Summary: In these verses, Paul is trying to explain to the Ephesians, and to us, the riches that we have in Christ Jesus and how it all came about.
Series Title: The Heavenly Reserve Bank of God (Ephesians)
Message Title: Spiritual Tycoons (Ephesians, Chapter 2)
Scripture: Ephesians 2:4-10
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
On late night TV in the U.S., there are always those ‘info-mercials’ (or ‘seminar TV’) that try to convince us that we can have the same purpose, position, potential, and the perfection that will enable us to one day be counted with the richest people in the world. They tell us how to focus our ‘inner-man’ on organization and goal-setting, while always looking for that right opportunity. And, what to do with that opportunity when it comes. Boil all that down and it means we are on a treasure hunt, and that’s not what God is all about.
Many years ago someone asked me if it was all right to be rich. I asked them to clarify what they meant by being rich. And, they were a little surprised at my question.
“Well, you know, having lot’s of money. What other kind of ‘rich’ is there?” they asked.
There are many kinds! There are material riches (such as how much money you have, how much stuff you have, or both). There are educational riches (how much knowledge you’ve gained from college or experience). But, you know the riches of this world, that’s not what God is all about.
Many years ago (1964) there was a wonderful movie with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, called “My Fair Lady.” The plot of the movie centered on a learned and well-mannered man attempting to teach a young woman of low position, the richness of good manners and proper etiquette.
In the beginning, the man was basically self-confident, or proud of what he thought he would be able to do, so he made a bet with another gentleman.
Well, the woman, on the other hand, had seen and heard about good manners and proper etiquette, yet she had never chosen to put them into practice. She had never chosen to claim them for herself. Instead she had chosen to live her life like those around her. And, her life had suffered because of it.
Through the teaching of the man, and the determination of the woman, she was able to see what she had in her all along. And, she was also able to witness the change that occurred in her life and environment due to her better habits and manners.
The Ephesians were like that young woman. They had seen and had heard about the riches that they had in Jesus, but they had not claimed them for themselves. Rather than choosing to claim the spiritual wealth that God offers, they had instead unknowingly chosen to remain poor.