THE ETERNAL PURPOSES OF GOD
study of the book of Ephesians
by: Pastor Max
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed
us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in
Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)
Paul's salutation in the beginning of his letter to the church at
Ephesus begins with him bestowing God's wonderful peace upon
them. Then, he immediately proclaims a testimony of praise
unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for His marvelous
blessings to us: "He hath blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in Heavenly places in Christ."
He is referring of course to our standing with Him as sons of God
through the New Birth. The important thing to note is that these
blessings have come to us because of our relationship to God the
Father, through his Son Jesus Christ!
‘In Christ’ is a recurring term we see many times in our
study of the Book of Ephesians.
FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!
The enormity of the blessings received through the Gospel of the
Lord Jesus Christ is so magnanimous and difficult for
mortal man to comprehend. In theology we use the term
“incomprehensible” which means that we cannot understand
or comprehend God.
The plans and purposes of God for which we were born and the extent
to which the Almighty has gone to call us to Himself, and to
protect, lead, guide and teach us is beyond our ability to
The Scripture says: “According as He hath chosen us in
Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world that we
should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Ephesians
When you consider the fact that we were all born in sin and were
sinners by birth, nature and choice with the propensity to go our
own way and do our own thing, yet Almighty God knew about us and
loved us! (Isaiah 53:6; Proverbs 16:25)
Long before the earth was formed, God knew that we would become
righteous and without blame before Him in love and that in
humility and repentance we would receive the Gift of His Son and
worship Him in the beauty of holiness!
COULD HE KNOW THAT?
Before there was life on this planet, God knew that Adam and Eve
would fall. And the Law of Righteousness demanded a penalty for
Sin and High Treason against the Almighty and that was death
- Eternal Damnation!
The Lord KNEW that the Man He would create in His own image and
likeness –with a free will - would succumb to the temptation of
the Evil One and would fall, plunging the entire human race into a
In His omniscient wisdom our Heavenly Father would send His Own Son
to Planet Earth to be incarnated and to suffer, bleed and die to
redeem mankind from power of SIN and Satan’s snare. He also
KNEW that His Son would defeat Satan, death and Hell and rise
again in power and great glory, freeing us all from Sin and
its awful power!
It is amazing that God who is totally pure, righteous and holy
deigns to choose us who were totally the opposite: vile, sinful,
despicable and unholy!
What is the essential message I receive from this astounding text? That
I am wanted by the Highest Authority in the Universe. That I was
chosen by the King Eternal, the Creator of Heaven and earth, to be
His very own child! And that I would somehow be changed from being
His enemy to being His friend – from a beggar in rags to a
Prince in His Palace!
MORE DO I LEARN FROM THIS?
I learn that His plan has
always been, to transform me from being ‘Guilty’ to ‘Blameless’ and
that His LOVE would do it all. His love would somehow
change me and more than that, His Love would also become my Love!
Talk about Grace! Talk about Peace! St. Paul knew
what he was writing about! He had been a hateful, spiteful,
horrible murderous and proud Pharisee, despoiling the Church
through a terrifying spiritual blindness that was anchored in pride and
Then, suddenly all was changed and he made a one hundred and eighty
degree turn when he was blinded by the Light and heard the Voice
of the JUST ONE on the Damascus Road! The change was so
dramatic that it wasn’t long before he was hunted with a price
on his head by the very fanatical religious leadership who had
earlier authorized him to kidnap, torture and kill the disciples
of Jesus, the Messiah!
Many years later, he communicates this matchless truth to the new
converts in the Church at Ephesus. You may ask, “How could
all this come about?” We have not only been CHOSEN by our
Heavenly Father but we have been predestined to be His sons and
daughters through ADOPTION!
What an amazing, grandiose and marvelous truth! That a
wicked, vile, unrighteous sinner and an enemy of God who has
broken His laws and flaunted His Commandments is chosen by the
Lord of Glory to be His adopted Son!
That Christ Himself would be crucified by ‘sinful man’ whom He
had come to earth to redeem and adopt as His own – and all this
planned and executed in the heart of the Saviour before the
foundations of the world were laid.
All this was done by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “Having
predestinated us unto the ADOPTION of children by Jesus Christ to
Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Ephesians
IN THE BELOVED
The Holy Bible states: “To the praise of the glory of His grace,
wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In Whom
we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1: 6, 7)
What does this mean, “To the praise of the glory of
His grace?” As our finite minds are supernaturally expanded
to understand more of His ‘wondrous workings’ we get
a glimpse of His grace at work in sinful lives doing what is
A sinner and outcast running from God, doomed for Hell and
perdition is lifted out of servitude to the world, the flesh and
the Devil and is redeemed, liberated and taken into God’s
When we taste of His goodness and love we begin to understand a
little of His grace! Therefore, we praise our Heavenly Father and
glorify Him for His matchless grace toward us all. Not only has He
cleansed us from our sin and filth but He has made us accepted in
We have passed the test! We have been accepted in the Beloved and
made ready for the ‘Marriage Supper of the Lamb’, to
be a part of the Bride of our Heavenly Bridegroom! You may
ask: “How is this possible?"
Here is the answer to this Mystery: “In Whom we have
redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins according to
the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7).
A Gospel Song says it all: “What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Oh, precious is that flow; that
makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the
Blood of Jesus! Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!"
THROUGH THE BLOOD
Another Gospel song says: “Redeemed how I love to
proclaim it, Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through
His infinite mercy; His child and forever I am."
We were lost in sin, unbelief and following in the footsteps of our
father Adam who hath committed High Treason against his Creator.
We were in the Enemy’s Camp bound by chains of unbelief, lust,
fear and pride when the Holy Spirit called us and we answered that
call, not fully understanding the magnitude of the charges against
Only by an act of mercy and grace were we accepted in the Beloved,
transformed by His love and grace through the New Birth and washed
by the precious, holy, living Blood of Christ, thereby receiving
the forgiveness and a new standing in the Kingdom of God.
It is all made possible by the Grace of God, given to us by
the vicarious death of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection
from the dead! St. Paul is enraptured - as we are also – by the
fact that God has revealed this great wisdom and prudence to
Unto Paul was given the great honour and privilege to unlock this
Mystery of ‘how and why’ our redemption came about!
In his Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul shares this great and
“Whereof I am made a Minister, according to the dispensation of
God which is given to me for you to fulfill the Word of God: Even
the MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from
generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God
would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among
the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the Hope of Glory.” (Colossians
1: 26, 27)
Even though the Eternal God carried this great plan and purpose of
Redemption in His great heart for ages, He never divulged it to
the Prophets but uncovered these great truths to the Apostle
Paul who would carry this message of Good News to the Gentile
He explains: “Having made known to us the Mystery of
His Will according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in
Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He
might gather together in One all things in CHRIST, both which
are in Heaven, and which are in earth: even in Him:
“In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being
predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all
things after the counsel of His own Will: That we should be to the
praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:
All this is beyond our comprehension or understanding,
nevertheless, absolutely True and Wonderful over and above
anything our human minds can assimilate and our limited thought
processes can absorb and speech can properly articulate!
In the glorious hymn, ‘Rock of Ages’, Augustus M.
Toplady (1740-1778) wrote: ‘Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Saviour, or I die.'
We did nothing to deserve this great honour and privilege, to be
adopted by the King of kings and Lord of lords and to be made
heirs of God and joint heirs with our Saviour:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons
of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to
fear, but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry,
“The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are
children of God: And if children, then heirs: heirs of God and
joint heirs with Christ: if so be we suffer with Him, that we may
be also glorified together.” (Romans 8: 14-17)
St. Peter also boldly writes about our exalted position as children
of Almighty God and our eternal inheritance: “Blessed be the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to abundant
mercy hath begotten us again (born again) unto a lively
hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth
not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of
God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last
time.” (1 Peter 3-5)
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your
calling and election sure, for if you do these things, ye shall
never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you
abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:9,10)
THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!
ST. PAUL received the great Mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
and was sent by our Lord to the Gentile world, while St. Peter and
others ministered mostly to Jews!
He declared: “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being
predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all
things after the counsel of His will. That we should be to
the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ.
