20230212-EPHESIANS1V14-2V4

Thu, Mar 30, 2023 5:30PM 49:17

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

inheritance, christ, verse, god, sin, church, jesus, chapter, prayed, power, head, child, folks, father, promise, abraham, dead, inherit, baptized, scripture

 

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magnificent musical worship to God. The mason Church of Christ would like to welcome you once again to another radio broadcast. We'd also like you to come be with us at 1020. This morning. If you're coming out of the Mason church building where the red roof building on 287, heading out to Fredericksburg from Mason, we'd love to have you come be with us. And we'll, we'll have a full worship service. That will include everything that that they did in the first century, will sing we'll pray, we'll give back to God will gather around the Lord's table. And we'll study from God's word as they did every first day of the week. In the in the first century church, we'd love to have you come be with us. We'll begin at 1020 this morning.

 

So last time we were together, we were in the book of Ephesians. We've been in Ephesians For a couple of weeks. We got down to verse 14. We took a little hiatus and talked about the the key words. In that chapter, being in Christ, that prepositional phrase, in Christ or in him that we read over and over and over again, if you if you're hearing something over and over and over again, you need to pay attention to it. And we we discussed being in Christ and and how to get into Christ, if you will, if you miss that one, go go to our website, Mason coc.org. And in all of these, all these radio broadcasts are archived on there. Find the one about in Christ, it's it's one that makes all the difference. It is a study that could be eye opening. For a lot of folks. The fact that in in Christ is where every spiritual blessing is every spiritual blessing that comes from God, including forgiveness, including forgiveness, which we all need, because we've all sinned. It only comes in Christ.

 

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And Scripture reveals that we get in to Christ. So to be in Christ, you must get into Christ. To be in my house, you must get into my house, right? To be in the barn, you must go into the barn. In order to be in the car, you must get into the car. And we we studied that last time into Christ find that find that broadcast and listen to it. So we are in Ephesians chapter one, we got down to verse 14.

 

And it spoke of the the earnest of our inheritance. Some of the older versions called it the NIV actually says he is the down payment of our inheritance. That would make more sense to us, wouldn't it? Jesus is that down payment he's the down payment of of this inheritance that's been spoken up here. The inheritance folks, we we get that term don't we? We we understand that term. For most of us we will have an inheritance. Some small some large but but we will we will get something from our folks won't we will get something from a loved one that left it to us when they passed. We we we inherit that. We have an inheritance from God. We have an inheritance waiting on us.

 

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By the way, let's let's, let's touch on Galatians chapter three for a moment. Because that is the, that's, that's the inheritance passage Galatians chapter three is speaking of the faith of Abraham were saved, just like Abraham, the faith of Abraham. And and just chapter three is just goes over and over about Abraham and, and the promise that was made to him. So the promise that in his seed all the nations the earth will be blessed. Several promises were made Abraham is that that's the most special one in his seed. And of course, through his seed would come Christ. And through Christ, we have an inheritance.

 

So listen, listen to Galatians three, starting verse 27. Don't you know that as many of you is, were baptized into Christ. Of course, that was what we touched on earlier. That's that's how you get into Christ. Just an hour. I guess I skated around that to get you to go, listen to the, to that broadcast.

 

But that is that is the way to, to passages in Scripture, Romans six, three Galatians 327, that that refer to getting into Christ. So to be in Christ, I have to get into Christ. Well, in both cases, I'm baptized into Christ. Don't faith into Christ, and don't pray into Christ. There is there is no sinners prayer that says that you won't find it anywhere in Scripture, it's nowhere to be found. I must be baptized into Christ. So going back to Galatians three, and what we were discussing, let you know that as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. were baptized into Christ, we put on Christ, and we become Christ's apostrophe s. That apostrophe s, meaning we belong to Jesus, we belong to Christ. Whenever we're baptized into Christ, we now belong to Christ. And if we are Christ's, apostrophe s, we are heirs according to the promise. That promise made Abraham in the Galatians chapter three, that whole, that whole passage, that promise made to Abraham, if we belong to Christ, then we are heirs according to the promise. Meaning we have an inheritance that's waiting for us through the promise of Abraham, by being baptized into Christ, we become Christ's belonging to him. And now in that seed line of Abraham in heirs according to the promise, we have that inheritance, that inheritance is waiting on us. And verse 14, is telling us that He is the down payment of that inheritance that earnest money that down payment is a it's a pledge or a security that the the full amount promised will be paid. He is that down payment. And that we can we can be certain of receiving that.

