Summary: Joint heirs with Christ are rich, and people whose names are written in heaven are famous!
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
That TV program focused on temporal things. The Bible focuses on eternity and things of lasting value. It’s a good thing we can’t choose what family we are born into, for our nature would choose a rich family...and sadly, we’ve seen how those kids turn out!
In Luke 16 Jesus tells us of a rich man and Lazarus, who begged for crumbs which fell from his table, with dogs licking his sores. And then they both die and we see them in eternity, and who is the beggar now? One is lavishly rich [Lazarus], and now the rich man is a beggar with nothing.
When we look at life, we must have eternity in view to fully understand. If you are saved, you are rich and famous in the courts of heaven!
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
That in every thing ye are enriched by him,
Your name is written in heaven, so you are also famous!
ill.--Hetty Green: 1800s Heiress of a whaling fortune, she inherited 7.5 million dollars from her father [over $100 million in today’s money]. When she heard that her aunt willed $2 million to charity, she challenged it in court, producing a previous will which said the money would go to her, and that no subsequent wills would be valid. The court ruled that she had forged the papers. She never turned on the heat nor used hot water. She wore one old black dress and undergarments that she changed only after they had been worn out. She did not wash her hands and rode an old carriage. She ate mostly pies that cost fifteen cents. One tale claims that she spent half a night searching her carriage for a lost stamp worth two cents. Another asserts that she instructed her laundress to wash only the dirtiest parts of her dresses (the hems) to save money on soap.
Green conducted much of her business at the offices of the Seaboard National Bank in New York, surrounded by trunks and suitcases full of her papers; she did not want to pay rent for an office. Rumours claimed that she ate only oatmeal, heated on the office radiator. She was given the nickname the "Witch of Wall Street".
The City of New York came to Hetty in need of loans to keep the city afloat on several occasions. She would travel thousands of miles – alone, in an era when few women would dare travel unescorted – to collect a debt of a few hundred dollars.
Her frugality extended to family life. Her son Ned broke his leg as a child, and Hetty tried to have him admitted in a free clinic for the poor. Found out, she never had it properly treated, and it was eventually amputated.
You and I are rich in Christ, and yet we live like spiritual paupers.
1. The Glorious Introduction.
v. 1 This is the normal way Paul would begin a letter. So what is so glorious about this introduction?
It’s the writer! He wasn’t always Paul. He began as Saul, persecutor of the church, hater of Christians, and blasphemer of Jesus Christ. He had dedicated his life to stamping out the name of Jesus. But on the road one day, he saw the light, smitten in the dust of conviction. The power of the gospel changed his life, as it did a restless demoniac in Mark 5, a woman of ill repute in John 4, a cold hearted jailer in Acts 16. And in Acts 9, this bloodthirsty persecutor became an apostle.
ill.--a 37 year old lawyer in St. Louis was an alcoholic, and one day one of his clients, Tom McFetters, walked in and said, "I’m the biggest coward in town." "Why would you say that?" "Because I’ve been doing business with you for a year and haven’t asked you the question on my mind." "What’s that?" "Why aren’t you a Christian?" He hung his head and said, "Doesn’t the Bible say that no drunkard can inherit the kingdom of God?" "I didn’t ask you that. I asked, why aren’t you a Christian?" He showed him many verses from the Bible, and pleaded with the lawyer to be saved. And get saved he did, and later testified that it was powerful, and the chains of sin were broken, never to be forged again. His name was C. I. Scofield, and today you and I have the benefit of the Scofield reference Bible because of it!
It’s the readers! The Ephesian believers. This book was written to saints. [not ain’ts] And so, this book was written to you and me! "I’m not a saint, you can ask my wife!" Positionally in Christ, we are saints. It means set apart, set aside for God. Like the pots and pans in the Jewish temple, they were holy vessels, set apart only for God’s use.