Sermons

Summary: Third in a series on Ephesians

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?:

Enjoying Your Privilege

in Christ

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:1-21

Some of you here know that I am a writer.

And, some of you know that I write with

Josh McDowell.

Others know that, because of one or both

of those things,

I’ve had the privilege of meeting people like

Ravi Zacharias,

Frank Peretti,

Francine Rivers,

Tony Campolo,

Max Lucado,

and Charles Colson.

Some of you think that makes me pretty special.

Well, I’ve got news for you:

I’m pretty special regardless of that fact.

And you are, too.

In fact,

I’m being TOTALLY sincere when I tell you that

it is a far greater privilege to know

John Johnson,

Diane Lillibridge,

Randy Tankersley,

Alexa Holzworth,

Marge Rose,

Laurel Isaacs,

Greg Beck,

Alice Seeger,

Daryl Zimmer,

Liz Kloft,

Dawn Harvitz,

and Jen Venable

than any of those other people I mentioned.

And even if I didn’t mention your name,

you are probably a part

of the privilege I enjoy in Jesus Christ,

which is what I’m gonna talk about

for the next few minutes.

Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler,

and I want to welcome you all

to Cobblestone Community Church,

one of the newest churches in Oxford,

a church that wants to love people

into life-changing encounters with God.

Two weeks ago we started a new series of messages entitled, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire

(when you can be infinitely rich)?”

And we’re going to explore that question each week

by looking to the book of Ephesians in the Bible

So, today, I want to turn your attention to the Bible

to the third chapter of Ephesians,

which is the tenth book of the New Testament,

--you’ll find it on page #812 if you’re using one of the Bibles we’ve provided for you on the floor under the chairs throughout the auditeria.

And while you’re finding it, let me just mention that if you need a Bible of your own,

you may feel free to take one of those Bibles home with you, absolutely free. Consider it your souvenir of Cobblestone Community Church.

So, having said all that,

please open your Bible to Ephesians 3,

and be prepared to follow along with me

as I talk about how you can enjoy

your privileges in Jesus Christ,

privileges you may not even have known about,

but they’re yours, nonetheless,

if you have experienced new life in Christ--

and if you haven’t, you’ll certainly have the opportunity to make that choice here this morning.

Now, so far in this series,

we’ve discussed your possessions in Christ,

last week we talked about your position in Christ,

and today we’ll look at your privileges in Christ.

From there, we’re going to go on to the final three chapters of Ephesians, where you’ll learn some key principles of living the HIGH LIFE, living large,

as we conclude this series with messages on

Living a Life of Beauty,

Living a Life of Harmony,

and Living a Life of Victory.

But today

I wanna impress upon you 3 things this morning that Paul,

the great church planter of the first century,

has to say about everyone here

who has asked God’s forgiveness

and found new life by following Jesus Christ.

And if you’d like to take notes,

we’ve provided inserts in this morning’s programs

to help you do that.

So, I’ll ask you to notice the first thing

Paul says about you, about me, in Ephesians 3,

and that is:

1. I am privileged to be included in God’s family (v. 6)

Look at how Paul starts out chapter 3. He says,

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-- (Ephesians 3:1, NIV).

Then he stops.

He gets sidetracked.

If you look ahead just a little bit in that chapter, you’ll see he comes back to his thought in verse 14, where he says,

For this reason I kneel before the Father . . . (Ephesians 3:14, NIV).

Have you ever done that?

You start out talking about one thing,

and suddenly--wham--

another thought occurs to you, and

before long, you’re saying,

“What was I talking about?”

I don’t do it, but my wife does it all the time.

And Paul does it here in Ephesians 3.

Just like he did in chapter one,

when he wrote or dictated half the chapter

with one single, run-on sentence,

he seems to be so excited he can hardly think straight!

And what he’s excited about is his privilege--

our privilege--

your privilege-- in Christ.

He talks again about the mystery of the Gospel, which he had brought up in chapter one,

and then he says, in verse 6,

and this is the verse I want to focus your attention on,

This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6, NIV).

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