The Eternal Family of God: Adopted and Sealed as a Son!
Ephesians Chapter 1: Part 2
Galatians 4:6-7 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Luke 15: 11-24 Introduction: The Parable of the Prodigal Son. The word parable is a Greek compound word: para- on the side of: ballo- throw. The idea is that in parabolic teaching, two or more things are thrown along the side of one another for the purpose of comparison and contrast. In the parable of the prodigal son, the main teaching is that Jesus is comparing the self righteous hearts of the Pharisees (the prodigal’s brother) to the broken hearts of repentant sinners, which will be accepted by God the prodigal); however, as should be obvious,there is also an allusion to the journey of the rebellious free will of man. He stubbornly refuses God’s way time and again; yet, God has a way of ringing the heart that is willing to receive Him to place of brokenness and repentance. Ultimately,it should be noted that when the prodigal comes to himself, he’s willing to be humbled as a servant, but accepted again as a son. It’s in his humility that he’s sealed in a robe, given a signet ring, which is a proof sign of his identity, and Vincent points out that both the shoes and the ring symbolize a free man, because servants traveled barefoot. personally, for me, anytime I see shoes pointed out in the New Testament, my mind is drawn to the thought of a journey; specifically, the journey of our Christian lives. In this sense, the Prodigal is equipped for his journey; furthermore, he finally really understands both his person and hi purpose—when he was willing to become a servant, his father made him a son.
7. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
Once again, we are presented a form of this prepositional phrase.
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
The word redemption is apolutrosis Once again, this is an example of a Greek compound word with the prepositional prefix attached to the front.
Apo means away; whereas, lutrosis means to be loosed through ransom or payment.
Before Jesus, you and I were not acceptable to God in the beloved because we were outside of him clothed in our sin and self-righteousness. Furthermore, we we’re not loosed or free. But a payment plan was foreordained before the foundation of the earth (1 Peter 1:18–20).
The thought of loosing here is reminiscent of the Old Testament scapegoat. On the Day of Atonement, Israel’s high priest would take two goats: one was used as a sacrifice for the people’s sins, and the other was released into the wilderness with the people’s sins upon it. In both cases, there would have been a moment where there was a laying on of hands upon both animals signifying transference of guilt from the people to the animals. Once again, one would be sacrificed typifying the future sacrifice of Jesus as He fulfilled the payment of sin; whereas, the other would have been released, signifying the fact that our sins are sent away and to be remembered no more. It’s crucial to the walk of the Christian that we get a revelation that our sins have been dealt with at the cross, and they have been sent away into the wilderness to be remembered no more. As long as we are tied to our sin, we will never be able to believe that we are a son of God.
But many times the people of God aren’t taught the importance of really believing that their sins were dealt with at the cross; therefore, they begin to let that old nasty goat come back and start hanging around the camp again. Some may ask, “Why do I really need to know all this information?” You need to know because Satan is relentless when it comes to trying to keep you under a cloud of condemnation and guilt. We’ve been redeemed loosed away from our sins through His payment for our penalty, and we need to know it, believe it, and live our lives every day that way.
8–9. Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
The word wherein is speaking of the grace from the previous verse. The gracious act of God in Christ, has provided a place for us to dwell, wrapped in the beloved and acceptable unto God.
In this place called "in Christ," God is able to reveal his wisdom and prudence (intellect)." In Christ, we're able to receive a glimpse of the big plan of God. Before Jesus, we operated through our own logic (1 Corinthians 2:14; John 14:17). But now, in Christ, the Spirit of God has made our heart His home and God communicates with us, revealing His mysteries for humanity that are hidden from those outside of Christ. And as deep and rich as all this is, all the mysteries of God since before the foundation of this earth are found complete in this person and place known as "in Christ."
God wants His remnant family to have a revelation about what he’s doing upon this earth in the creation of this eternal family, because he is love, and He wants to love. Sadly, there are many people who’ve been hurt so bad throughout life, or deceived so bad by religion that the love of God is foreign to their understanding. My prayer for people in those circumstances is that they would experience a born again relationship with God, that they would be healed from the hurt of their past, and that God would make His home their heart, so they can experience what true love is.
10. "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"
The long phrase, "that in the dispensation of the fullness of times…" is built from a word that describes a house servant.
The idea is that through the ages, God has been bringing humanity to a point where He would reveal Jesus to a lost and dying world. Through the ages, His Spirit and plan is acting as a steward caring for this lost and blinded human race. While certain portions of the plan have remained a mystery, God has been methodically revealing the mystery that will be completed in Jesus.
A young child in the home doesn't understand all the plans and actions that his father's undertaking; rather, the child is carried along and cared for by the steward of the house until he comes of an age when the "mystery" (details of the plan\the hidden things) can be revealed.
An excellent scriptural reference point to this would be the purpose the law served until the giving of Jesus: Galatians 3:8–29.
And we are still moving towards the fullness of times, because there's going to be a day when gravity will lose its hold:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
A treaty will be signed (Daniel 9) between Israel and the antichrist, which will begin the prophetic time clock of Israel's last seven year period, ultimately ushering in the millennial reign of Christ where the will of God will be completely done on earth even as it is in heaven.
In this sense, the finished work of Jesus not only saves the souls of chosen humanity in Christ, Satan's rebellion will also be brought to an end. What's amazing to me is that as God has called this eternal family, He has allowed us to be used by Him to proclaim this wonderful kingdom message, allowing us in some way to be part of something so much bigger than what the naked eye can see.
11a. "… In whom we have also obtained an inheritance…"
Children receive an inheritance from their parents. Just as Israel of old inherited an allotment of land from God, the New Testament believer has received a promised inheritance in Christ. As we will see moving forward, this inheritance is much bigger than a physical plot of ground; rather, this inheritance is of eternal value, and is connected to an eternal life with a loving Father who gave his only begotten Son, so that wayward son's could be redeemed, adopted, and given an inheritance – and you’ve already received the down payment of your inheritance.
11b. "…In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"
This plan for redeeming wayward children was predestined beforehand by God. It is His will, according to his counsel (advice, or wisdom) that an eternal family, created for his fellowship be given birth to. It's His will child of God to create a family, and the question on this side of the eternal veil is, "what will a man or woman do with this Jesus, who was offered by God as a ransom and a hope for something bigger than what the natural eye perceives?"
12 "… Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
Paul as a Jew is speaking to Gentiles. He explains that "we" Jewish Christians first trusted, but as we will see, he acknowledges that "they" (Gentile Ephesians) afterward trusted.
Ultimately, as both Jew and Gentile join the eternal family of God by trusting (exhibiting faith) in the eternal plan of God (Jesus Christ and him crucified), God receives praise and glory on this side of eternity as the people of God live their lives in the open for Him.
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
And finally we come to the answer the title of tonight’ message asked: how did we get in? The answer is that you heard the gospel, you believed the gospel, through faith you were saved, and when you were saved, you were sealed.
The idea of sealed has the thought of a waxed seal that protects the contents on the inside of the envelope. Once you were saved, the Holy Spirit’s stamp on you is a mark to make you secured and assured. You’re secure because the presence of God protects you from the wiles of Satan, and you can be assured that you’re part of the family of God because you’ve been sealed by the Holy Spirit. The child of God cannot move forward if there is doubt about salvation. When the Holy Spirit seals a person, that person will know that they know that they know that they are saved!!
When my two daughters were younger, my oldest would say something that was really kind of mean. At first, we all laughed because it was so shocking, but then I started to tell her to stop. I just found out Sunday that she learned it from a youth pastor’s son. Anyway, she would to tell her younger sister that we adopted her from China and bought her a new face. At first, my poor, little youngest would look confused and almost sad, like she believed it. Of course after a while, she would just blow her big sister off, but I was thinking about how it must feel for the person who is unsure of their salvation. You need to know that the Word of God says that through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice you were saved. If you would say that you’re unsure, then you need to get alone with God and have a heart to heart. Cry out to Him, repent of your sin, and invite Jesus in. And if you are saved, then disconnect yourself from the world and start fellowshipping with the saints of God, or don’t, let that nasty goat of sin back into the camp, and walk around with uncertainty about whether or not you’re really saved if that’ what you want to do, but you don’t be unsure, you don’t have to feel unworthy; if you’re saved, you’re sealed.
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
The sealing of the believer is the earnest, the advance or down payment, of the purchased possession. There is coming a day when there will be no more questioning. The rapture of the church will go up in the rapture, and the this corrupted flesh will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, because we will receive our glorified body. That is the day that all creation is groaning for in anticipation (1 Corinthians 15:52-54).
Romans 8:18-25 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope:but hope that is seen is not hope:for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.