Summary: The Secret of God’s Love Is Revealed 1) Marvel at it 2) Share it
Daniel Habben The Secret of God’s Love Is Revealed
Ephesians 3:2-12 1) Marvel at it
January 2nd, 2005 2) Share it
What do you think is inside this bag?
Ø Ask several children to take a guess.
Ø Ask the child who knows what’s inside because you told him/her before church.
§ How did you know what was in this bag? (“Because you told me.”)
Ø While the contents of this box was a mystery to most, it wasn’t a mystery to “name of child” because I let “name of child” in on the secret of what was inside this bag.
§ It’s fun to be in on a secret isn’t it? It’s fun knowing something that no one else knows.
Ø Did you know that God has let us in on a secret?
§ It’s an ancient secret stretching back before the beginning of time.
§ It’s an important secret because you need to know it to get into heaven.
§ Do you know what secret I’m talking about? I’m talking about the secret of God’s love for us. A love he showed in sending Jesus to be our Savior from sin.
Ø This morning the Holy Spirit wants us to marvel at this secret and he also wants us to share it.
The secret of God’s love for us in Jesus probably doesn’t seem so mysterious to us.
Ø We hear about it every week in church and we read about it every day in our devotions.
Ø That doesn’t mean that the secret is ordinary. No, it’s a secret we will want to marvel at.
§ Paul said that this secret reveals the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).
§ The word “unsearchable” means “beyond tracing”. Picture Sherlock Holmes following footprints as part of an investigation. At first the footprints are easy to follow because it’s just one set. But soon the footprints crisscross over one another so that there are jumble of footprints and you can’t figure out what is what.
§ The blessings we have in Christ are like that. There are so many that we can’t begin to fully appreciate them. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try.
Ø So what kind of blessings do we have in Jesus?
§ Paul says that we are the owners of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life (Eph. 3:6).
§ Because we have the forgiveness of sins we can approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12). Remember how that wasn’t possible during Old Testament times. Only one person (the High Priest), once a year could approach God’s presence in the Holy of Holies. Even then he had to first sacrifice for his own sins before entering God’s presence. Think of how nervous he must have been to duck behind that curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. The High Priest would have been nervous because God said that anyone who came into his presence without having his sins paid for would be struck dead.
§ Maybe it’s a bit like the fear people have of the mafia when they have a debt they can’t repay. Such people go into hiding because they know that the mob boss will make life miserable for them.
§ The kind of pain a mob boss can inflict is nothing compared to the pain God can inflict because of our sins against him. But unlike a mob boss God doesn’t enjoy inflicting pain. He wants people to be with him and enjoy his presence. Therefore in his love he sent his Son, not to force us to pay up, but to pay our debt for us!
§ Since Jesus has paid for our sins we can come confidently and freely before the Lord. We don’t have to be afraid of standing in his presence on Judgment Day for God is no longer someone to avoid for he is our friend and ally.
Thank God that you know this secret of God’s love.
Ø This secret, though, is not something you could figure out on your own. You have to read about it or have it told to you.
Ø That’s what Paul said he had been called to do. He had been called by God to share the secret of God’s love with all people – especially non-Jewish people.
§ This surprised many people because the Jews thought that they had a lock on God’s forgiveness.
§ This of course had never been true. Our Old Testament lesson this morning (Is. 60) prophesied how non-Jews would benefit from Jesus’ coming. Our Gospel lesson about the Wisemen from the East was a fulfillment of that prophesy.
While God used a star to lead the Wismen to Jesus he doesn’t do that today. He uses people like Murahara-san.