Summary: Part 1 of a 4 part mini-series from Ephesians 1, focusing on the blessings of God. Looking at Ephesians 1:3, the focus is on how God is a God who is blessed and blesses us with every spiritual blessing, defining how these blessings give us insight and vic
Ephesians – “Focusing on Truth”
Lesson Two: Eph. 1:3 “Too Good Not to Be True-part 1”
There is a serious and growing problem in our society that has really begun to frustrate me – it’s called “junk-email.” Do you know what I’m talking about? I receive more junk e-mail that I care to think about. The problem is that so many junk emails promise to benefit us in great ways.
Beyond just junk solicitation mail, there are two other aggravating types of emails that I receive:
1) The email from a company or person that promises a reward if you forward that email to 500 of your closest friends. For those of you who get suckered into this every time, I want to tell you definitively: there is no way that Applebees or Microsoft or Bill Gates or Neiman Marcus can track your emails that are sent to your friends and family, and furthermore, none of these have gotten their success from giving away their money!
2) The email that claims to be from a rich businessman, widow, or dying king in Africa who claims to have millions of dollars that he/she is looking to dump into your bank account if you will just send them your routing number and checking account number! If you have received this kind of e-mail, do not send them any information! There is an old saying that says, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This kind of fraudulent email has led to so many people being scammed out of money. PT Barnum had another saying for those who believe that someone would randomly just give you millions of dollars – “There’s a sucker born every minute!”
These junk email scams along with crooked politics and lying salesmen have made us very skeptical. But put your skepticism aside. This week in Ephesians, I want to share with you some truths from one simple verse that might seem too good to be true, but praise God, they’re not. Over the next two weeks, we will explore how God blesses us and what His blessings mean in our day to day lives. In a world where things that sound too good to be true probably are, Ephesians 1 will show us that God’s blessings for us are simply “ too good not to be true.”
We turn our attention for the next several weeks on verses 3-14. Even though most Bible translations break these verses up into several sentences, in the original Greek, they actually combine to make one big sentence. Let’s read just the first part together in verse 3: “How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ.” (PRAY)
In this big sentence, verse 3 holds the main thought (which will be our focus today). Next week, we will explore verses 4-14 and how they carry out the rest of the thought. But verse 3 sets up the rest of the chapter, and there are some great truths that we see just from this verse alone. I want to give you four “too good not to be true” truths that will lead to great victory in your life:
1) God by nature wants to bless you.
In Paul’s opening statement, he starts by praising and blessing God. But I actually prefer how other Bible versions say it: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, it might read “God the Father is blessed and has blessed us with every spiritual blessing…” While Paul is praising God here, he deliberately uses the term blessed to describe God. He calls God “the Blessed God” – meaning that His very nature is to bless His children. God’s a “Blesser.”
We touched on this last week - what does it mean when God “blesses” us? Shines/imparts His favor on us. There is a famous set of verses in Matthew 7:7-8. Jesus tells His followers: ([“Ask, seek knock”] (but from the NLT) “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks…” To ask and have it given, to seek it and have it found, to knock and have it opened – these are blessings – God’s favor on us. But why does God do these things? Why does God bless? Verse 12 “Your Heavenly Father gives good gifts to those who ask Him.” – It is God’s nature to bless you! Say it to the person sitting next to you – “God wants to bless me!” And God desires to bless you today! But there is another “too good not to be true” truth that leads to great victory: