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To be Beloved

20 February 2012 by David

Q. 57. What benefits has Christ procured by his mediation?
A. Christ, by his mediation, hath procured redemption, with all other benefits of the covenant of grace.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
—Ephesians 1:3–14

This is a meaty passage. John MacArthur’s pulpit exposition of these verses took more than three hours and yielded thirty-one pages of New Testament Commentary. I shudder to think what Lloyd-Jones must have done with it in his 8-volume Exposition of Ephesians. Having learned from Harry Callahan that “a man’s got to know his limitations,” I’m going to be as brief as Lloyd-Jones was long-winded.

Verse 7 begins with the words “in him,” a theme introduced in the preceding verses, from which we learn that “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ … to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” I want us to take special notice of two things here. First, the words “in Christ.” This is key to our redemption, that we have been placed in Christ. In him, according to the riches of his grace,

  • We have redemption through His blood

  • We have the forgiveness of our sins

  • We have obtained an inheritance

  • We are sealed in Christ

These are four major headings that I see, all of which include sub-points that could be listed without adding words to the text.

Second, let’s observe the the words “in the Beloved.” Jesus is called “the Beloved.” Our union with Christ means that we are also “the beloved,” which is prerequisite to everything. Because the Redeemer is beloved of God, so are we. Because we are the beloved of God, the riches of his grace are lavished on us. If you are a disciple of Christ, think of this when you think of God’s love: God’s love for you is tied to Christ. The Father sees his Son, loves him, and that love with which he loves his own Son is poured out on you. All of it, without limit, forever.