Jesus said that everyone who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34). But we have been set free, or redeemed, from sin and death through the payment of a price-the very blood of Christ. We now stand forgiven according to the lavish grace of God who not only sets us free, but reveals how He is bringing all things together under the Lordship of Christ. Jesus is the organizing principle of the universe, and He is able to free completely those who look to Him for grace.
The doctrine of election, or predestination, is highly controversial. Surrounded by misunderstanding on one side and resistance on the other, it often remains an unpolished jewel in the crown of Christian theology. But Paul was not ashamed of the sovereign grace of God. It was the foundation of his eternal life, hope, and praise, and it may be ours as well through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
First century Ephesus was a commercial, religious, and cultural powerhouse, but its man-centered nature made it a place of great exploitation, idolatry, and debauchery. To His beleaguered church in Ephesus, God sent word of His amazing grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the Son whom He loves, He was establishing, uniting, and transforming His people- a work that He continues to this day!