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This I Believe

“God’s Plan of Salvation” Ephesians 1:3-14

Date:November 13, 2022
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


When it comes to our salvation, eternity is too long to be a little bit wrong. Sadly, much of what we hear as “gospel” today has nothing to do with God’s plan for our redemption. Today’s gospel is about following our dreams, using God to overcome our weaknesses, and believing God wants us to have our best life now!

Beloved, the Bible says, God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, so we should be holy and blameless before Him.” He redeemed us from the penalty of our sin, and reconciled us with Himself through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, so that He could adopt us as His children. And God did all of this according to the good pleasure of his will, and to the praise of his glorious grace.

We will explain this further in our next sermon, “This I Believe: We are saved by Grace – God’s plan of Salvation.” 

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Old Testament Reading – Exodus 6:1-8
New Testament Reading – Romans 8:1-30

This I Believe
We Are Saved by Grace
“God’s Plan of Salvation”
Ephesians 1:3-14

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

   Salvation is the most important doctrine for us to understand, for our eternal security hangs in the balance.

  • Many false concepts of salvation are being offered today; simple steps to be saved and cheap formulas of faith, as if lost man could be saved by his own will, desires, designs, words, or actions.
  • The security of our salvation is not predicated on anything we did or did not do in the past, nor is it contingent upon anything we may or may not do in the future, for that would mean we earned it or deserved our salvation, and that cannot be true.
  • Our Sovereign God elected us in eternity past, regenerated us, and redeemed us in His way and in His time, sealed us with the Holy Spirit, and by our faith alone in Christ alone, He adopted us into His forever family.
  • Therefore, our eternal salvation is all because of God’s amazing grace.

   The word “essential” means necessary, vital, indispensable, important, crucial, or critical.

  • To remain alive physically, it is essential for a person to have food, water, oxygen, and a functioning nervous system.
  • To remain alive spiritually, it is essential for a person:
  • To be born again by the Holy Spirit – to receive God’s call of salvation. The phrase “made us alive” (Eph. 2:5) is the initial quickening of the Holy Spirit that awakens us to see our sin, our need for a Savior, and Jesus Christ as the Savior we need.
    • To be delivered from the domain of darkness and sin and to be transferred into the Kingdom of God’s Son.
    • To be indwelt by the Holy Spirit – awakening us to the truth of the Word of God, our need to be nourished on the Word of God and cleansed by the Word of God, assuring us of our acceptance with God, and enabling us to manifest the very nature of God.
    • While a born-again believer cannot lose their eternal salvation, for it was an irrevocable gift of God, the believer can grieve the Holy Spirit through simple neglect or blatant sin and thereby forfeit the blessings of God.
    • In 1 Peter 2:2-3, the Apostle Peter exhorted those he had led to Christ: “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
    • 2 Peter 3:17-18, Peter warned his readers: “Lest you fall from your own steadfastness, and be lead away with the error of the wicked, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
    • So, as babies grow by the nourishment of their mother’s milk, Christians grow by their nourishment on God’s Holy Word.
    • 2 Timothy 3:16, the Apostle Paul told Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired of God, and profitable for:”
      • Doctrine – telling us what we should believe
      • Reproof – exposing our wrong beliefs
      • Correction – changing what we believe
      • Instruction in righteousness – staying stay true to what we should believe
      • That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

1. We were Chosen by God the Father – Ephesians 1:3-6 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…. having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”

  • He “chose” us in Christ.
    • That does not mean God is looking down on all mankind, choosing some to go to heaven and some to hell, or that He has predetermined who will and who will not be saved, so it doesn’t matter what man does or does not do.
    • That does mean that even before God created the world, He determined He would have a family of people who would be holy and blameless, with whom He would fellowship forever.
    • However, only one Person has lived a perfect and sinless life, and that was the God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth – the son of Mary, and the Son of God, and therefore, the only One who has the right to stand before God or to live in His presence.
    • Therefore, our only hope of heaven is to be “in Christ” – to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and surrender unto Him as our Lord, and believe God counts our “faith” in Christ as if were as righteous as Christ.
    • That’s why we are saved by grace alone, through our faith alone, and in Christ alone.
  • He “predestined” us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.”
  • That does not mean God chose some persons to be saved and the others will go to hell.
  • John 3:16 – “Whosoever believes in Him.”
  • Romans 10:13 – “Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord.”
  • 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord desires “all should come to repentance.”
  • According to Romans 8:29, God the Father predestined those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord to become “conformed to the image of His Son.” In effect, He would treat those who believe in Jesus Christ as He treats Christ Himself, for Christ is in us, giving us the hope of glory.

2. We Were Redeemed by Christ – Ephesians 1:7-12 – Vs. 7 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

  • Because we all were born with a sin nature, we were born spiritually dead and incapable of being reconciled to God on our own.
  • We were enslaved to the corruption of this world, held captive by the god of this world, and with no way to liberate ourselves from this bondage.
  • However, by our faith alone, in Christ alone:
    • Our sin debt is paid in full.
    • We are able to understand the Word of God and to see the wisdom and the ways of God.
    • We will receive the inheritance of eternal life with God.

3. We were sealed by the Holy Spirit – Vs. 13-14 – “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

  • When a person receives Jesus Christ as their Savior and fully surrenders unto Him as their Lord, the Holy Spirit indwells that person and begins His work of sanctification:
    • Sealing that person in Christ until the day of redemption.
    • Converting that person from a sinner into a saint.
    • Conforming that person from a clone of the world into the image of Jesus Christ.
  • That work will continue until that new believer is as holy as a saved sinner can be, and prepared to be glorified when the Lord calls him to “come forth” and live with Him for eternity.
  • In verse 13, Paul said there were two steps to this new birth and spiritual transformation:
  • “Hearing the Word of Truth” – “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
  • “Believing what you have heard” – “If you confess with your mouth, the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)