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Summary: God has given us everything we need. God has redeemed mankind and he has sealed the believer with the power of the Holy Spirit.

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THE BLESSING OF BEING IN CHRIST

EPHESIANS 1:1-23

INTRO-

GOD HAD BEEN DOING A NEW THING.HE HAS ALLOWED US TO GET INTO HIS PRESENCE. HE HAS ALLOWED US TO SEE THAT HE DESIRES TO BE WITH US AND HE WANTS TO USE US FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD. APOSTLE PAUL IS WRITING TO THE EPHESIANS, TO BELIEVERS, TO THE CHURCH, HE CALLS THEM THE FAITHFUL.

ILLUSTRATION-

A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, OFF THE COAST OF MASSACHUSETTS, A SHIP RAMMED A SUBMARINE. THE SUBMARINE SANK BEFORE ANYONE COULD ESCAPE. THE ENTIRE CREW WAS TRAPPED. SHIPS RUSHED TO THE SCENE OF THE DISASTER, BUT THERE WAS NOTHING ANY OF THEM COULD DO. DIVERS WERE SENT DOWN TO EVALUATE THE SITUATION. ONE MAN PUT HIS HELMETED EAR AGAINST THE VESSEL AND LISTENED FOR ANY SOUNDS. WHAT HE HEARD WAS SOMEONE TAPPING IN MORSE CODE. BECAUSE HE KNEW MORSE CODE HE COULD DECIPHER THE MESSAGE. IT WAS THIS: IS-THERE-ANY- HOPE?

THE WORLD IS ASKING THE SAME THING TODAY. IS THERE ANY HOPE ? HAVE WE GONE TO FAR? DOES GOD STILL CARE? THE WORLD IS HUNGRY FOR HOPE, BUT THE WORLD ISN’T READY TO HEAR WHERE THE HOPE LAYS. HOPE IS A CONFIDENT EXPECTATION. THE POWER IS NOT TO MERELY HAVE A HOPE IN HOPE ITSELF. THE POINT IS WE HAVE SOMETHING AND SOMEONE IN WHICH WE CAN PLACE OUR HOPE. WE HAVE HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST HE IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. HE IS THE ONE THAT OFFERS ETERNAL LIFE.

PAUL DIRECTS THE READER TO SEE THAT ANY HOPE THAT WILL MATTER WILL BE THE HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST. AS A BELIEVER, THAT HEAVEN HAS OPENED UP BLESSINGS TO THOSE THAT HAVE TAKEN JESUS AS LORD.

HERE’S THE POINTS THIS MORNING:

I. HE CHOSE TO REDEEM MANKIND BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. GOD HAD A PLAN.

II. GOD HAS ADOPTED US AS HIS CHILDREN IN JESUS CHRIST

III. WE HAVE THE SEAL AND POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

LETS TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HE IS SAYING TO US THIS MORNING.

I. HE CHOSE TO REDEEM MANKIND

WHEN SATAN SAW THAT CRIST WAS ON THE CROSS, HE JUMPED FOR JOY. HE THOUGHT THAT HE HAD DEFEATED WHAT GOD INTENDED TO DO.

ILLUSTRATION-

IN BANGLADESH, THEY SHOWED THE JESUS FILM, PEOPLE YOU COULD HAVE HEARD A PIN DROP AS JESUS WAS PUT ON THE CROSS. THE UNBELIEF AND SADNESS THAT THE SON OF GOD WOULD SOON DIE. IN A EMOTIONAL MOMENT, A YOUNG BOY STANDS UP AND CRIES, “DON’T BE AFRAID, HE GET’S UP, I SAW THIS BEFORE. THE BOYS CRY GAVE NEW LIFE TO THE VIEWERS OF THE FILM. THE DEVIL THREW HIS BEST SHOT, HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE A COMEBACK. YOU CANNOT KEEP GOD IN THE GRAVE YOU CANNOT KEEP GOD DOWN

GOD CHOSE TO REDEEM MANKIND.

DEATH IS MAN’S GREATEST ENEMY, BUT GOD HAS DEFEATED DEATH. GOD DISARMED IT FOR US NOW, WHEN WE DIE AND WAKE IN GLORY, IT WILL HAVE BEEN DEFEATED HALLELUJAH

V7- IN HIM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RICHES OF GOD’S GRACE THAT HE LAVISHED ON US WITH ALL HIS WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING, AND HE MADE KNOWN TO US THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL ACCORDING TO HIS GOOD PLEASURE WHICH HE PURPOSED IN CHRIST.

