Summary: Ninth (and final installment) in a series taken from Ephesians 1, this series delves into the riches that we know through our relationship with Christ.
• Conclude our summer series today.
• Began by describing Ephesians’ situation:
o Must have felt like “fringe relatives”
o Do you know what a “Fringe Relative” is? Sniglets
You get a picture of Mike, Sally, and the kids
Then, you also get in the mail a picture of Great Uncle Bud and Aunt Rosie
You don’t have enough picture frames
So, you say, “we’re not nearly as close to Bud and Rosie as we are to Mike, Sally, and the kids; we’ll stick them in the corner
We’ve all been there, done that, right?
o We’ve also all known what it feels like to be on the outside looking in—as the Gentiles might have felt!
o Why? What were advantages Jews had?
• Paul writes to help them understand how rich they were
The Progression of the Gospel:
1. Hear the truth
This is where the salvation begins, and it assumes that there is such a thing as what Francis Schaeffer called
A. “True Truth”
i. Unpopular today – “The only thing that we can be sure of is that we can’t be sure of anything”—are you sure about that? We’ll be called “narrow-minded”, “bigots”, “ignorant” if we suggest that not only does truth exist, but that we have found it in Christ.
ii. “[Postmodernism] affirms that whatever we accept as truth and even the way we envision truth are dependent on the community in which we participate . . . There is no absolute truth: rather truth is relative to the community in which we participate.” Stan Grenz, A Primer on Postmodernism
iii. Of the postmodern assertion, D.A. Carson concludes that while it is certainly true that as fallen human beings, we cannot know anything perfectly or fully, yet we can be assured of the existence of truth, and of our ability to perceive it, though imperfectly
iv. “Your Word is truth” – Jesus
v. Our goals: correct interpretation, correct transmission of truth of God’s Word
B. Good News
i. Begins with good news
1. God created man in His image
2. God endowed man with freedom to choose between good and evil
ii. Continues with bad news
1. Entrance of sin
3. Spiritually dead
4. Without hope
5. Headed to a Christless eternity in hell
iii. Leads to great news!
1. Christ has chosen to save us
2. Christ did the work for us on the cross and in His resurrection
3. Christ offers eternal life as a free gift
iv. Saving news
C. It must be heard
i. Contemporary questions on the state of the unevangelized
ii. God will do what He will do—and doesn’t need my permission to do it!
iii. That said, He has given us what seems to be strong indication that people cannot/will not be saved apart from hearing the Gospel of Christ (Romans 10)
Hear the truth
2. Believe in Christ
A. Lately, we’ve looked at salvation from God’s angle, what He did
i. Blessed us
ii. Chose us
iii. Predestined us
iv. Adopted us
v. Redeemed us
vi. Forgave us
vii. Made us His heritage
B. There is a human angle as well, of course – “you believed in Christ”
i. God’s work for us is met with our faith-response, and that response is simple faith
ii. If the gospel is true, then the epitome of evil could walk through those doors this morning—hey, for all we know, maybe he did—and walk out a forgiven sinner (and if you doubt it, you don’t have a grip on grace yet)