Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 • Psalm 24 • Ephesians 1:3-14 • Mark 6:14-29
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
Ephesians 1:3-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
I normally don’t get these up as late as Sunday morning, but we were having a great family day and this completely slipped my mind. In a way I’m glad I did. As we gather for worship this morning, Paul gives us some great words. He reminds us of who we are in Christ Jesus. These are words that I would read on a Sunday that we receive communion. We are blessed because God has made us and he made a way for us. He chose us to be his special, set apart, holy people – even before the world began. God created us to make our own decisions – so he put a plan into place even before the world began, so that He could adopt us into His family.
God is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. (vs. 7)
Through Christ, Paul tells us, God revealed his mysterious plan. God revealed his plan first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. The Good News is that God saves you! This is Gods mysterious plan. Why God would want to save a sinner like me, is beyond comprehension. But he made a way for those who choose to receive his marvelous gift. How do we receive that gift? We receive the gift when we believe in Christ. When we receive Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit works in our lives – The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of God’s promise.
As we gather for worship this morning, let’s praise God for his glorious grace.