Waking with The Word | Ephesians 1:13-14
Ephesians 1: 13-14
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
For most of this chapter Paul has has been talking about eternal blessings, eternal choices, spiritual blessings in heavenly places. In verse 10 He moves from speaking of things that happened in eternity to when Christ came to this earth and God's eternal choice and will was made manifest in the earthly realm. Then moving to our verses today he is talking about when God's eternal purpose to save men is made manifest in you and I in the earthly realm. You may ask the question: Did God purpose to save me all along? Even from the foundation of the earth? My answer would be absolutely, and not only you and I but all who would believe. God told us very clearly that it is not His will that ant should perish. What about the words of our Savior: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Paul in our verses today is speaking of the point in time when God's eternal purpose to save was carried out in the earthly realm. When a person hears the Gospel and believes it, it is God's eternal will and purpose being fulfilled here on earth. A place where eternity and earthly meet, a time when His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Remember the parable Jesus told of the lost sheep and the lost silver. At the end of each of the parable he said this: Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. When a person is saved even the angels in heaven are rejoicing.
There are 2 afters that I want to notice. These two afters tell us the two earthly things required for salvation, the eternal side of salvation has been taken care of by Christ, but there are things that must happen here on earth for God's will in salvation to be done."After that ye heard the word of truth," Here's a question Paul presented in another one of His epistles:
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Salvation comes after someone has heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Notice Paul says after that ye heard the word of truth. Oh how we need more people preaching the word of truth, we have plenty of preachers but not near enough preaching the word of truth. Sadly, the modern churches have replaced sermons for self help seminars and godly musicians for half talented rock star wannabes. It is high time the church get back to preaching the Gospel, it is a prerequisite for the salvation of men. That's why Paul said "After that ye heard." Preachers and teachers, when you stand in the church let the Gospel be on your lips and the power of God be in your delivery of the good news. If you are saved today, somewhere in your past there was the delivery of the Gospel.
"After that ye believed," Hearing the word of truth is not a enough, believing it is the second prerequisite to salvation. There are those of our brethren that believe that faith is a product of salvation but this couldn't be further from the truth. Paul very clearly says here that it is after that we believed, so then obviously we had the ability to believe before salvation. Also, consider Paul's instruction to the the Philippian jailer when He asked "What must I do to be saved?" Paul replied "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." There you find Paul commanding someone to believe, if faith was a product of salvation how could you tell a lost man to do something he is incapable of? Faith ,simply put, is the ability to believe something. People exercise this God given ability every day, we have faith in the chair we sit in that it will hold us up, in the roof above us that it won't fall in on us. Faith is at the basis of every religion on the face of this earth, Hindu people have faith, Muslim people have faith, even the atheist have faith because at the core of their belief they still can't prove there isn't a creator. Faith is not what separates Christianity from all other religions, who we put our faith in is what makes us different. Salvation comes after that you hear the word of truth and believe it. Hearing and faith are the two prerequisites to salvation, Simply hearing won't suffice and neither will simply having faith. Your faith must rest in the message of the Gospel; That Christ suffered and died to pay for our sins, rose again on the third day, defeating death, hell and the grave and will pardon and forgive all who will believe in Him.
Have these after's taken place in your life? It's true God has done His eternal part, but has the earthly part been fulfilled in your life. Is there a time you heard the word of truth? Is there a time when you believed it? I'm so very thankful that the gospel message I had been hearing all my life took its affect on me in August of 1998 after I heard and believed the word of truth. From that time on I have been sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which we will speak more of tomorrow.
According to the riches of His Grace!!