Summary: Seond in a series through Epehsians
“From Rags To Riches”
Ephesians 1:3-14 October 5, 2008
OPEN: Video – “This is Not This”
It is about knowing what you have in the bank, heaven’s bank! I am amazed at how much time is spent by Paul and other NT writers to remind us of all that is ours in Christ! I am afraid that in our day as what must have been true in Paul’s day as well is that so many Christians are not living out of the resources that are rightfully theirs through their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Your story and my story is a rags-to-riches story, because the Bible says our own self-righteousness is as
“filthy rags.” Isa 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” In other words when God looks at you and he looks at me in our own righteousness, all that is there is “filthy, dirty rags.” The book of Ephesians is all about the riches we have in Christ. Before we read this text, I would like you to take a moment and look at verse 3 all the way through verse 14 I mentioned last week that this just one long sentence. Paul keeps piling on participial phrases. He doesn’t even complete a sentence. He just keeps praising God over and over again. He breaks out in praise and he gets so excited about it, it’s like he can’t stop. In English, it’s divided up with periods, but in the original language, he goes almost wild in his exuberation about salvation. It reminds me of the little boy who was asked, “Can you spell banana?” He said, “Yeah. I just don’t know when to stop! B-a-n-a-n-a-n-a-n-a-n-a-n-a-n-a... That’s what Paul does here, he gets started and he just keeps going.
What was it about salvation that made the apostle Paul break out into spontaneous, exuberant praise? He began to understand what had happened to him. If you could catch a glimpse, if your spiritual eyes could be opened to who you are in Jesus and what has happened to you in Jesus, you would also break out in spontaneous praise and adoration.
God Has Blessed Us. 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. Now notice he’s praising God for spiritual blessings not material blessings. Sometimes it’s interesting just to listen to what Christians get excited about. You hear people talking about the blessings they’ve discovered in life and they talk about a new car or a new toy or some kind. Sometimes I don't know if I am in an Amway meeting or a church service as people testify of the material blessings. Paul is thanking God for the spiritual blessings. If a person is really walking after the Spirit and is interested in things of the Spirit, he is going to be thanking God for the spiritual blessings. But if a person is a materialist and is very interested in the material things, he is going to be talking always about the material blessings.