The Great Goal of the Gospel
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understandingEphesians 1:3-8
Last week we thought about the Father’s love and compassion for his children, as expressed in the words of Psalm 103:
‘As a Father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him’
Adoption is the great goal of the gospel. In Christ, we are not only forgiven and freed from the guilt of our sin, we are brought into the family of God forever.
When I was young I nearly broke Ally McCoist’s car window with my camera (accidentally). It was a hugely embarrassing moment, but worth it- he noticed me! Ally McCoist noticed me! How much more amazing is it that almighty God sees us, knows us, loves us. Indeed we can go further;
‘He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.’
Isn’t it comforting to know that our salvation is dependant, ultimately, on the choice of God? Long before we did anything good. He chose us. When we were dead in our sins, when we were utterly enslaved by evil, the electing love of the Father, the substitutionary sacrifice of the Son and the applicatory work of the Spirit came together to rescue and redeem us.
The old hymn says:
‘My Lord, I did not choose you, for that could never beJosiah Conder
My heart would still refuse you, had you not chosen me’
And so when we lack assurance of our own salvation, we remember as pitiful as our own efforts are, He has chosen us. When our evangelistic efforts begin to wane we remind ourselves, it’s not about our having all the answers, or being great orators, it’s about the sovereign saving will of God. How wonderful. How energising! But Paul goes further, we haven’t got to the great goal of the gospel just yet.
“it is as if we were climbing up a staircase to some wonderful high tower. We reach a kind of platform with a glorious view than which nothing greater seems possible. One would have thought that nothing could be added to the previous statement; but the Apostle does add to it, and he does so because he feels that he has not yet told us everything about ‘the exceeding riches’ of God’s grace. So he goes on to tell us of a further truth, namely, that we have been ‘predestined unto the adoption of sons’. Not only do we stand before God, we stand before Him as His sons, as His adopted Sons. Here, again, is something which is truly staggering in its glory.”Martyn Lloyd Jones
In Christ, we are not just washed clean, we are welcomed in. We are welcomed in to the family of God. We are adopted; all of the benefits and blessings belonging to Christ Jesus as the Son of God, are gifted freely to us. We can address almighty God Himself as Abba Father.
‘“Abba, Father! He that can say that, has utteredCH Spurgeon
better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach!
Abba, Father! There is heaven in the depth of that word!
There is all that I need!
All that I can ask!
All that my necessities can demand!
All that my wishes can contrive!
Brothers and sisters, we have nothing we need fear if we know Jesus as Lord and Saviour and God the Father as God our Father. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.