Summary: This is the first sermon in a series on the book of Ephesians.
The Wealthiest People in the World
Hetty Green ate cold oatmeal because it cost to heat it. Her son had to suffer a leg amputation, because she delayed so long in looking for a free clinic that his case became incurable. Yet when Hetty Green died her estate was valued at over $100 million. She died in 1916. We would say that she was a few fries short of a happy meal, crazy. Why would someone with all that wealth choose to live like a pauper?
Now let’s think about this spiritually. Why would we, considering all the spiritual wealth that we have, live like spiritual paupers? This series will be a study through the book of Ephesians where we will learn about our spiritual wealth.
The author is Paul. A man that once persecuted the early Christians because he thought he was doing God a favor. Converted on the road to Damascus, Paul became a powerful preacher and church planter. This letter was written about A.D. 62 as Paul was on trial for his life. And yet he is concerned about other believers…concerned that they should realize their spiritual blessings!
He writes to the “saints.” The biblical definition of a saint is not someone who has died and has been determined to have spiritual qualities enough to attribute to them sainthood. Paul refers to all believers as saints.
I. THE SOURCE OF OUR BLESSINGS. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
A) When we are born into the family of God we are born rich.
1) Recently I played the part of Winston Prescott IV at our murder mystery trip. I was a spoiled and arrogant young man that flaunted his wealth. That is not the picture of the spiritually wealthy believer.
2) Romans 8:17 an heir is “One that receives by lot or the things allotted to him as a son.” It is an opportunity to share in the wealth of the Father.
B) It has been said theoretically that if Bill Gates was walking down the street and saw a hundred dollar bill, it would cost him money to stop, bend over, and pick it up. The time that would spend working on his financial empire at Microsoft would be more valuable than the couple of seconds it would take to retrieve the hundred dollar bill.
Yet all of Bill Gates’ money doesn’t compare to the spiritual riches of the child of God.
II. THE SCOPE OF OUR BLESSINGS. “All spiritual blessings.”
A) God promises to supply all our needs according to His riches.
B) The spiritual blessings of God are given to us many times through the work of the Holy Spirit.
1) J. Vernon McGhee says “I have been asked if I have received the second blessing. He says “Man, I am in the hundreds, God didn’t stop with one or two.”
2) Romans 8:9 If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you are not saved….but this is not talking about ecstatic speaking in tongues. This is talking about the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
III. THE SPHERE OF OUR BLESSINGS. “In heavenly places in Christ.”
A) Another translation of this could read “In the heavenlies in Christ.”
1) This means a couple of things—our inheritance is reserved for us to receive the complete package when we get to heaven.
2) But we don’t have to wait until then to enjoy these riches. We are already in Christ.
Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”
Vs. 1 & 3 of Eph 1 tells us we are in Christ.
B) When she was young Victoria was shielded from the fact that she would be the next ruling monarch of England lest this knowledge would spoil her. When a teacher let her become aware of this fact Victoria said “Then I will be good.” The knowledge of her position changed her outlook on living.
I would challenge you tonight. Realize your position and spiritual wealth in Christ. Allow it to change the way you live.