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!