Summary: Everyone has the opportunity to be the Bride, a trophy that will be presented spotless and pure (Eph.5:27), not dusty and forgotten.

Text: Eph. 2:1-10

Theme: Created in Christ Jesus

Thesis: Are You Chasing Trophies?

Title: Chasing Trophies

Intro Super Bowl Sunday

Most watched event in world today

Why? We want to identify with victory!

22 men on field at a time - all want to be victorious

all are after that trophy

Trophy defined - memorial of victory

Interesting thing about trophies

1. There is usually only one - goes to owner

it might rotate, so good for only a short while

2. Sets on a shelf, gets dusty, then in a box, attic, forgotten

illus. Church trophy

Man has figured this out - found ways to personalize trophies

Super Bowl rings are with them all the time

So 22 men after a trophy ring

3. Trophies not always won by the best person or team

Loser may be the best!

I. Chased trophies Read Eph. 2:1-3

Verbs are past tense, condition is in the past point them out

Everyone has chased trophies not just in sporting events

My chased trophies include: Cub Scout arrows bike

bigger paper route nicest car

prettiest girl best date

fastest snowmobile sharpest uniform

best wife nicest home

best job greatest kids

Always aspired to bigger and better things

vs. 3 - "of the mind" - had to do better, everything was competitive

all these trophies to be chased

vs. 4 - "But God..." one day I lined up on that scrimmage line & was brought to my knees

Testimony - Jenny - brought to end of self

While chasing trophies God never stopped loving me

Created in love & watched over in love

vs. 4 - "rich in mercy" - overflowing in abundant, non-deserving kindness and compassion

vs. 5 - "dead is sins" - nekros = nek-ros = dead (nothing more, nothing less)

"quickened" - made alive, brought out of that condition of death

that condition of chasing trophies that kept ending with one more trophy to chase because of an unfulfilling desire of identifying with victory.

II. God’s Trophy

vs. 6 - "raised us...made us to sit in heavenly places"

cf. 1:20 Christ is a trophy - a memorial of victory

reason the Devil flees at His name

We are shown our identification with Christ Who is victorious!

vs. 7 - "show the exceeding riches of His grace"

Ryrie - We will be the eternal display of the grace of God.

We will be the heavenly trophy.

To all the other saints - presented as a Bride

To the angels - 1Pet.1:12

And I didn’t have to chase after another trophy to get to be a trophy.

vs. 8-9 - free gift, no works, no trophies

God isn’t inventorying our trophy case to see if we measure up!

vs. 10 - present tense with a continuing action

We are already His

We should live like it , not chasing trophies as does the world

Eph.4:1 "walk worthy of the vocation you are called to"

Phil. 1:6 "begun a good work in you will complete it"

Phil.2:13 "God works in you both to do and to will"

Titus 2:14 "a peculiar people of His very own possession"

All is summed up in Heb.12:1-2 "He is the author and finisher"

God’s Trophy is you, His church.

He will complete it as He sees fit, at a time He sees fit.

While we are in the midst of "life and death decisions" remember He purposes it all and will be glorified in His people.

A whole world out there is chasing after trophies trying to identify with victory.

illus. Unlike the Super Bowl and other such events where there are losers, there are no also-rans in God’s trophy case.

Alydar comes to mind. A horse who in 1978 came in second in each of the three legs of the thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is a sought after accomplishment and Alydar was defeated by Affirmed in each race, forever labeled as an also-ran, by only a neck or less. In any other given year Alydar could have been a Triple Crown winner. Forever a bridesmaid, never a Bride!

Everyone has the opportunity to be the Bride, a trophy that will be presented spotless and pure (Eph.5:27), not dusty and forgotten.

Remind them that the victory can be theirs, if they are willing to be the trophy!

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