Summary: “Being saved from certain condemnation is certainly the most important blessing in this life; and much to be thankful for!”
Title: Blessings In Christ Scripture Text: Ephesians 1:3-10
Introduction: Are there days, especially during this special time of year; that you really don’t feel that thankful? One of the songs we will be singing today has the words, “Count Your Blessings” Have you had time in your busy life to count your blessings, naming them one by one? In life, and in an especially noticeable trademark of Bible Scripture; is that there are two choices in most everything, and normally they are almost completely opposite. For example, there is a narrow road, and a broad road; but no medium width road. There is righteousness, and then there is wickedness; but there is no kind of goodness in between. There is light, and there is dark; but no gray, and especially none that is noteworthy. We have two choices as I see it! And in every situation or circumstance in life, we can choose to direct ourselves towards life; or we can choose to shrivel, and lose ground to death. If we choose to be apathetic and sick about life, we can be led to bitterness and despair-and eventually the death that comes as a result of those attitudes. Or, we can choose to be enthusiastic and excited about a new day. When we are in the hard times of life, we think, if we don't choose to be strong-we will just give up. The song ‘Count Your Blessings’ rightly continues, “see what God has done!”
For he chose us before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins
He made known the mystery of his will
Response: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms.
Propositional Statement: Today, I am going to outline three of the spiritual blessings that the Apostle Paul mentions here in Ephesians. John MacArthur says that within these passages, “Paul here presents six aspects of the divine blessing he is about to unfold: the blessed One, God; the Blesser, also God; the blessed ones, believers; the blessings, all things spiritual; the blessing location, the heavenly places; and the blessing Agent, Jesus Christ (John F. MacArthur Jr., Ephesians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 7.)” The blessings found here are just a few of the many blessings found throughout Scripture; and we will today just barely scratch a surface of the depth found in these three blessings! Praise is the operative word all throughout these passages in Ephesians 1. Ephesians 1:3 says, “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.”
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Cor. 1:3-4).”
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).”
During this thanksgiving season and approaching Thanksgiving Day; we have been considering how we are truly thankful. One of the greatest gifts ever given is reflected in the Book of John, Chapter 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” “Being saved from certain condemnation is certainly the most important blessing in this life; and much to be thankful for!”
I. Holy and Blameless – verse 3. Holy means set-apart and Blameless means without spot or blemish.
A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, "Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top." "I have a better idea," replied Twain. "You could stay in Boston and keep them." (Moody Bible Institute's Today in the Word, September, 1991, p. 32.) It is a good idea to keep God’s commands, but what we are getting at in Ephesians 1 is not what we do to be holy and blameless; but what God does for us so that we are called blameless and holy.