 

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When we're baptized into Christ, we become Christ and we belong to Christ, but we don't receive the full benefit until later. Christ has that down payment. He's that earnest money. He's, he has has paid the price for us up front, but it will be something that we will, we will get later. We will receive it later. That that salvation that that eternal home, when Christ returns, we will will receive the full benefit. But he's the earnest money for that. He is the down payment, of our inheritance for the redemption, of the possession, the redemption of the, of the possession, when, when he returns, we will be fully that that redemption will take place will be fully redeemed. And that will be it says to the, to the praise of his glory. First Peter to nine says we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's possession.

 

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So not just Jews, but all who were baptized into Christ. This brings Gentiles into this. Gentiles can be the spiritual children of Abraham, along with those Jews, just as and just as Jewish Christians were to praise God. With with living, right, so the Gentile Christians are also to praise God by by living, living in this new life a new a new way to the praise of his glory. Verse 15, this is this is Ephesians chapter one, verse 15. This is why since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love for all the saints. So the church, the church of Ephesus had, they had two incredible qualities, qualities that every church needs, that that is loyalty to Christ, and in love for their fellow Christians. So he's, he's pointing that he's pointing that out right here.

 

Verse 16, I never stopped giving thanks for you, as I remember you in my prayers. Paul, Paul just continually prayed for for all these churches didn't in any. And we see that in every one of his letters. And I'm sure all the others those all those churches that he planted that he he prayed for them often. He prayed, he prayed for there. For the most part, he was praying for them to stay faithful, to stay faithful to God, he knew. He knew that, that persecution and struggle and suffering would come. But he prayed that they would stay faithful through all of that, that they, they they wouldn't lose faith. Those, those were his prayers. And he, he prayed off and for these folks,

 

verse 17, I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him here, here's, here's a specific prayer for them. That, that they would gain understanding that they through God's word, they would gain the understanding the wisdom, the knowledge that they needed, we must have, we must have knowledge. As, as Peter said, we we must add to our faith, virtue and to virtue knowledge and the knowledge self control. I have to know how to act. I have to know what's good, in order to be good. And then I have to, I have to know how to carry that out. I need to, I have to know how to live right. As we mentioned earlier, I have to understand that and he's he's so his prayer for them is that they that they would gain that understanding.

 

Of course, they they didn't have the the written copies of the New Testament that we do today. There, they're there. The word came to them through revelation that came through the apostles that came through the apostles teaching. A little little different from ours, but but we have the same thing. We just have the apostles teaching written down. But we need the same understanding and knowledge we must be in the word and, and and understand what's what's being said. Definitely a prayer, a prayer for us. That God would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

 

Verse 18, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. So you may know what is the hope of his calling, again, to know, to have that knowledge, and specifically here to know about that hope. God gives us hope. The hope that we have is that eternal home in heaven someday, I need to know what that is, I need to know about it, in order to be able to hope for it, to have that hope, once again, that that inheritance won't be fully realized until Jesus returns. So until, until that happens, I'm living with hope on a faith, faith in that in that inheritance, faith in that promise, faith in God to deliver that, in the in the hope of realizing it someday. So his prayer here is, is that, that they will be enlightened that they will, that they will know what is the hope of his calling. And also what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints. And again, that's that the riches of innocent here's that's, that's that mansion prepared, that's that, that's that place that's been prepared for us been promised us, I've got to know about that. I've got to know about that hope about that inheritance.

 

Again, the the riches of that inheritance. So, so I mentioned earlier we, we all understand inheritance. So we understand. We all get that, because we will have things handed down to us. Some people have a lot handed down to them, just a lot of a lot of land folks, folks around here will receive land inheritance and, and some will receive monetary inheritance, some will receive valuables. He speaks here of the riches of the inheritance that we have coming to us from God. There's there's nothing in this world that compares to the riches of, of the inheritance of heaven. nothing that compares to that. So again, he's praying that their eyes will be enlightened to, to the glorious riches of, of the inheritance.

 

Verse 19, in what is the immeasurable greatness, the immeasurable greatness, of his power to us who believe, according to the working of his vast strength. So again, this, this prayer continues the prayer for them the prayer from Paul to, to the church at Ephesus, and he's praying that they will understand the immeasurable greatness of His power. So, in order to fully realize that inheritance that I'm going to receive that grade inherits then will receive i I've got to understand that the God has the power to deliver that. And in his prayer hears that they would gain that understanding the power that he has the the immeasurable greatness of His power, according to the working of his vast strength,

 

God, God working this out again, you know, when you when you receive when you receive an inheritance, and all we have to compare it to is this life right. And again, we can we can understand a lot about it because we understand inheritances we understand getting, and for the most part, when you inherit something, it's nothing that you did. There's there's nothing that you did to gain that you were just merely born in the right place. Born to the right people, having the the the parents or the grandparents that left you this, you you didn't do a thing for it.

