Thursday in the First Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 1:7-10

Being Lavished Upon

These verses are so full of wonder, one can only take in a few at a time.  We left off verse six with the Father having “blessed us in the Beloved.”  The “Beloved,” of course, is His Son, Jesus Christ.  We may safely say from Scripture that the Father blesses no one apart from His Son.  As the Mediator, the Son is the “go-between” between us and the Father; we cannot approach the Father in any other way.  This is not because the Father is mean; it is simply the fact of our humanity meeting His divinity: One cannot see God and live.  This is seen throughout the Old Testament.  Then what were all those theophanies about where God appeared to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, the parents of Samson, and Isaiah?  The Church has taught that these were manifestations of the pre-incarnate Son appearing as the “angel of the Lord,” and that makes perfect sense.  So Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

And what is the substance of the blessing which comes to us through His Son?  Redemption through his blood and forgiveness of our trespasses.  Redemption speaks to our being ransomed from captivity to sin, the flesh, the devil, and even death and hell itself.  And this redemption is through his blood which is the agent of our cleansing—the forgiveness of our sins.  We cannot enter heaven unclean; we cannot be in God’s presence unclean.  If we will appear before the Father, it will only be through His Son’s precious blood.  And this is all “according to the riches of His grace, which he lavished upon us.”  I love the ESV’s choice of words, “lavished,” the idea being to overflow without measure.  God has overwhelmed us with his grace whereby He redeemed and cleansed us through His Son. 

And none of this was on a whim.  It is the very nature of God to plan, ordain, and bring to pass.  All of this was according to His will.  And please note: He set forth this plan in Christ with all wisdom and insight.  And this is the mystery revealed to us, not that God’s plans can ever be fully comprehended by us, but that God is so gracious that through His Holy Spirit breathing through His word, He grants us some knowledge of His grand design whereby He shall unite (reconcile) all things to Himself.  And it is only fitting that He should do so: He made it all and He wants it all back, but in a redeemed state, not the broken state in which we left it.  And this union, or reunion, of God with us and His creation is effected through Christ.  This is why God can say that all of this—creation and redemption—are according to His divine wisdom and insight.  And all we can do is stand in awe.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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