Ephesians 1:7-10 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Meditation: Today’s quote is part of one of the most profound and often controversial Bible passages. The revelation of the surpassing scope of God’s grace must have been one of the most difficult things for the Apostle Paul to face. Raised as a Pharisee, he was taught that conformity to the Mosaic Law and the traditions of his forefathers were the key to salvation. Like many of his contemporaries and even people today, he thought that he did not need help or forgiveness at least insofar as these were taught by Jesus Christ. Paul, or Saul as he was formerly known, was convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was a rebel whose doctrines were a plague among faithful people.
Jesus declared Himself to be the long awaited Messiah, the Christ, come to save His people from their sins. Pharisees taught that individuals should seek righteousness within themselves while Jesus taught us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Such things drove Saul to attack the church as a heretical group of false teachers and believers whose existence threatened the Jewish faith. Saul’s hatred for Christians was so strong that he hunted them down, and it was on such a mission to Damascus that Saul was blinded by Jesus who revealed Himself to this errant man. Only a direct and overwhelming encounter with the Savior changed Saul the Pharisee into Paul the Apostle. This realization is grace in action, perhaps no one understood this better than Paul.
Call to Action: As you consider the truth of grace, I would encourage you to relinquish your righteousness and embrace Jesus. Love Him first. Follow Him first. Serve His will first. Abandon selfish desires to the King and His plan. Ask Jesus today to help you seek Him first. It will make all the difference.