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  • Joe Steenholdt

Ephesians 1:3-14 - A Done Deal

There are immense benefits to simply believing the good news of Jesus Christ.

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Read Ephesians 1:3-14

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Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 59

Q. What good does it do you, however,

to believe all this?

A. In Christ I am right with God

and heir to life everlasting.



For about a quarter of this year, we have considered what a Christian believes as summarized by the Apostles’ Creed. The question and answer about true faith (Q&A 21) prompted the series of questions and answers about what each statement means. These questions are all contained in the “salvation” section of the Heidelberg Catechism, and we have learned how our Triune God has delivered His people from the judgment and misery of sin.

Today we get to the “so what?” question: “What good does it do you, however, to believe all this?” What difference does it make to believe these tenets of the Christian faith? And the Heidelberg’s answer delivers good news of eternal significance, “In Christ I am right with God and heir to life everlasting.”

Paul provides his own response and summary of God’s work of redemption in Ephesians 1:3–14. This whole passage is dripping with praise for how our Triune God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing of salvation. The Father planned it, the Son accomplished it, and the Holy Spirit guaranteed it. God has completed all of redemption from beginning to end. Salvation signed, sealed, and delivered. The only action attributed to the recipients of this amazing grace is hearing and believing it (1:13).

Dig Deeper

Reading through Paul’s letters in the New Testament, you might notice that one of his favorite phrases is “in Christ.” Ephesians is no different; he uses a variation of it almost forty times! It’s because the only key to salvation is in Christ. As a Christian, you are inseparably linked to Christ so that when God looks at you, He sees His perfect Son. In Christ, you are united to His obedience, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension to glory. In Christ, you have all you need for salvation from beginning to completion.

If you have doubts, look at the language used for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given as a guarantee of your eternal inheritance to come. Like the earthly inheritances we know of, this one is not based on merit either. But to further prove God’s truth of salvation in Christ, He has given His Spirit as a down payment.

When buying a house, it is typical that the seller will accept an initial offer from a buyer. Yet it is only when the buyer signs the final paperwork and deposits the down payment that the deal is finalized. When you believe the gospel, you receive the Holy Spirit as a seal; the inheritance of eternal life is promised, and God will see it through.

So the next time you recite the Apostles’ Creed or hear the gospel of your salvation, remember that by believing it, you are in good standing before God and a rightful heir of his eternal inheritance because your life is hidden in Christ.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The One who has ordained, planned, accomplished, and promised salvation;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will respond to the gospel like Paul in Ephesians 1: full of praise that salvation is complete in Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit;



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Romans 15


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