Who is Paul speaking to here?
"to the saints (saved) which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus" (v.1)
What is he saying to them?
That the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ HAS blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love according as He (the Father) HAS chosen us in Him (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world. That He HAS predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will and, that He HAS made us accepted in the beloved!
What to those things in bold text have in common?
They are ALL in the past tense!
Now let's go back to Luke 15 for a moment and flip the script.
In the story of the prodigal son we see the son, after he had spent all of his father's money had "began to be in want". He had in fact become so low that not only did he take to feeding swine but he bagan to eat the husks being fed to the swine.
(Luk 15:17) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
But when he came to himself (eis heauton de elthōn). As if he had been as far from himself as he was from home. He was for a time out of his head, and now began to see things as they really were.
(Luk 15:4) What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
(Luk 15:5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
(Luk 15:6) And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
(Luk 15:7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
We should NEVER take salvation lightly. Not our own nor that of one single soul who returns to the sheep-fold for God is not a respecter of persons and heaven rejoices over the one lost sheep, the one prodigal son or daughter, who recognizes that they are lost and have a heart felt desire to return to their Father's house in a spirit of repentance!
Assurance of Salvation
Are You Saved? Are You Sure?
We would not be seeing so many pastors and other ministers of the gospel leaving the faith as we are seeing today.
We would also not be seeing so many sheep who are lost as we are seeing today. Sheep who do not know their true Shepherd or His voice.
Sheep who know about Jesus but do not know Him.
Sheep who have not learned the truth who will hear the words: "depart from me, I never knew you." (Mat 7:23)
You would be surprised to learn how many Christians are not sure about their salvation and you would be even more surprised to learn how many are confidant in their salvation who perhaps should not be.
You see so many Christian believers have fallen away from true doctrine only to embrace the doctrines of men because they have blindly placed their trust in shepherd's who are not truly appointed and anointed to lead the flock or preach the gospel.
If this was not the truth we would not be seeing so many user friendly churches being raised up today.
It Is Finished!
One can not truly understand their salvation in the present and in the future until they can understand it in the past.
(Eph 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
(Eph 1:4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
(Eph 1:5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
(Eph 1:6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
The father had lost his son and the son thought that he had likewise lost his father.
The question here is:
Once the father had found his son and the son his father, did either continue to seek the other?
No! Both entered into a state of peace, rest and thanksgiving and everyone in the house (save one) rejoiced that the son had returned home!
In that light, once we have returned to our Father in heaven, once we have realized the error of our ways, repented (had a change of mind) and returned home, once we have been saved, why do we continue to seek salvation?
(Act 4:9) If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
(Act 4:10) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
(Act 4:11) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
(Act 4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
If scriptures proclaim that we are saved, that we are made whole, by the name of Jesus Christ and not by our works, then why do we who believe on His name continue to seek salvation?
God's plan for the salvation of man is very simple but the doctrines of men and demons have made it more complicated than it really is.
It is important to note here that salvation is not the end all of God's plan for the reception of man. It is only the first step!
It is equally important to remember however that salvation is not something to be achieved it is something to be received. Salvation is a gift of grace given unto us by our heavenly Father.
BUT in order to receive this gift, as it is with the receiving of any gift, one must be in the presence of the giver in order to receive it and we come into the presence of our Father by first receiving his Son!
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International Discipleship Ministry