RICH GRACE 8-min read
READ: EPHESIANS 1:3–10
READ: EPHESIANS 1:3–10
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. EPHESIANS 1:3–10
In the apostle Paul’s time, Ephesus was the wealthiest city of the Roman Empire. They were only the third largest city, but what contributed to the city’s great wealth was the worship of the goddess Artemis. The people of Ephesus were devoted to her. Selling the idol images and offerings that her worship required was among the most lucrative businesses of the time. The temple devoted to Artemis also served as one of their largest banks.
This was the kind of society the Christians in Ephesus lived in. They were surrounded by Artemis-worshipers in a bustling city of wealth and trade. It would have been too easy to be tempted by the riches around them. But Paul encouraged them to look not to the riches of the world, but to the true riches that can be found in God.
Paul used the word “riches” in his writing to describe how abundant and valuable the grace of God is. Unfortunately, we sometimes take this grace for granted. That’s why it is important for us to focus on and deeply grasp the words, ways, and works of God. Then we will find ourselves in a place that is rich and full of depth and truth. There are two priceless truths we can find in this text.
1. An object’s value is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. God paid a high price to redeem us. He paid for our redemption through the most precious blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7). That is how much God values and treasures us.
2. God made this invaluable sacrifice not because we asked for it, but because of His great love for us. It is one thing to ask for a gift from a wealthy benefactor and receive it—that shows the person’s generosity. But when we think of our salvation, God did not send His Son because we kept asking Him to forgive us. He gave His Son for us entirely and absolutely out of His own initiative—while we were His enemies! (Romans 5:8–10)
The riches of God’s grace allow us to receive His love and forgiveness, which He lavished upon us.
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Read and meditate on Ephesians 1:3–7. Which part strikes you the most and why? Write it down here and add your insights.
In what ways have you experienced the riches of God’s grace? How can you show your gratitude to God as a recipient of His grace?
How will you live differently in light of His lavish grace? List three people to whom you can extend the riches of God’s grace. Ask God for opportunities to show them how His grace has changed your life.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus Christ so that we can have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. I know that You chose us and have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. May Your grace, which You have lavished upon us, cause me to live according to Your purpose with all wisdom and insight. May You give me the courage and compassion to share this gift of grace to those around me, so that they may receive it as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.
BASAHIN: MGA TAGA-EFESO 1:3–10
3-4Purihin natin ang Diyos at Ama ng ating Panginoong Jesu-Cristo! Dahil sa pakikipag-isa natin kay Cristo, ibinigay niya sa atin ang lahat ng pagpapalang espiritwal mula sa langit. Bago pa man niya likhain ang mundo, pinili na niya tayo para maging banal at walang kapintasan sa paningin niya. Dahil sa pag-ibig niya, 5noong una paʼy itinalaga na niya tayo para maging mga anak niya sa pamamagitan ni Jesu-Cristo. Ayon na rin ito sa kanyang layunin at kalooban. 6Purihin natin ang Diyos dahil sa kamangha-mangha niyang biyaya na ibinigay sa atin sa pamamagitan ng kanyang minamahal na Anak. 7-8Sa pamamagitan ng dugo ni Cristo, tinubos tayo, na ang ibig sabihin ay pinatawad ang mga kasalanan natin. Napakalaki ng biyayang ipinagkaloob sa atin ng Diyos. Binigyan niya tayo ng karunungan at pang-unawa 9para maunawaan ang kanyang lihim na plano na nais niyang matupad sa pamamagitan ni Cristo 10pagdating ng itinakdang panahon. At ang plano niyaʼy pag-isahin ang lahat ng nasa langit at nasa lupa, at ipasailalim sa kapangyarihan ni Cristo. MGA TAGA-EFESO 1:3–10
Noong panahon ni apostol Pablo, ang Efesus ay isa sa mga mayayamang bayan ng Emperyo ng Roma. Pangatlo lamang sila sa pinakamalaking bayan, subalit ang nagpayaman sa bayan nila ay ang pagsamba sa diyosang si Artemis. Ang mga taga-Efeso ay may tapat na debosyon sa kanya. Ang pagbebenta ng mga imahe at handog na hinihingi upang makasamba sa kanya ay kabilang sa mga pinagkakakitaang negosyo noong panahong iyon. Ang templo na inilaan para kay Artemis ang isa sa mga pinakamalaking bangko noong panahon na iyon.
Ito ang uri ng lipunan na kinabibilangan ng mga Kristiyano na nakatira sa Efeso. Sila ay napapalibutan ng mga sumasamba kay Artemis sa isang bayan na mayaman at sentro ng kalakalan. Madali sana para sa kanila ang maakit ng mga yaman na nasa kanilang paligid. Subalit hinikayat sila ni Pablo na huwag tumingin sa yaman sa mundo, kundi sa tunay na yaman na makikita sa Diyos.
Ginamit ni Pablo ang salitang “napakalaking biyaya” upang ilarawan kung gaano kasagana at kahalaga ang biyaya ng Diyos. Ang nakalulungkot, minsan ay hindi natin napahahalagahan ang biyayang ito. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit mahalagang maituon natin ang ating pansin at mahigpit na panghawakan ang mga salita, pamamaraan, at ginagawa ng Diyos. Pagkatapos, makikita natin ang ating mga sarili sa isang lugar na puno ng kasaganaan, kabuluhan, at katotohanan. May dalawang mahahalagang katotohanan na makikita sa pahayag na ito.
1. Ang halaga ng isang bagay ay makikita sa halaga ng handang ibayad ninuman para dito. Mahal ang naging kapalit ng pagtubos sa atin ng Diyos. Ang buhay ni Jesu-Cristo ang naging kabayaran para dito (Mga Taga-Efeso 1:7). Ganito tayo pinahahalagahan ng Diyos.