IN HIM:

THERE IS SALVATION-

THERE IS FORGIVENESS-

THERE IS REDEMPTION/ DELIVERANCE

THERE IS GOD’S GRACE/ WISDOM

WE CAN KNOW (ABSOLUTELY KNOW) THE WILL OF GOD IN OUR LIVES.

AND HE CAN SEAL IT BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THOSE THAT CALL JESUS LORD

CHRISTIANS ARE REPRESENTATIVES OF CHRIST WITHIN THE WORLD, BUT THEY ARE NOT LEFT TO CARRY OUT THAT TASK IN THEIR OWN STRENGTH. THE STRENGTH AND POWER OF CHRIST IS WITHIN US. CHRISTIANITY IS NOT ATTRACTIVE IF WE AS BELIEVERS ARE NOT CHRIST-LIKE IN OUR LIVES. EVERY CHRISTIAN HAS A HUMAN ADDRESS AND A DIVINE ADDRESS. WHEN THE POWER OF HEAVEN RESIDES IN YOU, YOU WILL LIVE A LIFE THAT OTHERS WILL WANT. IT IS THE SECRET OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.

ALISTAR MACLEON:

“MY SECRET IS TO SAIL THE SEAS, AND ALWAYS TO KEEP MY HEART IN PORT” WHEREVER GOD PUTS US, OUR HEARTS MUST BELONG TO GOD.

PAUL TELLS US HE BELONGS TO CHRIST

HIS LIFE IS NOT HIS OWN

HE HAS A MESSAGE TO GET OUT.

ANY POWER / ANY GOOD THING HE DOES IS BY THE DELEGATED POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTIVE IN HIS LIFE. GOD HAS A PLAN-IT IS TO REDEEM MANKIND. TO TAKE A FALLEN PEOPLE AND RESTORE THEM BACK INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.

II. GOD HAS ADOPTED US INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST

V 5-6- HE DETERMINED IN HIS LOVE BEFORE TIME BEGAN TO ADOPT US TO HIMSELF THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, IN THE GOOD PURPOSE OF HIS WILL, SO THAT ALL MIGHT PRAISE THE GLORY OF THE GENEROUS GIFT WHICH HE FREELY GAVE US IN THE BELOVED. GOD ADOPTED US INTO HIS FAMILY. ANCIENT ROMAN LAW TELLS US THAT THE FATHER HAD COMPLETE POWER OF HIS SON FOREVER. CHILDREN WERE NOT ALLOWED TO POSSESS ANYTHING. ANY INHERITANCE, GIFTS, MONEY, BECAME THE PROPERTY OF THE FATHER. THE RITUAL OF ADOPTION WAS A SERIOUS THING. SYMBOLICALLY, 2 TIMES THE BIOLOGICAL FATHER WOULD SELL HIS SON AND THEN BUY HIM BACK. THE THIRD TIME , HE WOULD NOT BUY HIM BACK. THE ADOPTING FATHER HAD TO GO TO THE MAGISTRATE AND PLEAD FOR HIS CASE OF ADOPTION. THEN THE ADOPTION WAS COMPLETE. HE THEN HAD ALL THE RIGHTS IN HIS NEW FAMILY. HE LOST ALL RIGHTS IN THE OLD FAMILY. IN THE EYES OF THE LAW, HE WAS A NEW PERSON. THIS IS WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US. WE WERE ABSOLUTELY IN THE POWER OF SIN AND THE WORLD, GOD THROUGH JESUS, TOOK US OUT OF THAT POWER AND INTO HIS, AND THAT ADOPTION WIPES OUT THE PAST AND MAKES US NEW .HERE’S THE CHALLENGE THE MODERN CHURCH HAS BEEN SLOW TO FACE. THE MODERN CHURCH WANTS TO WATER DOWN THE ADOPTION PROCESS, WE ARE TO BE NEW PEOPLE, THE OLD IS GONE, AND THE NEW TAKES PRECEDENCE. TO MAKE IT SIMPLE- JESUS CAN MAKE BAD PEOPLE GOOD. PEACE OF GOD IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF TROUBLES, IT IS KNOWING THE PURPOSE AND PLAN THAT GOD CHOOSES FOR YOUR LIFE.

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