Summary: When we are in Christ then we have hope beyond this life.
“In Christ” – Ephesians part 2
On the lighter side of life:
Church Signs from beliefnet.com
"Beat the Christmas rush, come to church this Sunday!"
"Don’t wait for the hearse to take you to church."
"Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case."
"Life has many choices. Eternity has two. What’s yours?"
"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.
Church Sign Chuckles:
Some favorite messages spotted on church signs or billboards, submitted by Beliefnet members:
-Fire Insurance Inside
-This Church Is Prayer Conditioned
-God Answers Knee Mail
-PRAY NOW! Avoid Christmas Rush!
-Sign broken, come inside for message
-This is a ch--ch. What’s missing? U R!
-Stop in the name of love and meet the Supreme
-Wal-Mart’s not the only savings place
-The best position is on your knees!
Thesis: When we are in Christ then we have hope beyond this life.
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
11Therefore, 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)—12remember 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. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
What does it mean to be “In Christ?” Paul answers this question for us in chapter two by telling us the following:
We are saved by grace! Not works!
We are created by God to do good works even though these do not save us. We do it out of gratitude and love for what Jesus did for us.
We are now joined with Christ because of mercy and grace
(united, grafted into the life giving vine of life)
(We are in the “In group!”)
We have inherited the covenant promises because we are in the “In group.”
We have hope -- because we have God!
We now have access to God! Before there was no access to God but today there is through Christ this brings us hope.
We are members of God’s family and this reality should give us hope!
We are citizens of Heaven and family members in the house of God!
We are being built together to become a dwelling place of the Lord. Yes because of grace He lives in us and Holy Spirit desires to indwell the entire church body. He wants everyone of us to be “The faithful.”