2. Ginawa ng Diyos ang napakahalagang sakripisyong ito hindi dahil hiningi natin ito, kundi dahil sa dakila Niyang pagmamahal sa atin. Maaari nating makita ang pagiging mapagbigay ng isang tao sa pamamagitan ng nagiging tugon niya sa mga humihingi sa kanya ng regalo. Subalit iba ang kaligtasan na ibinigay sa atin ng Diyos. Hindi ipinadala ng Diyos ang Kanyang Anak dahil hinihingi natin ang Kanyang kapatawaran. Ginawa Niya ito dahil ito ang Kanyang kagustuhan—kahit pa tayo ay Kanyang mga kaaway (Mga Taga-Roma 5:8–10).
Dahil sa masaganang biyaya ng Diyos, matatanggap natin ang Kanyang pagmamahal at kapatawaran na ibinuhos Niya nang labis-labis para sa atin.
I-download ang debosyonal para masagutan.
Basahin at pag-isipan ang Mga Taga-Efeso 1:3–7. Anong bahagi ang pinakanangusap sa iyo at bakit? Isulat ito rito at idagdag ang iba pang mga natutunan mo.
Sa anong paraan mo naranasan ang napakalaking biyaya ng Diyos? Paano mo maipakikita ang pasasalamat mo sa Diyos bilang isang taong nakatanggap ng Kanyang biyaya?
Paano ka mamumuhay nang naaayon sa dakilang biyaya ng Diyos? Magsulat ng pangalan ng tatlong tao na nais mong bahaginan ng biyayang ito. Hingin sa Diyos na bigyan ka ng mga pagkakataon upang maipakita sa kanila kung paano binago ng biyaya ng Diyos ang iyong buhay.
Ama sa langit, maraming salamat sa pagpapadala Mo kay Jesu-Cristo upang tubusin kami at patawarin kami sa aming mga kasalanan. Alam ko na pinili Mo kami at pinagpala nang lahat ng uri ng pagpapala kay Cristo. Nawa’y makapamuhay kami nang naaayon sa Iyong layunin nang may karunungan at pang-unawa sa pamamagitan ng biyaya na ibinuhos Mo sa amin. Nawa’y bigyan Mo kami ng tapang at habag upang maibahagi namin sa mga tao sa aming paligid ang biyayang ibinigay Mo sa amin para ito ay kanila ring maranasan. Sa pangalan ni Jesus, amen.
READ: EPHESIANS 1:3–10
3Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Those blessings come from the heavenly world. They belong to us because we belong to Christ. 4God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. He loved us. 5So he decided long ago to adopt us. He adopted us as his children with all the rights children have. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. 6All those things bring praise to his glorious grace. God freely gave us his grace because of the One he loves. 7We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Because he bled and died our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich. 8He poured his grace on us. By giving us great wisdom and understanding, 9he showed us the mystery of his plan. It was in keeping with what he wanted to do. It was what he had planned through Christ. 10It will all come about when history has been completed. God will then bring together all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. EPHESIANS 1:3–10
One day, Ben’s grandmother said she had something for him. “I’ll be leaving soon,” she said, “so I want to give you something precious.” She gave him the key to her attic, which held relics and other old and secondhand objects. Ben was upset at his grandmother for giving him worthless objects. He felt bad that while his friends were rich and owned the latest gadgets and fashions, all he had was old vases and ornaments. He put it out of his mind. Years passed, and Ben forgot about the attic. One day he remembered it, and brought one of the objects to an antique collector to find out its value. To his surprise, the collector told him that the ornament was a rare and valuable piece. Ben brought the collector to the attic to see the rest of the items.
The antique collector was delighted and told Ben that everything in the attic belonged to rare collections that could be sold for millions. Imagine Ben’s surprise!
Like Ben, we have the tendency to look around and feel like we have less compared to others. Worse, we even ignore God’s grace because we don’t know how priceless and abundant it is!
In his letters to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul’s favorite word to describe grace was “rich.” Why? In the same way that Ben discovered the true worth of the objects in his attic, we will begin to understand the rich grace of God that surrounds us. This grace is wonderful, great, and unbelievable—and God is giving it to us!
Below are two priceless truths that we can learn from the verse above:
1. God paid the ultimate price for us. We know the value of something by how much someone is willing to pay for it, like the antique collector who knew the items were worth millions. Did you know that someone also paid for you? God paid for you with the precious blood of Jesus. Jesus gave His life for you—that’s how valuable you are.
2. God saved us because He loves us. If Ben asked his grandmother for a gift, and she gave him one, we would already call her “generous.” But she gave Ben the key to the attic full of priceless treasure even when he did not ask, because she loved him. In the same way, God sent Jesus to save us and forgive us, not because we asked Him to, but because He wanted to. He gives the gift of salvation to all who want to receive it. God gave us the gift of His rich grace not because we are deserving or are successful. He freely gives His grace to us because He is a loving and generous God.
Because of the riches of God’s grace, we can receive His overflowing love and forgiveness.
Download the devotional to type and save your answers.
Read Ephesians 1:3–7 and write it down in your journal. Encircle the promises that you can claim. Underline those that you find difficult to understand. Put a star on those that made you say “Wow!” Write your insights about this passage.
God’s grace can be seen in many forms. How have you experienced God’s grace so far? Write them down or draw them in your journal.
Lord, thank You for sending Jesus Christ so that I can experience freedom and the forgiveness of my sins. I know that You chose me and have blessed me with every spiritual blessing in Christ. May Your grace, which You have given to me freely, make me live according to Your purpose. May You give me the courage to share this gift of grace to those around me, so that they can experience it as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.