Summary: First in a series on Ephesians
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?:
Enjoying Your Spiritual Possessions
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:1-14
It actually debuted in England--did you know that?
But YOU probably first heard of it sometime after August 16, 1999, when the primetime gameshow, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, premiered in the United States on ABC on, where it averaged about 29 million viewers per night in its first season.
As of last June, there were an amazing 45 versions airing in 71 countries, including Russia, India, and Japan.
Anybody here want to be a millionaire?
Of course, you do!
Except for Susan Myer, that is,
who’s already made millions as a school teacher.
But the rest of us
wouldn’t have turn down a million dollars.
After all, think of what you could do with it.
What WOULD you do with that kind of wealth?
Buy a house?
Pay off your car?
Throw a party?
Buy Mark Oglesbee a razor?
Buy Aaron Hostetler a haircut?
Well, guess what?
Whether you have that kinda money or not,
you can be--and maybe already are--
Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler,
and I want to welcome you all
to Cobblestone Community Church,
serving the greater Oxford area.
And today we’re beginning a new series entitled, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire
(when you can be infinitely rich)?”
And for the six weeks of this series,
we’re going to find the answer to that question
by looking to the book of Ephesians in the Bible;
by the time we finish the series on November 11th,
we will have studied
an entire book of the Bible together.
So, let’s get started;
let me ask you to turn in your Bibles to Ephesians, the tenth book of the New Testament,
--that’s page #811 if you’re using one of the Bibles we’ve provided for you on the floor under the chairs throughout the auditeria.
Now, if you worship here regularly, I encourage you to get in the habit of bringing your Bible with you so you can read for yourself
with your own eyes
from your own Bible
what’s being taught up here at the front.
If you’re here without a Bible of your own this morning, please feel free to use one of the copies we provide for you, and if you don’t have a version of the Bible at home that you can understand, we would love for you to take one of ours home with you, absolutely free. We would love for you to do that.
So, having said all that,
please open your Bible to Ephesians,
and be prepared to follow along with me
as you discover your infinite wealth,
your possessions in Christ Jesus,
if indeed you have experienced new life in Christ.
After a very typical greeting and blessing in verses one and two,
Paul begins his letter to the Christ-followers who lived in the city of Ephesus, by writing,
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. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 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 wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession--to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:3-14, NIV).
Now, although it isn’t clear from the English translation, the Greek text of Ephesians 1:3-14 is made up of one very long, run-on sentence.
In other words, Paul started this sentence in verse 3 with the phrase: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," then proceeds to tell us what God has done,