Summary: The blessings in Christ that we find in Ephesians chapter 1
9 BLESSINGS IN CHRIST
Ephesians – Riches In Christ
This morning we’re going to start a new series,
on the book of Ephesians.
If you have your Bible
turn to Ephesians Chapter 1.
The Apostle Paul wrote this letter
to the church in Ephesus
in about 62 AD,
from his prison cell in Rome.
Now, the first question you might ask, is
what makes the letter to the Ephesians so special?
Why are we going to spend a couple months
studying this letter?
Let me start with a story
An old American Indian legend tells about a brave who found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a turkey.
The eaglet hatched with the brood of turkeys and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle, thinking he was a turkey, did what the turkeys do.
He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. He clucked and gobbled. And never flew more than a few feet off the ground. After all, turkeys don’t fly very much.
Time went by and the changeling eagle grew very old.
One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky,
soaring with graceful majesty on the wind currents,
"What a beautiful bird!" said the changeling eagle to the turkey next to him. "What is it?"
"That’s an eagle -- the chief of birds," the turkey gobbled. "But don’t give it a second thought. You could never be like him."
So the changeling eagle never gave it another thought. And he died thinking he was a turkey.
That story may be a legend,
but there have been many people
who have falsely believed they’re another type of animal.
In the last several hundred years there have been 53 documented cases of "feral children," children who have been lost in the wild and reared, nurtured and protected by animals.
In 1987, a child was found living with a tribe of monkeys in Uganda.
When taken to an orphanage, he grunted, squealed, jumped on his hands, ate grass and was very fearful of people. He thought he was a monkey.
In another recent case,
a boy was observed living with a herd of Antelope over a ten year period.
Several attempts to capture him were unsuccessful.
Scientists actually have a name for this type of behavior.
They call it "imprinting."
But essentially, what it is, is an identity crisis. When somebody doesn’t know who they really are.
Many Christians have an identity crisis as well. They’ve been so "imprinted" by the world around us,
that they don’t know who they really are in Christ.
They see themselves as turkeys while God sees them as eagles!
They have been conditioned to think, talk and act like turkeys,
but God says,
if you just knew who you really are,
you wouldn’t believe it.
Ephesians tells us who we really are.
God gave us this book of the Bible,
to show us our true identity, to get us to stop acting like turkeys, and help us fly like eagles.
The theme of his letter is about the blessings that we have, when we become a member of God’s family.
The spiritual riches that become ours,
by committing our life to Jesus Christ,
and making him the boss.
Paul starts out this letter by saying,
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
That’s his greeting,
Now notice Verse 3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Notice every spiritual blessing.
Not just some but every spiritual blessing.
What this is telling us is,
when we put our faith in Christ,
we become unbelievably rich,
far beyond what most of us realize.
And that’s what this letter is about,
our spiritual riches.
In the first chapter,
Paul lists these spiritual blessings.
There’s 9 of them listed,
3 that come from God the Father,
4 that come from Jesus,
and 2 that come from the Holy Spirit.
THREE BLESSINGS FROM THE FATHER
HE CHOSE US
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
If you’re a believer this morning,
and you’ve made Jesus Christ the lord of your life,
when you did that,
it was not a surprise to God.
It says God knew his people in advance. In fact, it says he knew you would become part of his family,
even before he created the universe.
But he didn’t just know about us.
It says he chose us to be holy and blameless.