Summary: A sermon on our blessings in Christ based on Ephesians 1:3 (Outline adapted from Pulpit Commentary)
Sermon for 11/4/2007
A little boy came to the Washington Monument and noticed a guard standing by it. “I want to but it.” “How much do you have?” asked the guard. “35 cents.” “You need to understand three things,” the guard explained. “First, 35 cents is not enough to purchase the monument; in fact, 35 million dollars is not enough. Second, the Washington Monument is not for sale; and third, if you are a US citizen, you already own it.”
We need to understand three things. 1) All of the money in the world is not enough to purchase the spiritual blessing in Christ. 2) The spiritual blessing is not for sale. 3) If we are in Jesus Christ, we already have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Read Ephesians 1:3 in NKJV.
Thesis: Let’s talk about our blessings this morning.
I. Christians are blessed.
A. Christianity is blessedness.
1. Blessedness= a state of supreme joy, to be blissful, overjoyed, enraptured.
3. Many believe that Christianity is a drag. Now I can see how church can be boring. Comment on a blog said, “Christianity is boring. Its the same stuff over and over, and sometimes they try to throw some fun stuff in there to get you to come, but sitting around studying a 2000 year old book, singing dull songs with words like thee, thou and thine and tunes out of the Victorian age, and listening to some older guy with a lot of degrees talk at you for an hour is boring. Face it. Maybe it helps people with no social life have something to do but its a fact--it is boring.”
4. Let’s put it another way. Following Jesus is anything but boring. How can following someone who turns water into wine, hangs out with the oppressed, the marginalized and the poor, heals people and raises people from the dead be boring?
6. Some might be of the opinion that being a Christian means following a whole bunch of rules that God has designed merely to rob us of freedom. Instead, God shows us, supremely in Jesus Christ, how to live life to the full. He shows us a way of living life whereby we can find true fulfillment and a way that does not hurt other people. It is a life of true freedom within boundaries. Imagine a football game without rules (boundaries). Players would be “free” to do what they like, but it would be chaos not fun. Only with good rules will the players be free to live up to their true potential, relate to the other players and really enjoy themselves.
7. Many Christians have fun being Christians. We just do it with a lot less sin, and therefore, a lot less problems.
B. We have a greater sense of well being to bear Christ’s cross than to wear the yoke of sin.
1. (Rom 6:6 NIV) For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--(Rom 6:7 NIV) because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
4. (Luke 9:23 NIV) Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.(Luke 9:24 NIV) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
C. Christian blessedness is now enjoyed. “has blessed us”
1. Christ has done all that is necessary to secure us the blessings.
2. There is a big difference between the Christian faith and the religions of the world. Look at the chronological order of the events described in the verse? Which comes first chronologically: our praising and blessing God, or God blessing us with Christ? God blesses us, and then we respond to Him. In the eternal mind of God, He had devised the plan which would ultimately lead to your salvation and blessing. God decided to bless me before the universe was in existence. Let that sink in.
3. See, many religions say, “do this and this and this, and then maybe we will have appeased God sufficiently that His wrath will be satisfied, and He’ll smile on us.” We take the initiative, in other words; we reach out to God, and then God will He reach down and bless. No, God took the initiative: He sent His Son to pay the price; He raised His Son from the dead and glorified Him. God does it, and then we respond to Him.
4. Many blessings are already within reach and are not necessarily within our reach only by death. (1 Tim 4:8 ) For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.