Fairmeadow Community Church of The Nazarene
July 11, 2021
- My Savior's Love
- 3 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, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.There was a time the Ephesians didn’t know...9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,There was a time when the Ephesians weren’t in ChristSo they should not take pride in their progress. They should be humble. Paul is filling them with wonder and awe at all that God has done for them and how Jesus is the one who makes it happpen...There was a time when we didn’t knowSo what we know now came to us by the grace of God. We heard the good news when others taught us the truth. When others held a VBS or brought us to church and Sunday School with them.There was a time when we weren’t in ChristOur lives can be divided into two categories just like time can. Before Christ and In Christ. BC or IC.Life IC is better.God blessed the Ephesians when they heard and believed in Christ6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insightIn Christ we are blessed in every necessary way...3 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,But it’s not just about individual salvation. God has a very big plan10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.In Christ we find full focus...4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.Sometimes people want to take a passage like this and try to say that our salvation was predestined. They try to downplay that we have a role in all this. But I think if you study it closely, what is predestined is the full set of blessings that will flow into the life of all who believe.Now there’s plenty here to say that salvation is for everyone. It clearly says God has made a plan big enough so that everyone can be saved and the whole creation can be redeemed. But nothing here says it’s automatic. Nothing here says it’s only for some.It’s conditional: in Christ, when you heard and believed...Most importantly, we don’t receive all these blessings just to enjoy the experience. God intends for us to live in new ways. Ways that would not be possible on our own. God’s goal in all of this would be for us to live holy and blameless lives. All of these blessings help us to continue to make progress. If we have heard the good news and believed the good news then we can find ourselves in Christ. In Christ God lavishes his grace on us and we are changed in a moment and formed over the rest of our lives. We aren’t instantly perfect. But God’s perfect love begins to work in us. So we can become holy and blameless before him in love and that we can live to the praise of his glory.Are you in Christ?So after all this it comes down to a very simple question. Are you in Christ today? If you are, give thanks deeply as we prepare to come to his table of grace.If you are not in Christ, the question is why not? This is your moment before we come to the table, realize that you need what only Jesus can provide. Confess your sins, your wrongs, to God. Jesus died on the cross so you could be forgiven and open yourself completely to the love of God. Believe that he died for sinners. Believe that God raised him from the dead. Believe that new life is yours. In Christ.Let’s pray...Taking the Bread:When the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of me.”Lifting the cup:After supper, he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”Prayer of Consecration:Lord, we pray that in your goodness and mercy, your Holy Spirit may descend upon us and up on these gifts, sanctifying them and showing them to be holy gifts for your holy people, the bread of life and the cup of salvation, the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ.Grant that all who share the bread and cup may become one body and one spirit, a living sacrifice in Christ, to the praise of your name.All this we ask through your Son, Jesus Christ By him and with him and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and forever. And together we say, Amen!
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