Summary: How do you become spiritually wise? Is it age? Experience? This is a sermon taken from Paul and applied to my life.
Ephesians 1 – Spiritual Wisdom
Toledo, WH, how many of you love to grill? There’s something magical about it, grilling in the winter is OK, but there’s just something about it in the summer, it’s like the whole process, from buying the meat, to preparing it, to cooking it to perfection and of course eating it…the whole process is satisfying. If you don’t burn it. I love to cook, but there’s something magical about grilling.
It was the year 63 AD, about 30 years after Jesus’ earthly ministry, that Paul was on his third missionary journey, spending a few years preaching and building a church in Ephesus…a busy city on the west coast of modern day Turkey. Paul loved spending time with the Ephesians, they were a young church, about 10 years old…and most of their congregation wasn’t Jewish, they were gentiles…they were essentially people that had never been to church.
Hmmm…a church that’s young…many newer Christians…growing and vibrant?? You can see how important this series is going to be for us here at CedarCreek.
As we study throughout the next few weeks…Paul wants us to know something about the church. It’s like Paul wanted us to know what the church was here for as a whole.
He wanted to remind Christians of the many spiritual blessings that we have in Christ. He wanted to encourage us in Ephesians to have a Christ-like walk worthy of our calling to God. He comes right out and says it early in CH1 verse 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,
Many of the early Christians there only knew of the teachings of John the Baptist, so they were focused on repenting their sins, baptism and preparing for the end of the world. They only cared about confessing and being baptized. Paul wanted them to realize what they had in Jesus…the perfection made through Jesus, purchased with His own blood and the beauty of life in Him, WITH Him and FOR Him. Jesus and Paul made it personal.
If I try to preach and can’t find a way to make it personal for you, I’ve failed. I’m just spewing out information. …what good is that? I have to try to find a way to make it personal. Anything I can say in 40 minutes, I can say in 20…I just need to learn how to say it better. Make it personal.
Maybe that’s what I love so much about grilling. I don’t usually do too well with someone asking ‘hey, want me to man the grill’? It’s personal for me. This is my moment, this is my chance to work a calculated process…I’ll take the blame if it fails, I’ll also take the credit when it doesn’t. This is MINE to win or lose. Ladies…When a guy grills, he doesn’t see dinner…he sees an excuse to connect with primitive man. He sees a challenge, he sees a Picasso. When Rachel grills she sees meat that isn’t cooking fast enough, when I grill, I see a baby on board sign with a car seat, seat belt and air bag wrapped into a delicate roll of bubble wrap. You’ve got to talk to it…love it...earn its trust…
Rachel and I just see it differently. If we learn to understand that, we appreciate it more.
Paul was essentially reminding the Ephesians that when God looks at His Son, Jesus, He was seeing His church. When non-Christians look at Christians, they should see Christ. Tell me, what do they see in you…Christ?? The next few weeks will be about finding out WHAT PEOPLE SEE IN YOU…
What’s interesting is how Paul decides to start it all off!
In verses 6-14 Paul talks about a thing called ‘predestination’.
We’re not going to spend a lot of time here (making all you theologians upset) because I covered it in depth a few months ago in a sermon…but here’s the deal…
Paul rocks the theological mind…with something that would spark endless debating amongst Christians for thousands of years. It would go so far as to split churches and denominations. This kind of behavior would have driven Paul crazy if it happened in his midst.
So what is it??
Predestination. The fact that Paul says God CHOSE us to be His.
Here’s where we stand as leadership at the Creek….God chooses people as a whole…the human race….by going to the cross….He died for EVERYONE!!! …and then they are given free will to choose Him.
It may be fun for some to debate in good-natured Christian conversations, but if we dwell on figuring this whole thing out…we are fools, God didn’t give us all the answers. The greatest human minds have struggled with it. BE OK WITH THAT. Can you be OK with that??