 

And that's that's kind of the pitch here isn't it? I didn't, I didn't do a thing for this. God, love me so much that he, he gave me this, and left it as this inheritance just like the fella, let's say the, you know, three generations ago the great grandparents worked their tails off to, to get the to get this plot of land and they worked hours and hours and so hard to, to, to gain to gain that land. And then they, they give it to someone who didn't, didn't lift a finger right? Didn't didn't do anything to earn that.

 

That's, that's the inheritance that we have through Christ, we are we are inheriting something that that was the work of God. Again, that last that last phrase being according to the working of his vast strength. God, God did all of this, God put all of this together. You know, Jesus, when he when he talked about that mansion, prepared that dwelling place, he says I'm, I'm going to prepare a place for you. In John 14, when he's telling his disciples, he says, I've got to leave this earth, I'm, I'm going to die. And I'm going to leave this earth and I'm going back to heaven. But, but take heart, don't, don't. Don't be worried. Um, going to prepare a place for you. And I'm going to come back and get you and take you to that place, that where I am there you may be also John chapter 14. He, he worked it, he built it, he prepared it. He has that place waiting for us. That place is waiting for us. But it was it was completely the working of God. And his power, his immeasurable greatness of His power, according to the working of his vast strength.

 

We get we get that. It's it, it is something that we can understand, can't we? That, that it that inheritance, understanding the inheritance and understanding something handed down, hun handed down to us that, that we didn't do a thing for we were just loved the person, you know the person in this life that gets an inheritance from from from his folks. They just love that child and, and, and they did they that child didn't have a theme to do with, with with that property with that thing, whatever it was that money, whatever it was, didn't didn't have anything to do with it. But their folks love them that much that they they left it for them. It's their it's their free gift.

 

That's what we have through Christ, don't we? This, this wonderful inheritance, this wonderful hope that we have. And it's so think about this too. It's a hope that will it will transcend anything that this life throws our way. This this place and this inheritance is so wonderful. So beautiful, so magnificent, so wonderful. And in the lay on top of that it lasts forever that there's nothing in this life that is valuable enough that even holds a candle to that hope that we should never let anything from this life get in the way.

 

Does that make sense? Sometimes we lose hope, don't we? Sometimes folks are so distraught that they they lose hope even in in this life folks will lose hope and and what happens It's usually tragic in it. Usually, tragedy comes out of that and something ugly and awful will take place when folks lose hope. It will be the same with us. We never need to lose that hope of heaven someday. We don't need to let anything Take, take that away or to lose that hope.

 

So verse 20, we're in Ephesians, chapter one, verse 20. He demonstrated this power. Again, who's who's the heat here? This is Jesus. This, this is, this is Christ. That's referred to here. He's the he, he demonstrated this power. Take that back, this would be this will be the father. In this case. He demonstrated this power in the Messiah, by raising Him from the dead. So I misspoke, this would be the father, the father demonstrated this power in the Messiah, God, the Son, the second member of the Godhead, He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead. So Scripture speaks of, of the Father raising the son. The father raised the son from the dead.

 

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God, the Father showed his amazing power, his the immeasurable greatness of His power, verse 19, said, bye, raising the Messiah, by by that miracle, again, the the miracles that we discussed this, anytime that this, this comes up the, the idea that the miracles in Scripture are to prove the power of God, to show his power, and to confirm his word. So, as we read Mark 16, verse 20, the signs miracles and wonders were to confirm the word. When, when Peter heals the lame man, that that confirms the the sermon that he's about to preach, that that tells you that, that his message is from God. The the, these miracles, and specific raising the raising of the dead. So when you get to First Corinthians 15, and you get to that resurrection chapter.

 

The, the raising Jesus from the dead, proves that he has the power to do the same for us. That, that we we will defeat death, because God has the power to raise us just just as he did raise the Messiah. So again, verse 20, he demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead, and ceding Him at His right hand in the heavens. So not just the resurrection, but the ascension also. Jesus was Jesus was resurrected. He he walked around for 40 days, showing himself to, to over 500 witnesses. So there's no, there's no questioning that resurrection. And then he further ascended, he ascended to heaven, He ascended to the throne room. He he went beyond the veil as, as our high priest, he went beyond the veil to the heavens with the Father, and he seated there at His right hand today, at His right hand in the heavens.

