“From Eternity to Eternity” (Series: From the Mountain Peak)
Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14
Ephesians 1 gives us a sweeping view of our salvation which is breathtaking if we stop to enjoy it. One of the things we see in verses three to fourteen is the expanse of our salvation, beginning from eternity past and ending in eternity future. And this salvation that spans from eternity to entity is given to us by God to enjoy and embrace.
The security of our salvation (eternity past). Paul makes an astonishing statement that God “chose us in him before the foundation of the world.” Before we did anything good to qualify us for salvation and before we did anything bad to disqualify ourselves from salvation, God already determined according to his purpose to save those who have faith in Christ. This means that our salvation is not grounded in our spiritual performance but in God’s purpose to save us. Our performance, good or bad, cannot thwart his purpose to save because it’s by his rich, abounding love and not our abounding loveliness, that God predestined us for adoption. This kind of security means we can stop running from God every time we’ve sinned and we can stop running to God every time we’ve done something good. Our worst days won’t put our salvation in jeopardy and our best days won’t add anything to our salvation. Rather we can start resting in God that in Christ our salvation is completely secured apart from our works.
The freedom of our salvation (earthly present). Christians can enjoy present freedom in our lives because we have redemption. Redemption means deliverance by payment of a price and Christians experience spiritual redemption through Jesus and his shed blood. This is a present reality, not a future gift to wait for. We have spiritual freedom now. Through his sacrifice, we were delivered and set free from our slavery to sin. In our sin we rebel against God through our insistence that we stand at the center of the universe. This is evidenced in our self-centeredness and selfishness. But Jesus, through the payment of his blood, released us from slavery to sin so that we can enjoy true spiritual freedom. We aren’t condemned but forgiven, not guilty but justified, not enslaved but redeemed. We are freed to a new quality of living wherein we can resist the devil, flee temptation, please God and love others.
The hope of our salvation (eternity future). Lastly Paul talks about the promise of a guaranteed inheritance awaiting us in the future. This hope is not yet fully ours but is prepared and waiting for us to acquire possession of it when we enter eternity. The gospel assures us that the best things are yet to come and this hope serves as light at the end of a dark tunnel. It reminds us that the tunnel isn’t dark forever so we can press on and endure. At the end of the finish line of life’s race God will hold forth the promised inheritance not as a reward for how well we finished but as a reward because we finished. Jesus tells us that this inheritance is the kingdom that we will receive and be received into (Matthew 25:34). That’s waiting for us in eternity. And there at the finish line Jesus stands as one who has already run before us ready to receive us into his kingdom with the words, “Well done by good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
Suggested Group Discussion Questions
- Describe a kind of person who might need the truth of having a secured salvation in Christ (what kind of objections, questions, fears would they have?). How could the truths in this passage minister to them? Can you a share a time when you wish you knew this truth or share a time when you needed it and it ministered to you?
- Describe a kind of person who might need the truth of having and knowing spiritual freedom in Christ (what kind of objections, questions, fears would they have?). How could the truths in this passage minister to them? Can you a share a time when you wish you knew this truth or share a time when you needed it and it ministered to you?
- Describe a kind of person who might need the truth of having the hope that the gospel provides (what kind of objections, questions, fears would they have?). How could the truths in this passage minister to them? Can you a share a time when you wish you knew this truth or share a time when you needed it and it ministered to you?
- Doxology: Express how this sermon helps you understand, appreciate and worship Jesus more. In what ways has the gospel become more alive to you having read this passage and heard this sermon?
- Response: Formulate a one sentence prayer that’s informed by the passage and the sermon. This prayer should articulate what you desire to walk away and how you want God to apply it in your life. Have a few people share what they came up with.