God's Sovereign Work (Ephesians 1:1-6)
God's Sovereign Work!
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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, 4 even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:1-6, ESV)
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. "
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)
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,
Grace establishes a vertical focus!
4 even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him..."
Grace produces Change!
15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life." (1 Timothy 1:15-16, ESV)
"If you believe in God and it just hasn't changed you much its because God is just a concept to you. But when the real God comes into your life things start to give way in your life to His glory. Things that you believe are changed because of His Word. Instead of God being fit into your agenda, God becomes your new agenda." ~ Timothy Keller
5 He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,
Grace is God at work in our life!
6 to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.
Grace rejuvenates worship!
LIFEGROUP NOTES -Week 1 - God's Sovereign Work
Sunday’s message was about God’s Sovereign Work in election and adoption. The topic of election can be a touchy one and it is often passionately debated. In fact, some of the greatest theological minds have debated the topic of election for almost 500 years and several mainline denominations have formed as a result of these two very different views. Today’s lesson is about God’s Sovereign Work, and will no doubt be theological in nature. But I want to be very diligent in painting this issue, not in a solely theological light, but in a practical light as well. The theological content of this study can often be overwhelming, in fact, Psalm 139:1-6 reveals to us that somethings, in this case perfectly comprehending GOD’s sovereign- ty, are too lofty for us to attain. Here at CrossPointe Church, our goal is to understand truth the best we can. Understanding these doctrinal and theological truths often takes years of study for one to draw a conclusion about what he or she believes concerning election and God’s sovereignty.
As we explore together the truth of God’s Word, it is important that we not lean on “what we have always heard”, and not to allow our emotions to lead us to our conclusions. Jeremiah 17:9 tell us that the heart (and thus the emotions that proceed from it) cannot be trusted. The only way the topics of election and God’s sovereignty can be grasped is through a position of faith and submission to CHRIST and GOD and to the truth of scripture. As we study God’s word together, let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and let us together discover the truth of God’s Word.
The purpose of today’s study is threefold; we want to examine further the doctrine of election, we also want to see that the doctrine of election is ubiquitous in scripture and not confined to the writings of Paul, and we want to see how practical the doctrine of election can be in our daily lives and walks with God. A short trip to through the Gospel of John will accomplish the first two of these goals. The final goal will be addressed in the Impact Statement at the studies conclu- sion.
These following questions are designed to be a glance at election in a “non Pauline” epistle so we can see that this doctrine is taught throughout scripture and not just by Paul.
1. Turn to and read John 6:37-39. What does this passage say about election?
2. Turn to and read John 10:24-26. The sequence of this passage is crucial. Take note of what it IS and IS NOT saying. JESUS is answering the question, “Why won’t you tell us plainly if you are the messiah”. His answer provides us one of the most clear examples of a GOD-centered election. What do these verses say is the reason for their unbelief?
3. Turn to and read John 15:16. What does this passage say about election?
4. Turn to and read John 17:2, 6. What does these verses say about the doctrine ofelection?
In order to reveal the extent to which election is a foundational truth to the CHRISTian faith, and to portray just how practical it is in our daily walks with GOD--let us examine a prayer that one might pray for a lost person. Use the remaining time and have each participant share some things they might ask of God or include in a prayer for a friend or family member who is not a CHRISTian. What would you say...how would you plead with GOD to save them?
Lastly, take what you have learned and pray together as a group for lost family, friends, coworkers, etc. Pray to God and acknowledge that only He has the power to save. Submit to the Power of His Sovereign Work and Power in the way that you pray for the lost!