We are the crowning glory of his creation. The first chapter of Ephesians assures the Gentile believers in Ephesus, indeed assures all who would read this letter that God the Father loved them before “In the beginning. . .” Before “God created the heavens and the earth”, before ” the Spirit hovered over the waters”, God had a Satan-proof plan already in place. He already knew humankind would blow their utopia in Eden and yet the Triune God still said, “Let US make man in our own image and so He created them male and female.” He didn’t say, “Hey, Guys, let’s trash this idea and just make a bunch of puppet children.” He wanted the real boys and girls so He had his plan to save us from ourselves, but only as an exercise of free will not coercion.
God knew how fragile, how frail humankind with all our grand resolves to do good, with all our attempts to be like God, with all our weaknesses of the flesh, He knew we would need Jesus. He knew with the work of the Cross complete, I and all believers before and after me, including those ancient Ephesians would need His presence dwelling in us to sustain us in this world and to enable us to be the Church.
The following is from THE MESSAGE, Ephesians 1: 2-23. I have altered it only to make it more personal to me….Please feel free, Fellow Believers, to insert your name in place of mine.
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us [you] in mind, had settled on us [you] as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us [you] into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us [you] to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
It’s in Christ that we [you] find out who we [you]are and what we [you] are living for. Long before we [you] first heard of Christ and got our [your] hopes up, he had his eye on us [you] , had designs on us [you] for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us [you] , a praising and glorious life.
That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank.
I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule.
And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.
The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
[You see, Carolyn, You were Always on My Mind! You have a purpose in the Body of Christ and in His Church! You are signed, sealed and delivered to MAKE A DIFFERENCE as a part of His Church.]