Friday, April 05, 2013


Ephesians 1 sermons

Our Identity In Christ Ephesians 1:1-6

Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before us the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

1. Our Significance In Christ

2. Our Separation To Christ

3. Our Sufficiency In Christ

4. Our Security Through Christ

One day a rich landowner named Carl was riding about his estate on his favourite horse when he came across a man by the name of Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree with his head bowed when Carl rode by. Hans raised his head and said, "I was just thanking the Lord for my food." The arrogant landowner responded with.. "If that's all I had to eat, I wouldn't feel like giving thanks!" The old farmer said, "Well, God has given me all I need, and I am thankful."

Then the old farmer added, "It sure is strange that you should come by today. Last night I had a dream that told me that the richest man in the valley would die tonight."

Carl snorted, "Dreams are nonsense, " and galloped away. But he could not forget Hans words: "The richest man in the valley will die tonight". He became so concerned he called for his doctor to come and give him a thorough examination. His doctor assured him that he was as healthy as a horse and was in no danger of dying that evening. Nevertheless, Carl convinced the doctor to stay the night just in case there was an emergency.

About nine the next morning a messenger arrived at Carl's door. "What is it?" Carl demanded. It's old Hans. He died last night in his sleep!"

Who are the richest people in the world? It is not those who amass worldly fortunes or those who develop lucrative portfolios. Truly the richest people in this world are those who are enjoying the abundant resources of heaven. Today if you are saved, then you are rich! That's what our text is all about. Paul here tells us of four ways in which we are rich!" It is sad enough that sinners know nothing about these “riches,” but sadder still is the fact that even many Christians do not know of the riches they have IN CHRIST. The book of Ephesians makes us to appreciate what the Lord Jesus has done for us as BELIEVERS.

Along with Paul, it is my prayer that, as we work our way through Ephesians, "God . . . may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him . . . . that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe." (Eph. 1:17-19) Now, let me ask you an important question: Do you really know who you are in Christ? How do you see yourself as a Christian? Do you see yourself as powerful? Or do you see yourself as impotent? Do you understand the true extent of what it means to have the Son of God living inside of you? Do you hold your head up high because of your relationship to Christ, or are you sometimes embarrassed? Do see yourself in rags or in riches? Look at Ephesians 1:1-2. We read, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” In Christ We Are Significant Why Don’t Christians Live Christianly? I think a secret to living godly in this present world is knowing that we so far different to the people in this present world.

1. Your Significance In Christ

Identity: Know Who You Are As Paul opens this letter to the church, he addresses it to the "saints." This is a good biblical term commonly applied to all believers. In fact, in some ancient manuscripts, the designation "at Ephesus" is not found at the beginning of this letter. Because of that, many believe that this was a general letter from Paul to be circulated among all the churches. In any case, Christians are commonly referred to as saints. It comes from the Greek word hagios, which literally means "holy." To be a saint, in the New Testament sense of the word, is to be a "holy one." And that's who we are in Christ.

Don't be misled by the mistaken idea that sainthood is something which can only be conferred upon certain dead people by some ecclesiastical body. According to God's Word, all believers are already saints. From God's perspective, we are saints, not because of who men say we are, but because of what Christ did for us. We are not holy because of our own good works or righteousness. The Bible tells us that "all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment." (Isaiah 64:6) We are righteous because Jesus died on the Cross so that He could give us His righteousness. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "He {God} made Him {Christ} who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." We are now the righteousness of God in Christ. What an amazing statement!

When Christ died on the Cross, He paid the penalty for our sin. He died there to put to death our old self. But He not only died to forgive us, He died to enable us to receive His life. As we surrender to Him, He gives us His life in exchange for ours. He becomes our life. We live by His life. He is in us, and we are in Him. Now we live from this new level of life. His righteousness is made ours. When God looks at us, He sees us in Christ.

A revealing scripture found in Hebrews 11:24-27 tells us how we may endure the pressures of life. It tells us about Moses, who chose the right priorities for his life. Despite having been raised by the daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh, Moses refused his royal heritage, "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God" (verse 25). The author of Hebrews then tells us that Moses denied the treasures of Egypt and forsook its material wealth and prosperity for the will of God. From the Old Testament we know that Moses was con­demned by pharaoh, and he fled into the wilderness for 40 years. Later, he returned to lead the children of Israel out of bondage into freedom. Along the way, he had many problems and struggles. Pharaoh's army pursued them and they were trapped at the edge of the Red Sea. Moses prayed, and God miraculously delivered them by parting the water. Then in the wilderness of Sin they ran out of food and faced starvation (see Exodus 16:1). Again, God miraculously supplied their need by sending the manna. Every step of the way, even when the people complained, Moses remained fixed on God. He never turned back, despite all the obstacles.

What was Moses' secret? Hebrews 11:27 tells us, "For he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." He endured all the pressures of life by faith in God. He went on with such confidence in God's promises that it was as though he could actually see Him. His faith enabled him to visualize God at work in his life. If we are going to endure the pressures of life, we must do the same.

In spite of being raised in pharaoh's home, Moses knew he was an Israelite. He understood that he had been born into a Hebrew family and that his real mother hid him in a basket during a time of persecution. In desperation she placed the basket in the Nile River and let it go. Eventually, pharaoh's daughter found the baby in the basket. She assumed he was a gift from the gods, since the Egyptians believed the Nile was a god and the source of all life. She accepted the baby as a gift of divine providence, and Moses was raised in pharaoh's court as a member of the royal family. As such, he enjoyed all the privileges of wealth and royalty. He may well have been in line to inherit the throne of Egypt itself.

But one day Moses came to the realization of who he really was. He came to a point of spiritual self-identity. He realized that he was an Israelite and a child of God. He could not deny his identity with his own people, so he turned his back on Egypt. He refused to be called the son of pharaoh's daughter because he wanted to be who he really was.

Today, many people want to be someone they're not. "if only I could be like him," they will often say to me, wishing they were better-looking, happier, or wealthier. This is a problem that affects teenagers and adults alike. They think that if they could be somebody else, they would be happy. But they are wrong. True happiness comes only when you accept yourself for who and what you are in Christ. He alone can transform you into the best person you could ever become by His grace.

A television commercial soliciting recruits for the Army says, "Be all that you can be." I want to tell you that you can be all you ought to be and need to be through Jesus Christ. You don't need to be anything other than what He has planned for you to be to His glory.

Our sainthood. Did you know that if you have been born again through the precious blood of Christ that you are not only A CHILD OF GOD, but you are A SAINT OF GOD. Someone might say, “Pastor, I thought men like Peter, Luke, Paul and John were saints.” They were saints of God, but you and I are just much saints as they were, did you know that, saint Ronny.” I do not know about you, but I have been called about everything except a saint, but according to this Bible, the Word of God, I am taught I am a saint! The good news is that we do not have to wait to become saints, WE ARE SAINTS!

J. Vernon McGee used to say, “There are only two kinds of people today: the SAINTS and the AIN’TS. If you are a saint, then you are not an ain’t. If you ain’t an ain’t, then you are a saint.”

Your real worth has been determined by God, who gave all He had that you might become His child. Some of us get down on ourselves to the point that we become so depressed that we are useless. We don't believe we are worth anything, so we act accordingly. I remember my high-school chemistry teacher telling me that the chemical elements of my body were worth only about 95 cents. Thinking about that always discouraged me until I heard a scientist say that each kilo of the human body has within it enough atoms to produce 20 million kilowatt-hours electricity. I guess that much energy would cost about $1,200,000. Think about it: I weigh 100 kilos. That means I'm worth about $120,000,000! It all depends on how you look at it.

In fact, you are worth more than money can buy. The worth of your soul is so great that God's own Son took your sins upon Himself and died in your place on the cross. God cared enough about you that He gave His own Son to die for you. Your worth is not determined by your material prosperity, the house you live in, or the car you drive. Your real worth has been determined by the Lord God Almighty, who gave all that He had that you might become His child.

II. Your Separation To Christ

Relationship: Learn Whose You Are

The world can be classified into two groups of people: the saved and the lost. Men classify each other by race, nationality, locality, or socioeconomic status. We tend to view people as black or white, red or yellow, rich or poor, white-collar or blue-collar. But in the eyes of eternity, God sees only two classes of people: those who know Him and those who do not. That word “saint” indicates not only a separation from sin but also a separation to God. In the temple the objects that were to be used in worship were designated as Holy. It didn’t mean they were sinless. How could a pot or a dish be considered sinful. No they were designated as “Holy” because they were separated from other things for God’s use. They were separated to God.

The Scripture teaches that there are only two ways into eternity. One is broad and leads to destruction. The other is narrow and leads to eternal life. The Bible also declares that there are two foundations to life: one of solid rock and one of shifting sand. The sand represents the unstable ideologies and philosophies of the world, while the solid rock represents Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many people have built their lives on materialism and the pursuit of self- gratification, only to find it all blown away like the sand when they come to life's end. If you are separated to God it means you are separated from living a self gratifying life to living a life towards God. A Godward life.

Then You Will Understand Whom You Are Trying to Please

Moses had his hands full once he got the children of Israel across the Red Sea. They complained about everything. They didn't like the food, they ran out of water, they questioned Moses' leadership, and some of them even rebelled. The pressures upon him must have been incredible. But Moses was only interested in pleasing God. Otherwise, he would have cracked under the load.

Can you imagine the people of Israel coming to Moses with their requests? I can imagine that it may have begun with the "Let's Not Leave Egypt" committee. Perhaps they thought Moses had taken things a bit too far and wondered how they would all survive out there in the wilderness. Perhaps next it was the "Red-Sea Crossing" committee. I can just hear them trying to talk him out of using his rod and into trying something more conventional. Next might have come the "Wilderness-Wandering" planning committee. They decided it might be a good idea to stay in the wilderness permanently and build a settlement. Perhaps they envisioned something like Uliru Cultural Centre for Wilderness Wanderers.

We do know from Scripture that Moses faced tremendous resistance from the people at every turn. They were always complaining about something. But Moses never gave in to their complaints; he was determined to please God. He was not a perfect man; he had his weaknesses, too. He needed Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms, and he appointed 70 elders to help him judge the people's requests. On one occasion, he became angry and smote a rock with his staff, although God had commanded him merely to speak to it. But overall, Moses was a great leader because he kept his focus on God. You and I can never please everyone. When we try, we only exhaust ourselves in the process. Some people are just impossible to please no matter how hard you try. Someone told me once of a woman who had a grouchy husband who was hard to please. But she loved him dearly and was determined to please him. She got up early one morning, fixed herself up, and asked him what he wanted for breakfast.

"I'll fix whatever you want," she announced. "All right," he responded, "I'll take freshly brewed coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, toast, bacon, and two eggs—one fried and onescrambled."

Desiring to please him, she set about the task of preparing breakfast. She brewed the coffee, squeezed the orange juice, and fried the bacon. Then she cracked one egg and scrambled it and cracked the other egg and fried it. When everything was ready, she called him to breakfast. He walked in, sat down, and looked at the two eggs. A big frown came over his face. He looked up at her and snarled, "Just as I thought. You fried the wrong egg!" As incredible as it may seem, that shows how ridiculous some people are. No matter what you do for them, you can't please them. So, you are better off not trying to please them. I had to learn early in my ministry to quit trying to please everybody. People would come to me, saying, "Now don't offend this person because he is related to that person." The requests were endless. Finally, I realized there was only one person I needed to please, and that was God. Once I got that settled in my mind, a spirit of peace came over me.

When you concentrate on pleasing God, He takes care of satisfying everyone else.

Often the stress and pressure of life comes from trying to please others. It may be your boss, your husband, your wife, your kids, or your family. But whoever they are, you will never be able to completely satisfy their needs. Only God can do that, and He doesn't want you wearing yourself out trying to do His job. He alone can meet their needs. All you have to do is concentrate on pleasing Him.

The Bible promises, "When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Proverbs 16:7). When you and I concentrate on pleasing God, He takes care of satisfying everyone else. You don't have to please everyone. Chances are that you can't do so anyhow. Simply trust God with your pressures and determine to please Him with your life.

III. YOUR SUFFICIENCY In Christ. Our sufficiency is NOT WITHIN OURSELVES, but WITHIN CHRIST! Look at verse 3. We read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, WHO HATH BLESSED US with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” We often sing the old hymn, “When We All Get To Heaven.” In this song we sing about how great it will be when we GET TO HEAVEN. And beloved, make no mistake about it, we are going to have the time of our lives when we get there. EYES HAVE NOT SEEN, NOR HAVE EARS HEARD WHAT WE ARE GOING TO EXPERIENCE WHEN WE GET THERE! We ought to preach about Heaven and look forward to going to that glorious place. One of the problems in the Christian life is that the devil has convinced people that Christians cannot enjoy life until they die and go to heaven, AND THAT IS NOT TRUE! Notice three things in verse 3...

(1) Paul is not talking about God blessing us one day in the future. He is talking about God blessing us in this life. Look at these words in verse 3, “...WHO HATH BLESSED US.” That is telling us that God wants to BLESS US NOW!

(2) Notice, in verse 3, the word is not “blessing,” but “BLESSINGS” -- plural...

(3) - Now. - Tomorrow. - Next week. - And next year. God has many blessings for His children.

Our God WANTS TO BLESS US and the good thing about this is that HE IS SUFFICIENT to bless us with BLESSING AFTER BLESSING. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone secretly deposited one million dollars into your bank account? But, did you know the million dollars would do you no good until you knew it was there? In the book of Ephesians there are many treasures, but they will do you no good until you discover that the Lord has these blessings for you. Simply put, the book of Ephesians is a book that tells us what we have IN CHRIST.

J. Vernon McGee said, “To me the most important word in the New Testament is the little preposition IN. Theologians have come up with some “Lulus” trying to tell us what it means to be saved. How do you define our salvation? There are words like redemption, atonement, justification, reconciliation, propitiation, and the vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. All of these words are good; they are wonderful, but each of them merely gives one aspect of our salvation. What does it really mean to be saved? It means to be IN CHRIST! We are irrevocably and organically joined to Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit...We belong to Him and there is nothing as wonderful as that.”

IN CHRIST occurs one-hundred-thirty times in the New Testament. Evidently God is trying to teach us what it means to be IN CHRIST. Let us continue our study to see what we who are IN Christ have. We have seen so far: 1. OUR SIGNIFICANCE In Christ, and 2. OUR Separation To Christ 3.OUR SUFFICIENCY In Christ . But, let us look at...

IV. OUR SECURITY THROUGH CHRIST. Look at verses 3-6. We read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." As we preach through Ephesians we will find some things difficult to UNDERSTAND. Speaking of things DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND reminds me of the story of the man who was walking on the beach one day and he came across a bottle. He kicked it and a "Genie” came swooping out. The “Genie” thanked him for releasing him from the bottle and told the man he was so thankful that he would grant him any wish he wished to have granted. The man said, “Well, I have always wanted to go to Norfolk Island, but I am afraid of water, and afraid to fly, so I could not go. Would you please make a bridge from Newcastle to Norfolk Island so I could drive there?” The “Genie” rubbed his forehead and said, “Look I am really grateful you freed me out of that little bottle but it is ridiculous to ask me to grant such a wish. It would take me weeks, perhaps months, to have all that dirt hauled in to make a road across the ocean.” The man said, “Nevertheless, that is my wish.!” The “Genie” asked, “Is there something else you would like me to do for you?” The man thought a few minutes and said, “All right, there is something else I have always wished, that is, could you help me be able to UNDERSTAND WOMEN?” Again the “Genie” rubbed his head and thought for a few minutes and asked, “Do you want a two lane, or a four lane causeway to Norfolk Island?”

Yes, we do not UNDERSTAND many things in life, and one of those things is the way the opposite sex thinks. Some say the problem is that WOMEN think from the right side of their brains, and MEN think from the left side. But, most of us sometimes wonder if some folks even think at all! We will never be able to UNDERSTAND each other completely, nor will we ever understand fully the depths of God’s marvellous statement here to us, that He has Chosen us before the foundation of the world. I would encourage you to come along this evening as we frankly try to understand this marvellous statement the Lord has made. We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.

This may be difficult to understand, but it gives us Direction: You can Know Where You Are Going Most people think the Israelites stayed in the wilderness for 40 years because they were lost. Not so! The Scripture tells us that they knew where they were going. Their destiny was the land of Canaan, known to them as the Promised Land because of God's covenant with their forefathers. They remained in the wilderness for 40 years because of rebellion against God's direction for their lives. But despite all their problems, Moses never lost sight of their ultimate goal. He knew that their final destiny was well worth the wait and the struggle. He kept his eyes focused on the eternal reward of God. You and I must do the same. Whenever it appears that all has failed, that the journey is too difficult, or that the road is too rough, remember where you're going. Pressures seem to ease greatly when our purpose lies clearly before us and we know where we are headed.

God will not give up on you as long as you don't give up on Him. Set your sail and keep on. There will always be rivers to cross and mountains to climb. But God is with you every step of the way. When you falter or stumble, He will hold you up. He will give you direction. He will see you through. He has chosen you in Christ before the foundation of the World. He has Blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Christ. He won’t give up on you. This makes you Secure.

When the great conqueror Napoleon and his armies crossed the Alps, his troops came into battle with the enemy. Napoleon's troops found themselves trapped in a valley, and many began to get killed. The great leader's heart went out to his men, so he turned to his bugler boy and said, "Son, sound the retreat." The boy did nothing. Again Napoleon said, "Son, blow the retreat or our men will die."

Then the bugler looked at his great general and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but I have forgotten the sound of retreat." Napoleon snapped back, "Then blow whatever you know how to blow!" The boy placed the bugle to his lips and blew—charge, charge, charge! Napoleon's troops thought, Help is coming, and they fought with all their might. The enemy thought, We must flee because reinforcements must be on their way Thus the battle was won and eventually the war—all because one little bugler boy had forgotten the sound of retreat. Quitting is not an option for the Christian. We have been set free from our old life and we must press on to our new destination. Like the children of Israel, we can't go back to Egypt; it isn't wise to stay in the wilderness; so we must press on to the Promised Land. Like the bugler boy, we must forget the sound of retreat. No matter how long or difficult the journey, it's never right to quit. Keep your focus on the goal and keep pressing on, for victory is straight ahead.


"God has chosen us in him before the foundation of the earth"

God has an unstoppable, undefeatable, invincible purpose to save his people, and the more we dwell on what he has done to infallibly achieve his purpose, the more deep and lively will be our assurance. God loves to glorify the worth of his objective work by making it the basis of our subjective assurance.

We begin where Paul begins in Ephesians 1:3-4.

Ephesians 1: 3-6: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Paul begins by blessing God. He blesses him as one who has blessed us with every blessing that heaven can give. And the first foundation that Paul mentions for this assured fact is that "God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world." God's purpose in the salvation of his people is invincible—it cannot fail--because it is based first not on our choosing God but on God's choosing us. Verse 4: "He [God] chose us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world." Your salvation did not begin with your choice to believe in Christ--a choice which was real and necessary. Your salvation began before the creation of the universe when God planned the history of redemption, ordained the death and the resurrection of his Son, and chose you to be his own through Christ. This is a great objective ground for assurance. And we should consider it deeply.

1. He Chose

Matthew 24:22 "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the ELECT'S sake those days shall be shortened." 24 ".. insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very ELECT." 31 ".. and they shall gather together HIS ELECT from the four winds "
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Romans 8.28-33 N.B. V 33 "Who shall lay anything to the charge of GOD'S ELECT? It is God that justifieth."

Romans 9:11 "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to ELECTION might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. "

Romans 11:5, 7 "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but THE ELECTION hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. " 28 ". . . but as touching the ELECTION, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. "

Col. 3.12 "Put on therefore, as the ELECT of God. . ."

I Thes. 1:4 "Knowing, brethren beloved, YOUR ELECTION OF GOD."

II Thes. 2:13 ". . . because God hath from the beginning CHOSEN you to salvation . . . "

II Tim. 2:10 "Therefore I endure all things for the ELECT'S SAKES, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."

Titus 1 ". . . according to the faith of God's ELECT. . . "

II Peter 1:10 ". . . give diligence to make your calling and ELECTION sure . . ."

2. He Chose And Man Must Choose

Acts 2:23 . . . "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God -- …” 100% Sovereignty of GOD

“……ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" 100% Human Responsibility

All the devils in Hell or men on earth could not keep Jesus from the Cross - Why? Because it was determined by the counsel and foreknowledge of God - that is 100% Divine Sovereignty

Yet man was charged with the murder of Christ "ye by wicked hands have crucified and slain" that is -- 100% Human Responsibility Both of these are equally true - they are both in the Bible - and we have no trouble in our minds when we consider them separately, BUT, we cannot ( in our minds) put them together. DON'T TRY - they are Friends and do not need to be reconciled by us. We cannot reconcile DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY and HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY, but God will do what we cannot do. What do we see in the scriptures? A God Who is Absolutely Sovereign in Creation - Redemption and Providence. And just as clearly we see the Bible teaches that man is 100% responsible.

The errors to be avoided are:
A. Soft peddling either of these subjects. If you do this, you have a God who is something less than Sovereign (not the God of the Bible) and a man who is something less than responsible. Both are 100% true - so believe - teach and preach them. Many times they are both in the same verse. Example - John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me: and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

II Tim 2:19. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

B. Another danger is being unwilling to go as far as the Bible goes on these subjects, or, with human reasoning, logic or speculation, to go beyond what the Bible reveals. Deut. 29:29 is a good place to camp. " The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."

C. The third, and probably the most common error is to try to reconcile God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility. What we have here is an antinomy (this may be a new word for your vocabulary). What is an antinomy? The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines it as "a contradiction between conclusions which seem equally logical, reasonable or necessary." In the case of biblical theology we should say "an appearance of a contradiction." To put it another way - An antinomy is when we look at two different statements, both very clear and equally true, when we consider them separately, but we cannot reconcile them to each other. This is the case with God's Sovereignty and human responsibility. They are both in the Bible - both true - but humanly we cannot reconcile them with each other.

That great Baptist preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, was once asked if he could reconcile divine sovereignty and human responsibility. "I wouldn't try," he replied; "I never reconcile friends." Friends? Yes, friends. They are both in the same book -- the Bible.
Spurgeon “I do not think I differ from any of my Hyper-Calvinistic brethren in what I do believe; but I differ from them in what I do not believe. I do not hold any less than they do, but I hold a little more, and think, a little more of the truth revealed in the Scriptures.
Not only are there a few cardinal doctrines, by which we can steer our ship North, South, East, or West but as we study the Word, we shall begin to learn something about the North-west and North-east, and all else that lies between the four cardinal points.
The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two, and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Yet I am taught in another part of the same Word, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all; and yet I see, and cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions in a great measure, to his own free will.
Now, if I were to decree that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so overrules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is foreordained, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the spring.

John 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew He moved my soul to seek him, seeking me:
It was not I that found. O Saviour true, No, I was found of thee.

Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold; I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea,
'Twas not so much that I on thee took hold, As thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but, O the whole Of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee;
For thou wert long before-hand with my soul, Always thou lovedst me.

3. He Chose US

There are many, many people who do not believe this. They do not believe that God chose who will be saved and who will be passed over and left to unbelief and rebellion. They insist that this text only teaches that God chose Christ and an undefined number of those who choose to be in Christ by faith. They say that Ephesians 1:4 is not an election or choosing of individuals, but an election of Christ and the church, but what individuals are part of the church, God does not decide.

Its like the NRL. The national officials don't choose a specific team of men to go to the Grand Final; they choose that the winners of the premierships go, whoever they are. God does not choose who will be in Christ and who will be saved. That lies ultimately in the power of man's autonomous will, which God does not rule.

They say that the wording of verse 4 proves this interpretation: "God chose us in him." But this wording will not settle the issue. If anything the wording points the other way: it says he chose us. Not an undefined mass of people, but us, you and me personally. He chose us. The word means select from a larger group. And the way he did it was in relation to Christ. Christ was not an afterthought to election. God chose us to come to salvation in Christ, not apart from Christ. But it was us that he chose. These words are not strained at all in carrying this meaning that God chose particular people to be his children through their union with Christ.

But I say the words of verse 4 alone will probably not settle this issue. But if we look at what Paul says elsewhere about this, we can be sure about what he means, namely, that God chose his people individually and personally before the foundation of the world to be saved; and he chose them to be saved through union with Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:27 God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

What this text says very clearly is that God chose particular kinds of people to be in the church. He did not just choose the church and leave its composition to man. He chose foolish individuals and called them into Christ. He chose some weak individuals and called them into Christ. He chose some low and despised individuals and called them into Christ. So that no one might boast in anyone but the Lord.

And then to make this crystal clear he said in verse 30 (literally): "From him [God] you are in Christ Jesus." Or as the NASB says, "By his doing you are in Christ Jesus." Or the NIV: "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus." In other words, it is just as though Paul knew that someone would come along some day and say that God does not choose who is in Christ, but only chooses Christ and any who put themselves in Christ. So he says, in verses 27-29 that God chose the individuals who would make up the church in Christ. And he says in verse 30 that it is by God's doing that they are put in Christ.

The glorious, unshakable, objective foundation of your being a Christian is that God chose you to be one.

John 15:16a " You did not choose Me, but I chose you,..." God put you in Christ. So I say with Paul (in verse 26) "Consider your calling!" Consider how you came to be in Christ! Think about it. It will take all boasting off of man and put it all on God. So verse 31 ends the section: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." This is the boast of assurance. This is the exultation of considering our calling and our election, and seeing that it's all of God, and feeling a tremendous peace and confidence and courage and strength and love well up inside to keep us going in the face any opposition. Because "who can bring any charge against God's elect!" (Rom. 8:33).

James (2:5) teaches the very same thing from a slightly different angle: God chose the poor to come to faith and be in the church, so be careful that you not discriminate against him.

Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Here again God has chosen not an undefined mass of people, but particular poor individuals to be rich in faith and to be treated a certain way. The personal, individual nature of election has very practical consequences. If God has chosen to bring the poor into Christ, don't dishonor them!

So I come back to Ephesians 1:4, "God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world." And I close with my own personal confession of faith in this great Biblical truth of election. Before the creation of the universe God thought of me. He fixed his gaze on me and chose me for himself. He did not choose me because I was already in Christ of my own doing, but that I might be in Christ. He did not choose me because he saw me as a believer, but so that I might become a believer. He did not choose me because I chose Him, but so that I might choose him. He did not choose me because I was holy or good but so that I might become holy and good. Everything I am and all I hope to be is rooted in God's freely choosing me. My faith, my hope, my work are not the ground of electing grace but only its effect. And so there is no ground for boasting except in God. And in the face of fear and loss of assurance and all my own defect, I speak this word of trust: "Who shall bring any charge against the Lord's elect!" (Romans 8:33).

The greatest preacher-evangelists in the History of the church believed in the biblical doctrine of Election: John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress.

George Whitefield, the great evangelist said, “Man has a free will — to go to hell! But none to go to heaven until God works in him.”
John Paton - Missionary to New Hebrides. Jonathan Edwards - William Carey - Charles Haddon Spurgeon and others. It was the hopeful doctrine of election that God used to encourage the Apostle Paul when he was afraid to go to Corinth; God said to him, ". . . I have much people in this city " (Acts 18:9, 10).
No, the doctrine of Election does not dampen evangelism if it is rightly held, but rather, it guarantees the success of it and should be the greatest encouragement that we have.

For an answer we are shut up to the Scriptures. But the Bible answers with sunlight clearness. In Eph. 1:4, we read that "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world." The expression 'before the foundation of the world' is found in John 17:24 where it speaks of the Father's eternal love for the Son, and in I Peter 1:20, where it refers to the eternal determination of the Divine mind concerning the death of Christ. There are many similar expressions. See Rev. 13:8; II Thes. 2:13; II Tim. 1:9. ELECTION IS FINAL!
The answer the Scriptures give is found in Eph. 1:5, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself ACCORDING TO THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL." And, Eph. 1:11, "In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIM WHO WORKETH all things after the counsel of his own will."

God’s choosing eliminates boasting: Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
God’s choosing gives assurance of our salvation.

God’s choosing leads to holiness: Colossians 3:12: “Therefore as the chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering..."
God’s choosing encourages reaching out to those without Christ..
God’s choosing affirms the assurance of His love. “In love”. 1Thess 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

God’s choice of some means that He does not choose others. It seems to be a question of fairness. How could God choose some and not others? I believe that this question comes from a failure to understand the real condition of our hearts. In light of the real meaning and the real depth of sin, if God were fair every human being would be condemned. If God were fair none of us would be saved. In fact, people are not condemned because they are not chosen. They are condemned because of their heart’s sin. It is our sin that condemns us, not the fact that we’re not chosen. John Stott puts it this way: “Scripture nowhere dispels the mystery of election and we should be aware of any who try to systematize it too precisely. The doctrine of election is a divine revelation. It is not human speculation.”

How will the words of Scripture change us? Do you see God a little bigger because of today? Are you willing to give Him a little more credit for your salvation? Are you willing to pray for others like it all depends on God? Are you more thankful for God's work of salvation? Are you encouraged to pursue holiness?

The third reaction that some of us have to verse four is that it appears to contradict certain things we believe to be true about God; things like, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16), or “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Peter 2:4). How can God love all people? How can God desire all men to be saved and yet choose only some for salvation? That’s an honest question that we bring to this text and to texts like it. We need to be able to allow Scripture to say two different things that we can’t totally reconcile and we need to live with the tension. Maybe a better word is that we need to learn to live with the mystery. We can’t figure it out.
Nineteenth-century Presbyterian theologian Robert L. Dabney wrestled with these truths. He wrote about Chief Justice Marshall's book entitled The Life Of Washington, in which Marshall tells the story of a certain Major André. Major André was in Washington’s revolutionary army and he did some treasonous act deserving of death. It was Washington’s lot to have to sign the death warrant. Unfortunately for General Washington, he knew Major André well and liked him very much. Marshall says perhaps on no occasion of his life did the Commander-In-Chief obey with more reluctance the stern mandates of duty and of policy. Dabney goes on to say that Washington’s compassion for André was real and profound. Why did he sign the death warrant? Dabney says, "Washington’s determination to sign the death warrant of André did not arise from the fact that his compassion was slight or faint, but from the fact that it was counterpoised by a complex of superior judgments of wisdom, of duty, of patriotism." The pity was real, but it was restrained by other very important motives. And the point that Dabney makes is this: the absence of God’s determination to save does not necessarily imply the absence of compassion. God has real and deep compassion for perishing sinners.
There is a genuine inclination in God’s heart to spare those who have committed treason against His Kingdom. This is the sense of passages like “God is not willing that any should perish” or the sense behind the idea that Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. God weeps at the lost, but He is governed in the depth of His wisdom by a plan that no ordinary human way of deliberation can conceive.
Can there be a noble and a great heart, even a divine noble and great heart that has sincere compassion for a criminal that is nevertheless, not set free? God loves the lost sinner. God has chosen some. Those two statements need to stand there before us, unreconciled, both true.

Ephesians 1:1-14 Three Life-Changing Blessings

It's a special joy this morning to come to our Lord's table to celebrate again the remembrance of His death for us. This is a service of praise and a service of worship. And I was thinking about the fact that when we come to the Lord's table to remember His death for us, to focus on our salvation, we are really focusing on that which is most praiseworthy of all. We offer the highest praise for our salvation. Above all other things we are grateful to God that He has saved us. Nothing else would matter if that were not true. And so, as we come to a worship hour this morning that includes the Lord's table, we have reached the pinnacle of our praise as we offer our thanksgiving to the God who saved us. And we affirm together that our salvation is fully the work of God, that He is worthy of all praise for He has provided for us salvation. It is a gift. It has been given to us. It is all God's work and all the glory belongs to Him. What a wonderful realization that is. And so, as we come to the Lord's table, I want us to focus on the reality that our salvation is totally the work of God so that we in partaking may find our hearts filled with praise.

One scripture stands out in my mind in thinking about this as we prepare for the Lord's table. It's Ephesians chapter 1 and I invite you to turn there in your Bible, if you will, Ephesians chapter 1. And I want to read in you're hearing verses 3 through 14. This great paean of praise from the heart of the Apostle Paul is not a cool documentation of some theological argument, it is the passion and overflow of his own thankful heart. It appears in the original as if there is no break at all and while some of the translators have chosen to put commas and periods, it doesn't seem in the original that there's any stopping point from verse 3 through 14, he just continues to allow his heart under the inspiration of the Spirit of God to gush out praise for the God who has saved him.

And as I read it in your hearing, would you listen for those things which assign our salvation wholly to God. Verse 3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace which He freely bestowed on us in the beloved, in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him, with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance with a view to the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of His glory."

What dominates this wonderful section of Scripture is the idea that God has brought about salvation by His own will and His own purpose and His own design and to the praise of His own glory. In verses 5, 9 and 11, salvation is ascribed to His will. In verses 6 and 7 it is ascribed to His grace. Again in verse 7, to His blood. In verse 4, to His love. In verse 9, to His good intention. In verse 11, to His purpose. And in verses 12 and 14, to the praise of His glory. Salvation is not a result of the will of man. It is not a result of the merit of man. It is not a result of some religious sacrifice on man's part. It is not a result of the love of man. It is not a result of the good intention of man. It is not a result of the purpose of man. And it is not to the praise and glory of man. Every aspect of salvation is born out of the purpose and the will and the plan of God that when it is accomplished it may be solely and only to the praise and the glory of God. God has saved us in order that He might be glorified, therefore all in our salvation belongs to His credit.

in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

1. You Are Loved

2. You Are Adopted

3. You Are Not Rejected

1:Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

1. You Are Loved

Most people are familiar with the true story that took place in a nursery orphanage. Physically healthy babies were mysteriously dying. No one could account for the deaths of these children who were physically well cared for. Someone eventually observed that there seemed to be a direct correlation between personal, loving attention and physical health. The children who lived were the cuter ones who were picked up more often by the orphanage personnel. "Professional mothers" were hired to cuddle the babies, holding them close and warmly, gently caressing them. The babies lived. The mystery was solved. Human beings desperately need to be loved. '

Babies need to be loved. It is not just the babies that need to be loved. People of all ages need the security of being loved by someone that is important to then

teen-age girl wrote, Within the last year, three of my friends tried to commit suicide. Life was too much for them. They couldn't hack it. This world ate them up until their only thought of escape was death. Loneliness is universal. It eats inside your system. It brings a vacuum of emptiness, a fear of death, a gnawing hunger of wanting to be understood and loved. Loneliness is a sickness. It hurts. For some it hurts so much that they do anything to run away from it. You can have a million close friends and still be lonely. You can be the best-looking, most popular, most successful person on earth and still be lonely. No matter what you do, where you go, or what you try to be, loneliness still eats your heart.

Lonely people need love: warm, flowing can kill loneliness. This again points up the fact that human beings desperately need to be loved. Each one of us has this deep inner need for love.

LOVE . . . A strong feeling of affection, pleasure, and tender attachment.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of love:

Conditional Love . . .

(Love) which rises or falls due to the lovableness of the one being loved.

Unconditional Love . . .

(Love) which is given due to the nature of the one loving rather than the one loved.


We all need to be loved. But there is a kind of love which does not meet our deep inner need. This kind of love is called conditional love because it is given when certain conditions are met. Here are some examples of conditional love:

• "I will love you IF you are good."

• "I will love you IF you make me proud of you."

• "I will love you IF you do what I want you to do."

What kind of love does God have for His people?

A. God's love for His people is unconditional. "But God commendeth His love toward us, int hat while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). "God's love is not drawn out by our lovableness, but wells up, like an artesian spring, from the depths of His nature." - Alexander MacLaren

B. God's love for His people is eternal. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). "God loved us when there was nothing good to be seen in us and nothing good to be said for us." - John Blanchard

C. God's love for His people is personal. "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Romans 9:13). An illustration of God's love for His people is found in Psalm 139. 1. He has searched me and known me. 2. How precious are His thoughts for me. The word 'precious' means rare. How rare is the love of God. *Remember, we must always seek to be Biblical. God's love for His people must be distinguished from his wrath for those who are not His people!

IN OTHER WORDS, GOD DOES NOT LOVE THE PERSON IN HELL AS MUCH AS HE DOES THE BELIEVER. "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Romans 9:13).
"God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psalm 7:11). "The reality of God's wrath is as much a part of the Biblical message as is God's grace." - Leighton Ford Though God punishes the wicked, "He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ezekiel 33:11). If God has chosen to set His love upon you, nothing, let me say this again, nothing shall separate you from His love which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:33-39).

Amazing grace to save people who are conscious of a wicked, sinful heart and a wasted life! Mel Trotter was a drunkard, a slave to his habit that he could not break. He took all the money he could get to spend for booze. When his little girl was sick and his wife took some money she had hidden and gave it to Mel Trotter to get a prescription filled for the sick little girl, he went by a saloon and, tempted beyond measure, went in and paid for a drink with that money. He was drunk, and when he came home the little girl had died. The burning fire in his heart so enslaved him that even when the beautiful little body lay in the casket and he wept over his dead child, yet he was so tempted that he took the little shoes off the body, went and pawned them to get money for a drink. And then, one day Mel Trotter got saved. God cured that insatiable thirst. God gave him victory. God made him a soul winner. He founded the Mel Trotter Rescue Mission in Grand Rapids and won thousands. I have preached there to hundreds. He went on to found sixty-six other rescue mis­sions. Trotter held great revival campaigns. If God could love a Mel Trotter, God can and does love you.

2. You Are Adopted

"Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." Ephesians 1:5

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

"God sent forth His Son . . . to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4,5

ADOPTION - Gk "huiothesia" - a compound word composed of "huios" meaning "adult son" and "thesia" meaning "to place or install." Thus adoption means placed or installed as a son."

The need tor a place to belong is universal. On the hurnan level the principle is easy to discern. "The child who has been able to grow up harmoniously in a healthy home finds a welcome everywhere. In infancy all he needs is a stick placed across two chairs to make himself a house, in which he feels quite at home. Later on, wherever he goes, he will be able to make any place his own, without any effort on his part. For him it will not be a matter of seeking, but of choosing." On the other hand, "when the family is such that the child cannot fit himself into it properly, he looks everywhere for some other place, leading a wandering existence, incapable of settling down anywhere. His tragedy is that he carries about within himself this fundamental incapacity for any real attachment."


If we could listen to the thoughts inside a person's mind, we might hear things like this: My life seems so empty and useless. If only I knew that I was worth something. I want to accomplish something

worthwhile. I want my life to count. If only I could be somebody, maybe I could like myself and accept myself. Then maybe other people would like me and accept me, too. When God created the first man and woman, He put in them a desire and a need to feel that their lives counted for something. Adam and

Eve were given a work to do. They were to take care of the garden which God had planted for them.

They had daily fellowship with their Creator. They had true significance because they knew that they were part of God's great plan for the world.

The Bible tells us of a man who had everything his heart could desire. His name was Solomon. He was king of Israel after David. He was the wisest and richest king who ever lived.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon tells how he accumulated silver and gold beyond measure. Using his great wealth and power, he devoted himself to many projects. He planted gardens and orchards, he built cities, he built an elaborate palace. His greatest

project was building the temple of the Lord. It was the most expensive, most magnificent building that the world has ever seen. Yet, with all his possessions and accomplishments, Solomon was not satisfied- His deep inner needs were not met. Solomon said,

"I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do:, and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit... Therefore I hated life...." Ecclesiastes 2:11,17 In our time people are still seeking for something that will give them a feeling of significance. Some people work hard to accumulate money because they feel that money gives them a sense of importance. But money cannot satisfy our deep inner needs. Other people seek to satisfy their heart's needs by accumulating things, such as cars. houses, and property. But "things" can never satisfy the deep needs of our heart. The Lord Jesus said. "... a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses." Luke 12:15

If you are a Christian, you have a secret the world cannot discover. You have a secret that separates you from the rat race search for significance. Your secret is that you are already significant, for you are an adopted child of God.


Adoption is a term that Paul borrowed from Roman law. Under Roman law "When the adoption was complete it was complete indeed. The person who had been adopted had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. In the eyes of the law he was a new person. So new was he that even all debts and obligations connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed." (Barclay) He began a new life. And everything his new father possessed was rightfully his. Paul wants us to know not only our position but also our privileges. Believer, you are a child of God. Hold up your head-you have a glory the world can never understand.

1. There is the privilege and glory of having God for our Father. "We have received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father." Romans 8:15 Abba . . . Syriac - Language of the Jews in Paul's day. This untranslated word means Father. *Note: Jewish law forbad any bondman or slave to call any free man 'Abba'. Father . . . The Gk translation of Abba. The unregenerate, lost, and reprobate are "children of wrath" and "disobedience." Ephesians 2:2,3 Jesus said of them "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father, ye will do." John 8:44
"Calling God, Father, is a blessing of grace which exceeds other blessings; as redemption, pardon, justification, and sanctification, a man may be redeemed out of a state of slavery by a king's ransom, may be pardoned by his prince, and may be acquitted out of a state of slavery by a king's ransom, may be pardoned by his prince, and may be acquitted from high crimes laid to his charge, and yet not be a king's son. If adopted and taken into his family, it must be by another and distinct at of royal favour." Dr. John Gill "It is very interesting to notice that as men and women know less and less about a living spiritual experience where God is 'Abba, Father,' the more formal does their worship become." Dr. D. Martin Lloyd Jones

2. There is the privilege and glory of free access to God. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb 4:16
"And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." II Corinthians 6:18 "The matter of the divine goodness is not only to open to those who knock, but also to cause them to knock and ask." Augustine

3. The privilege and glory of our Father's protection. "If a man shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Luke 11:11-13

4. The privilege and glory of knowing our Father's ways. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to Him. Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." I Corinthians 2:14 "Our estimate of Christ is the best gauge of our spiritual condition." C.H. Spurgeon

5. The privilege and glory of knowing our Father's concern and care for our future.
"If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." Romans 8:17

6. The privilege and glory of liberty. "Jesus saith unto him, 'Then are the children free'." Matthew 17:26 "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." John 8:36

7. The privilege and glory of a glorious liberty in the world to come.
"That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:21-23

3. You Are Not Rejected

"He hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).

"For He hath said, 'I will never leave thee or forsake thee'" (Hebrews 13:5).

In the Greek language there are five negatives in this verse: The force of this verse is simply: "I will not leave you, no I will not, I will not, I will not forsake you."

"Although my house be not so with God, Ye He that made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure" (II Samuel 23:5).

There are two types of rejection: · Overt rejection - Open or obvious behavior which conveys the message that you are unwanted or unloved.

· Covert rejection - Subtle or uncontrollable behavior which many times conveys an unintentional message that you are rejected.

The person who has experienced rejection does not know how to receive love. Therefore he knows not how to give love. "We love Him because He first loved us" I John 4:19-21.


1. Worthlessness: "I feel unworthy." Often, there is a cover-up . . . an air of superiority.

2. Escape: "I wish I was someone else." "I wish I wasn't here." "I wish I could just quit."

3. Depression: An internal temper tantrum

4. Withdrawal: Building walls to protect yourself from others; unfortunately you keep others out.

5. Perfectionism: "If I can do it just perfect, I'll be loved and accepted."

6. Anxiety: "fearful of rejection"

7. Guilt: both bearing and bringing guilt

How these emotions work themselves out:

Toward God and parents - Resentment

Toward family - Toleration rather than enjoyment

Toward others - Manipulation = "I'll love you based upon what you can give me in return."

Rejection is a symptom stemming from the self-centered life which is the root problem.

"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).
"For consider Him . . . lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:3).

Oh, to know acceptance

In a feeling sort of way:

To be known for what I am -

Not what I do or say.

It's nice to be loved and wanted

For the person I seem to be,

But my heart cries out to be loved

For the person who is really me!
To be able to drop all the fronts

And share with another my fears,

Would bring such relief to my soul,

Though accompanied by many tears.

When I find this can be done

Without the pain of rejection,

Then will my joy be complete

And feelings toward self know correction.
The path to feeling acceptance of God

Is paved with acceptance on earth;

Being valued by others I love

Enhances my own feelings of worth.

Oh, the release and freedom He gives
As I behold His wonderful face -

As Jesus makes real my acceptance in Him,

And I learn the true meaning of grace.
A pity it is that so late we find

His love need not be earned;

As we yield to Him all manner of strife

A precious truth has been learned.
Then, as we share with others who search

For love, acceptance, and rest;
They'll find in us the Saviour's love,

And experience the end of their quest. C.R. Solomon

John Newton was an orphan. His mother died when he was a small boy, and his father was a sea captain. Newton, likewise, went to sea, and fell into the most prodigal and profligateof all lives. He was finally impressed into the British navy, was a deserter, and flayed. He eventually sold himself to a slave trader in Africa and fell the lowest a man could descend. There was nothing more debauched, nothing more iniquitous, nothing more vile and wicked than the life into which John Newton fell. Then he found the incomparable grace of God in Christ Jesus. Here is a poem that he wrote of his marvelous conversion:

I saw One hanging on a tree

In agony and blood;

He fixed His languid eyes on me

As near His cross I stood.

Sure, never, till my latest breath,

Can I forget that look:

It seemed to charge me with His death,

Tho' not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,

And plunged me in despair;

I saw my sins His blood had spilt

And helped to nail Him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did—

But now my tears are vain:

Where shall my trembling soul be hid?

For I the Lord have slain.

A second look He gave, which said,

"I freely all forgive:

This blood is for thy ransom paid,

I die that thou may'st live."

Oh, can it be, upon a tree The Savior died for me? My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled, To think He died for me.

What a sweet testimony!

The inscription on John Newton's grave in the little town of Olney in England reads: "John Newton; once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy." He knew he was accepted by God, not for any good in Him, but of God’s free grace. Is that not like heaven? No wonder a man like that could write "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me." God had set His love on him. God had adopted him as a child of God. God had accepted him in the beloved. Have you experienced this in your own life? You can. Right now. Today. Just come to Him in prayer and thank Him for all that He has done for you by sending His Son to die for your sins. Ephesians 1: 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Receive Him as your Saviour right now.

John1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

*Do you know Him? All of these blessings are found "in Him". The Adoption Agency is now open. God through Christ wants to adopt you. He has already paid the price to get you out of hock. Will you receive Him? A beggar stopped a lawyer on the street in a large southern city and asked him for a quarter. Taking a long, hard look into the man's unshaven face, the attorney asked, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" "You should," came the reply. "I'm your former classmate. Remember, second floor, old Main Hall?" "Why Sam, of course I know you!" Without further question the lawyer wrote a cheque for $100. "Here, take this and get a new start. I don't care what's happened in the past, it's the future that counts." And with that he hurried on. Tears welled up in the man's eyes as he walked to a bank nearby. Stopping at the door, he saw through the glass well-dressed tellers and the spotlessly clean interior. Then he looked at his filthy rags. "They won't take this from me. They'll swear that I forged it," he muttered as he turned away. The next day the two men met again. "Why Sam, what did you do with my cheque? Gamble it away? Drink it up?" "No," said the beggar as he pulled it out of his dirty shirt pocket and told why he hadn't cashed it. "Listen, friend," said the lawyer. "What makes that cheque good is not your clothes or appearance, but my signature. Go on, cash it!" The Bible says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." That promise is a "negotiable note" of infinite value. And as sinners, all we need to do is "exchange" it by faith for eternal life. Don't let the "tattered clothes" of your past keep you from cashing God's "cheque" of salvation. "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."

Ephesians 1:15- Four Incredible Priorities And Privileges

How is your Christian life? Are you spiritually healthy? With all this jazz about the RAAF reserve chaplaincy I have had to concentrate on my weight problem and do some exercise. It has been beneficial. You can see…..not! But how are you faring spiritually? And how can you assess yourself as to how you are faring?

Paul’s prayer, written here inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells you how you ought top be developing spiritually. The things mentioned were not just Paul's desire for his readers, but the desire of God for your life right now! This is where god intends for you to be developing.


TO "KNOW" GOD IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE...Could there be any more important theme of study? To know God is far more important than human wisdom, glory, or might - Jer 9:23 Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.

Augustine said that our Hearts are not at rest until they find their rest in God. This is because God has created us and desires us to know Him, so he has put in our hearts a thirst to experience Him.

Intellectual understanding of Christ is not enough. Alfred North Whitehead once commented that "a merely well-informed man is the most useless bore on God's earth." [1] We need more than intellectual understanding. We need to really see. We need to see because we need hope in a hopeless world. We need resources for our spiritual poverty. We need power to live. These things are all found in Christ. And we must see that with our hearts if we would truly see.

Jeremiah 31:31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 32 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 "No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

It is eternal life itself! - Jn 17: 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Of course, we are speaking here of knowledge that comes through close and personal association, not casual awareness

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Phil 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

John Calvin said in 1536 “The sum of sacred doctrine is contained in 2 parts, the Knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves.

Martin Luther said “Religion is a matter of personal pronounces… when we call God, My God, and He calls us My Child.”


A. There Is The Apprehension of God Through his Word. Revelation

We can describe God theologically. We can list His attributes, and describe His work in creation and redemption. But unless we experience God ourselves, we will never truly know Him. "Taste and see that the Lord is good," says Psalm 34:8. This is what we need. This is what Paul calls us to in this passage.

B. There IS The Application of Himself to us

Colonel Hariland Sanders was a religious man. Few realise that He tithed all his income from when he was a boy right through to the end of his life. As a religious man, everyone thought the world of Colonel Sanders. Kentucky Fried chicken had become a world wide franchise. But at the age of 78, the Lord spoke to Colonel Sanders, and he came to a real knowledge of God as his Saviour. He discovered that for all his head knowledge of God, he had never come to a real knowledge of God as his Saviour, and at the age of 78 he found the Lord Jesus Christ as His saviour. He could testify to the necessity of a real knowledge of Christ. He became a Christian at age 78, inspite of being a good upright church member for so many years.

There Is The Adoration Of God which is the Appropriate Response of Knowing God.

I guess the characteristic that sets apart the person who truly knows Good is a reverence for Him in all things. When you hear the name of the Lord blasphemed, does it make you cringe? Not because you are fearful of judgement, but because the Saviour you have grown to love is so dear to your heart? Do you delight to adore Him? The word “Adore” has the concept of a deep, personal, love attachment and devotion to God. The more you know of Him the less you’ll think of you and the more important it will be to you that he be honoured in each and every area of your life. We love Him because He first loved us. This adoration of God becomes prominent in our lifestyles; The Lord Jesus said,

John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

Do you "know" God? Many people know "about" God, but it is God's will that we come to know "Him". Through the Word of God as we have it today, you can allow the "spirit of wisdom and revelation" to give you that "saving knowledge" of God Himself!

We now observe that Paul's concern for the Ephesians included their "eyes being opened"...] He prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. Did you know your heart had eyes? It does. Unless you learn to see with the eyes of your heart, you will never really see Jesus as you should. Until now, Paul has been describing who we are and what we possess in Christ. From verse 3 through 14, we have a 203 word sentence. It is as if Paul began to describe the richness found in Christ and could find nowhere to stop. He piles word upon word in an attempt to do justice to the richness of Christ's grace. And now we come to a place where he launches forth in a prayer that we might see what he's been describing. It is as if he somehow knows that mere human language can never describe adequately the glory of Christ. He knows we really need to see these truths. And he knows that all that we need is found in Jesus Christ. Already he has told us that Christ is the sum of all things. And now he prays that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. To accomplish this, he prays that we might experience a revelation that will bring us to a deep and intimate knowledge of Him. He prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. He desires that the light of God's revelation may shine on your souls so that you may know all that God has done for you, in you, and through you.




Paul prays that we know what is the hope of His calling. It should be apparent that we do need hope in a hopeless world. A number of years ago, off the coast of Massachusetts, a ship rammed an S-4, submarine. The submarine sank before anyone could escape. The entire crew was trapped. Ships rushed to the scene of the disaster, but there was nothing any of them could do. They were forced to watch and wait. Divers were sent down to evaluate the tragic situation. One man put his helmeted ear against the vessel and listened for any sounds. What he heard was someone tapping in Morse code. Because he knew Morse code he could decipher the message. It was this: "Is - there - any - hope?" To those people trapped in that submarine that question had become an eternal question. [3] But for all of us, it really is an eternal question. We need hope. At times life looks so completely dark and bleak that we virtually despair of hope.

Some people have no hope. Vincent Donovan was a missionary among the nomadic Masai people of East Africa. The Masai were victims of intense cruelty at the hands of Arab slave-traders and their European backers. The last stop on the mainland before they were carried abroad for slavery was given a name by this proud people. They called it Bagamoyo.Bagamoyo comes from two words: bwaga, which means "to throw or put down," and moyo, which means "heart." As these people were captured far inland, they were then driven to the coast toward Zanzibar. They sailed from Bagamoyo, where they "put down their hearts" - with no hope for freedom. Donovan also discovered that the Masai language has no future tense. [4] For people without hope, there's no need to think of the future. Why think of the future when there's no hope for change. The Masai are not the only people who have felt totally hopeless. But Christians need never feel that way. For us there is hope. For us there is a bright tomorrow. God in Christ has assured us of it.

Everyone needs hope. During WW2 a prisoner of war was led to believe that he’d be released if he was a model prisoner. After 1 year of being a model prisoner, serving waiting, cringing at the right times, he lost hope. He realised that neither he nor anyone else was going to be released. Very quickly he died of natural causes. Really he died of a loss of hope. God is not an ogre. He is loving, therefore you and I can hope.

We do not need to despair of hope. We have a hope in Christ. It is the hope of His calling. What is His calling? It is who we are in Christ. The Bible teaches us that He has called us with a high-calling (Philippians 3:14), a holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9), and a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1). It is the calling described in Romans 8:28-30: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son." In other words, God has called us to be conformed to the image of Christ. This is who we are in Christ. This is who we are becoming in Christ. We are being changed to be like Christ, because He lives in us. It is a calling which is sure. In fact, Romans 11:29 says that this calling cannot be changed: "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." God began the work in us and God will carry it on to completion. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." In Philippians 1:6 we read, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." In Christ we are secure. The future is full of hope for the believer, because we have been called by a God who will not let anything deter Him from bringing us fully mature into the image of Christ.


This "calling" occurred through the preaching of the gospel –Ephesians 1:4

2. God is "calling" us into His own kingdom and glory - 1 Th 2:12

B. PAUL'S DESIRE IS THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THE "HOPE" OF THIS CALLING... The word "hope" means "desire with expectation". Paul has already revealed some of this hope in verses 4-5

1) To be holy and without blame

2) To be adopted as sons

In addition to their knowing the "hope of His calling", Paul prays...





God wants us to know of the riches of His inheritance. Some people only measure riches in terms of material possessions. I heard of a pastor who said, "My car is so rusty, I need a tetanus shot to drive it." But true riches are not material.

God has not only shown us who we are in Christ, He has also shown us what we possess in Christ. We possess "all spiritual blessings" in Christ (v. 3). We possess "an inheritance" in Christ (vv. 11-12). Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have all co-operated in this effort. The Father has chosen us and predestined us. The Son has redeemed us by His blood and forgiven us. The Spirit has sealed us and guaranteed us an inheritance. We are already rich indeed in Christ.

William Randolph Hearst desired to acquire a valuable piece of art. It seems he had read about this piece of art and determined he had to have it. He sent his agent to scour the world to find this art. After the agent had searched for months, he finally reported that he had found the treasure. It was in a warehouse owned by Mr. Hearst. It was already his! Had he taken the time to read a list of the treasures he owned, he would have found that he already possessed what he wanted. We must begin to experience the inheritance we already have in Christ.

But not only has God given us an inheritance, He has made us an inheritance. Our text talks about His inheritance in the saints. The verse is not about how many riches you have laid up in heaven. No it is about how rich God considers Himself to be because you are in His family. We usually think only of our inheritance in God, but Paul wants the Ephesians to understand that they are so precious to God that He considers them His own inheritance. Each person is of great value to God. We must be of great value-why else would He give His Son? We are His and He is Ours. His home, His glory, His reputation, His treasures-Do you know what you have in Christ? Do you know that the greatest thing you have is that He has you? You are so precious that you are guarded.

John 10: 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

God has given Christ to us, and us to Christ. We are His people. We are His treasure. We are precious to Him. He delights in us as we reach out our hands to minister in His name. A hospital visitor once saw a nurse tending to the sores of a leprosy patient, and said, "I'd never do that for a million dollars!" The nurse replied, "Neither would I. But I do it for Jesus for nothing." Only the riches of the grace of God enables ministry like that. That is riches money can't buy.

I counted all my dollars while God counted crosses;
I counted gains while he counted losses;
I counted my worth by the things gained in store,
But he sized me up by the scars that I bore.
I coveted honors and sought for degrees;
He wept as He counted the hours on my knees.
I never knew till one day by a grave
How vain are the things that we spend life to save.
I did not know till a friend went above
That richest is he who is rich in God's love.






His Power is assured through the resurrection of Christ.(v.20), which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms." For Paul, the supreme proof of God's power was the resurrection. It is the mighty power that raised Jesus to the heavenlies after His resurrection, raising Him above all demonic foes and every potential enemy of all time - this same power is for those who believe! Satan tempted Jesus by taking him to the pinnacle of the temple and offering Him his kingdom if he would bow in worship. But God lifted Jesus up, though he was piled high with the weight of the sins of the whole world to the pinnacle of glory-at his own right hand. This resurrection-demonstrated power is a measure of what God can and will do for us! Since God has the power to exalt Christ to His right hand, there is no problem in God's ability and willingness to bless us "in Christ" with all His spiritual blessings.

His Power is asserted in the position Christ has today.vv.21-22

Where this great power has placed Jesus "21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet." In Paul's day people strongly believed in demons and angels. And these words (rule, authority, power and dominion) described different orders and levels of angels. We may simply refer to them as the "powers"-the "powers" of the spiritual world. Especially the powers of darkness, mystery religions, magic, Satan.

His Preeminent Position. "above all rule and authority"

His Prominent Name. "every title-- and every name that is named". Acts 4:12

His Predominant Power. "all things under His feet" This is why Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been give to me". How is all this seen today? It is to be seen through the church.

His Power is available in the Church today. v" 23 and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." Our world stands today in complete disunity and division. There is disunity between Jew and Gentile. There is division between democrat and republican. There is disunity between male and female. There is disunity between man and God. Jesus Christ is the instrument of reconciliation. When the fullness of His life fills believers-there is a taste of heaven on earth.

If His power is available then...

"Do not pray for easy lives, Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, Pray for powers equal to your tasks." Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

*How is His Power seen in our lives? One way is when we pray for others. As Paul prayed for the Ephesians, your prayers for the spiritual growth and enlightenment of others can be life changing - and missed if they are not there. There's a holy, high vocation Needing workers everywhere,

'Tis the highest form of service, 'Tis the ministry of prayer.-Woodworth

The Apostle Paul prays that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened. He prays that we can see and hear and comprehend, the eyes of our souls being filled with light. He writes in 2Corinthians 4:6, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face ofJesus Christ." God has illuminated our hearts. He has opened the eyes of our souls to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The great assignment of the Holy Spirit is to enlighten our inward souls. It is only the Holy Spirit who understands the things of God, and He takes those things of God and reveals them to us.

A natural man cannot understand like that. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 2; 14 that the natural man. the unconverted man, cannot receive the things of God, neither can he know them because they are foolishness to him. A man has to be enlightened before he can see and comprehend the things of God. But the Holy Spirit can speak the tilings of God to us for He knows God and He understands God — He is God. He opens to view the things of God and shows us their meaning and their purpose. He fits together all of the providences of the Lord. He knows the mind of God, He illuminates us, and He places life and history before us in such a way that we can see purpose and reason.

What a Tragedy that there are so many whose eyes are closed, whose ears are stopped, and who cannot see and cannot understand. The Lord said in Matthew 13, "Because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith. By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear" (vv. 13-16). This is a gift of the Spirit of God. For a man can see and vet never see. He can hear and yet never hear. He must be illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God, and when he is, he suddenly sees! He suddenly hears! He has found the glory of God that shines in the face of Jesus Christ.

Have you found the glory of God that shines in the face of Jesus Christ?

Have you begun the journey of growing in the knowledge of Him? Is your heart enlightened by the Spirit of God as you read His word? Will you pray to be a man or woman of God tonight?

Ephesians 1:1-14 Three Life-Changing Blessings

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him.

11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

1. You Are Loved

2. You Are Adopted

3. You Are Not Rejected

in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:15- Four Incredible Priorities And Privileges

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.





I wonder if you have heard the story of the Irishman who was converted through reading the New Testament. Rejoicing in his newfound treasure, he delighted to pore over its sacred pages whenever opportunity permitted.

One day the parish priest called to see him and found him perusing the precious volume that had

brought such blessing to his soul.

"Pat," he asked sternly, "what book is that which

you are reading?"

"Sure, yer riverance," was the reply, "it's the New


"The New Testament! Why, Pat, that's not a book for an ignorant man like you to read. That is for the clergy who go to college and learn its real meaning and then give it to the people. But unlearned folks like you will get all kinds of wrong ideas from it."

"But, yer r'vrance," said Pat, "I've just been reading here, and it's the blessed Apostle Peter himself that says it, 'As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,' and sure it's just

a babe in Christ I am, and it's the milk of the Word

I'm after, and that's why I am reading it fer meself."

"That's all right, Pat, in a way, but the Almighty has appointed His priests to be the milkmen, and when

you want the milk of the Word you should come to me and I will give it to you as you are able to bear it."

"Oh, sure, yer riverance, you know I kape a cow o’ my own out there in the shed, and whin I was sick I

hired a man to milk her fer me, and I soon found he was shtealin' half the milk an' fillin' the bucket up with wather. But whin I got well I discharged him and took to 'milkin' me own cow, and now it's the rich cream ['m gettin' all the time. And, yer riverance, whin I depended on you fer the milk of the Word, man it was the milk an' water stuff ye gave me, so now I'm

milkin' me own cow in this case, too, and it's the rich cream o' the Word on which my soul is feedin' every day."

Nothing will make up for lack of this diligent study of the Bible for yourself. You cannot get the full assurance of understanding without it. But as you search the Scriptures you will find truth after truth unfolding in a wonderful way, so that doubts and questions will be banished and divinely given assurance will take their place

Ephesians 1:7 Meeting This Generation With The Relevant Gospel

At the close of the 20th century, the church faces the challenge of evangelizing a generation of people who harbor no guilt in wanting something for nothing -- and they want it now. The post-baby boomers, or "Generation X" as they are called, are looking for meaningful relationships denied to them, at least in part, as children of massive divorce. They're homesick for a home they've never had.

Three is a way of thinking that says… everything can be evaluated and measured and quantified. This is called Modernism. It leads to a way of thinking that says there are perimeters and there is knowledge and something is basically right or wrong. The evaluation of what is right and wrong is is in the hands of the expert in whatever field is being discussed.

Thre is a newer way of thinking that takes in the concepts of the New Age movement. It says truth is soooo out there soooo big so many faceted that no one could say something is right or wrong. Truth is what is true for you or I. Truth is something experienced rather than thought about with the mind. This has led to a way of thinking too. This way of thinking says “Well all that’s important is existing. This is called Postmodernism.

But the postmodern culture in which all truth is relative holds Christianity -- now a minority group -- in contempt. In that respect Our world is much more like the first century than it is the 1800s.

This post modern culture or way of thinking corresponds to the what has been called Generation X.

Isn’t it amazing how we can have so many names for generations? I think the originator of the idea of labelling generations was the advertising director for a soft drink company who spoke of “the Pepsi Generation.”

Listen to how one study describes the differences between the current 20’s generation, and the previous generation.

They have as many names as their Generation X "elders," generally defined as the 44.6 million Americans born between 1965 and 1976. And while they mirror Xers in some ways, Americans born in the last two decades are different in others:

-- Unlike many Xers neglected or abused during the chaotic '60s and '70s, Gen Y as a group is more wanted, cherished and protected -- sometimes overprotected -- by its parents. But they fear drugs, crime, being shot at their school bus stop.

-- Millennials know technology. Personal computers are their pencil and paper. Nearly 60 percent of households with children age 7 or under have PCs. Any year now, typical term papers will feature PC-based, full-motion video. Gen Ys talk to people all over the world on the Internet, bringing many cultures home.

-- Raised and schooled among varied races and cultures, Millennials are shedding old racial prejudices and stereotypes. They expect to see a nonwhite U.S. president elected in their lifetime.

-- Nine out of 10 college freshmen have specific goals for the next five years. Three out of four have done volunteer work in the last year. Two out of three say a career helping others is more important than making lots of money.

-- Millennials trust older people more than Xers and boomers did as teens. People they admire most: Mom and Dad, in that order. Least: Xers. Most admired virtues: honesty and integrity. They're "good scouts," says social historian Frank Gregorsky. "Teenagers aren't as angry as they used to be, and the generation right behind them shows much less hostility and nihilism."

-- One study describes Gen Y as "spontaneous, realistic, action-oriented, alternative, responsive, aggressive, humorous, spirited, passionate." Another calls today's youth "globally conscious, environmentally aware, spiritually sensitive, and hands-on."

(Sources: Wall Street Journal, Baptist Press, Louis Harris poll, LifeWay Christian Resources, Biola University.)

Where does that leave us? Is the gospel of Christ irrelevant? How do we handle the different ways folks think?

Ephesians 1:7 "What God Has To Offer"

This lost X generation is searching for 5 things:

1) Meaningful Relationships

2) Immediate Gratification

3) Something For Nothing

4) Guilt-Free Living

5) Prosperity

Athenagoras (175-180 A.D.), who defended the New Testament believers against charges of atheism, cannibalism and incest. Blount reminded participants that Athenagoras' audience misunderstood the believers -- as does today's contemporary culture. Athenagoras did not argue the truth of the faith nor should Christians today.

We live in a postmodern culture that does not care much about truth. Arguments are not going to do a lot of good. What will go far is the beauty of the faith as seen in the lives of the believers. Still, God's Word remains the answer for a postmodern world thirsting for prosperity and immediate gratification.

1.The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who God Is And What HE Has Done

2.The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who Man Is And What He wants And Needs

You see the fact is that God Is. God has worked for our Salvation.

1.The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who God Is And What HE Has Done

Eph. 1:1-14 God Is A Holy Trinity. It is comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Here we are told of three important ways God has interacted with our society: 

I. The Plan of The Sovereign (vv.3-6)

Here we have the eternal work of the Father in making us His children.

A. His appointing us to be children (v.4)

1. Election looks backward and tells us when and where we were chosen.

2. Predestination looks forward and tells us why we were chosen.

B. His adopting us as children (v.5)

Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into His family and have all the rights and privileges as sons.

C. His accepting us as children (v.6)

No man can be accepted of Holy God who is devoid of righteousness (Isa. 64:6). This acceptance comes us entirely as a work of God’s grace.

II. The Purchase of the Son (vv.7-12)

Here we have an eternal work of Jesus the Son of God in our behalf. It is a work totally outside of us.

A. His redemption for us (v.7)

Redemption means to "buy back", or to "release by ransom."

1. Released from the curse of the law (Gal.3)

2. Redeemed from the death penalty due to our guilt

3. Redeemed from the slavery of inherited bondage through heredity and depravity. (Rom. 8:1,33,34 ; Gal. 3:13)

B. His remission for us (v.7) We are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.

C. His revelation to us (v.9) (Matt.11:27)

D. His riches to us (v. 11)

III. The Performance of the Spirit (vv.13-14)

Here we have the internal work of the Spirit bringing about the Father’s plan and the Son’s purchase in our personal experiences.

A. The Spirit pursues us (v.13)

Trusting Christ presupposes:

1. The heralding of the Gospel

2. The hearing of the Gospel

3. The heeding of the Gospel

B. The Spirit’s presence in us (v.13)

He is the seal:

1. Seal speaks of identity

2. Seal speaks of authority

3. Seal speaks of reality

4. Seal speaks of security

C. The Spirit’s pledge to us (v.14)

"The earnest of the Spirit"

You've got something to offer people that's personal, that's present, that's provided in him. And you know the irony of the whole thing, the very things for which they are looking and searching -- we have the answer for. It's in the Word of God. But contrary to segments of the popular church-growth marketing philosophy, God's Word must not be compromised or watered down to make church attractive. You don't find that in Scripture. You don't find them marketing the church. You find them churching the market. You find them finding a place and going out, not to meet the wants of the people, but the needs of the people. The lost man doesn't know his need.

2.The Gospel Is Relevant Because Of Who Man Is And What He wants And Needs

This lost X generation is searching for 5 things: 1) Meaningful Relationships 2) Immediate Gratification 3) Something For Nothing 4) Guilt-Free Living 5) Prosperity

All of these things can be found in Ephesians 1:7.

First, for those who are searching for a Meaningful Relationship, the Lord offers something that is:

I. PERSONAL ("In Whom")

You see, the Christian life is not about religion, but it is about a relationship. A relationship that is personal, in Jesus Christ. In Him we have redemption through His blood. In Him we have salvation. As Acts 4:12 tells us, there is no "salvation in any other".

Secondly, for those who need Immediate Gratification, the Lord offers something that is:

II. PRESENT ("We Have")

We don't hope for it, we don't wish for it, we don't think about it, we don't wait on it, but it says, "we have" it! "...we have redemption through His blood...".

Thirdly, for those who are looking for something that is Free, the Lord has something to offer that is:

III. PROVIDED ("Through His Blood")

What Christ has to offer this lost generation cannot be purchased, because it is provided. It is paid for by Him. He has purchased us with His precious blood. It was a great price that He paid to set us free from sin. If there is one subject that is ignored in churches, today, it is the blood of Jesus Christ. But we need to be clear that it is "through His blood" that "we have redemption....the forgiveness of sins". Spurgeon once said, "The true test of whether a man is preaching the gospel or not is the emphasis he makes on the blood of Jesus Christ". William Cowper: "There is a fountain filled with blood - Drawn from Immanuel's veins, And sinners plunged beneath that flood - Lose all their guilty stains; The dying thief rejoiced to see - That fountain in his day, And there may I, though vile as he, Wash all my sins away; Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood - Shall never lose its pow'r, Till all the ransomed Church of God - Be saved to sin no more".

Fourthly, for those who desire Guilt-Free Living, Christ offers that which is:

IV. PROFITABLE ("The Forgiveness of Sins")

You see, what the Lord offers this lost world is freedom from guilt. As Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."

When you come to Jesus, and receive His free gift of eternal life, you have these words written across your life. It truly is a profitable life, when you know God's forgiveness in your life.

Last of all, Christ has something to offer that is:

V. PURPOSEFUL ("According to the Riches of His Grace")

Jesus Christ is the only One who can fill the void in people's lives. Power can't do it, Prestige can't do it, Prosperity can't do it, and People can't do it. Only Jesus can satisfy that longing in your soul. Nothing can compare to the riches of God's grace.

Someone has said that GRACE is God's Riches At Christ's Expense. He paid the price to give us eternal life. It is a purposeful life. It is according to the riches of His grace. (Eph 2:8-9)

People are searching for SOMETHING in this world, but what they really need is SOMEONE! When you get down to the last search in your life, you'll just see one word: JESUS! He's all you need today

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