Summary: 4th in series dealing with forgivenes and redemption.
Friday we took the time to contemplate what Jesus lost.
• He lost the adoration and devotion of the crowds.
• He lost the support and loyalty of His closest friends.
• He lost His legal rights and freedoms.
• He lost His perfect innocence.
• He lost His intimate connection with His Father.
• He lost His health and dignity.
• He lost His life.
It was a dark time in human history. Yet the darkness gave way to victory. Death gave way to life.
By Sunday the light dawns…
• God raised Him to be worshipped and adored by all peoples and nations.
• God raise Him to be united with loyal followers for all eternity.
• God raised Him to be the King of kings and Lord of lords and the source of true freedom.
• God raised Him the truly Righteous One.
• God raise Him to restored fellowship and union.
• God raised and transformed His frail human body to a glorious resurrection body.
• God raised Him to life and He became the give of life to all who call upon Him.
Because He lives – we live. Christ the Lord is risen today – Hallelujah.
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-4
Paul had time to reflect on God’s amazing blessing while incarcerated for preaching the gospel. He started his letter to the Ephesian followers of Jesus with exuberant praise to God for His overflowing blessing to us.
A. Paul blessed God for blessing us with every spiritual blessing 1:3-14
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 focus of the first two blessings is on the work of the Father.
1. Specially Chosen 1:4
Even before we were born God knit His heart to us and decided to do whatever was necessary to fit us for perfect eternal relationship with Him.
2. Adopted 1:5-6
We will skip the second blessing for now in order to focus on a blessing that fits with our contemplation of the Easter message and the celebration of the work of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection.
The next blessing comes by reason of the work of the Son on our behalf. “in whom”
3. Redeemed and Forgiven 1:7-8
The death and resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the good news; the Gospel.
Paul zeroed in on the core of the Gospel in his first letter to the Corinthians.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:1-22 (quickview)