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You've got it made

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You’ve Got It Made!

Single Sunday

New Hope B.C

March 14, 2004

11:30 a.m.

Text:  Ephesians 1:1-11  Focus: verse 3

(Look at person to your right;  Look at person behind you;  Look at person to your left)

My aunt, my father’s sister, once questioned my

heritage.  Like many young people today, when I was

younger, I didn’t like to write to people who were not close around, not just to say hi.  I would write to a boyfriend, or a pen pal, or notes to my best friend to share secrets, but I was not really into writing to a grown-up and struggle with what to say.  To some extent, I still have that problem today.  I did not realize then how wonderful it was for an older person to get a letter from a loved one.  So, aunt Rosetta would often question my heritage.  She would say, “You don’t act like a Lane.  Lanes write and stay in touch with each other all the time.”  To her, there were just some things that you did just because you were a Lane.  Being a Lane afforded you the right, the privilege, and the expectation of communicating frequently with family members.  You see, it was not what you did that made you a Lane, in her eyes; but because you were a Lane there were things that you just did.  I began to write and to phone her more often, and as she aged, I made a couple of trips to Detroit to visit her and she came to visit me.  She wrote to me and sent me information from her bank.  She had placed my name on all of her accounts in the event anything happened to her, since I was then her only living blood relative.  Her husband had left her well fixed, and she wanted it passed on to my children and me.  Well, she died at age 89, but when I got there the day after she died, I soon discovered that several people from her church, some even officers, had forged documents and stolen most of my inheritance.

    WE find a similar circumstance in our text today.  I say similar because the outcome is totally different.  You see nobody can steal what Jesus has willed you to have. 

Paul was writing to the saints at Ephesus to remind them, and us today, of our positions, of how we’re fixed; the contents of the will; and that our   position should yield certain expectations.  Sometimes, we get this thing turned around a little.  I know that semantics can sometimes be bothersome, but if semantics can produce certain mindsets that would thwart our Christian effectiveness, then we need to play with the semantics until we get it right.  The Bible says “as a man (or woman) thinketh, so is he.”  So, if we think that we praise God because of anything attributable to us, we have our semantics wrong. 

    The truth is your position in Christ today is the sole modifier of anything that you do towards Him.

    It is somewhat of an oxymoron that some ten years after Paul had founded the church at Ephesus, while a prisoner (locked up, freedom taken away) in a Roman jail, that he would write to them and declare:  “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.  How could he be both in prison and in Christ?  Further more, why was this so important for him to write the saints about?  Paul was in effect saying the same thing that my aunt had said to me.  Where you are spiritually is the indicator of who you are, and who you are should dictate what you do.

    The theme and major emphasis of this book is to remind us that if you are a child of God, then you are in Christ.  That is your present position, in Christ.  And because you are in Christ, you’ve got it made.  You have been blessed and you are able to draw on the wealth of Christ for your own daily living.  Because we are in Christ, we have blessings from the Father, blessings from the Son, and blessings from the Holy Spirit.  For just a little while, we need to look at these blessings in three ways.  We need to look at:

☼       The source of our blessings

☼       The scope of our blessings

☼       And the sphere of our blessings

The source of our blessings:

Paul said, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  God the Father has made us rich in Jesus Christ!  When you were born again into God’s family, you were born rich.  Through Christ, you share in the riches of God’s grace, God’s glory, God’s mercy, and the unsearchable riches of Christ.  God, our heavenly Father has made us rich in His Son.  All of the money of all of the richest people in the world cannot hold a candle to the spiritual wealth we have in Christ.  Everything we need to successfully live the Christian life is available to us in Christ.  I don’t know about you, but when I realize where I am and who I am, in Him, I just have to praise Him! God is not poor; He is rich – and He has made up rich in His Son.  Because you are His child, you’ve got it made!  He is the source of all of our blessings!

The scope of our blessings:

    Paul goes on to say that we have “every spiritual blessing.”  This can be better understood as meaning “all the blessings of the Spirit,” referring to the Holy Spirit of God.

    God promised Old Testament saints material blessings as a reward for their obedience.  Today, He promises to supply all our needs “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” but He does not promise to shield us from poverty or pain.

    The Father has given you everything you need to live a successful, satisfying Christian life.  The spiritual is far more important that the material.  The material will become corrupt, it will die, it will rot, it will malfunction, and it will pass away.  But the spiritual is a sustaining benefit that will never end.  If you don’t know and depend on the Holy Spirit’s provision, the One who channels our riches from the Father through the Son, then you are living a life of spiritual poverty and you don’t fully realize that you’ve got it made.  You’ve got to have the witness of the Spirit within you before you can draw on the wealth of the Spirit.  Finally, we need to look at:

The sphere of our blessings:

    Our blessings are in the “heavenly places in Christ.”  The unsaved person is interested primarily in earthlies, because this is where they live.  Jesus calls them, “the children of the world.” 

The Christian’s life is centered in heaven.  His citizenship is in heaven; his name is written in heaven; and his attention and affection ought to be centered on the things of heaven; the place where Jesus is right now (Eph. 1:2) and where you as a believer are seated with Him (Eph. 2:6).  You see, the battles that we fight are not with flesh and blood on earth, but with satanic powers “in the heavenlies” (Eph. 6:12).