 

Verse 21, so seated at the right hand, the heavens, far above every ruler and authority, and power and dominion. So it's kind of impossible to to identify each one of these designations of power. The but the teaching is that Jesus has been made king of kings and Lord of Lords. He is above every authority. There is there There is none greater, none higher than Jesus. He was brought down to earth became flesh and dwelt among us, lived among us died was resurrected, it was ascended back to heaven. Again, above, above everything, above every every power designation in this world, there is none. There is none greater than Jesus, none greater than Christ. That's the, the the meat of verse 21. Not only in this age, but also in the one to come, there will be no will never be anyone, greater or higher than Christ,

 

verse 22, and he put everything under his feet. So the father, put everything under the feet of the Son. Jesus has been given all authority, everything, and every one is subject to him. He exalted Jesus, in order that, listen to this, he put everything under his feet, and appointed him as head over everything for the church. So he did all of this, in order that he would be the head of the church. Christ is the only head of the church, he will continue as the head of the church through throughout throughout this age, till he returns. As head of the church, Jesus, he he issues orders, he gives commands. All all members of the church are in submission to Him, He is the head, he became head of all things, again, by the great power of God, members of the Church, willingly submit themselves to Christ and to His will. So for the church,

 

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verse 23, which is His body. The Church is the Body of Christ, which is His body. No, no misunderstanding here. Don't ever misunderstand this. When you read of the body, the body of Christ, that is the church, the church and the body are one in the same. That is, that's one of the metaphors that Jesus uses. several, several metaphors in Scripture. The churches is the the bride, the, the vineyard, the temple. And it's also the body. It is the, the body, the church is the body, and specifically the body of Christ.

 

When he goes to, when he goes to speak of this metaphor, he'll do it in chapter four of, of Ephesians. Romans chapter 12, First Corinthians chapter 12, he will, he will go back and speak of this, this body metaphor, and will speak of it in, in terms of a body of a human body, that the example being because Christ, Christ is the head. But we have arms and legs, and fingers and toes, and all of these body parts. So the, the picture being, that we're all members of that one body, all working together, working with each other, to, to move that body and, and be that body, with Christ being the head. Christ is the head, he and he has all dominion and all authority and he's, he's above all of all of that body. But we as the church are the body of Christ. And And oh, by the way, we can't miss here at the end of this chapter. The the idea of being in Christ and we mentioned that earlier in In the other, the other episodes, the other parts of the chapter, that that in Christ in him over and over and over and over again, it's repeated over and over and over again. When, when you have words repeated, you better pay attention to them. So when he gets down here and speaks of the church and the body of Christ, those are one of the same. Being in Christ is the same as being in his body, in the church, in Christ, in the church, in the body, are all synonymous.

 

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There is no one in Christ that is not in the church, or in the body. The just the context, the context here in Ephesians, chapter one, just, there's no, there's no way. There's no way you can misunderstand that in Christ, in His Church, in the body, are all one in the same, the church which is His body, the fullness of the one who fills all things, in every way, is the last, the last statement in verse 23, last statement of chapter one, the church which is His body, the fullness of the one who fills all things, in every way. So the Church is the Body of Christ.

 

The The analogy is of a physical body and a head. The church is not a physical body, it's a spiritual body. Christ, being the head of that church. The church is the body of Christ. The head controls the body, the body is, is in subjection to the head. There are many members of the body. But there is just one body. That he he will say that in Ephesians, chapter four, verse four, there is one body when he when he goes through the ones, so there is only one church. And we see many, but Christ sees it as one church, and the teaching is of one church. And according to this last statement, the church makes Christ whole or complete. In the same sense that the branches make the make the vine complete, or that the citizens make the kingdom complete. It is Christ who blesses and gives the church the things that it needs, the full, the fullness of Him who feels all in all. That finishes chapter one, chapter two, chapter two, verse one, and you were dead in your trespasses and sins. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins. That is, that is doctrine, isn't it? And it's unguided, oh, verbal doctrine, that we die as a result of our trespasses and sins, as a 59, one and two says that sin separates us from God.

 

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Our, our sin makes us spiritually did. So, let's, let's talk about this a bit. This, this is this is doctrine that must be understood. And I think, I think a lot of folks don't, don't get this.

