Christians are Spiritually Rich in Christ (February 16, 2020)
Series Big Idea: "The Church is created and sustained by God"
Sermon Big Idea: "Christians have been given everything they need spiritually through the ministries of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit"
Key Scripture (Ephesians 1)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will: To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him for the administration of the days of fulfillment —to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him. We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will, so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might bring praise to His glory. When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory. This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens — far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.
During the time period that the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesian church, the city of Ephesus was the center of many occult practices. Witchcraft, sorcery, and magic were practiced by people in and around the city. Although this kind of influence was prevalent, Paul wrote to the church there to remind them where their salvation was based and how that would influence their lives as well as the people around them.
God’s Church is not built of stone but of flesh. It is not furnished with gold and silver but with spiritual blessings in heavenly places. God’s Church is alive, and its members are created for good works. It is directed by Christ who is the head. It will never be defeated by spiritual forces because it is guarded by Jesus Christ whose power is above all other powers and authorities. His Church is a loving family that is nurtured by the caring relationships He fosters. It is a growing and nurturing fellowship that is held together by Christ and built up in love. It is to that end we look at this first chapter and discover what Paul said to encourage these believers.
These verses teach us that Christians have been given everything they need spiritually to live the Christian life through the ministries of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Let’s talk a moment about each blessing.
The Spiritual Blessings of God the Father (V 3-6)
He Choose us – Because He chose us, we are holy and blameless in His sight. Because we have received Jesus as our Savior, all our sins have been forgiven in Him. It doesn’t mean we will never sin but means our sins have been paid for on the cross. Jesus was holy and blameless and therefore we are holy and blameless in God’s sight.
He Adopted us – An adopted child is brought into a family and given the same rights and privileges as the natural children. God did this through Jesus, and it pleased Him. His choice was before the creation of the world so that we would one day stand before Him holy and blameless. God the Father accomplished this through His Son Jesus.
The Spiritual Blessings of God the Son (V 7-12)
He Redeemed us – Redeemed means to “buy back.” When we are redeemed by Christ, we are both freed from the penalty and power of sin. This redemption was accomplished by Christ’s death on the cross. His death paid the price for our sin.
He Forgave us – To forgive means to give up the right to punish someone. You can’t have redemption without forgiveness. His decision to do this grew out of His great grace.
He Enlightened us – The mystery that is made known to all believers but not unbelievers is that one day He will bring all things in heaven and on earth to conclusion in His will where Christ will be head and ruler of all things.
He Enriched us – God’s plan is that we be chosen for an inheritance which we will one day see and experience fully. This is God’s plan from the beginning.
The Spiritual Blessings of God the Holy Spirit (V 13-14)
He Seals us – To be marked with a seal indicated authority and security. It is proof of ownership. God seals His children with His Holy Spirit. He is saying we are His children and we will be provided for and protected.
He Guarantees our Inheritance – The giving of His Holy Spirit is a down payment of sorts. We are sealed until the day of redemption which guarantees our final release from sin when we stand before God in heaven.
Our hope. Christian hope is built on the promises that are in Christ Jesus. You and I need to know that our spiritual future is based on the promises of God. We are to find strength and courage in that hope so we can live in the present. If we are to understand and embrace this hope, we must be constantly making spiritual progress.
I wonder, have you put your trust in the One person who can save you? Jesus! If you have, are you continuing to grow in your faith? My prayer today is that you will grow in your faith beginning today.
Pastor Beaver's thoughts and ideals for this message, are inspired by:
Holman Christian Standard Bible
English Standard Version Bible
King James Version Bible
Christian Standard Bible
The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord/Roy B. Zuck
The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by Jerome H. Smith
Water, Mark, ed. Encyclopedia of Bible Facts. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.
Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print.
NIV, Archaeological Study Bible, eBook: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture
Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Duane Garrett, and Walter C. Kaiser Jr.
NIV, First-Century Study Bible, eBook: Explore Scripture in Its Jewish and Early Christian Context
Zondervan, Kent Dobson, and Ed Dobson
Anders, Max. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians. Edited by Max Anders. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1999. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.
Hughes, Robert B. and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1990. WORDsearch CROSS e-book. Revised edition of New Bible Companion.
Snodgrass, Klyne. Ephesians: From biblical text...to contemporary life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.
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