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We Trusted, You Also Trusted. 


Text: Ephesians 1:10-13  

God is gathering together all things in Christ, v10. Not just the created universe, but all of his people, his true church. But how will he do that?  Paul begins with a declaration of the absolute sovereignty of God over everything, including our lives. V10 He notes that the events of this world, – and even of our individual lives are never outside His will and purpose. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS! Now we can go on to analyse our response to the election, predestination, adoption, redemption and grace of God in our lives. 

  1. We Trusted. V11  

Paul is referring here to those first Jewish Christians who came to Christ as saviour, at first in Jerusalem, and later, as the Christians were dispersed after the Jerusalem persecutions, all over the land of Palestine, (as we now know it.) They trusted in Christ. Note that:

  • They HOPED in Christ.  AV who first trusted in Christ.  “First trusted” Greek is προελπίζω (pro-elpizō). Literally “first hoped.” That’s essentially the key to their response. It is to rest all of our hope in Jesus, in his sinless life and atoning death on the cross for sinners. Now, let’s see why that would be so important for a Jewish Christian. 
  • They understood that their destiny was fulfilled in Christ. being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: The Jews, and particularly these covenant believing Jews had an inheritance to claim. For centuries, they had been hoping for and expecting their Messiah. A man sent from God who would deliver them for their enemies, and who would establish His kingdom for ever. READ Genesis 3:15 Isaiah 7:14  Isaiah 9:6-7 The “Servant Songs” of Isaiah point clearly to the coming Messiah, for example, Isaiah 53:5 READ: John 4:25-26 The messianic aspirations of countless generations of OT believers were fulfilled in Jesus, the Messiah. Paul and the first Christians, Jewish believers trusted in Christ. in Χριστός (Christos) the Anointed One, the the Messiah, the Hope of Israel. The first Christians had found the Messiah of Israel, God’s only begotten Son, our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • They were appointed to live for Christ. Understanding that God had fulfilled his word to Israel, and sent them their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, they found all their hopes fulfilled, – and trusted in Him, rested in his finished work, and that radically changed their lives. Where before Paul had lived for Judaism, a zealous Jew who hated Gentiles, and persecuted Christians, he now LIVED FOR CHRIST! Trusting in Christ will change your life – completely, living now for the glory of God in all things.  Galatians 2:20 

So, Paul describes the experience of those early Jewish believers, who found the promised Messiah, trusted him, and were given new life in Jesus. But Paul now goes on…

2. You Also Trusted. V13

What is certain is that the readers of this letter were from a very different background from the first Jewish believers. These Christians in Ephesus, were for the large part Gentiles. Ephesians 2:11  They did not have the promise of a Messiah, a deliverer. They were outside the promises that God gave to His OT people. It would be difficult to over-estimate the difference between the religious backgrounds of these two ethnic groups. The gentile Christians were pagans before they met Jesus, steeped in the pagan world-views and the immorality of the pagan world. they were living in awful darkness. Paul compared their pre-converted state with their new life in Christ in 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 But even these former pagans, had been chosen, and predestined and adopted into God’s family and redeemed and given his grace and they too had TRUSTED JESUS. Here’s what had happened:-

  • They had HEARD THE WORD OF TRUTH. This is important, and it is why we invest time and energy in the activity of preaching. READ 1st Corinthians 1:18  Romans 10:14 Well these Gentiles, these pagans had heard the proclamation of God’s Word, and it was the Gospel, it was the good news about their salvation, about how they could be rescued from their sin and made right before God. They had heard it from Paul, personally. But then…
  • They BELIEVED in Christ. This preaching had an effect on their lives. When they listened to it, it brought them to a personal belief, to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the only proper response to Christ’s saving work for us, to hear the word, to receive it and to believe, not just believe about but believe IN him, IN WHOM YE ALSO TRUSTED. And…
  • They RECEIVED the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, whose work to date in these pagans has been to convict them of their sin, and point them to the Cross and eventually to give them new life, is now in dwelling them, sealing their salvation, and applying all the promises of God that rightly belonged to his one people to them. 

Ok, so, where are we now? The first Christians were Jews, men and women awaiting their Messiah, who found Him in Jesus. But that same good news was preached unto the Gentiles, to pagans like us, and they too were brought into the kingdom of God. There is one common denominator Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians trusted Christ, and they did so by faith alone. Those who are in heaven are there because of Jesus, because he died on the cross.

And so it is in Christ, that God is fulfilling his will and purpose, to bring all things together in Him.  V10  So, Paul writes in  Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. In Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. And John in Revelation 7:9 we read, After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.

God only has one people, they are the blood bought, blood washed throng, of every tribe and kindred and nation, and they are his by sovereign election, adoption, redemption and through the saving effect of his word, proclaimed and heard and its message believed.  We trusted, you trusted, and together we are one, and we will be one, when God gathers together all things unto Christ.

© Bob McEvoy 2023

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