Summary: This series is entitled “discovering our treasure in Christ” because I’m convinced that very few Christians actually realize who we are in Christ and what God has given to us through His precious Son. Every Christian possesses a vast amount of spiritual
This series is entitled “discovering our treasure in Christ” because I’m convinced that very few Christians actually realize who we are in Christ and what God has given to us through His precious Son. Every Christian possesses a vast amount of spiritual riches, yet we live like paupers. Instead of living “paycheck to paycheck” we live “Sunday to Sunday”. Many never truly realize what God has given to them in Christ.
They struggle and we strive and frustration all too often marks their spiritual life. Why is this the case? I believe that it’s because believers don’t realize what we have in Christ.
The letter to the Ephesians spells out for us, in great detail, the riches every believer has in Christ. Last week we looked at the introduction or salutation and we learned that Paul was addressing the “saints”…those who have been justified, people who have been made totally new by the grace of God. But we also discovered that not only are the saints justified but they are also being sanctified…they have an outward manifestation of an inner holiness. They are being transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul also addressed the faithful. The faithful are those who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and they believe it. They have a faith that believes but they also have a faith that lives. In other words, they display the character of faithfulness in their lives.
The faithful believer is one who no longer lives for themselves, but they realize they have been bought with a price and they rightfully belong to the Lord Jesus Christ because they are in Christ. In other words they are part of Christ…they are joined to Him, therefore they faithfully live their lives according to His plan, His purpose and His word.
We also learned how a person becomes a “saint” and faithful to Christ…it is by the grace of God that comes through Jesus Christ. It’s that grace that saves us, sanctifies us and secures us. It’s that grace that gives us peace with God and peace of mind.
This is the message that Paul gives as he opens the letter to the Ephesians. What a tremendous beginning…what a tremendous reminder that we are considered saints in the Lord Jesus Christ. But believe me when I tell you that Paul is just getting started!
This morning we continue our series in the book of Ephesians by getting into the body of the letter. Ephesians actually has two very identifiable parts: a doctrinal section and a practical section. The doctrinal section begins in chapter 1 verse 3 and it tells of the treasures we have in Christ.
The practical section begins in chapter four verse 1 “I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” The practical section teaches us how to live out all that we have and all that we are in Christ.
Why is the letter written this way? The answer is simple, you can’t effectively live the Christian life until you know who you are in Christ and all that Christ has done for you. Too many times churches make the mistake of trying to only communicate the “how to” part of the Scripture without adequately teaching the “why” part of the Scripture. The result is normally a group of people who try really hard to live the Christian life, yet they lack the understanding that is required.
So this morning we’re going to dive into the doctrinal part of the letter. I know what some of you may be thinking…“doctrine is boring!” I could not disagree with you more…doctrine is wonderful! What’s more, doctrine must be taught.
D Martin Lloyd Jones wrote: “Whether we know it or not our main trouble as Christians today is still a lack of understanding and knowledge. Not a lack of superficial knowledge of the Scriptures, but a lack of knowledge of the doctrines of the Scriptures. It is our fatal lack at that point that accounts for so many failures in our Christian life.”
Consider the fact that God’s Word has been given to us so that we can learn doctrine! 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Notice the order in which those things were listed:
4. Instruction in righteousness (right living)
5. This produces maturity
6. This gives us the ability to perform good works…to actively and consistently live out our faith
Jesus said let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.