Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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July 15 – The Riches Of God’s Grace

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Epistle Lesson just read, Eph. 1:3-14.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • Grace is an important concept in Holy Scripture, God’s Word to us.  It is essential for us to understand it if we are to properly understand God, His love for us, and His rich blessings upon us.  Grace is, simply stated, “undeserved love, mercy, kindness, and goodness.”  God is full of grace toward us, and according to our text His grace is “glorious.”  This is repeated several times in this first chapter of Ephesians – and the apostle Paul fleshes out just why His grace is glorious.  To know God we must remember this – that He richly blesses us, and always it is a matter of His grace, His “undeserved love, mercy, kindness, and goodness” toward us.
  • To know and understand and believe this reality is to have fullness of joy and peace, and sure and certain basis for both hope and courage for life in this world and for the facing of death.  All of these things are important to us – not just for our own comfort and peace of mind, but also for committing our lives to God’s service and truly being a blessing to others.   In this way we are richly blessed to participate in God’s purpose, His eternal plan – “to unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.”  I hope this is something that each of us eagerly desires!
  • And we will desire it all even more when we grasp that:

 

I.  God Has Blessed Us In Christ Jesus With Every Spiritual Blessing

 

Text:  “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.”

 

A.  This Includes The Essential Blessing Of Forgiveness, Redemption, And Cleansing From The Guilt Of All Our Sin

 

Text:  “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.”

 

B.  This Also Includes The Gift Of His Wisdom, Knowledge Of His Will, His Plan For All Of Time

 

Text:  “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, thing in heaven and things on earth.”

 

C.  This Includes Also The Gift Of An Eternal Inheritance, Sealed With The Gift Of The Holy Spirit – So That We Ourselves Have Become Part Of The Praise Of His Glorious Grace

 

Text:  “In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it – to the praise of His glory.”

 

Statement:

  • Let us first remember what “grace” is – God’s “undeserved love, mercy, kindness, and goodness.”  All of our blessedness – which includes “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” comes to us by God’s grace, completely undeserved, as a gift of His mercy, love, kindness and goodness. 
  • Second, let us clearly understand that this is God’s will and plan – to display the glories and wonders of His love, His gracious and merciful love.  So all who receive His blessings, His grace, who “believe in Christ Jesus,” are the evidence, the glorious evidence and proof of God’s glorious grace and love! 
  • What are the blessings we have received?  What are the blessings that prove and demonstrate God’s gracious and wondrous and glorious love for us?  Forgiveness, cleansing, mercy, a right relationship with God, eternal life in the glory of His heavenly kingdom, and the blessed wisdom and knowledge that this is God’s will and plan for us! 

 

Application:

  • If these wonderful promises and blessings were not clearly presented in Holy Scripture, God’s own Word, NO ONE would dare to be so bold as to preach and proclaim it.  His glorious grace is too wonderful to fully grasp – but God Himself urges us to understand, and to receive all these blessings from Him, as His gift to us, fully undeserved and unearned, simply from His gracious mercy and love toward us.
  • And God bids us to contemplate all of this – His wondrous love for us.  It is important to Him, to be properly known for Who He is, that “God is love.”  And it is also important for us – for our inner life and being, to grasp how greatly God loves us, to understand His eternal purpose and will and plan for us – so that we might receive His love, His goodness, and be restored to a relationship of love with Him.
  • For we see what happens when people are ignorant of God’s love – they reject and persecute God’s servants, those who speak His Word, like Amos and like John the Baptist.  And surely this is not God’s will for any of us!

 

Transition:  So we must understand that though God’s gifts are free to us, they are not without cost to God and to His servants, for:

 

II.  We Must Understand That These Blessings Of God’s Gracious Love Have Come To Us By Suffering And Bloodshed

 

A.  First, Of Course, By The Shed Blood Of Jesus Christ, The Son Of God

 

Text:  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”

 

B.  But The Blessings Of Knowing These Things Also Come To Us Through The Blood Of The Prophets, Apostles, And Martyrs Of God

 

OT:  “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, but never again prophesy in Bethel.”

 

Gospel:  “Immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head.  He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl.”

 

Statement:

  • Most of the prophets of God, from Moses onward have suffered rejection, abuse, and at times violent persecution.  They increase the value, the glory, the preciousness and weight of God’s glorious grace, His undeserved love and kindness toward us. 
  • Those who speak God’s Word to us continue to suffer the same kinds of rejection, abuse, and at times persecution – and they spend themselves, their life energy and life force, proclaiming the glories of God’s gracious love to all the world.  They are part of the cost God is willing to invest in the salvation of the world – that others may be blessed with His redemption and eternal life, and may know Him, His very heart, and also His will, purpose, and plan for the fullness of time.

 

Application:

  • This too is “to the praise of His glorious grace” – and hopefully we too are among those who eagerly proclaim:  “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.”  This is enough for God, the goal of His love, and the final resolve of His eternal grace.

 

Conclusion:

  • So let us clearly grasp and understand the nature of His glorious grace, the nature of His love, and rejoice that He has included us in His good and gracious will, His purpose, and His plan for the fullness of time! 
  • Never forget the great dignity and glorious light that He has made you – that you, you personally, just who you are regardless of your weakness, sin, poverty, or smallness; you are “to the praise of His glorious grace!”  Because “when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,” “you believed in Him” and “were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit . . . the guarantee of our inheritance!
  • Blessed indeed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  Amen!

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.