“In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Gospel of your
salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed ye were sealed
with that Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the earnest of our
inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto
the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:7-14)
Believers in Christ are to be “unto the praise of His
glory.” How could we be to the praise of His
glory? What can we possibly do to bring glory to Him? That is
a stretch by all human measurements, but not with God, because
with God all things are possible! (Mark 9:23; 10:27)
St. Paul doesn’t stop there. He writes to former pagans and
Gentiles in Rome concerning the faith of Abraham, thus: “He
staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was
strong in faith; and being fully persuaded that, what He had
promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was
imputed unto him for righteousness.
“Now it was not written for his sake ALONE, that it was
imputed to him; But for US also, to whom it shall be imputed,
if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the
dead.” (Romans 4:20-24)
The Pharisees were saying, “Sure, it happened to Abraham, but it
can’t happen today.” St. Paul answers: “Yes, it
can happen today and it does happen today!” As Abraham
sacrificed the ram in place of his son Isaac, he understood that
Messiah, God’s Son would die on the cross for the sins of the
world and rise again for his justification.
He looked forward to the Cross and was justified. We look back
at the Cross and are justified. He believed God and miracles
happened. Paul believed God and miracles happened and TODAY we
also believe God and miracles happen because our Saviour purchased
our total Freedom on Calvary’s Cross and bodily
resurrection three days later! (Romans 4: 24, 25)
The Religious today are peddling the ‘same old, same old’:
“It happened in Paul’s day but not today. The Day of Miracles
is past.” Tell that to St. Paul and you would get an
earful! Miracles of salvation and healing happened when Abraham walked
the earth and during Paul’s generation and is still
happening today, because Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
IS MORE, MUCH MORE!
But, there is more, yes. Much more! When you first trusted in
Christ, your name was written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
After you believed and were born again, Jesus Christ Himself gave
you the Gift of the Holy Spirit and filled you with great joy,
fire and power. At that moment, you were sealed with the
Spirit of Promise!
“What does that mean?” you may ask! The Holy Spirit
answers to the Blood of Jesus Christ. When a sinner receives
Christ as his personal Saviour, the Blood of Christ cleanses and
washes away his sins. He is redeemed and brought into the Kingdom
of God. It is, however, the work of the Holy Spirit to bring that
soul into the body of Christ.
After conversion, the Holy Spirit continues working with that soul
and when his hunger and thirst intensifies and reaches out to God
for more of Him, Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church personally
baptizes Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, thereby sealing him
until the Day of Redemption!
Here is a marvelous truth: We are sealed until the Day of
Redemption for the Purchased Possession, which is the Believer!
The Holy Spirit guarantees our eternal redemption by sealing us
for Christ until we see Him face to face, until the redemption. He
purchased us with His precious Blood. He owns us. We are His
Again, St. Paul nails down this great truth. In warning the Church
at Ephesus to live a pure, holy and righteous life, he also warned
against grieving the Holy Spirit of God!
“If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as
the truth is in JESUS; that ye put off concerning the former
conversation (lifestyle) the old man which is corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts: And be renewed in the spirit
of your mind: and that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after
God is created in righteousness and true holiness;
“Wherefore putting away lying speak every man truth with his
neighbour for we are members one of another...Neither give place
to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more, but rather
let him labour working with his hands the thing that is good, that
he may have to give to him that needeth.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that
which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace
unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God
whereby ye are sealed until the Day of Redemption.”(Ephesians 4:
God's blessing rest upon us all until He returns to take His
Church home! Amen.
CONTROLLING YOUR LIFE?
by: Pastor Max
TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION, FEAR & ANXIETY
Bible says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but
of love, power, and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
- MANKIND'S GREATEST FOE
first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing to
fear is fear itself - names, unreasoning, unjustified
terror." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
deacon, Phillip, broke tradition by preaching in Samaria, among
that city’s Jewish-extracted, mixed-race population.
Cornelius’ household were the first Romans to accept the gospel
- two years later - when ‘Shimon bar Yonah’ (St. Peter)
preached to them.
number of recent news stories highlighted the growing fear by many
people, due to the increase of terrorism, world disasters, wars,
tsunamis, terrorist attack, earthquakes, world viruses and
IS A UNIVERSAL ENEMY
and anxiety are universal enemies and certainly not a new enemy.
