Summary: Our inheritance in Christ
God’s Purpose & Promise
Ephesians 1: 9-14
Eph 1:9, 10 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Things brought together under Christ are unified, but only when Christ is the head of things. When people do not submit to Christ and His teachings, there is division (Crack in street)
We live in a divided world. Wherever one looks there is division. Black vs. white, labor vs. management, upper class against lower, Israelite vs. Palestinian, Rep. vs Democrat, - the list seems endless. We have a world full of strife, separation, disunity, tension and discord. The divorce rate seems steady, wars occur and are the main way we tell history. There are broken relationships of all sorts.
We might often reach the point of despair that we feel like one philosopher (Andre Mauris : Barclay) who stated: (earth)
“Why are we here on this puny mud-heap spinning in infinite space? I have not the slightest idea, and I am quite convinced that no one has the least idea.”
This man’s problem is he probably never read the Book of Ephesians and obviously doesn’t know God’s plan for us who dwell on what he called this mud-heap spinning in infinite space.
Our problem is sin. (Cracked soil) Sin separates people from God and people from people. Sin is the great divider and it lurks in the depths of every human heart looking for an exit of expression. Sin can even works it divisive deeds in our own essence.
It was no different in Paul’s time. There was as much division among people then as now. It seems to be a hopeless situation. But things can be different. There is hope, there is reason to rejoice because God has a plan if only we will work it. There can be harmony, kindness, goodness but it come from dedication to Christ.
Paul wasn’t silly enough to think that being a Christian automatically relieved people from division, strife or disunity but he did realize that God’s purpose of unity can and will be achieved in Christ and Christ alone.
Even the early church was a place of division. Jew was divided against Gentile; Greek against Barbarian; rich against poor; the list was as varied as people in the church.
Paul stresses that this is not God’s will. When division happens sin enters into the relationships. (Fists in circle)
The church- every church should strive for unity. This will not be agreement on all issues or even all doctrinal matters but unity on the virtues which we will strive to show each other – love, patience, kindness, respect, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and other attributes that are commanded by the Lord.
The church was and still should be the beginning place for unity; a place where one can be a brother or sister in Christ and not be blood related. We are trying to convince people that having Christ in your heart is more important than having certain amounts of pigment in your skin. We want people to know that where you place yourself in Christ is more important than the place you came from. We are more concerned about the size of your heart than the size of your bank account.