Archive for August 10, 2011

Aug 10

Sermon Follow-up: “God Speaks in the Book of Ephesians”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “God Speaks in the Book of Ephesians,” Ron provided an overview of what is one of the New Testament’s most theologically majestic books.

Ron began his sermon with an important point: “All the battles that count are spiritual battles.”

Before the fall of humankind into sin there was no such thing as “battle.” Every struggle of every kind is a reminder that we are in a fallen world. For Christians, every struggle is a reminder of what Christ came to end. That’s why Paul begins his letter by reminding his Christian readers about all that God has won for them in Christ. He writes, “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” (1:3).

In the eleven verses which follow, Paul expands on what he means by “every spiritual blessing.” Here’s a list of how God has blessed us “in Christ”:

  • “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (1:4)
  • “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (1:5-6)
  • “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…” (1:7)
  • “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory” (1:11-12)
  • “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (1:13-14)

If our prayers to God or thoughts about Him are becoming routine, this package of blessings gives us high thoughts and rich words to enliven our affections for Him.

In his sermon, Ron read a quote, “We do not fight for victory. We fight from victory.” That’s significant. All of the spiritual blessings that we know in Christ have been decisively won for us, and enjoying them is the fuel for the fight of the Christian life. That’s why Paul says at the start of chapter 4, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (4:1).

For more information about our plan to listen through the New Testament in 90 days and for a listening schedule, visit the God Speaks: We listen landing page.