Oct. 3. Church’s Place in God’s Eternal Plan

Eph. 1:3-23

According to Paul, all spiritual blessings are in Christ. That would indicate that there are no spiritual blessings outside of Christ. Therefore, if one is to enjoy these blessings, it is necessary to be in Christ—in His body—in His church.

There are many honest and sincere people who believe that God has predestined or chosen beforehand certain individuals to either be saved or lost through no action of their own. Paul’s use of the term predestined in this letter is not referring to individuals, but to a class of people. This particular class is made up of those who by faithful obedience have chosen to fulfill the qualifications to become members of that class. By careful study, one learns that this elite class consists of faithful Christians—the church of Christ. God foreordained and predestined from the beginning that Christians would be saved by Christ and that non-Christians would be lost.

Paul pointed out to the Ephesians that the Jews had been first to receive redemption—forgiveness of sins through purchase by the blood of Christ. After the Gentiles had heard and obeyed that same gospel, their salvation was also sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit of promise. Jews and Gentiles are now one in the church.

The Ephesian church had a special place in Paul’s heart and he was encouraged by the news that he had heard from them. He expressed this as he related his constant remembrance of them in his prayers. He desired for them to remain faithful as they continued to learn and obey the will of God. It is important for Christians to continue to seek more knowledge as they grow in their spiritual life.

Paul wanted the Ephesians to be fully aware of the power of God as He had raised Christ from the dead. It was also important for them to understand the position of Christ with His church. He is now seated at the right hand of God with all authority over all things in heaven and on earth. Christ is “Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” If He has all authority, man has no authority to change His commands.