More / Book of the Month / Rich people / Ephesians 1:3-14 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, January 2, 2022 / Christmas Season

Rich people / Ephesians 1:3-14 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, January 2, 2022 / Christmas Season




Rich people / Ephesians 1:3-14 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, January 2, 2022 / Christmas Season

 

SERMON NOTES (listen to the audio sermon for more)

 

Text: Ephesians 1:3-14
Theme: “Rich people”

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Intr – A person once told a Christian “You know, I’ve been noting something interesting. Most Christians I know are POOR.”

What are your thoughts on that? After all, you are a Christian, and you can answer whether it is true or not. “That man got it right!” or "That’s just because he never saw my 3 houses and my 6 cars." Perhaps you’d say, “I’m not rich, but I’m not poor either”.

1 – BEING AND HAVING

The answer of that Christian to his friend was this: "Look, this is certainly because the world looks more at what we Christians have rather than at what we are."

We make use of these two verbs today going beyond “being is more important than having”, “use things and love people, and not the other way around” and the like. The main reason is because although largely used, posted and preached, these actually are not that much noticeable in daily attitudes and behaviours. When it comes to real life, I think you will agree with me that we see more that we’d like to atitudes of loving things and using people, having coming before being in the scale of importance, and so on. Whether if that’s in someone else’s life or if that’s inside your own family. What we see in the Epistle for today goes way deeper. In Ephesians 1 God gives us a good glimpse on the depth of what being Christians really is. "Let us thank the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that He has blessed us that we are united with Christ, giving us all spiritual gifts in the heavenly world."

Think about it: how much would we pay for a pound of faith, or of love? For two punds of patience and endurance? Selfless work? There’s no money in the world that could make this purchase. And Paul is saying to us that we Christians have received All Spiritual Gifts, all of them for free. We can note also that here spiritual may refer not only to what is contrary to material, but since we are in Christ, everything we have are spiritual gifts, for their source is our Father. God’s spiritual blessings involve both our spiritual and material life. Everything comes from His hand. [1]

This means that you are a millionaire. Yes, you are super rich! Notice that I didn't say you have a lot of money and possessions. I said You are a millionaire. You are Rich, very rich. Being a Christian, therefore, is more than being ethical, being human, being a do-gooder who speaks of community, solidarity and love. Of course those are a part of our faith active in love too, but that’s not all there is inside our golden pot of riches. Being a Child of God means you belong to the Father, and that you have His Gifts being constantly poured in your life, even beyond our comprehension.[2]

Think for a moment the huge, unfathomable difference between being grounded on having, and being grounded on being. Imagine that a tornado or an earthquake happens tomorrow in Regina leaving us with little to nothing of what we have. Even though all of us would be devastated, in suffering, having to restart life, what the difference would be between having our security in being in Christ, versus security in having possessions in this life?

2 - RICH

The good news in this text is that you may not have money or possessions, or at least not as much as you’d like to, but you still are very, very rich. As a child of God, called by Him through faith in Jesus, as object of this love that led him to be Crucified, to be dead, but also to be resurrected and be glorified, being our King and Lord, you are someone filled with the richest of the richest things there are.

Also, this is the kind of wealth that you don’t need to be afraid of giving away, sharing with your neighbour. You’ll always have more than enough for your and for others. In fact, it is very important in our Christian life to share these riches that we have for what we are in a world where your worth sometimes is measured mainly by what you have.

This makes me think about ways in which purpose and meaning for existence is sought in our days. Nature, Community, love, social causes, belonging, toppling the past to make a better present, velocity (fast world)... There are many and different ways of trying to find worth and purpose, from which I’d highlight this one: to be is to be seen. You need to put yourself out abundantly in every virtual means possible, because we you have lots of likes, lots of views, lots of shares, maybe you’ll feel you are someone with and intrinsic worth.

God sees us. God sees you and that is what gives ground and purpose to our life. We see Him in His Word and in His Sacraments, which forgive us and strengthen our faith. That, by the grace of God, enables us to constantly share in the lasting riches that come from Jesus. And the best of all: it is all for FREE. You can buy without money. You can be rich even when you have little.

As we start another year, and we look ahead wondering what it will bring, our text gives us two great certainties and assurances:

_“Because of his love for us, God had already decided that he would make us his children, through Jesus Christ, for this was his pleasure and his will” (v.4 and 5) You don't start this year alone. You will not walk alone. You will not make decisions alone or face the worst days of solitude. Unless you want to, and I know you don't. That's why you're here today. Because, by faith, it renews your confidence that Jesus Christ has made us children of God and that this truth will not be changed in 2022.

_“All things are done according to God's plan and decision. In accordance with his will, and with what he had resolved from the beginning, God chose us to be his people through our union with Christ.” (v.11). We are. That's why we have. Then we live. And we share. The wisdom that comes from faith in Jesus shows us that everything is in God's hands. The main thing is already defined: we are His children. Then, no matter what happens, no matter what comes, we know that we are under His care, protection and love. Whether in fail or in faithfulness on our part, - like the “wise’ Solomon, or “faithful” David, or the apostles, and many other saints/sinners -, for everything depends on Him, not on us. His Forgiveness and faithfulness never end.

Cc – Congratulations, dear son and daughter of God. From the moment faith was given to you, you are a very rich person. Now, just as He gave you all spiritual gifts, be sure to share them with your neighbor. There is richness enough in God’s Word to make every single person a new rich.

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[1] Rev. Gerson Linden. 1.3-14 - Prof. Dr. Gerson Linden - 8º Domingo após Pentecostes(Perícope). Available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6mhl0Bp9-8
[2] When you are, what you have takes on a different level of meaning and purpose. You start from the foundation – what you are – and then you live your life with what you have  - all the spiritual gifts from the Lord.

 

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