Man, what a passage! There is so much richness in this passage it is hard to narrow down what to talk about. You might know, but a loose structure of the book of Ephesians is that the author, Paul, spends chapters 1-3 focusing a lot on the doctrine of the gospel, and chapters 4-6 showing how the doctrine of the gospel applies in everyday life. This isn’t necessarily an absolute, but it can be a helpful way to think about the book.
Our passage today talks a lot about what Jesus has done for us through the cross. If I had to summarize our verses today, I would say:
Salvation is not about you—God saves us for His glory and our good.
We have done nothing to earn our salvation. Jonathan Edwards puts it well: “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” At the same time, this passage does not absolve us of responsibility, saying in verse 13: “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…” (ESV) God’s will and ways are mysterious!
It should bring us great joy to know that God loves us, that he lavishes his grace upon us, that he has chosen us! This passage should encourage us to see that our identity is more tied to being redeemed and forgiven, when we are in Christ, than any job or relationship.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice