Summary: In Christ we are significant. In Christ we are sufficient. In Christ we are secure.
These magazine sweepstakes have always intrigued me. I’m not quite sure that I really believe anybody is winning any money. What do you think? Do you know anyone who has won anything from these sweepstakes? The letters always come personally addressed, claiming that you are among the select, chosen at random, and that if you will only mail the form back in, you may be a winner. Fat chance!
Equally intriguing are the television ads promoting such sweepstakes. There you will see so called "real people" winning millions of dollars. What a prize! But I’m skeptical. These people never appear to be quite as happy as I would be, were I to win a million dollars. Perhaps the answer lies in their most common remark - "I can’t believe it!" Perhaps that would be our remark if we found we had suddenly inherited a fortune from a little known relative.
The reason why such a response is common is because we have been conditioned to expect the ordinary, the routine. Indeed, life seems to be filled with the routine. And the possibility of some extremely good thing happening to us seems remote. Sadly, we not only can’t believe it when it does happen, we can’t believe it may happen.
Unfortunately, what is so true in the material realm is also true in the spiritual realm. Many of us have trouble believing in the extravagant goodness of God toward us personally. The idea that God would lavish extravagant blessings on us is something we find hard to believe. It seems that we have been conditioned to think of ourselves as unworthy creatures. We are not good enough, or holy enough, or sincere enough to get the really good things from God - that is our thinking. Who are we to presume upon the goodness of God? But the fact remains that all of us have a rich and extravagant inheritance in Christ. In fact, when we are told just how rich is that inheritance, we easily find ourselves saying, "I can’t believe it!" We may not be able to believe it, but it is true.
This is one of the main themes of the book of Ephesians. It reveals to us the extreme magnitude of God’s blessings to us in Christ. It tells us who we are and how we can live. And it is powerful.
One amazing truth we will find as we study this book is that our inheritance in Christ is given to us freely. There is nothing we can do to earn it, or deserve it. We don’t have to work for it, or enter any contest, like one I know of.
A city newspaper owner had three sons. He offered ownership of the newspaper to the son who could write the most sensational headline of only three words. The first son’s headline was, "Reagan Turns Communist." The second son concocted this: "Khomeini Becomes Christian." But the third son inherited the newspaper when his headline was submitted. It had only two words, "Pope Elopes." Fortunately, we don’t have to earn our spiritual inheritance in this way. We don’t have to work hard and earn it, or be clever, or be good, or be deserving. All we have to do is be in Christ.
How to be in Christ is the subject of the first three chapters of Ephesians. If you will expose yourself to the light of God’s truth contained here, you will be able to see farther than ever before.
Along with Paul, it is my prayer that, as we work our way through Ephesians, "God . . . may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him . . . . that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe." (Eph. 1:17-19)
Now, let me ask you an important question: Do you really know who you are in Christ? How do you see yourself as a Christian? Do you see yourself as powerful? Or do you see yourself as impotent? Do you understand the true extent of what it means to have the Son of God living inside of you? Do you hold your head up high because of your relationship to Christ, or are you sometimes embarrassed? Do see yourself in rags or in riches?
Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Sometimes we emphasize the fact that the truth has the power to make us free. Truth is truth whether you believe it or not. And truth is truth whether you know it or not. But let me approach this from a different perspective.