Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Grace and peace to you. May you know the joy of the Lord this week … a joy rooted in Christ’s love for us. John tells us in 1 John 4:10, “This is love, NOT that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God sent his Son to die for sinners! What a glorious truth!
Men, keep Saturday morning, March 2 free on your calendars! We are planning a men’s breakfast for that day. Topic and place TBD.
Ladies, be on the lookout for more info regarding your ladies’ fellowship in the Spring.
Also, let me encourage you to check out the website for our denomination: http://www.opc.org/. It is a wonderful resource filled with solid, theological resources. And they continually update the site with new articles, Q & A, etc.
Lastly, this week’s devotional is a complement to last week’s study on the Trinity. I pray that it would encourage you to praise our Triune God for the glorious plan of salvation.
Have a good week and I look forward to seeing you all this Lord’s Day.
Our Trinitarian Salvation
Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 1:3-14 is one the grand passages in the New Testament. In it, the Apostle Paul outlines the multitude of benefits that belong to the believer in our union with Christ. The passage also, however, sets out the Trinitarian nature of our salvation. As we considered in last week’s devotional, the Father, Son, and Spirit are involved in all aspects of our salvation. At the same time, moreover, each person of the Trinity is uniquely involved in a specific aspect of our salvation. As Ephesians 1 puts it, the Father elects, the Son redeems, and the Spirit seals (or applies). Let us look at each of these actions in turn.
First, Paul states that “he [God the Father] chose us before the foundation of the world” (v. 4). The Father elects. He decrees. He predestines. And he does so “in love” (v. 5). That is, there is nothing in us to commend us to God. When God looks upon us, he sees a mass of sinful humanity. Therefore, it is strictly out of love and grace that God predestines sinners unto salvation.
Second, Paul states that “in him [Christ or God the Son] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (v. 7). While the Father uniquely elects, the Son uniquely redeems. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who shed his blood for sinners. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who loves us and gave himself for us (Gal 2:20). It is the Lord Jesus Christ who lived the sinless life and died the substitutionary death that we deserve. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who exclaimed, “It is finished.” Forgiveness is only in and through the work of the Son.
Third, Paul states that “in him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory (v. 13-14; cf. 4:30).” While the Father elects in eternity past, and the Son redeems by his life, death, and resurrection; so the Spirit seals the moment a sinner turns to Christ by faith. The Spirit indwells the Christian (1 Cor 6:19) and seals or assures us of our blessings in Christ. He is the guarantee (v. 14), or the down-payment, of our inheritance that is reserved for us in heaven (1 Pet 1:4-5).
And, dear readers, what is the application of this to our own lives? Simply to join the church through the ages in praising and worshipping God for the glorious plan of salvation. A plan decreed in eternity, accomplished in history at the cross, and sealed when sinners turn to Christ by faith. “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
– Rev. Robert Arendale