His Plan His Desire His People in Christ

(this is the sermon wrote for this morning, but it went through drastic revision before it was delivered.  
I will post the other… which is much rougher,  but was well heard.
May you know God’s presence and love… to your very core.. )

His Plan, His Desire, His People, “in Christ”!

Ephesians 1:3-14

 In Jesus Name

May our lives bless our Father in Heaven, as it is revealed to us that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing! AMEN!


A preposition for you!       

I have a life changing preposition for you!

Two little letters that change everything in life, that change our priorities, our plans, our dreams.  That gives life and meaning to life, even in these days when our world chases after all the things that are vain, that do not satisfy, that cannot make a difference.

I have a preposition for you my friends.. not a proposition – a preposition.

Remember that list you memorized,  about above among around at behind before,  remember those things?  Well in today’s epistle, one keeps showing up – and it makes all the difference in the world,

For it is combined with a pronoun – that word that takes the place of a name?  Two letters for the preposition, and three letters for the pronoun and the world is shaken, and everything made new…so radical a change in life these two simple words, these five letters, that our reaction to them is nothing less than to praise and glorify God, to bless Him, to in awe applaud His work.

The pronoun is Him, the preposition I have for you to consider is…

“In”

And when we realize what it means to be “in Him” we begin to realize how much of our life, our world has changed… even as we wait for the day when we fully understand it.

Chose us in Him

Of the dozen or so times the preposition and pronoun, (or a noun the preposition refers to) appears in this passage, we have to start somewhere to examine this incredible concept.  So let’s look at one first, there in the beginning of verse four, when Paul tells us that the Father has “chose us in him before the foundation of the world.”


It is in choosing us, that we find every spiritual blessing coming upon us, it is there that that we realize that we aren’t just after thoughts in God’s plan, but indeed the focus of His will, and His desire.  From before the foundation of the earth, He has chosen mankind to have a special relationship with Him, and demonstrated that choice by placing us in Christ.

There, we find out what He has chosen us for, to be His children, adopted because of Jesus Christ, for it is in Christ that we are found to be holy and blameless, set apart for something special, with nothing able to mar or change that choice.  To share in the life and love of God, in what sounds amazing – to become part of that relationship that exists between the Father and the Son and the Spirit.  To share in such a relationship, as one of my friends has described it in a song – to join in the Trinity’s dance.

This indeed Paul tells us is no accident, it was a choice made from before the foundation of the world.   It is the very purpose of His will – or as another translation explains it – it is the plan to achieve God’s greatest desire.  Peter phrases it this way,

3:9 The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NJB)

The Lord’s choice, to choose you in Him, in Christ…

 Riches of His gift, lavished upon us

The next “in Him” to look at is in verse 7 and 8, as we read,

 

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
In Christ’s death, we have been paid for, our lives redeemed at the price of His sacrifice on the cross.  He did this that because of the great grace, the gift which he lavishes upon us, why?

Paul calls this the making known of the mystery of His will, this incredible grace lavished upon us, as God picks us up in our brokenness, and instead of throwing us away, carefull repairs and heals us, bringing us into Himself, that we might be one with Him.  Imagine everything perfect, in His presence, a place where doors don’t creak and neither do our bodies, where our relationships are finally the way they should be, including our relationship with our Father, where we finally let God be God, and we rejoice in knowing we are His chosen people.

This is our lot for all eternity, that which God has planned for us, the life God has given to us, this great mystery of why He would choose us to be His children, that even as He makes this true now, we struggle to realize it, for we struggle to realize we are in Christ, we are in the Beloved son of God, and therefore share in the Father’s love.

How we got there?

We are the children of the king – waiting for that moment when we reach full maturity, when we share in His kingdom.  It is true now, and yet like a child waiting to reach the age of inheritance, we struggle with it. Indeed, we need to be reminded of it often, and how and when this incredible thing happened.

Paul explains it in verse 13

13 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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

It’s the same story throughout scripture – the way we become His children, according to His plan is when we hear the truth – the truth of His love for us, that is this gospel, this good news.

It is the message of His love that causes us to trust in Him, to believe in Him, to realize that our very lives are in His hands, and that this is a good thing!

That when we were baptized, God marked us, He sealed us as His children, the sign of the cross is what we were marked with, that even as we share in Christ’ death, we too share in His resurrection, for we live in Him.

That has been His plan all along, a plan we have only begun to realize…. For we are still children, waiting for our inheritance to become ours, for us to reach the maturity of Christ, when we visibly know we are in His kingdom.
Until that day, we have a guarantee, a down payment if you will.  Something incredibly wonderful, something beyond our comprehension.  The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, what Peter describes as the gift of God’s Spirit, which Paul will also describe as our being the temple – the living place of the Spirit of God, the one called the Comforter, the Lord and Giver of life…

Here, in us, even as we dwell in Him….

A preposition for you my friends, a truth that is so incredible..found as we hear that we are “in”….

In Christ!

So knowing this we can rejoice as Paul does and declare, 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… AMEN!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on July 15, 2012, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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