Fear had its beginning with Adam's rebellion and fall, in the
Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve had disobeyed God's
directive to them, fear entered their hearts.
Adam said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid,
because I am naked, and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:10)
THE LAST DAYS "MEN'S HEARTS WILL FAIL THEM FOR FEAR"
the slavish tentacles of fear are spreading and increasing in
intensity is also prophetical. Jesus declared that in the
last days "men's hearts" will fail them for
fear...." (Luke 21:26)
LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IS HEART DISEASE
leading cause of death is heart disease. People are
suffering from strain, anxiety and stress is adversely affecting a
large number of men and woman. Alcohol consumption, drug
abuse and anxiety attacks are increasing, all contributing to
IS #2 LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH. FEAR IS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR
is the #2 killer and medical science believes "fear" is
a contributor - because it constructs the vessels carrying blood
to affect areas.
smoking is a major cause of heart disease and sickness, why why do
people smoke? Often, because they are uptight, nervous,
anxious and afraid!
& DEPRESSION ARE THE GREATEST "ENEMIES" AMONG US
is "the enemy" among us and is taking a tremendous toll,
psychologically, economically, domestically and physically.
As well as politically, both nationally and world wide.
is our "greatest enemy" and it hinders growth in
business, impedes academic progress, breaks up families and keeps
people out of church.
is often the cause of strife, worry, bitterness, resentment,
jealousy and hatred. But fear can be conquered and driven
out of our lives!
years ago, USA President Herbert Hoover stated: The dominant
emotion everywhere in the world s FEAR.
years ago, USA President Herbert Hoover stated: "The dominant
emotion everywhere in the world is FEAR. This applies to
every part of human activities - finance, industry, farmers,
workers, thinkers and government officials."
ATLANTIC CHARTER - USA President Roosevelt
Atlanta Charter, drawn up by US President Theodore Roosevelt and
Britain's Sir Winston Churchill is still heralded as one of
history's greatest documents, championing the common liberties of
Freedom of speech
Freedom from want
Freedom of religion
contained four essential freedoms: freedom from want,
freedom from fear, freedom of speech and freedom of religion
York City's Dr. David Mitchell declared, humans are born with only
2 fears, sound of a sudden noise, and unexpected removal of
support or falling!
are however many unreal, imagined and unreasonable fears which
plague mankind. These we must reject in order to enjoy good
mental health and peace of mind.
believe that the lower central part of the brain called the
thalamus is the center of all emotions; this is where fearful
thoughts issue from. The nerve center is also where
affection and love are born.
is therefore important that we sort out our thoughts and allow
only those that are sane, sensible, wholesome and truthful stay in
Bible says: "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he".
St. Paul admonished: "Whatsoever things are true, honest,
just, pure, lovely and of good report...think on these
things." (Philippians 4:8)
- THERE ARE MORE THAN 40 DOCUMENTS PHOBIAS
are more than 40 phobias that harass humanity today - from
ailurophobes (the fear of cats) to zoophobia (the fear of animals
in general). And there is healing for everyone - through
faith in Jesus Christ - and some old fashioned common sense.
CHRIST CAN HEAL YOUR FEARS & PHOBIAS - IF YOU TRUST IN
Bible says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but
of love, power and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
Roosevelt stated: "The only thing we have to fear, is fear
itself", and the Bible says, "....perfect love casts out
all fears." (1 John 4:18)
IS THE OPPOSITE EMOTION OF FEAR
is the opposite of fear. It is FAITH. Faith brings us
peace and tranquility!
said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as
the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
Bible says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom
also we have access by faith in to this grace in which we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.: (Romans 5:1-2)
perfect love removes all fears, it is good to know that God is
love and His love has reached out to us through the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ on the cross for us!
because He rose from the dead and is not only the testator but the
executor of His own will - through the Holy Spirit - we are
assured of His total peace and healing for spirit, soul (mind) and
Powerful AUDIO Bible sermons/messages
by: Pastor Max Solbrekken
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