Ephesians 1:3-14— God’s chose and destined us to be His children through Christ. For the next few weeks, the Epistle lesson will come from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. This lesson is difficult to relate to the other two lessons. The central theme of the letter to the Ephesians is the church. This lesson is on praise to God who in Christ has poured out His love for us, who calls us to be His children, redeemed us through the blood of Christ, and revealed His will to us. He has given us His Spirit who is a guarantee of our salvation and eternal life.
To be chosen is to be wanted. To be wanted means we are worth something to the one who wants us. Paul says in verse 4 that God chose us to be his people even before the creation of the world. God has always wanted us! What an honor to be chosen at any time by anyone, but how great it is to be chosen by God. It is not so much that we should choose Christ but that we should rejoice in God’s choice of us.
In Hebrew thought, blood was life. Paul says we have redemption through the blood of Christ. It means out of love Christ gave his life that we might be forgiven by the Father. This forgiveness is the result of the riches of grace. The Father’s love results in the Son’s sacrifice which makes it possible for us to become the people of God. Thus, we are redeemed from our lost condition which was one of sin and death.
Is this all theory or fact? Are we forgiven for Jesus’ sake? Are we going to heaven? Paul says here that we have a guarantee of our salvation in the gift of the Spirit. The Spirit serves as a seal of your connection to Christ. The Spirit’s presence is a down-payment which assures us of the inheritance. Your eternal destiny has been signed by the cross, sealed by the Spirit, and delivered by the church through Word and Sacrament.
Collect for Pentecost 7—Grant, Lord, that the course of this world may be so governed by Your direction that Your Church may rejoice in serving You in godly peace and quietness; -08 July 2021—
 The Beheading of John the Baptist, Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut copyright © WELS used with permission
 Lectionary Preaching Workbook, Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
 Collect for Pentecost 7; Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis