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What does it mean to be “In Christ?” Paul answers this question for us in chapter two by telling us the following:
We are saved by grace! Not works!
We are created by God to do good works even though these do not save us. We do it out of gratitude and love for what Jesus did for us.
We are now joined with Christ because of mercy and grace
(united, grafted into the life giving vine of life)
(We are in the “In group!”)
We have inherited the covenant promises because we are in the “In group.”
We have hope -- because we have God!
We now have access to God! Before there was no access to God but today there is through Christ this brings us hope.
We are members of God’s family and this reality should give us hope!
We are citizens of Heaven and family members in the house of God!
We are being built together to become a dwelling place of the Lord. Yes because of grace He lives in us and Holy Spirit desires to indwell the entire church body. He wants everyone of us to be “The faithful.”
These are all promises to the one who is “In Christ” “The Faithful” – all these blessings bring great benefits to our lives but the one which sticks out to me the most is the phrase that says:
12Remember that at that time (When you in the out group) you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Paul reminds the faithful in Ephesus that, “We now have hope because we have God and we have God in us because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross!”
Celebrate Communion: Play song “In Christ Alone” with movie clip of Jesus our hope!
Someone has wisely stated that if you could convince a man that there is no hope, he would curse the day he was born and then give up.
The question of "Is there any hope?" is common in our world today. We hear this question being asked by young, middle aged, and older people.
- We hear the cry of global warming.
- We hear the effects of what could happen in a
- We have witnessed the devastating effects of terrorism and senseless killings
- We hear that suicide is at an all time high.
- We hear about A.I.D.S. and its deadly effect on many lives.
- We hear about the Bird flue and what it could do if it hits America.
- We hear of economic troubles that are coming.
- We hear of job layoffs everywhere affecting many working class people.
- We hear that our country is on the brink of financial collapse.
- We hear of Social Security’s inevitable bankruptcy
The list could go on and on and we could ask, "Is there any hope?" And the answer to this question is, "Yes, there is!" But to clarify this "yes", let’s first look at this word or term "Hope".
I. Who is our Hope?
1. Do we place our hope in our government, our job, our money or in a higher power?
a.) The 12 step program of recovery speaks to us about the role of our a higher power.
1.) In step one, we admitted that our lives are out of control and we ourselves recognize our powerlessness to change it.
a. Romans 7:17, which speaks directly to this life predicament, "I know nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful
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