In our world, “redemption” refers most often to exchange of coupons for discounts on goods in a store, but to the Ephesians and to other contemporaries of Paul, “redemption” would have been used most frequently to buy someone out of slavery through payment. In the first century bc, because of the dominance of pirates in the eastern Mediterranean at that time, “redemption” often occurred in payment of ransom for someone who had been kidnapped. The most famous example of this was the kidnapping of a young Julius Caesar off the island of Pharmacusa; he avenged himself on his captors after his redemption by returning and crucifying them to the last man.
Though pirates were no longer such a large a threat in Paul’s day, he does mention elsewhere “enslavers” as among “the lawless and disobedient … the ungodly and sinners” (1 Tim 1:9–10). 
Published on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 4:11 AM CDT
The Ultimate Cosmic Goal
Redemption is near in Christ
The whole world knows how
The mystery is revealed
And, every knee will bow
The death of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins was a mystery on earth for ages, and notice, also in heaven. The angels in heaven, which includes Satan, did not know of the coming of Christ to die upon the cross for the forgiveness of sin. I am sure Satan once thought that everyone was lost, and he had won.
Ga 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law…
Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
God kept this mystery secret for long ages.
Ro 16:25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages…
God decreed salvation for all even before the ages began.
1 Co 2:7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.
God chose to reveal this mystery to all through Christ.
Col 1:26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. Col 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
What exactly is this mystery?
Eph 3:4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, Eph 3:5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. Eph 3:6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
This mystery, the death and resurrection of Christ for the forgiveness of sin, is the central axis of all history of the universe. It was done in the wisdom of God and it is only understood in wisdom.
Eph 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Published on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 4:46 AM CDT
Three Simple Glories of Grace
God chose us:
2 Th 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
Christ redeems us:
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…
Holy Spirit guarantees us:
Eph 1:13 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, Eph 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Published on Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 4:16 AM CDT
What is every spiritual blessing? When Paul wrote this letter, adoption had a larger significance than it does today. Adoption meant that the son would inherit not only the father’s estate, but he would also inherit any position the father held. If the father was the patron of a political or military position of leadership, the son inherited those duties and leadership.
Pompey the Great recruited an army from among his father’s clients in the region of Picenum (a northwest Italian coastal area; Velleius Paterculus 2.29), and likewise, through his adoption by Julius Caesar, Octavian (Augustus) inherited the allegiance of his “father’s” (his great-uncle by birth) soldiers, which gave him immediate resources to prosecute his bid to “save” the Roman Republic by transforming it into an empire[i]
These verses indicate a greater adoption then we would imagine by today’s standards of adoption…God is gracious.
Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Ga 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Graeco-Roman adoptees were often members of the father’s extended relations. In the case of believers, God has taken the most distant foreigners to be his kin for inheritance of his whole estate. Not the deserving or good (Rom 5:7), not many well-born, powerful, or wise (1 Cor 1:26–30), but those who were “by nature” not of his kin at all but “children of wrath” (Eph 2:3) and darkened “sons of disobedience” (Eph 5:6, 8; also 4:17–24)—his helpless, wicked, sinful enemies (Rom 5:6–10) under thrall to the realm of darkness (Eph 2:1–3; Col 1:13; John 8:44; etc.). God does not place these new sons into a subordinate, inferior family; he appoints them all to become coheirs with his natural, firstborn Son, in whom the whole creation is “summarized” (v. 10) for corule over all things with him as those who have been coseated with him in the high-heavenlies (2:6; Rom 8:14–17, 29–32; cf. Gal 3:26–4:7; Col 1:12–14; 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 3:21). These stupendous acts of divine grace have no parallel in Graeco-Roman society. It surpasses even the unthinkable idea of the Roman emperor adopting a slave from the most barbaric hinterlands to be the next emperor. It is no wonder that Paul exults in “praise of the glory of his grace, which he bestowed on us in his Beloved” (1:6).
Published on Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 4:18 AM CDT
Seven Spiritual Blessings of Predestination
Eph 1:3 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, Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
The seven spiritual blessings of predestination in Jesus Christ:
- God’s motive: Love
- God’s goal: Adoption
- God’s mediation: Through Christ
- God’s adoption: To himself
- God’s standard: Pleasure of his will
- God’s result: For the praise of the glory of his grace
- Our result: Forgiveness of sins
Published on Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 4:58 AM CDT