Let’s look at it another way:  the Christian really operated in two spheres:  the human and the divine, the visible and the invisible.  Physically, he is on the earth in a human body, but spiritually he is seated with Christ in the heavenly sphere – and it is this heavenly sphere that provides the poser and direction for the earthly walk.

Here are two examples:  the President of the U.S. is not always seated at his desk in the White House, but that executive chair represents the sphere of his life and power.  No matter where he is, he is the President, because only he has the privilege of sitting at that desk.  Likewise with the Christian:  no matter where he may be on this earth, or what situation he may be in, he is seated in the heavenlies with Jesus Christ, and this is the basis of his life and power.  I’m telling you, You’ve got it made!

It is said that when she was young, Victoria was shielded from the fact that she would be the next ruling monarch of England.  They did not want this knowledge to spoil her.  When her teacher finally did let her discover for herself that she would one day be Queen of England, Victoria’s response was, “Then I will be good!”  You see her life would be controlled by her position.  No matter where she was, Victoria was governed by the fact that she sat on the throne of England.

  How much more solid, more secure, more sure is our position in Christ and the wealth of riches we have in Him!

You got it made because blessings come to you from all directions. 

There are blessings from the Father

☼       He has chosen us – before He even created the universe.  He chose us for a purpose – to be holy and without blame.

☼       He has adopted us – you come into God’s family through regeneration or the new birth – then God adopts you to give you “adult” standing in the family so that you can immediately begin to claim your inheritance.  You do not have to wait to become an old saint before you can claim your riches in Christ.  That’s the present meaning of adoption.  The future aspect is found in Romans 8, which describes the glorified body we will have when Jesus returns. 

☼       He has accepted us – we cannot make ourselves acceptable to God, but He, by His grace makes us accepted in Christ.  This is an eternal position that will never change.

Blessings from the Son:

☼       He has redeemed us – to redeem means to purchase and set free by paying a price.  Jesus paid it all, that’s why all to Him I owe.  The price was His blood.  That’s why you’ve got it made!  Free from the Law, free from slavery to sin, free from the power of Satan and the world.  If we were slaves, we would be poor, but because we are sons and daughters, we are rich.

☼       He has forgiven us – the word forgive means to carry away -- on the Day of Atonement in the O/T the high priest killed one of two goats and sprinkled its blood before God on the mercy seat.  Then he confessed Isreal’s sins over the live goat, and had the goat taken into the wilderness to be lost.  Christ died to carry away our sins so they might never again be seen.  No written accusation stands against us because your sins have been taken away!   Sin made us poor, but grace makes us rich.  You’ve got it made!

☼       He has revealed God’s will to us and made us an inheritance – from the time sin came into the world, sin has been tearing everything apart: man was separated from God; then man was separated from man when Cain killed Abel; man tried to build unity by building the Tower of Babel, but they were judged by God and scattered across the world; God called Abraham and put a difference between the Jew and the Gentile that remained until Christ died on the cross;  sin tore apart but one day, in Christ, God will gather everything together and we have the privilege of being in His “inner circle” to know this mystery. Why?  Because you’ve got it made!  Think of the price that God paid to purchase us and make us a part of His inheritance!  Christ’s future inheritance is wrapped up in the Church, His body, His building, His bride.  We are joint heirs with Christ, which means that He cannot claim His inheritance apart from us!  You’ve got it made!

Blessings from the Holy Spirit:

☼       He has sealed us – you received the Spirit immediately on trusting Christ. It became a finished transaction at that moment.  The sealing also implies ownership.  It means security and protection.  The believer belongs to God, and is safe and protected because he is a part of a finished transaction. The Spirit never leaves a believer.  Last, the seal is a mark of authenticity.  Just as a signature on a letter attests to the genuineness of the document, so the presence of the Spirit proves the believer is genuine. 

☼       He has given us an earnest – in Paul’s day the word earnest meant “the down payment to guarantee the final purchase of some commodity or piece of property.”  Today, you would pay earnest money on a piece of property to show that you really intended to purchase it.  The Holy Spirit if God’s first installment to guarantee to His Children that He will finish His work and eventually bring them to glory.  In the Greek today, the word earnest can be translated “engagement ring.”  God through Christ has given us His promise and His Spirit as the “engagement ring.”  You’ve got it made!

What does this all mean?

    We’ve examined several basic Bible doctrines all centered on the theme of our riches in Christ.  True riches come from God, by His grace and for His glory and they are only the beginning.  God’s creation reveals His wisdom and power, but His church reveals His love and grace.  You cannot deserve or earn these spiritual riches; you can only receive them by grace, through faith.

(Give example about Georgia and checking account)

No matter where you are in your physical person, spiritually you are in the heavens, seated with Christ.  Of all the descriptivism of our blessings from above, the only prerequisite on our part is to be in Christ. 

    You’ve got it made -- If you are in Christ.

The question today is, do you know where you are?

You may be:

§        Male or female – but are you in Christ?

§        Young or old – but are you in Christ?

§        Married or single – but are you in Christ?

§        Lost job – living in the finest home or sleeping at the Y – in a management position at work or in the mailroom – free on the outside, but feeling locked upon the inside.  If you are in Christ, you’ve got it made!  I dare you to write the check of faith today and trust Him for all its worth.  Don’t let the world deceive you – tell you that you are incomplete, half a person, lacking in anything.  You’ve got it made!


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