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Summary: God has a good plan for every one of our lives! Let’s discover what that destiny is by beginning a series in the Book of Ephesians.

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DESTINY: YOUR RICH AND GLORIOUS INHERITANCE IN CHRIST

(April 2010 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

INTRO TO TOPIC:

Have you ever asked yourself – what’s my purpose?

What on earth am I here for?

What is destiny? It has been defined as: “A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control.”

• Most of us don’t like that idea, but the Bible says we all have a destiny.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

THE BIG IDEA: God has a good plan for every one of our lives! Let’s discover what that destiny is by beginning a series in the Book of Ephesians.

OUR INHERITANCE IN CHRIST: (Ephesians Chapter One)

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

• Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus, and all in Christ:

• If you are a Christian, you are a saint – one set apart by God for His purposes.

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

• The first thing God extends to us is grace (favor with God) and peace (restored relationships with other people).

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the heavenly places in Christ,

• The book of Ephesians is divided into two main sections:

• Chapters 1-3 = blessings of salvation – our rich and glorious inheritance in Christ.

• Chapters 4-6 = our response to the riches of God’s grace – living for Him.

Ephesians 1:3-12 is one long run-on sentence of God’s glorious blessings!

• ILLUSTRATE: If you don’t know that you have an inheritance, you won’t enjoy the benefits of it. Like the man who spent all of his money on a ticket to America, and hid away in his cabin eating stale crackers and old cheese, not knowing that the price of the ticket included free access to all of the banqueting tables!

4 just as HE CHOSE US in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be HOLY and WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love,

• God CHOSE US! What an amazing thought!

• Not because He had to, but because He wanted to.

• Look at all the times in this passage you see the phrase “in Him” or “in Christ”. These speak of our identity as sons and daughters of God.

5 having PREDESTINED us to ADOPTION as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

• Not only are we CHOSEN by God, we are also predestined to be ADOPTED!

• These truths speak to our IDENTITY – we belong to God!

• ILLUSTRATE: Before coming to Christ, we are spiritual orphans. Like little orphan Annie, it was the hard knock life for us. But we have someone who’s bigger and better than Daddy Warbucks, who has adopted us into His family now and forever! “Yesterday was plain awful, you can say that again, but that’s not now, that’s then!”

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us ACCEPTED in the BELOVED.

• Not only are we CHOSEN, and ADOPTED, we are also ACCEPTED!

• We now have a sense of belonging in COMMUNITY – the family of God!

• God’s our father, and we are all brothers and sisters. Let’s care for one another.

7 In Him we have REDEMPTION through His blood, the FORGIVENESS of sins, according to the riches of His grace

• Note that every one of these blessings that we receive is “through His blood” or “because of Jesus” and His death on the Cross!

• REDEMPTION Word Study: Comes from the Greco-Roman practice of freeing slaves by the paying of a ransom. He purchased us from a life of slavery, and then set us free!

• Not only that, but we are also now FORGIVEN. This is the a antidote to guilt and shame!

PRAYER: For those struggling with rejection, guilt, shame, unworthiness, low self-esteem.

• Say: “I am CHOSEN, ADOPTED, ACCEPTED, REDEEMED and FORGIVEN!”

8 which He made to abound toward us in all WISDOM and PRUDENCE,

9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

• God has given us wisdom to life a blessed life!

• But we need to know who we are in Christ – SEE YOURSELF IN CHRIST LIST.

10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him.

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