Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the "Accounting" series from the Book of Ephesians.
Series: Accounting [#1]
WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET?
Capital One has numerous commercials of crazy things happening; but the Capital One credit card holder being protected. At the end of the commercial, they always ask the question, “What’s in your wallet?” The Book of Ephesians has been called “The Believer’s Bank”, “The Christian’s Checkbook”, and “Treasure House Of The Bible”. This is because the main theme of Ephesians is our riches in Christ.
While, I usually don’t use stories I hear or find from other pastors; I had to share this one with you. There was an elderly Italian man, laying in his bed dying. The man was weak and suffering- Breathing was labored and walking difficult; but there on his death bed he began to smell the aroma of fresh baked Italian fig cookies- His favorite. With what little strength he had, he got out of bed and painfully made his ways down the stairs in agony. If it weren’t for the pain- The sweet aroma made him think that he might already be in Heaven. There on wax paper was hundreds of colorful cookies. Was it Heaven? Was this a heroic act of love by his devoted wife of some 60 years? With what little energy he had left he stretched his arm towards the cookies, his parched lips parted and when he almost had the cookie in his mouth, he heard a loud “no” and his hand was met with the sharp sting of his wife’s spatula. His wife shouted “Put that down. Get out of here. These cookies are for the funeral.” Our riches in Christ are not simply for our funeral.
The book of Ephesians was written for the Believer who might be tempted to neglect or ignore all their spiritual resources for the here and now. We have vast resources in Christ; but some believers are starving and malnourished. We have an inheritance now, we have the fullness of Christ now, we have sufficient grace now.
Ephesians 1:1-3 (NIV)
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
Paul wrote the book of Ephesians from prison in Rome between years 60-63. Ephesus was a major city on the western coast of Asia Minor- Modern Turkey. In the ancient world of the Roman Empire it was one of the largest cities with a massive sea port and served as the capitol of a region that incorporated some 500 plus cities. This morning, I want us to look at our spiritual bank accounts and see how blessed we are. When you leave here this morning, I want you to realize how rich you are in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:4 (NIV)
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
You are blessed because…
1. You are chosen in Christ.
Do you ever feel left out? When I was in school, we would play football or other sports during recess and the 2 most popular kids would always pick their teams. I can guarantee you that it always felt terrible to be picked last or even close to last. Before God ever created this Earth or man; He chose us. He wants us to be part of His family and be a part of what He is doing. He loves us and has always loved us with all that He is.
You matter to God. Notice the purpose for which God chose you to- To be holy and blameless in His sight. Do you ever feel like that you can never measure up to people’s expectations? You are always under pressure trying to be successful in other’s eyes? Through the blood of Jesus Christ, God sees us as perfect. To be holy means that we are set apart and to be blameless means to be perfect. Talk about a blessing. The reason that we can go directly to God in prayer anytime we want is because of the way God sees us. If God sees the sin on us, we could not go into His presence.
Ephesians 1:5 (NIV)
“In love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
You are blessed because…
2. You are adopted by God the Father.
I told you over the last several weeks, that we were going to dig deep into the truths of the Word; and it’s time to start digging. The subject of predestination has infuriated many theologians. While, we are going to cover this in more detail on Wednesday, I want you to understand what predestination is. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “predestined” to mean, “to determine (an outcome or course of events) in advance by divine will or fate”.