Ephesians 1:18 & 19
Where is Paul going in Ephesians 1? Pastor Jacob looks at verses 18 & 19 on March 21st 2021
Next Sunday is the last of the month, which means that the older kids Sunday School class will be staying up for the Sermon, while the younger kids go out for snacks and movies.
Easter Sunday is in a few weeks, so feel free to invite your families ----
Which will be the first Sunday of next month
So not only will we be lifting high the name of Christ and all that He has done, we will be sharing in Holy Communion together as well.
So if your family will be coming to join you on Easter, let them know that we will be taking Communion together
Because of the CoronaVirus, we haven't been passing around the offering basket, so if you want to give an offering or tithe, you can leave it in the basket up here in the front pew after Service today.
We also have digital giving set up, if you would rather give that way, if you want to, come and see me after service and i’ll direct you how to do that.
In fact, the info for digital giving is on that flyer in your pew.
Were still planning out the Chicken BBQ Fundraiser
As it gets closer we’ll have a specific date as well as what we are raising funds for.
Our LAST digital bible study is this tuesday at 630 on Zoom.
If you want to know how to log on, check our facebook page or come see me after service today
The name of our facebook is on the bottom of that flyer as well
At the end of the Sermon today, ill be inviting you all to stand with me and sing the words of the Doxology
And the kids are dismissed.
Today we will be looking at Ephesians 1:18-19
And seeing what specifically happens when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened.
 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )
Last week we looked at the big, overall effect that it has on us, when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened.
We mentioned how the whole book of Ephesians is about being the Church. Being the family of God
Not a broken or malfunctioning family
Not a family with secrets and pain
Not a family that hides their brokenness better than others
Not a family looked down on
Not a family with overbearing control freak parents
Or disobedient rebellious children
A heavenly family
A perfect family
A family that we were intentionally made for
And the only way to be a part of this family, is to repent of our sins and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then we see that Paul is praying for people who already believe, to have the eyes of their hearts enlightened.
And when that happens:
See God for who He truly is
And we see ourselves for who we truly are
We see and know that He is holy and just and merciful and loving
We see that He saves all of His children, and wont forget any of them
We see that He doesn't ignore the evil and injustice that His children may have enacted, but instead poured out the penalty on the back of His Son.
When the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, we that God is perfectly just and perfectly forgiving.
He doesn't lay aside His justice so that He can then forgive
And He doesn't lay aside His forgiveness so that He can then judge
When Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again on the 3rd day, the perfect love and perfect justice of God came together and were fulfilled for all who will believe
And when we repent of our sins and believe in Him, we are forgiven, because Christ took our punishment.
We join His family
We are adopted
We escape the punishment for our sins, not because we are good and holy, but because Christ is good and holy.
The second big, overarching thing that happens when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, is that we can see ourselves for who we truly are.
We see God
We see ourselves
If we are a member of His family, then we see what Colossians 3 teaches:
That we are God’s chosen ones, holy, and beloved.
So those are the big, overarching things that the Apostle Paul is praying for:
That the eyes of our hearts are opened to see reality for the way that it is.
And then he lists 3 things that happen, and were going to talk about all three of them for a little bit today:
Knowing the hope we are called to
We see the riches of His glorious inheritance in the Saints
And we can see the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe
All of which are according to the working of His great might.
(We see the HOPE we are called to)
Who or what or where do we place our hope? (EXPAND ON ALL OF THESE)
---------- (these might seem good…)
Our system of government?
Our political party?
Once we realize that they fail to give us the hope that we need, what do we do?
Do we claim that they didn't let us down, and lift them even higher?
Do we admit that we were wrong to place our hope in them?
Or do we fake our outrage to the level to which we were hurt?
Do we claim that our hope is still strong, even though this person failed and that person failed and this system failed and that system failed --------
And you can tell how honest I am because of how angry I am with the lost hope that was stolen from me!
And then after everything fails to give us the hope needed to navigate a world such as the one we live in ------
We end up hoping in nothing but ourselves
Our own understanding
Our own emotions
Conjure hope from nothingness
We lie and say that we can endure anything
We say that our mistakes make us strong -----
We lift ourselves up as a beacon of our own hope-------
But if we let ourselves down, it will be because the culture or our parents or any of those other things have effected us to such a degree that we cant even have hope anymore!
What will it take for us to admit that we were wrong to place our hope in anything in this world? ------ ourselves included.
