Summary: Theme: God's Masterpieces 1. Our Sin Has Killed Us 2. In Christ We are Reborn! 3. God calls us to join Him in the Masterpiece Business. So grab a paint brush!

Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10 (Call to Worship - Psalms 107:1-3)

Title: Grab a Paint Brush!

Theme: God's Masterpieces

1. Our Sin Has Killed Us 2. In Christ We are Reborn! 3. God calls us to join Him in the Masterpiece Business. So grab a paint brush!


Grace and peace from God our Father and from our Savior and LORD Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!

You may not know the name of Robert Simon but he was involved with finding and helping the world restore the most expensive painting ever sold at a public aution. It all started back in 2005 when a painting was acquired for less than $10,000 at an auction in New Orleans by a group of art dealers that included Robert Simon. These art dealers believed that the painting was actually an old masterpiece that may have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci around 1500.

However, over the years it had been so heavily overpainted that it looked like a badly made copy. At the time the painting was described as "a wreck, dark and gloomy." It was viewed as something that you would never want hanging on your wall. It looked more like a cheap copy of an old master attributed to Leonardo da Vinci than an authentic masterpiece.

In fact, many believed that that was in fact the case. Many believed that was a knock off copy painted by one of Leonardo's students. After all, the painting had been sold back in 1958 for a mere $ 62.50 ( 45 pounds). It was believed that there was no way that some old painting worth less than $65.00 was going to prove valuable. While crazy things happen in the art world they don't happen that often and no one would have allowed a Da Vinci painting to end up in such a sorry condition.

Nevertheless, the group bought the picture and then handed it over to Dianne Dwyer Modestini who was a well know art restorer in New York City, New York. Over the next few years, Ms. Dianne delicately removed the excess paint and began to bring the painting back to its original condition. The longer she worked on the painting the clearer it became that it was in fact the original masterpiece of Leonardo da Vince entitled "Salvator Mundi" (Savior of the World) that he painted back around 1500 AD.

The painting itself is not very large. It is only 25.8 inches tall and 19.2 inches wide. From 1958 to its final purchase on November 15, 2017 the painting has been on quite a economic ride. It went from being worth $ 62.50 in 1958 to a little under $10,000 in 2005. That's not a bad rate of return. However, after it's restoration and authentication the price sky rocketed. The painting first sold for 75 million and then resold for 127.5 million dollars by the end of 2013. Not bad for a little painting that was thought to be virtually worthless. A painting that would some thought was not worth as much as your average "Starving Artist" sale or Kirkland's Department Store sale.

But that is not the end of the story because on November 15, 2017 this little 25.8 inch by 19.2 inch painting was bought at the Christie's Auction House for 450.3 million dollars. It now holds the title of being the most expensive piece of art in the world - 450.3 million dollars. Currently, it resides in The Louvre Abu Dhabi which is an art and civilization museum, located in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

What a great story. It is common that great works of art, sculptures and the like go for millions. A rather stick like structure called the L'Homme au doigt (Pointing Man) created back in 1947 by Alberto Giacometti recently was sold for 141.3 million dollars. A diamond ring called the Pink Star which weights 59.6 carats is estimated to be worth more than 71 million dollars. And while not in their same category a working piece of Beethoven's 9th Symphony penned by Beethoven himself recently sold for around 3 million dollars. And those are just some of the masterpieces, works of art and pieces of music that are all around our world valued to be worth well into the trillions of dollars all together.

In our passage this morning the Apostle Paul refers to those who have been raised with Christ as God's Masterpieces. Masterpieces that were worth so much that God in Flesh came down to die so that we might be rescued, redeemed and restored. You and I are more valuable than anything in all creation to our Heavenly Father. Verse 10 tells us:

"For we are God's masterpieces (workmanship), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

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