Summary: Our position as Christians is not something we ourselves have given to ourselves, it has been given by God
A man who had been a drunkard in the slums of Chicago for many years came to a mission one night. He heard the message, ate the meal, and went to bed. That was his last night on earth. He died poverty-stricken and friendless, never to see another day.
What he did not know was that he had an inheritance of over four million dollars waiting for him in England. The authorities had searched for him but were unable to find him because he had no address. Here was a man who had all the material wealth he could want, but he lived and died in poverty.
In this sense, he was just like many Christians who live bankrupt lives because they are not fully aware of their wealth in Christ
- The truth is, Christians have more than they could ever imagine
- The apostle Paul knew this truth only too well, using the expression “to the praise of His glory” on 3 separate occasions in chp. 1
Q. What difference does it make knowing that you are now spiritually wealthy beyond measure?
Q. What difference does it make in how you live, knowing that you have been chosen by God to be part of His family?
- If you knew you had $100,000 in your bank account, I think you’d live differently, than if you knew you only had $1000 in your bank account
- Today’s passage tells us that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
- These blessings are laid out for us from vs. 3-14
- We may have read these time & time again, but you know what, when we give ear to each individual statement & ponder them, we begin to realise just how blessed we really are
- Take note that the source of these blessings for us is our Father in heaven – the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
1. The Source of the Blessings
- He is the blessed One, the One who worthy to be praised
- He not only has a will & purpose, able to make decisions according to His will – i.e. Has a mind/intellect - but He has a loving disposition & is able to demonstrate that through His actions
- His initiative is clearly set out here
- He Himself is the subject of almost every main verb in these verses from v.3-14
- It is He who..
* Has chosen us
* Predestined us to be sons
* Poured out His grace on us through Jesus Christ
* Sent Jesus to be our redeemer
* Made known to us the mystery of His will
* Granted us an inheritance
* Sealed us with the Holy Spirit as a deposit of what is to come
Q. Have you given God thanks & praise for these?
Q. Or are you too embarrassed to talk about them?
- To praise God means to boast about Him
- When we are really excited about these benefits God gives, then we will start to boast about Him
- When we are silent, perhaps we haven’t quite come to understand how amazing these blessings are
2. The Blessings Given...
- Before we look at these blessings, I want you to notice who the audience is & who are the “we” & “us” that Paul talks about here
- I believe that up to the end of v.12 he is referring to Jewish Christians – specifically, his own circle of Jewish missionaries/ but then we read
Eph 1:13 ..... 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth...
- These people – the “you also” – are the Gentiles in & about Ephesus - his mission field
- In chp. 2 it becomes even clearer...
Eph 2:11-13 ..... 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
- In a way, while Paul is talking about Jewish Christians & what they have received, he is drawing the Gentile Christians in & including them in these blessings as well
- This is the amazing truth that has come about – that Gentiles (gross sinners) have been included in these blessings because of God’s choice!
- The first blessing Paul mentions is that God has...
1. Chosen from Eternity Past