A Word for this Week - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of July 16-22, 2018: “The Long ‘Hello’” … Ephesians 1:3-14

All of you have probably said some form of “long goodbye” to someone that you’ve known and loved. The Apostle Paul, in Acts 20, spoke such an emotional farewell to the leaders of Ephesian Church. But four years later, while imprisoned in Rome, Paul would write a letter to that Church in Ephesus. The opening section—a long, run on sentence in the original language—was Paul’s own “long hello” that he would send to this congregation.

Now the “long hello” of Ephesians 1:3-14 had little to do with Paul. It was a bold statement of what the Triune God had first done for them, and for us. Verses 3-6 focus upon the work of the Father and how He has chosen those who believe in Him, through Christ, before the very foundation of the world itself. Yes, He knew you, He chose you—in Him, you are not here as some sort of “cosmic accident”. He willed you into being; He willed you to salvation; and He willed that you would be made holy in His very image itself.

The next verses, 7-12, focus upon the work of the Son, Jesus Christ for us. In Him we have redemption—that is, we’ve been bought back from sin and death—through His blood shed upon the cross. In Christ, Paul says, we know the very mystery of God’s will and have been granted an eternal inheritance.

The final verses, 13-14, focus upon the blessings given to us by the Holy Spirit. Having been saved upon hearing His word of truth, the Holy Spirit now seals our inheritance until, Paul says, “the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

The “long hello”: it’s much more than Paul’s greeting to the Ephesians. It is the Triune God’s continual greeting to us where, each time we read it, He tells us how much He loves us and cares for us because of what He has done for us in Christ. Truly, in these words, He shows Himself as the God who always wants to say to us, “Hello!”

PASTOR JIM UPDATE

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