The Book Of Ephesians – 1. Sinner or Saint?

February 3, 2019

Justin Kane | February 3, 2019
Message Details

Today I am excited to dive into a book of the bible for the first time as a community. As we go through this amazing letter from Paul, please keep in mind that God’s Word is alive and powerful. It has the power not only to speak to you right now, right where you are, but also the power to transform your life and your way of thinking.

I often liken God’s Word and His promises to that of an ocean. It’s awesome, beautiful and majestic from the shore, but it isn’t until you dive in and explore that you truly discover the amazing treasures it contains.

Its one thing to read it. Its one thing to know it. But its another thing to experience it for yourself and realize how deep and revelatory God’s Word truly is.

Would you open up your Bibles to Ephesians 1.

This passage We are going to read is actually one, long sentence in Greek—202 words; a sentence that theologians love and English teachers dislike; one long, Spirit-inspired, run-on sentence.
Before we read…
I think it is important to know…
• The four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are a proclamation of the Gospel.
• The book of Acts is a demonstration of the Gospel.
• Paul’s letters are an explanation of the Gospel.

The four Gospels are like a photograph of redemption.
Paul’s epistles are like an X-ray.

An X-ray shows things that cannot be seen in a photograph. In a photo you see the external, but an x-ray shows the internal. Both of these pictures are necessary to see the picture of redemption in its entirety.

Paul’s revelation explains the necessity of the crucifixion of Christ and what happened in the spirit realm.

The four Gospels show us what man saw.
Paul’s epistles tell us what God saw. He explains what happened when Jesus ascended into Heaven and secured our redemption with His blood. Paul’s epistles are the words of Jesus, the head of the church, talking to us from the right hand of God.
 
Let me read the 14 verses we will attempt to cover today and next week.
Eph. 1.1 (NKJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
Eph. 1.2 (NKJV)Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph. 1.3 (NKJV) 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,
Eph. 1.4 (NKJV) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Eph. 1.5 (NKJV) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
Eph. 1.6 (NKJV) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Eph. 1.7 (NKJV) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Eph. 1.8 (NKJV) which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
Eph. 1.9 (NKJV) having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
Eph. 1.10 (NKJV) that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
Eph. 1.11 (NKJV) In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
Eph. 1.12 (NKJV) that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
Eph. 1.13 (NKJV) In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph. 1.14 (NKJV) who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

A few things you should know about the book of Ephesians:

First, it’s a letter. To believers. The is letter is considered to be Paul’s theological masterpiece—because Paul packs everything essential for you to know about this NEW LIFE in one short letter.

It is known at the Epistle of GRACE. Oftentimes Grace gets a bad rap. And you’ll discover over the next number of weeks why grace is so special and how you can walk in the fullness of it.

The book is also know as possibly being the written description of the revelations Paul was referring to in 2 Cor. 12;1,4.

If you understand the revelations of this letter, you’ll understand what it truly means to be a chosen, adopted and accepted child of God.

Eph. 3.1 (NKJV) For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—
Eph. 3.2 (NKJV) if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,
Eph. 3.3 (NKJV) how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,
Eph. 3.4 (NKJV) by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),
Eph. 3.5 (NKJV) which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:
Eph. 3.6 (NKJV) that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

So let’s dive into this amazing letter that was written by Paul in prison to a church that desperately needed to be reminded of God’s goodness and their identity.

But before we do let me share a sad story of one of the worlds’ wealthiest women that I think will connect these words better.

Hetty Green was known for a long time as the “America’s greatest miser.” Worth over $100 million when she died, she would eat cold oatmeal to save heating costs. Her son had a leg amputated because she spent so much time looking for a free clinic. She died after an attack of apoplexy (a stroke or sudden deprivation of all sense and voluntary motion, occasioned by repletion or whatever interrupts the action of the nerves upon the muscles), which was brought on by an argument over the value of skim milk over whole milk. She was for skim milk because it was cheaper.

Hetty Green did not enjoy her riches! The Book of Ephesians is the Bible Book that shows us our riches in Christ! As Christians we need to study this book so they will discover their riches in Christ and how to use them. We as Christians are often spiritual misers, because we don’t use or know how to access our riches in Christ.

Eph. 1.1 (NKJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

I just want to mention a few things about God’s Will.

Remember God Is always good…

Jesus was our example. He made two statements, “I came to do my father’s will”. “Not my will but your will be done.”

True joy is not in having your own way, but in yielding to God’s way.

The will of God is not a road map. It is a relationship! Its learning to flow and be sensitive to the One you are in relationship with.

Let me just encourage you when it comes to God’s Will…
• His Will is perfect!
• His Will is good.
• His Will is accomplished in your life as result of your surrendering to His leading.

What if we stopped asking God “what is your will for my life?” And started to ask “what gifts have You given me Lord?”

I find far too many people stressing over the search of knowing God’s Will for their life. Just had a conversation with John about it.

Eph. 1.1 (NKJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the (Patriots I mean) SAINTS who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Saints (or holy ones) = refers to those who have been set apart for a specific purpose.  For a relationship with the creator now Father.

How often do we view ourselves as “sinners” instead of “saints”? The law (God’s righteous standard) no longer defines me and calls me a sinner. Grace now defines me and calls me a Saint – “a child of God”!

Paul’s most used word to define believers is the word “Saint.” He uses it forty times in his Epistles or letters. And when he speaks of saints, he is referring to ordinary Christians. Not those who have passed away and lived pious lives. But those who are alive and believe in Jesus.

Every believer is a saint. We have been placed in Christ, separated from the power and grip of sin, separated unto God, for a holy purpose of serving His Will.

There should be no reluctance in your mind of identifying yourself as a “saint.” Our only reluctance might come from the fact that we’re not living as we think we should live– HOLY. The title “saint” is given to us because of what Christ did for us, not because of how well we live.

The Christian life is about embracing our new Life not trying to fix or make better our old one.

Col. 3:10-11 (TPT)
10 For you have acquired new creation life which is continually being renewed into the likeness of the One who created you; giving you the full revelation of God. 11 In this new creation life, your nationality makes no difference, or your ethnicity, education, or economic status—they matter nothing. For it is Christ that means everything as he lives in every one of us![j]

In other words, how we formerly identified ourselves no longer applies. Your past no longer applies. Your race, cultural background, sex or social distinction no longer applies. What matters is who we are in Christ and how our Heavenly Father sees us and defines us.

And He calls us “Saints”. He sees us as His children and is ready to work through each of us.

The term “Saint” also includes the idea of taking something filthy, and causing it somehow to become something BRAND NEW and useful for a NEW purpose.

What a picture of our salvation in Christ. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, filthy with sin as it were, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit we were made NEW.

Our past is no more. We are now a new creation. One that never existed before. That is why He can call us “saints”

We were washed in the blood of Christ and set apart for His purpose.

Now we as “believing sinners” are made “holy saints” in His eyes.

Colossians 1:21-22 (TPT)
21–22 Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself. He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence. And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored,[k]

We must anchor our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. That is our unchanging position in Christ. There is no basis for faith in our changeable, unfinished condition (1 Corinthians 2:5). Only Christ can affect any permanent changes in our lives. We must draw our strength from Him and His finished work.

We are called to be different because we are different!

Its out of our BEING that we DO.

That is really the basic meaning of the word saint. In the Greek it is a word derived from the word for holy. And holy means distinct, different, whole, belonging to God and, therefore, living differently.

Jesus didn’t change the world because he was like the world… he changed the world because he was like his father…It is your difference from the world that makes a difference in this world…

We are to walk differently…
We are to believe differently…
We are to respond differently…
We are to love differently…

We are chosen, not because we were holy, but that we may be made holy in Him.

We are No longer guilty, condemned or shamed ridden sinners who can’t approach God. NO, we are saints who have access, because of the blood to come boldly to the throne of grace 24/7.

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