How much hurt are we prepared to endure to guard our pride and the false idea that we can create hope?
Hope cant come from nothing, and it cant be placed on to anything or anyone flawed
Has the corona virus scared you?
The economic mess that our country is in?
Has the cultures swing into sexual immorality that it forces onto our Children…. Scared you?
Where do we get our hope from?
Psalm 121 says:
“I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
Not my government
Not my parents // job // children’s report cards // etc etc etc
There is hope in no one and nothing apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
He and He alone is unbiased
Untouched and un-infected by the effects of sin
The second thing that happens when the eyes of our hearts are opened, is:
(Knowing the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints)
Number 1 - we see the hope He has called us to
Number 2 - knowing the riches of His glorious inheritance
When we move through our life, placing our hope on anything or in anyone, but Jesus Christ, we will be let down.
I’m not saying that once we trust in Christ and repent and are born again ------
that we wont experience pain---- or bad choices
What im saying, is that when all that stuff happens to us, we can take hope and understand that it is not the end of us.
That stuff that breaks us down and hurts us ----- is not the final say over our life.
Even to the point of death ------ it is not our end.
When we break free from the chains of this mortal body and all the diseases and trauma that are attached to it-----
There is more that awaits the children of God in the next life than there is in a thousand lifetimes lived here on Earth combined.
Never feeling pain, never being hurt, never being sad or let down or betrayed or abandoned.
The inheritance that we received when repented and believed, can not by touched or effected by anything in this world.
We can not be overcome by their sin ---- because this is not our home
Does it affect us? - yes
Does it hurt us? - yes?
Can the events of this world mold and change our hearts----
Hurting us in ways that we cant put words to?
If anyone comes to you and says that you need to be living your best life now----
Rebuke and ignore them
If your best life is lived now, then the life that awaits you when you die will be nothing but all consuming but never destroying pain and torturous wrath of God punishment for all eternity
Being a Child of God does not mean that we will live perfect happy lives------it means will know the riches of His glorious inheritance
Romans 8:18 says:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
It is an inheritance given to us by the King of all creation and every possible Earthly power and every Natural occurrence ----- throughout History could all combine and face us ------
Nations have and can rise against us----
Every ruler - disease - etc etc etc etc
Everything in History can come against the children of the Most high God
And we will get hurt
But all of it, will lead to LIFE and not to death
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
When the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, we know the riches of His glorious inheritance.
We are His
The third thing that happens when the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, is that
(We know The immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe)
Number 1 - we see the hope He has called us to
Number 2 - knowing the riches of His glorious inheritance
Number 3 - We know the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe
All of this seems well and good---
These are big ideas that ---- if they are true, can mean so much to me.
But...how can they?
How can it be true that this world can throw its garbage at me, yet I will not be destroyed by it.
How can it be true that the bad and evil choices of my father cant have the final say over my life?
How can it be true that the evil choices of an evil government forcing its own defenition of morality onto us ----- cant have the final say over my life?
How can I have hope?
How can I know about my inheritance?
Because everything God does in the life of His children, and in His world, is based on who He is
------ and He is God.
He is the God formed the universe from nothingness
The God who spoke galaxies into existence with nothing but the whisper of His voice
He is the God who built mountains with His words and casts them into the sea with His words.
Daniel 4:35 says that none can stay His hand or even say to Him “what have you done”
He is God
And by Him
And through Him
And because of Him
I live and move and have my being
Repent and believe and be made new by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
And the very presence of God Himself will inhabit your soul and change your life forever.
All of which, is based on Him and not on us.
In closing, I now this was big.
It is so big, because it is so important
Especially in today’s world
When fear and anxiety and hurt flood our streets and dominate our news, we need to understand that Jesus Christ is God and through repentance of our sins and belief in Him,
We can have undiminished hope
We can be assured of our inheritance that can’t be lost
And we can see the immeasurable greatness of His power
All of these things that I have been talking about, can only be true, if and only if -----
You have repented of your sins and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If we decide to live unrepentant lives, but just keep God on the side, then we may feel loved and accepted for a little while -----
But the first storm that comes, will rip our sails to pieces----
Capsize our boat
And leave our life in ruins
And it will be the definition of who we are
If we want to be more than our hurt, more than our sin, more than our bad choices, then we continually repent of our sins and pray that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened more and more everyday.
( → → Doxology ← ← )
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
( → → Closing Prayer ← ← )