Our Spiritual Riches in Christ

December 30, 2022 at 11:47 AM Leave a comment

Audio for the sermon noted in this article is here: SermonAudio.com/StudyGrowKnow

This particular sermon that I’m linking to was delivered by me in April of 2010. I just happened to come across it and wanted to share it because of its emphasis based on Ephesians 1:3-14. In that section of Scripture, Paul addresses some of the spiritual gifts we possess as believers in Christ. Commentators have noted that there are 33 spiritual blessings noted throughout Scripture, but in this section, Paul describes 8 of them.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. 5 He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 which he lavished upon us. 9 For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (RSV)

Do we as Christians, understand what we have in Christ? My contention is that we generally do not. While we understand that we have eternal life with Jesus in the afterlife, we often fail to comprehend the full measure of blessings we have in this life spiritually. Those blessings are for our benefit, in order to grow in Christ, to live in a way that is fully dependent on Him for all we have and all we are in the now.

How are we to gain an understanding of these blessings mentioned by Paul in Ephesians? Instead of living in a way that ignores the true value of the spiritual blessings we have in Christ, we too often live as though the blessings He has provided do not exist. These blessings are designed to help us live a truly holy life, one in which our dependence upon Jesus and the Holy Spirit working in and through us, creates the type of holiness that God wants us to have.

One of the things we actually do as a form of holiness, if you will, is condemn and castigate ourselves because of the sin in our lives, don’t we? Oh, we’re actually really good at that at times. While we should never take our sin lightly, God does not want us to condemn ourselves over that sin. Romans 8 opens with the fact that we are not under condemnation for the sin in our life, if we are in Christ. This same chapter, Romans 8, ends with the promise and guarantee that nothing can separate us from Christ and His love for us.

Admittedly, some Christians use this as a way to live licentiously with no remorse or sadness over just how much failure they might live with but more often than not, there are Christians who cannot let it go. They believe that the way to holy living is by being angry with ourselves over the sin in our lives. Yet Paul talks more about the blessings we have in Jesus than in condemning ourselves due to our sin.

Let’s be clear. We are never to take our sin lightly. We aren’t suppose to excuse ourselves when we sin or slough it off as though it’s not a big deal. Sin is what placed Jesus on the cross and it is because of all of humanity! We should never take it lightly, but the idea that we should be constantly remonstrating ourselves or even hating ourselves because of our sin is not biblical. In fact, we cannot appreciate the blessings we have in Christ who gives us victory over sin while we are also condemning ourselves over that sin.

Isn’t it Paul who says, forgetting what is behind I press on to the high calling in Christ (Philippians 3:14)? God does not want us destroying ourselves over the sin(s) in our life. If unchecked, sin itself will do that, but too often, Christians believe the way to holiness is through a constant punishment of ourselves. The focus is wrong. We need to turn from our sin and focus on Self to Christ and the many blessings we have in Him! These blessings help us live a life that points to Him and gives Him glory.

I hope you benefit from this sermon. My wife happened to come across it so we played it in the car while we were traveling. It’s funny but I don’t even remember preaching it. However, the truth presented is as good today as it was in 2010!

I’m sorry I don’t have a transcript of this particular sermon. May God open your eyes to show you how blessed you are in Him!

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: .

Why Are We Surprised? Your Flesh or God’s Word?

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