Listen, Believe, Hope & Praise

Please read and carefully consider these 12 verses from the apostle Paul in Ephesians 1. Eph. 1:3-14 is single sentence outpouring, although most modern translations break it into multiple sentences, exalting in what God has done to bring Jews and Gentiles together in the church for salvation in Christ.

“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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 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 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 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, 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” (Eph. 1:3-14).

Let’s break this great outpouring of thanks and praise down into some simple lists. 

First, what do we receive? Every spiritual blessing, being made holy and blameless, chosen, adopted, to be His sons, grace, redemption, forgiveness, hope, sealed with Holy Spirit, being God’s own possession. 

Second, what has God done? Pre-planned adoption, love, grace, redemption, knowledge, inheritance, sealing. 

Third, consider how these things come from God? His choice, love, predestination, kind intention, to His praise, willingly, graciously, freely bestowed, richly and lavishly, through the blood of Christ, with wisdom, purpose, by the working His will, the message of truth, and the gospel.

Fourth, by whom does this come us? In Christ, in the beloved, by Jesus Christ and His blood and the Holy Spirit as a pledge.

And finally, what do we do? There are very few action verbs for us to “do” since the emphasis is on what God has planned, done and carried out for us in Christ, and great things that we are made and called to be. There are but four verbs in these 12 verses to indicate our action. Three times we read of the “praise of His glory” (vs. 6,12,14) for us to participate in. We are also to “hope in Christ” (vs. 12) and our participation in all of these things is because we “listened” and “believed” (vs. 13). 

So when the great gospel is presented, “listen” to it; “believe” it; plan your “hope” in it; and “praise” God for it.