Our Riches In Christ
Text: Ephesians 1:3-14 Speaker: Pastor Matthew Ude Festival: Pentecost Passages: Ephesians 1:3-14
Full Service Video
Spiritual Blessings in Christ (Listen)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us1 for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known2 to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee3 of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,4 to the praise of his glory.
Duck Tape its really good for patching things up. Yet ultimately whenever you are using Duck Tape you are really only making do. You can patch a window with Duck Tape but eventually your wife will tell you to buy a new window. If you are really wealthy, you might never need to use DuckTape. You never have to make do. If you are really wealthy you can always pay to have it fixed the right way or buy a new one. Why just make do if you are really wealthy?
Paul begins the book of Ephesians by reminding us just how spiritually wealthy we are. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing”
Especially in the first chapter of Ephesians but also throughout the book, he wants us to understand just how spiritually wealthy we are. Since we have so much in Christ, why settle for just making do, or the pitiful imitations of this world? Why eat margarine if you can eat butter? Why Tang if you can have fresh squeezed orange juice?
As we go through the book of Ephesians we are going to be continually seeing this, how wealthy we are in Christ, and how poor and worthless the imitations of men are. God’s idea of parenting versus the world. God’s idea of Marriage versus the world. God’s idea of unity versus the worlds, etc
Today Paul really begins with the overwhelming richness that is ours, he begins “every spiritually blessing” then he just lists them: Chosen
Holy and blameless
Sealed by the Holy Spirit
Let’s begin with that first one: God’s plan for us
God has a plan and a purpose for us, for our lives but that purpose is not one that we use to drive our life, instead that purpose is what drove the life of Christ.
The world says pick a dream, hold it tight, let that dream and purpose drive your life. But here God has a plan for our lives, but He is the driver not us. Notice how many times Paul says according to the good pleasure of His will, how many times He says “He did this”
Also it’s not our life that is being driven but Christ’s. Notice how many times Paul says “in Him.” In order to achieve the desired result in my life, God drove the life of Christ
“the purpose driven life” is Christ’s life
What is that purpose? That I should be “holy and blameless before him in love.” This is the purpose that I should stand before God on judgment day and the Lord should say of me, “well done good and faithful servant, you are without fault or blemish.”
Compare that to any other purpose you might choose for your life, framer, president, governor. There is nothing wrong with these as sub goals for your life. Can they ever compare to the purpose that God has in store for you? Be governor if you want but don’t trade in God’s purpose for this.
The Wisdom and knowledge of God
Another gift Paul talks about is the wealth of wisdom and knowledge. The wisdom and knowledge that we have from God is way better than our own. One time Mark and I tried to carry our canoe across the rocks rather than use the portage. We slipped. We felled. We banged up our knees. In the end we were in the wrong spot. It took us three tries before we admitted that the guide books knew what they were talking about.
God gives us wisdom and knowledge in His word. He offers us some understanding of the mysteries which He planned from creation
Again we so often trade in His wisdom, for the useless imitation our own pitiful understanding. How much better is the eternal wisdom of God rather than our own experience.
Thirdly Paul reminds us that we were Sealed by the Holy Spirit
What does a seal do?
It identifies. The Holy Spirit identifies us as belonging to Christ, and this should be a thing we take pride and glory in. We are the children of God. Lisa Dumke was just telling me the other day that she is the great granddaughter of August Pieper. That isn’t something to hide. That is something to be proud of. Yet so often we try to hide that mark that says “I belong to God.” Why would we want to be like the people of this earth, when we have been adopted by God?
It guarantees. Whoever has been baptized has the Holy Spirit, whoever has the Holy Spirit is going to inherit heaven. We have this assurance this down payment from God on the riches of those things that we will receive in Heaven.
What are some of the things people substitute for God’s seal through the Holy Spirit? Good works, belonging to a church miracles, yet none of these things can replace the guarantee we have in the Holy Spirit.
Instead whenever we are tempted to doubt, whenever Satan accuses us of a sin. We stand and spit in his face, Jesus died for me. I am baptized, in that baptism I was given the Holy Spirit. I am Christ’s and He is mine. Satan cannot deny a single thing I just said.
But if we use faith, or works or miracles, Satan can easily say, well have you done enough? Is your strength strong enough? What pale useless imitations these things are.
When you hook your trailer to your car, do you want a chain that looks like steel, or one that is steel?
The riches of the gifts that are ours in Christ are far beyond anything this world can offer. Reject the imitations take hold of the truth in Christ.