InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday & Sunday, September 11 & 12, 2010
Read | Ephesians 1:3-8
The Blessings of Redemption
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. 15For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Our Father’s concern about us is not confined to spiritual matters. He is interested in the details of daily living as well. People tend to divide their lives into categories, distinguishing between issues related to work, home, faith, etc. Yet the Lord sees us as whole persons.
God’s Word shows that He is in the business of keeping bodies fed (Luke 12:29), minds wise (James 1:5), and hearts at ease (Phil. 4:7). And since believers are in union with Jesus Christ through His indwelling Spirit, every aspect of a Christian’s existence has a spiritual connection. There is not a time in the day when the Christian’s life separates into “sacred” and “secular” components. The anxious heart that distracts us from prayer is as much God’s concern as the tired mind that easily drifts into temptation.
Scripture stresses God’s commitment to believers’ whole selves: “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3 ).The Lord doesn’t limit Himself to building godliness in us. Day-to-day particulars of life matter too. We need never wonder if God can or wants to meet our needs. El-Shaddai, the all-sufficient One whose kindness never ceases (Lam. 3:22), gives believers whatever is required to grow their faith—whether that is food, comfort, knowledge, or peace.
The loving heavenly Father sees His children as whole people rather than physical beings with a spiritual life on the side. We cheat ourselves when we think God is interested solely in our spiritual needs. He has many kinds of blessings to offer, if we will but ask.