Summary: We’re secure in Christ
Safe in the Arms of Jesus
Text: Ephesians 1:11 – 14
By: Ken McKinley
In 1938 Major George Eliot said, “A Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is a strategic impossibility.” Three years later on December 4th, 1941 (just 3 days before we were attacked) Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox said, “No matter what happens the United States Navy will never be caught napping.”
Your safety is only as good as those whose hands you’re in. Those men; Maj. George Eliot and Secretary Frank Knox were committed to protecting the Navy, but both of them failed in their duty to protect the United States. Again; our security is only as good as the One who is promising to protect us.
Now the Bible tells us that if you are a Christian you are secure in Christ Jesus, but the problem that I see that we Christians sometimes have is that we have an enemy out there who likes to whisper in our ears, “Did God really say you were secure?” It’s the same lie he used on Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; “Did God really say…” So what happens is that we can read about God’s greatness, we can hear sermons preached on God’s love for us, but we look at ourselves and we can see just how un-lovable we really are. We can look at ourselves and we wonder about if God is so great would He be concerned about someone as insignificant as me? Our text this morning answers that question. When we read through this passage notice that Paul switches from “we” in verses 11 and 12, to “you” in verse 13. What Paul is doing here is making it personal. He’s saying, its not just for me and the other apostles. It’s not just for those 3000 who believed and were saved on the Day of Pentecost… it’s for you too.
And Paul tells us why that is. He says, “In Him you also trusted, after hearing the gospel, and you believed.” The times that Paul lived in weren’t that different than today. It was still a world filled with all kinds of twisted, distorted ideas. It was a world filled with wrong attitudes and strange philosophies. Just like today, people back then could be brought up with all sorts of ideas cluttering their minds
But Paul is saying that when you heard the Good News, God’s way of salvation, you heard the truth.
You see; a lot of people today like the idea of “You’re ok, I’m ok.” But that is not the truth. The truth is that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The truth is that there are none righteous, no not one. It’s not that we have to get rid of a couple of bad habits and we will be ok. The truth is that we are sinners who were separated from God. The Bible tells us that we had a serious, incurable sickness called sin. But the good news is that it doesn’t just tell us about how miserable we are, it also gives us the cure for this sickness. It is the Gospel. And Paul says we hear it, we trust in it, and we believe it. Paul is saying that Christian faith goes beyond just mentally agreeing with something, it involves trust. Everyone of you here today has faith in the pew your sitting on. If you didn’t you would have never sat down. But your faith had a corresponding action. The work of your faith was to take a seat. Just hearing what the Bible has to say about mankinds condition and agreeing with it, is not enough there has to be faith added to it.
If I were to tell you I have a million dollars waiting for you after the service; that would mean that you are a millionaire, but just having the knowledge of this isn’t enough. No, you would come speak with me after the service and take the gift I’m offering.
Now Paul goes on to say, “You trusted in Christ, you heard the word of truth and you believed. And because you believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…” In-other-words, you became safe in the arms of the Lord.
The Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons. Your security isn’t based on your popularity, your good looks, your athleticism. It isn’t like a high school clique where one day your in and the next day your out. If you are a Christian, you have been sealed.
In the ancient world, a seal was an important way that a person could know if something was authentic or not. The seal told you who it belonged to and that it was genuine. We brand cattle to show who they belong to, and there are thousands of registered brands. Well we are not cattle, we are sheep, and Jesus is the good Shepherd. His brand is the seal of the Holy Spirit, and it’s His way of saying “Hands off!” In ancient times a seal was not only used to show ownership, it was also a means of protection. If the wrong person broke the seal, then they would pay for their crime. Let me give you an example, sometimes the Roman Emperor would send out a letter to the governors of the provinces and he would put a blot of wax to seal the envelope and then press his ring into the wax, thus marking it with the imperial seal of Rome. If someone other than the governor opened that letter, or it was stolen, then the wrath and might of the Roman Emperor would come down on that person.