Praise the Christ’s Glorious Grace

Christ Covenant Church
Rev. Marq Toombs
17 February 2019
Epiphany

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[ sketch notes ]

In [the Beloved] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mini-series on the Holy Trinity: One God, Three Persons

Today we focus on the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and his glorious grace.

The glory of Christ’s grace is manifested in the redemption by his blood, the revelation of God’s mystery, the reunion/restoration of all things in him, and the rewarding of his brothers and sisters.

JESUS CHRIST REDEEMS HIS PEOPLE

In [the Beloved] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us,

Beloved = refers to Jesus Christ, the true and better son of God

Isaiah 42:1 = “my servant, whom I uphold, my elect in whom my sould delights” cp Matthew 12:18 = ““Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.”

ALSO, The Father called Jesus the Beloved after Jesus was baptized (Luke 3:22; Mat. 17:5).

Finally, the Church says of the Christ: “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” (Song of Songs 2)

redemption = deliverance cp Exodus 6:6 “Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.”

forgiveness = lifting away of our trespasses / taking away the yoke of slavery and its crushing weight

riches = ploutos / plutocrats — the wealthy one lavished grace upon us who are poor in divine wisdom and understanding (“Christ who was rich became poor, so that we who are poor might become rich.” 2 Cor. 8)

lavished = cause to abound; laid it on thick

JESUS CHRIST REVEALS THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL TO HIS PEOPLE

in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 

mystery = a divine secret revealed by God

This mystery was kept secret in the heart and mind of God from before the creation of the world to the resurrection of Christ. To say that God played it close to his chest would be a massive understatement.

Jesus reveals the mystery to his church by his Spirit in his word through the preaching and teaching.

In one of his other letters, Paul says, “we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2:7-8)

Later on in Ephesians Paul unveils the mystery: “this mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

In other words, God’s people, the church of Jesus Christ, is a multiethnic, cross-cultural community. Our mission is to make known the manifold wisdom of God throughout the cosmos. 

This is the same mystery that elders and deacons must hold with a good conscience (1 Tim. 3:9ff).

vs 9b lit. “according to his good pleasure (eudokia cp vs. 5) which he set forth in [Christ]…”

JESUS CHRIST RE-UNITES ALL THINGS FOR HIS PEOPLE

10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

vs 10 “…for an administration (lit. oikonomia – household-law; stewardship) of the fulness of the times

to unite = lit. re-cap, sum up, gather all the jagged pieces of the cosmos together in Christ*

Inigo Montoya, “Let me esplain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up.”

Ever since the fall, things have been falling apart, disintegrating, unraveling. In Christ, all things are being made new, re-gathered, put back to right.

In Christ, everything gets in its right place.

JESUS CHRIST REWARDS HIS PEOPLE

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

predestined to obtain an inheritance =  

EITHER we were chosen to receive an inheritance; we have a stake in the riches of the Father’s inheritance with Christ;

OR in Christ, we were chosen as an inheritance for the Lord God (just as Israel was God’s inheritance = Deut 4:20 “the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day”).

See Deut. 32:7-9

Remember the days of old;
    consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
    your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.
But the Lord‘s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.

The reward is not about getting more stuff and things from God, it is about getting the triune God. Our reward is that we get to be God’s people, his allotted inheritance. He takes us as his own possession.

*SUM / RECAP

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, not just make them savable.

With his blood he purchased salvation for every sinner chosen in eternity by God the Father.

The end for which the Lord Jesus Christ does anything is the praise of his glory and grace.

We praise God from whom all blessings flow in Christ.

The crux of the matter:

The Father blessed us, elected us, predestined us, adopted us in love. And not just some abstract, ethereal love. But love incarnate, love embodied in Jesus Christ, the Beloved One. In him we are redeemed and rewarded.

If you don’t get anything else from all this, get this:

The Father loves you.
Jesus is on your side.
The Spirit is for you.
God is relentless in his pursuit of you.*

“Now let us fall down before the majesty of our good God in prayer” (Calvin):

O God, Father of glory, I give you thanks for Christ Covenant Church, and I pray that you may give us all the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Father-God,having the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that we may know — what is the hope to which you have called us, what are the riches of your glorious inheritance in the saints,and what is the immeasurable greatness of your power toward us who believe, according to the working of your great might,hat you worked in Christ when you raised him from the dead and seated him at your right hand in the heavenly places,far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Eph. 1:16-21