 

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When I sin, according to Romans 131. I'm worthy of death. That's the statement made in 131. They, there's a whole chapter, Romans chapter one, there's a whole list of sins there. Beginning beginning with homosexuality, all the way down. And, and it just, it's, it's the it's the most exhaustive list in the in the New Testament. And he gets to the end of the list. And he says, If you've done any of these You deserve death. Sin separates us from God.

 

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Now I know folks want to say that we have inherited sin and there's a, there's just a, there's a false teaching all over, all over Christendom. There's just a lot of folks have bought into the Calvinistic teaching of an inherited sin, that we, we inherit the sins of, of the, of the of our fathers.

 

Ezekiel chapter 18, verse 20, says we don't said the, the father does not inherit the sins of the Son, the Son, neither the Son from the Father, nobody passed his sin to, to another. It's a false teaching, it's a misunderstanding of Psalm 51.

 

We're, we're born in the image and likeness of God, we're born perfect, we're born sinless. As one, as one brother says that we're, we're safe. A baby is safe, because he's never sinned. When when you hear the tragedy of, of children dying and losing their lives, and, and there is a, I know it's tragic and awful, and I can't I can't imagine losing a child like that. But there is a, there is a good note to it. They're safe. And we know they're with Jesus today. We know that, that they are in paradise, because they never sinned, they're safe. But once we reach a certain age, and it's, it's different for all. There's a, there's a study of, I'll put on here one of these days about about that the the age of accountability. It's not a it's not a biblical term. But it's a biblical principle, the age of accountability. When when this when this child, this sinless child made an image of likeness of God grows up, they will reach eventually, if they don't die beforehand, they will eventually reach a point where they are now accountable to God.

 

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I think I can illustrate it like this. Cursing is a sin, foul foul mouths, is sinful behavior. And by the way, too, too many, too many of us have not expelled that from our, from our vocabulary. It's expected folks, you need to before you leave this life, you need to fix that. But with that said, a father who uses foul language is sinning.

 

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And that Father will, he'll do that in his household and his child picks it up and this, this six year old boy is just repeating the words of his father, he's, he won't be held accountable for that to God, the Father will but the child won't. He's He's not accountable yet. He hasn't. He hasn't reached the age of accountability. He hasn't reached an age where and and that can only be determined by God. Only God will determine when when when someone is accountable, they understand right and wrong and and will be accountable to him for that. But at some point, that child grows up. They're accountable to God, and they sin for the first time. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It's, it's inevitable. It will happen. And when we do we die spiritually.

 

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That's what verse one is saying in chapter two You were dead in your trespasses and sins. We die when we sin.

 

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The beauty the beauty of it all is and let me just Let let's just let's just finish these next couple of verses here before we close, because he kind of, he kind of answers it here in Scripture, let's let, let's let God answer it instead of me answering it right. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, verse two, in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the things of the world, you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, because you walk like the world walked, you did your own thing. You followed your own lusts and pleasures, and you eventually sinned, and you were dead as a result of it. But notice, notice further, he says, according to the ruler of the NIV says, of the atmospheric domain, according to the ruler of this world, who is that that Satan, you are walking, whether you realize it or not, when you were doing your own thing, you were walking according to the, the ruler, Satan, the ruler of this world. The spirit now working in the disobedient.

 

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Satan, working in the sinner, in the disobedient. And that's the way you were. And as a result, you were dead in your trespasses and sins. Verse three, we to all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts. And by nature, we were children of wrath, as the others were also both, in fact, he's bringing in both Jew and Gentile here. We, we've all sinned, and we were all dead, because of that sin.

 

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Verse four. But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that he had for us, made us alive with the Messiah, even

though we were dead in our trespasses we were dead in our trespasses. But God loved us so much. That by His mercy, through the Messiah, He made us alive. That's, that's the that's the teaching. That's the doctrine, isn't it? God makes us alive. God makes us right. Through Christ is for those who are in Christ as we, as we mentioned earlier, and over and over. I want to close here we need to we need to close we'll, we'll pick up here next time. And look at this. This is a this is powerful doctrine here.

 

We'll look at this next time. Your God we we love you, we thank you for the blessings of life. We thank you for taking care of us. We thank you for this study, Dear Father, may we continue to ponder on this and, and help us dear god to understand your will for our lives. We thank you so much, that you loved us so much to to make this happen through Jesus. It's in his name that we pray, Amen.