The Mystery of His Will

Ephesians 1:1-2 ESV

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The following is written to the saints of God who are faithful in Christ Jesus. And a saint is a called out one, one who is holy (unlike, different from the world because he is being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ). We, as God’s saints, are to be different from the world because we are becoming more and more like Jesus. For we are set apart for the Lord and from the world so that we can do what God has called each one of us to do.

And to be faithful in Christ Jesus means to be reliable, trustworthy, and loyal to the faith that we have in Christ. And that word “faith” means to be persuaded. And since we can’t even come to faith in Christ unless God the Father draws us to Christ, then it is God the Father who is doing the persuading. And he persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness, and of our need to turn from our sins in order to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his will and to his ways.

[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Acts 5:32; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Matt 7:21-23]

Ephesians 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, 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.”

These promises are for the saints of God who are faithful in Christ Jesus. They are not for everyone who makes a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, for not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23). So these promises are for those whose lives are surrendered to Christ, who have died with him to sin, and who have been raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, and who are the faithful.

And I am not talking here of sinless perfection. But Jesus “draws a line in the sand” (he establishes limits) as to what he regards as genuine faith and what he regards as not genuine faith. And he says if we believe in him with genuine faith that we will die with him to sin, not just once, but continually, and that we will walk in obedience to his commands, both as a matter of practice, but not necessarily in absolute sinless perfection (see 1 John 2:1-2). But if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, that is not true faith.

In other words, we can’t have the resurrection without death on the cross first. We can’t have the blessings of God without us dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, which is the reason for which he died. For the blessings of God go hand-in-hand with us being holy and blameless before the Lord, not just as a status, but in how we live. For we are to be holy in all of our conduct. Holiness is in our actions not just in our relationship with Christ as his holy people.

[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV

“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.”

When Jesus Christ shed his blood for us on that cross, he bought us back for God (he redeemed us) so that we would now be God’s possession and that he would be our Lord (Owner-Master), so that we would now honor God with our lives. And we are forgiven our sins when we genuinely repent of our sins and we turn away from them to follow Jesus in obedience. For he says that if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin that we will not inherit eternal life with God. So that means our sins would not be forgiven.

For God’s grace to us is to deliver us from our slavery (addiction) to sin and to empower us to live godly and holy lives for his praise and glory. His grace, which is bringing us salvation, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. For Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14).

So, Jesus’ grace to us is not just to forgive us our sins so we can go to heaven when we die. His grace to us is to change us, to transform us, to put sin to death in us so we will walk in holiness and in righteousness. And it is something he will supply to us each day as we walk in faithful obedience to him, if we are willing to obey him and to do what he tells us to do. For his purpose for our lives is that we will forsake our sins and that we will follow him in obedience until the very end of time.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Pie Jesu

Songwriter: Andrew Lloyd-Webber

Merciful Jesus,
Pie Jesu,

Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi

Give them rest, grant them rest
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem

Lamb of God
Agnus Dei,

Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi

Grant them eternal rest
Dona eis requiem



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