May 30. 2012
Have you ever doubted your salvation or felt too guilty to speak to God? I’m preaching a sermon today to remind us that our salvation and all our hope is in Jesus Christ. He is the only one Who is forever faithful. My guilt is cleared not because of me but because of Him. He is perfect and unchangeable and most holy!
To look at this we’re going to turn to the first chapter of Ephesians—
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Circle the words “in Christ.” Everything we have is in Him and by Him. If we’re going to understand this book or the Old Testament or eschatology then we first have to understand this one point: Everything is in Him. No blessing we have has come by or through anyone else.
What does it mean to be in Christ? Well, as far as our position before God, we’re in Christ Jesus. God sees us and loves us as He loves His Son. Also, our lives are bound up in Him. Our spiritual blessings and gifts are in Him. He is all and in all!
Read 2:1-10. Pay special attention to verses 5-7 and 10. Notice that we don’t sit together with Christ; we sit in Christ.
We have a great reason to come and worship this morning. Heaven and earth will flee from His presence, but in Christ we can’t get close enough.
In Him we’re without blame (:4)
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
When a person talks about election he doesn’t talk about himself—he talks about Jesus Christ.
Read 2:11-13. Notice that it is all in Christ Jesus.
Go back to 1:4. Why are we holy and without blame? Because we’re circumcised in Christ. We’re holy as He is holy. We have no blame at all towards us. There is no sentence of guilt. We walk into the throne room boldly because Christ has gone before us into the holy place and satisfied the wrath of God.
I’m guilty, but “My servant shall deal prudently” (Is. 52:13). I’m in Him!
We have no reason to be afraid.
By Him we’re God’s sons (:5)
5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Think of how Joseph’s two sons were adopted by Jacob. They received Joseph’s inheritance as natural sons. We are in Christ according to the good pleasure of God’s will. What a place for resting! My salvation is according to Him and what He wants.
Read Acts 13:48.
Paul and Barnabas were preaching to the Gentiles (which was a big deal), but we see that many of them were saved…as many were ordained to it!
In Christ Jesus there is a familial relationship (think Boaz and Ruth). We are adopted sons of God because we’re in Christ, but adopted sons are viewed as true family. We have all the inheritance of Christ Jesus because we’re in Him!
In Him we are accepted by God (:6)
6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Do you ever feel like you constantly miss the mark? Well we do, but in Christ Jesus we’re accepted.
Look at 2:14-18.
Jesus is our peace! Think about the Holy Place. The veil separated everyone from the presence of God. How many people wanted to go into that place but couldn’t? How many priests died behind the veil? But when Jesus died the veil was torn into from top to bottom. Aren’t you glad you don’t live in a time when you had to watch a priest have communion with God for you? There is no veil! We are the temple and God lives inside of us!
In Him is peace!
If you O Lord kept a record of sins who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness therefore you are feared!
In Him we’re redeemed and forgiven. (:7)
7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
To be redeemed means to be purchased or bought. We were slaves of sin, but the Son has set us free indeed. We’ve been snatched from the clutches of sin and death because Christ has redeemed us and paid our debt.
We’re forgiven. And it’s not just that God has let it go…we’re genuinely forgiven! There is no remembrance of any of our sins because of the blood of Christ and because we are in Him. When the Father says “this is My Son in whom I am well pleased” and “My servant shall deal prudently” we have to rest knowing that we are in Christ Jesus and God loves us and accepts us as much as He does His Son!