God the Father, Son and Spirit have taken the initiative to draw you into intimacy, His original and unchanged Eden-intent.
Nine times Paul repeats the phrase “in Christ” or “in Him” to underscore that this section centers on God the Son as part of the relational Trinity.
First, God the Father joins with God the Son to lavish the riches of His grace on us within the Community of this Triune God (1:7-8).
“Lavish” communicates the geyser of His outpoured grace. In Christ, we have been bought back from the slave market, no longer bound by the chains of Satan (Hebrews 2:14-15). We now have new Owners, Ones who have forgiven us in Christ for all our sins, fully removing the rubble of sin. God drenches us with His activated grace. The death of Jesus Christ on our behalf evidences the unshakeable and unbreakable love of the one true God (1 John 4:9-10). We stare with mouths gaping at the extravagant opulence of God’s outpoured love towards us in Christ.
Second, God the Father joins with God the Son to reveal and disclose to His friends what He has planned (John 15:15).
We are not in the dark. We are in on what God is doing and will do. As we recognize that virtually everything that has to do with God takes place previous to our knowing anything about it. This has at least two profound effects.
1. Initially, it demands humility; not a low view of ourselves, but an accurate one. We don’t know enough to protest or approve, but can only adore and appreciate since God chose to include us in His epic adventure. What we do know is that God is continuously in action in comprehensively glorious ways. And He invites His people to fully participate with Him in this epic adventure with cosmic proportions.
2. Finally, we recognize how bankrupt human reasoning and logic are in this process. We then approach Him with a theology of awe and wonder. We need spiritual Reality revealed to us since we can never grasp it on our own. “In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will." What does Paul disclose under the inspiration of the Spirit? Paul wants us to be captured with what has captured his heart and mind. God delights to catch us up into something so stupendous that it involves gathering everything together in Christ. This is something to get out of bed in the morning to partner in!
Third, we are chosen and predestined according to God’s plan before time.
Just when our minds are ready to explode, Paul continues by reiterating lets us listen in on the conversation between the Father, Son and Spirit that launched creation. The Message paraphrase puts it this way: “Letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making.” This is why God created you and me! We have been invited into Jesus’ epic adventure for the ages. God intends to restore this fallen creation to intimacy with the Father. He will then bring to completion the fullness of all His original Eden-intent that was cut short when Adam went rogue. And this has eternal, cosmic consequences. We are on the winning side so that we “might be for the praise of His glory.”
Download from my website the PDF of my short meditation on Ephesians called Created Community. Also, visit my website at: JimFredericks.com