed in Christ. He is going to elaborate on what he means by who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 

God has given the Church every spiritual blessing. In other words, there is nothing God has left out. He has richly poured out His love through Christ. We are told that these blessings do not originate with man but are from heaven alone, in the heavenly places.

James 1:16-17 (ESV) 

    Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.  [17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 

We are to praise and worship God because He has not withheld any spiritual blessing from His children.

What does Paul mean by every spiritual blessing?

The spiritual blessing we are going to look at today is the Spiritual Blessing of Adoption.

The first thing I want us to see together is where this adoption came from.

1. Our Adoption is From God

[4] even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Our adoption into God’s family originated with God. He alone is responsible. Here the Bible says that God chose us in him. This choosing is what is called divine election.

Previously in the Old Testament, this type of language was used concerning Israel. God had chosen Israel to be His people. Now this very special language of choosing is used for the Church. God is bringing together Jew and Gentile into one family called the Church.

Election means that God picked, selected, or as in this verse chose certain people. Here Paul writes that He chose us. The Bible teaches that God has picked certain people to adopt. We should also understand that by saying this, the Bible is inferring another truth that not everyone is chosen to be adopted by God. There are those people whom God has not chosen for whatever reason. This is only known in the deep councils of God.

The timing of our election took place, again according to the Bible, before the foundation of the world.

The timing of our election shows us that it came about because of the eternal will of God. Before time began, before the earth was formed, before humans were ever created God had already decided who He would adopt. Adam and Eve were not even here yet and God had already determined exactly who would make up the church. There is nothing that shows more clearly the fact that God did not elect us to adoption because of our good attributes. Because our election took place before we had done anything good or bad.

This is Paul’s thinking when he wrote in Romans 9,

Romans 9:6-16 (ESV) 

    But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,  [7] and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”  [8] This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.  [9] For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son.”  [10] And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,  [11] though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad-in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call- [12] she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”  [13] As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    [14] What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!  [15] For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  [16] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 

God’s divine election happened before we were even ever formed. Before the foundation of the world, God did know about us and He knew that we would need a Savior. Before time began, God saw our need and planned a Savior so that we could be adopted into His family.

The purpose of our adoption wasn’t because God thought much of us. It wasn’t because we were cute or smart or stuck out from the crowd.

The purpose is that we should be holy and blameless before him. Our election unto adoption has a moral view in mind. God chose rebellious children to become His children so He can make us into people who are set apart and who are blameless before Him. God went for the rebellious sinners to show kindness and grace to so that those who were formerly wicked and evil and God haters would become loyal, righteous lovers of God. People may wonder, Am I one of the chosen? According to this passage, one way to tell is this: are you seeing your life being transformed into the image of Christ? Since our election is unto holiness and becoming people who are blameless before Him, as His people, we should be seeing some of that taking place. So the vital question we must ask ourselves is this, Am I showing the fruit of someone who is predestined to become like Jesus? We should realize that this is a lifelong experience for the true believer. It doesn’t happen overnight. The process called sanctification will continue until a person dies. Also, true believers are not perfect, we still sin. But it is, however, important that we see some transformation because of the Holy Spirit residing within us.

Are you experiencing the work of the Spirit in your life?

2. Our Adoption is Through Jesus Christ

In love  [5] he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ,

The motive for adoption is love and the means is Jesus. God determined in love before the foundation of the earth to save a people through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is forever loved by God. All who are in Christ are forever loved by God. Jesus is the Father’s Beloved so then are all who belong to Jesus beloved by God.

In love he predestined us. This shows God’s attitude toward His children. This predestination did not come about because God grudgingly did it; it came about out of His love. Before time began God determined to show love to some of the human race. He chose to set up the Church to be the Bride of His Son.

The word predestined simply means that the destiny of someone is set before the person actually exists. The determined counsel of God precedes the creation of the person.

Romans 8:29-35 (ESV) 

    For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  [30] And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

    [31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  [32] He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  [33] Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  [34] Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 

If you’re a child of God, your adoption is forever secure because God alone determines it. He decreed that you would be adopted before time ever was in existence. Being brought into God’s family happens through Jesus alone.

Our election unto holiness and our foreordination into Christ is eternally secure. There is no power that can undo what God ordained would take place. Every grain of sand on the shore is in place exactly how God ordained it. If God decrees even the most minute detail we can trust that His children will remain eternally secure.

The Church is truly set on a rock solid foundation. Our status before God and His love for us will never change. Through Christ, God has forever placed His stamp of approval upon your life. We no longer need to worry or be anxious because God the Father is for us. He has decided to forever love the Bride of Christ.

Because we are predestined for adoption through Jesus Christ, we don’t have to live a life trying to earn God’s approval. We don’t have to worry that because I didn’t do something perfectly God is out to get me. It doesn’t work that way. He alone is the soul determining factor. God will not love you today and hate you tomorrow.

I would much rather my adoption be determined by the unchanging decree of God than based on my job performance.

This goes against much of what we have been led to believe. There is something within us that fights against a salvation that God alone determines. We like to think we have a vital role to play in salvation. When we have these feelings of doubt, it’s important that we look to the Word of God and not to what may seem right to us or to something we’ve heard somewhere else.

Don’t do battle with the Word of God. Believe what the Bible tells you…period.

 3. Our Adoption is For God’s Glory

according to the purpose of his will,  [6] to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 

All of these amazing blessings have taken place toward one end. The end is God’s glory. The goal of our adoption is that we would praise God for His glorious grace. Our lives will fulfill what we’ve been created to do.

Isaiah 43:6-7 (ESV) 

    I will say to the north, Give up,

        and to the south, Do not withhold;

    bring my sons from afar

        and my daughters from the end of the earth,

    [7] everyone who is called by my name,

        whom I created for my glory,

        whom I formed and made.”

We undeserving and rebellious sinners have been eternally adopted by God so that we will praise Him for His wonderful grace. The more we see our sinful lost ness and the more we see the perfect holiness of God, the more we will be awestruck that One so good and perfect would come to the rescue of people so rebellious and wicked.

May God the Father be forever praise because of His amazing grace.

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