Summary: Our spiritual blessings in Christ
“Are you out of Breath?”
How many of you remember getting excited as a child that you didn’t even stop to breathe when telling the story of what happened? It could have been learning to ride a bike, catching your first fish, or hitting your first home run. I remember when I first learned to ride my bike. I had tried and tried for weeks and just could not get it. Well on this day one of the neighbors had agreed to help me try to ride my bike. So I got on the bike and started peddling with Ryan holding on to the back helping me stay up. I started peddling and when I got comfortable I yelled “LET GO” and He replied I already did and when I turned and looked back there He was 50 feet back. I had rode my bike on my own. I was so excited that I sprinted inside to tell my parents. “Mom and Dad I rode my bike, Ryan was holding on to the bike, and I told him to let go and He already had, and I rode my bike and it was amazing.”(Said all in one breath with no pauses) The bible has one of these breathe taking moments. In the first chapter of Ephesians Paul writes the longest sentence in the Greek New Testament. From verses 3-14 is all one sentence with no pauses. I know all you English buffs are marking your bibles in red pen. Trying to correct Paul on His run on sentence. What I want to do this morning is look at what got Paul so excited and see if we can capture that excitement for ourselves. Starting in Vs. 3 of Ephesians chapter 1
3(A)Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in (B)the heavenly places in Christ,
What does it mean when we bless someone? We say good things about them. Here Paul is going to bless God. He is going to say good things about God. And what is it that got Paul so excited? Its spiritual blessings. What gets us excited? Material blessings. I got a new car, a new house, a new boat. I get so excited to show people my material things. That is not Paul though. I am not saying don’t be thankful for material things, God gives us material things. But thats not what gets Paul to stop breathing and just start praising God. Paul rejoices over Spiritual blessings. What are these blessings? Lets keep reading
4just as (C)He chose us in Him before (D)the foundation of the world, that we would be (E)holy and blameless before [a]Him (F)In love 5He (G)predestined us to (H)adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, (I)according to the kind intention of His will, 6(J)to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in (K)the Beloved. 7(L)In Him we have (M)redemption (N)through His blood, the (O)forgiveness of our trespasses, according to (P)the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He (Q)made known to us the mystery of His will, (R)according to His kind intention which He (S)purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to (T)the fullness of the times, that is, (U)the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we (V)have obtained an inheritance, having been (W)predestined (X)according to His purpose who works all things (Y)after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in [b]Christ would be (Z)to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to (AA)the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were (AB)sealed in Him with (AC)the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is (AD)given as a pledge of (AE)our inheritance, with a view to the (AF)redemption of (AG)God’s own possession, (AH)to the praise of His glory.
We are going to divide this text into 3 sections. These sections are ended with the same phrase. That phrase is found in Vs. 6 “to the praise of the glory of His grace.” Jump down to Vs. 12 you see it again “praise of His Glory.” If you go to the end of the section in Vs. 14 you see it one more time “To the praise of His Glory.” In Verses 3 – 6 we see that God the Father is active in our Salvation, in Verses 7-12 we see that God the Son is active in our Salvation and in Verses 13-14 we see that God the Holy Spirit is active in our salvation. All 3 have done something. Why did they do it? It is not for me and it is not for you. It is so they would be praised. After every section Paul says to the Praise of His glory. So lets look at what God the Father has done.