Once we were dead, but God, in His great mercy, loved us enough to give us life when He raised Jesus from the dead. Once we were dried bones, condemned by our own sin. Now we are God’s masterpiece – created anew in Christ Jesus. Why? Why would God do this for us? How could He look at us with eyes of grace and give us another chance. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians gives us an idea.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10
God had a plan for Paul and He has a plan for us – so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. God has a plan for each one of us. He saved us for a reason, for a purpose. So in order for us to live up to our created purpose, we ask this question: What were we made for and what were we saved for?
Ephesians 1:1 – This letter is from Paul, CHOSEN BY THE WILL OF GOD to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.
Paul greets the holy people in Ephesus, those who were faithful followers of Christ Jesus, by pointing out that he has been sent by God to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was CHOSEN by God and is now an apostle because it is the WILL OF GOD – God’s specific plan for his life. Just as God had a plan for Paul’s life, He has a plan for my life and for yours.
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace (1:2).
This is a common greeting for the apostle Paul but he goes on in his letter to elaborate on the grace and the peace that God gives us – the grace that plans for our future and the peace that He gives as we walk in His plan.
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. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us to be holy and without fault in his eyes (1:3-4).
What were we made for and what were we saved for – to be holy and without fault in his eyes. How is it possible to be without fault in God’s eyes? The answer can be found in the previous sentence – because we are united with Christ.
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 (1:5).
Read that again and let it wash over you fresh and new this morning. This is what he WANTED to do, and it gave him great pleasure. What were we made for and what were we saved for – to be adopted into his own family through Jesus Christ because He WANTS to be our Father, because it brings Him great pleasure to call us His own.
Soak it in.
He WANTS to your Father, because it brings Him great pleasure to call you His own. He looks at you – the one He created and the one He adopted – and experiences joy at the very thought of you. No wonder He has a plan for your life. He loves you. The plan God has for my life and yours is all a part of the plan He had for His Son.
So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is SO rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 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. 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.
God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles who 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. 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 (Eph. 1:6-14).
What were we made for and what were we saved for – to be filled with His Spirit, to receive the inheritance that is ours through Christ Jesus and to praise and glorify God! Precious Father, fill us with Your Spirit today! May every word we speak and every decision we make glorify you, for you are worthy of all of our praise! Help us to fully understand today what we were made for and what we were saved for.