Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ephesians 1 - (11th Meditation) - "The Means of God's Saving Purposes"

Ephesians chapter one prompts me to worship GOD.

We've already considered that genuine salvation, according to Ephesians one, is God's plan to bring us to Himself. He is the goal of His saving purposes. But what means does He uses to bring us to Himself?

When I consider the dual truths that (1) God is holy, and (2) the the way He operates is equally as holy, I am drawn by His Spirit to evaluate my life (See Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 77:13).

Though we may not think about it often, it is needful to meditate on the fact that God's modus operandi is holiness. He is holy in His person, and He is holy in His actions. Not only does He want to bring us to Himself (goal) but He also wants to bring us to Himself by holy measures (means). What sort of means could possibly be as holy as Himself? Ephesians answers this question, but first, think about this...

Paris Reidhead, in his classic sermon, Ten Shekles and a Shirt, accurately asessed a crucial problem in our religious climate when he spoke against "utilitarian religion," "a useful God," and "expedient Christianity." Reidhead was arguing against the thought of a "Christian" using God as a means for selfish gain rather than the his most desired End. I agree with Reidhead's asessment. But, have you ever felt the weight of God's means to get us to Himself?

Now to our question. Ephesians teaches us that there is a sense in which the Bible clearly portrays God BOTH as the End (He is the Goal) of our salvation AND the means (He is the way to get to the Goal). Otherwise, there would be no adequate answer to the question. Only God is as holy as God. Therefore, only God could be the means that bring us to God. Now worship as Ephesians unfolds this great truth.

In Ephesians chapter one, the Holy Spirit describes the means with God uses to bring us to Himself in an abundantly clear fashion. I marveled this morning as I meditated on these verses:
He (The Father) chose us in Him (the Son) - Ephesians 1:4

Clearly, in the verse above, the Son is the Means through which God chose us (see also, John 14:6 for another familiar verse where Christ offers a similiar description of Himself as the Means by which a person comes to God as the Great End of salvation).

Notice the litany of verses in Ephesians chapter one that show Christ to be God's means to get us to Himself.
He (The Father) predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself - Ephesians 1:5

The glory of His (The Father's) grace which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Christ) - Ephesians 1:6-7

In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses - Ephesians 1:7

He (The Father) made known to us the mystery of His will (The Father's), according to His (The Father's) kind intention which He (The Father) purposed in Him (Christ) - Ephesians 1:9

Ephesians chapter one displays Jesus Christ ("Very God of Very God" - Nicene Creed) as the means of God's saving purposes.

Here's how my heart is prompted to worship God as I consider Christ as God's means for our salvation:

As we grow in our awareness of what we are saved from (The Righteous wrath of GOD) and what we are saved to (Eternal fellowship with GOD), then we will increasingly marvel at HOW God has chosen to save us(GOD provided His only Son, Jesus Christ)!

No comments: