Isaiah 41:17-43:13; Ephesians 2:1-22; Psalm 67; Proverbs 23:29-35
The Gift of the Gospel of Salvation
In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul overflows in blessing and thanksgiving to God for the gift of the Gospel of Salvation. God is working out a glorious plan of salvation for all humanity in Jesus Christ. Paul speaks of 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.” – Ephesians 1:8-10
God has a plan for global and cosmic unity which is being brought into operation—right now! Paul is overwhelmed with praise and gratitude that he and the members of the Church in Ephesus are privileged to be a part of it. The cornerstone of the plan is the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The forces of evil in “this world,” “the prince of the power of the air,” and “the passions of our flesh” are locked into a death course which will only end in judgment and the “wrath” of God (2:1-3). But the Lord, Who is “rich in mercy” and of “great love,” has made a way of salvation by grace through faith in the crucified, raised, and ruling Jesus Christ (2:1-8).
Through His resurrection power at work in us by the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit, we are literally being liberated from all evil powers including our own sin and its consequences. The powerful force of the Gospel of Salvation is literally saving the world, one person at a time!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10
The application of the Gospel comes through the agency of the Holy Spirit changing us from the inside out. Day by day, He is giving us who believe stronger faith in Jesus Christ and making us into the divine “workmanship” created in Christ Jesus to walk in the good works of God.
Prayer: Lord, help me to know the incomparably great power that you have for me in the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus and in the indwelling Holy Spirit. Liberate me from the bondage of evil and lead me into my holy calling as your workmanship.
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine