Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 13. Exposition on Ephesians . Super duper blessed in Christ (part 6) Inheritance

. Super duper blessed in Christ (part 6) Inheritance

 

Sermon 7

SUPER DUPER BLESSED IN CHRIST (PART 6) SEEN IN OUR INHERRITANCE (1)

We return to verse 3-14 where we have so far seen that we are blessed with all the heavenly blessings in Christ, and that this blessing is seen in our election and it is seen in our redemption. This section by the way is one long sentence without any full stops. I have to believe the clever guys who say it is the longest single sentence in the Bible.

We are on the forefront of our local elections where all political parties make promises. And a promise we make is a promise we ………break! We are so used to promises being broken. Well with God, He does not make promises to win your vote. Your vote does not add anything to the Glory of God. God is, and does not become because of your vote or opinions. So even your title ‘Christian’ does not define God. When God promises something He delivers, maybe not in our time, but if God says so it will happen. 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV) 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, …..” Hebrews 10:23 (ESV) 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Romans 4:21 (ESV) “21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”

So far we have seen that we are Super Duper Blessed in Christ in our election and in our redemption. Today and next week we will see that we are Super Duper Blessed in our inheritance. The reason you were chosen, and the reason you were redeemed is to give you an inheritance.

Ephesians 1:11 (ESV) 11 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,…”

Something that immediately jumps out at us is the tense. It says we ‘have obtained’. That means it is past tense. But hang on, I received nothing yet. Yes, you have. The moment you received Jesus Christ into your life the inheritance became yours. This is something that is so beautiful in the Greek language. When something is so certain for the future, they present it as past-future in the Greek. Many of you have heard me mash up the tenses, when I make the statement: “I is are has being happy”. I just make sure I include all tenses to take care of every moment. They did this in the Greek. Paul says that we are glorified, we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies.

But there are actually two ways to translate this verse. Look with me again at verse 11. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance,…” The Greek word here is actually in a passive form.

So, it can be translated that you ‘became’, or ‘obtained the position’ of, or ‘was made’ Christ’s inheritance. It is in the passive voice. Now, that is true by the way. Jesus was clear when He said that all those the Father give to Him will come to Him. The fact that you came, is indicative of the fact that you are an inheritance. You were given to Christ. Now, if you think this is not a bargain, think again. You were important enough for God to give you to the ‘beloved’. The church is God’s gift to the Son, because of the work on the cross. Malachi 3:17 (ESV) 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, ….” Now if you're struggling around with a sense of a lack of self-worth, just realize that you are important enough to God for God to take you, to win you and to give you back to Jesus as an inheritance. You're a gift from the Father to the Son, a love gift.

Now, why does this matter. There are present implications of this truth. 1 Corinthians 6:20 (ESV) 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” It affects how you live now. It affects how we as leaders take care of the body. Acts 20:28 (ESV) 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” We are simply taking care of that which He owns.

There is a second way to translate this. Now listen carefully. “11 In him we have obtained an inheritance,…” It can also mean that we have received Christ as an inheritance. So in one sense we're His inheritance, and in another sense He is ours. I remember a chorus we sang in the past that included the words from the Songs of Solomon, that are so spot on in Ephesians 1:11. “My beloved is mine, and I am His …..”

Now, I think with all honesty, we got the better deal. At least as far as I am concerned. Christ getting me was not a big bargain, but me getting Him…. WOW!! Paul actually echoes both these truths in one statement in 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (ESV) 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” As a Christian you have no identity apart from Christ. It is Christ in you, the hope of glory and you are enjoined with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17 (ESV) “17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” So you are one Spirit with Him. For that reason, and that reason only, you can say with Paul: “for me to live is Christ…”

And so it's true, He is our inheritance, and we are His inheritance.

But, in a real sense, I believe that it is the second one that Paul is emphasising more than the first one here. I believe Paul’s emphasis is here more on what we receive in Christ by receiving Christ.

Now, we have received part of it now, in receiving Christ now, but there is a future complete fulfilment. 1 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV) 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,”

So, what are we receiving? Well for starters you are receiving every promise God has ever made.

2 Peter 1:4 (ESV) 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”

2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV) 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” I have attended services in the past where you get this Amen dude in the service. He will always say Amen, even when the pastor says he is on his way to hell. But Christian here in 2 Corinthians 1:20 we all need to shout Amen!! You cannot yawn at the fact that as a Christian all of God’s promises find their Yes in Him, and you have inherited Him.

Okay, that was all introduction.

Let’s unpack the text. We will look at three aspect of our inheritance. Firstly we will look at the foundation of our inheritance, then we will look at the guarantee of our inheritance, and then we will look at the goal of our inheritance.

Point 1. The foundation of our inheritance.

1.1 God’s part.

Ephesians 1:11 (ESV) 11 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,”

Church family, you need no other foundation if your foundation is Jesus Christ. There is no other cornerstone, no other foundation and no other guarantor for our inheritance. There is no other Name by which man will be saved, and no other Name by which man will be kept. There are not many paths to God as Joel Osteen says. He has this kind of idea that God will go against His own Word. It is all in Christ alone. All our ‘pneumatikos’, all our spiritual blessings are in Christ.

If there are other paths to God, if there are other ways to be saved, what do we do with Romans 6:3 (ESV)3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” The moment you are born again it is as if you are placed in a time capsule, and you travel back 2000 years ago and you die with Christ. It is as if you were nailed to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:14 (ESV) 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;..” But Paul continuous in Romans 6:4 (ESV) 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” So you died and you rose, and you are one with Him forever. There is no other way, no other path, no other unification than dying with Christ and rising with Him. If there is another path, then who or what do you die to and who or what do you rise to. Here is another verse that clinches the deal. 1 John 3:2 (ESV) 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” If there is another path are we going to be like Mohammed, like Buddha, like Krishna, like Guru Maraji. To even be gracious and to think that God might have alternative plans is actually the height of ungraciousness. To imply that there is any other basis or grounds for any inheritance is disingenuous, unless you simply want 70 virgins one day.

Do you know that God doesn't just love enough to bring us into His family, He loves us enough to make us I exactly like His Son. Incredible. So we die to the old, we inherit the new life with all the heavenly blessings and finally one day you get the rest of the deal. WOW!! Hallelujah.

But how did this all come about?

I will not go into it in detail as we did two sermons on it. There are two ways. Look again at verse 11 for the first way. 11 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,”

We studied this in detail in verse 4. You and I are saved and we have received an inheritance because God chose us and predestined us for this purpose. And this He did even before the world was created. Man, it makes me feel so small. I cannot figure it all out, or as the song says: “I am not skilled to understand, what God has willed, what God has planned, I only know at His right hand stands one who is my Saviour. I take Him at His Word and deed……..” I just cannot figure out why He chose me, but it is according to His purposes, ‘finish and klaar’. (Excuse the local lingo). It will always remain a mystery, but I must live with that tension. The word 'proorizo' {pro-or-id'-zo} means to ‘predetermine or to decide beforehand, to foreordain, to appoint beforehand or to mark out the boundaries. I shared in my first sermon on Ephesians that there are mysteries of God that will never be revealed to us.

 

There is a second way we see in verse 11. 11 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,”

The word ‘work’ here comes from ' energeo' {en-erg-eh'-o} which means to be operative, be at work or to put forth power. Guess which English word we have taken from it? Now I love this. We have just seen a moment ago that God, planned to save me according to His purposes, not mine, but listen, and this you must rest in, whatever God plans - God energizes. Whatever God plans, and whatever He plans for you, He is loaded with energy to make it happen. Many times it is just not what we want. God doesn't plan something and then figure out how to make it happen. God always energizes whatever He thinks.

 

So, God predestined to save us according to His purposes, and He energises for it to happen. God has blessed us with all the heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus, and He energises for it to happen. God has determined before the world began that in His time, He will come to this mud ball called earth and die on the cross in the form of a servant, and He energises for it to happen. God has determined to make you an heir and He energises for it to happen. Do you believe it? Do you believe that? I am confident of this one thing, Paul says, if I don't know anything else, I know this, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ that I know. What God starts, God finishes. He does not give up on you somewhere on the journey. Listen to Paul in Philippians 1:6 (ESV) 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Do you realise that the same energy that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us?

Christian, this is Hallelujah stuff. Do you realise that the very simple reason that nothing will separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord according to Romans 8 is because whatever God has planned, He works out, and nobody or nothing will thwart His plans.

Well, from God's side, you see, the ground of our inheritance is being predestined in Christ according to His will and His work.

1.2 Our part?

Look at Ephesians 1:12 (ESV) 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.”

No wonder the Westminster Catechism says that the purpose of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. In my debate with atheists they always claim that God is so insecure, that He wants to be praised and glorified. What they do not get is that there is no competition, so there is no reason for insecurity. The reason we as humans have trouble with that is because we can't understand the pure and holy right to glory because we're sinful and we seek it for the wrong reasons so we know that when others seek it they also seek it for the wrong reasons, but don't project that on God. God seeks it for the right reasons, He deserves it. And God wants to be praised and glorified. And the way that He can be glorified and praised in salvation is to say – ‘It's all of Me, and none of thee.’ I did it. And that gives Him the glory.

But there is more to the human side.  12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.”

You see, the human part of it is that we had to place our hope in Jesus Christ, you see? That's the balance, that's the tension. It's of God and yet we're a part of it too. Verse 13 helps us in this. Ephesians 1:13 (ESV) 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,”

You see Christian, even though it is all of God, even though He chose us before the foundation of the world, you have to believe. From God’s side it is predestination, from your side it is faith, and even that is a gift. Now, how can both exist at the same time? That is the very work of the Holy Spirit, who knows the will of God for your life, and He births you from above. He prepares the way for you, He convicts you of sin and righteousness. He penetrates your heart and mind as He convicts you through the living Word which is the double edged sword of the Spirit, and He quickens your soul so that you can believe. Do we understand it all? I don’t. So much is left to God, and I am cool with that. That is what makes God, God and me, me.

So, God chose, we respond to the word of truth, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and we put all our hope in Christ and His righteousness. And we are saved.

So, we have seen the foundation for our inheritance from God’s perspective and from our own perspective. Next time we will look at the guarantee and the goal of our inheritance.

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church:- 3 April 2016