Introduction to Ephesians
The Expected Life of All Saints
in Relation to God
ago in Lebanon Missouri, which is outside Fort Leonard Wood, Bro Doug Cannady
pastored and ran a ministry, out of his Church, to the Soldiers. He told of a young soldier walking into
their auditorium the first time and asking where the saints were. He was
obviously from a Catholic background, and Pastor Cannady asked him what he
meant. He said, "You know, the saints, the statues of the Saints."
Pastor Cannady asked him, "Who made those men Saints? He responded, “The
Church,” and then he said, “Hmmm…Men made men saints."
Introduction: I do not know what kind of image the word
“saint” brings up in your mind, but the truth of the Scripture is that all of
God’s people are "Saints". Average natural people who have
experienced the supernatural work of God and have been set apart by Him and for
Him. Now understand, being set apart for God’s purpose does not denote any
special exemption from the daily grind of this life.
Eph 1:1 Saints are real
people in a real location among us.
Eph. 1:18 Saints are the
recipients of God’s power, work, grace and riches.
Eph. 3:8 Saints are still growing
and maturing in the Lord.
Eph. 3:18 Saints still pray and
are still in need of prayer.
Eph. 4:12 Saints still minister
and labor for the Lord.
Eph. 5:3 Saints are still
targets for temptation and still have the potential for evil.
You understand …saints
exiled into convents and wearing haloes and wings.
They are not statues
on dashboards ––
The title “Saint” is
not given you as you enter Heaven.
The title “Saint” is
not earned by performing miracles or conferred on you by the Church for doing
sacrificial service or for dying a martyr’s death.
Sainthood is not
something that can be conferred by men on other men.
The title “Saint” is
the title God has given all His people, everyone of His children.
Saints live in homes and
have an address, raise children and pay bills and mow lawns and live real
Saints are people like
yourselves who have experienced the gracious saving work of Christ and have
been made one of His children and have been given the Bible title "Saint".
It should be
understood by every Saint that we have become part of a family of Saints. We
have been drawn into a long line of Saints. We have been included into a family that has a long history and we
should desire that heritage. Eph. 2:19
What does a Saint do
in our current day for God?
How does God desire a
saint to spend his time?
What is the job
description of a Saint in relation to God?
Relation to God, Saints are made to sit together in Christ. Eph. 2:4-6
A. Being seated
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus is the legal description of the
position of every Saint.
Note Vs 6 It has been declared in Scripture that as Saints:
1. We have been ‘‘…raised … up together with Christ."
2. We have been "…made to sit together in the heavenly with
B. B. Being seated
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus has practical application for the
practice of every Saint.
1. Being seated
together in Christ implies rest…work is all done, work is finished.
When Paul says we are
seated in Christ in
heavenly places, it means that in the spiritual realm, all the work
and effort to secure us that position is done and we are at rest.
We have to begin here - The key to
everything in the Christian life is to understand and remember that it is not
our effort, not our work, that merited this favored position.
It was the work of
Christ on the cross and God’s resurrection of Him that enables us to enjoy this
Note Eph. 1: 20
Explains how Christ came to be seated in heaven ….God raised Him and
placed Him there.
Heb. 1:3 Speaking of Christ
explains …Who being the brightness of his glory,
and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of
his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand
of the Majesty on high;
Heb. 10:12 also speaking of
Christ Jesus states …12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for
ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Why was Christ seated
when He was raised? He sat down because
it demonstrated that His work of securing salvation for man was finished.
This is what separates
Christianity from every other religion –– Other religions tend to put the burden on
man to be good and earn his way to God.
Christianity declares the finished work of Jesus as totally and
completely sufficient for our salvation.
An old tale speaks of
a man who died and faced the angel Gabriel at Heaven's gates. The angel said,
"Here's how this works. You need a hundred points to make it into Heaven.
You tell me all the good things you have done, and I will give a certain number
of points for each of them. The more good there is in the work that you cite,
the more points you will get for it. When you get to a hundred points, you get
man said, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated
on her, even in my heart."
"That's wonderful. That's worth three points."
points?" said the man incredulously. "Well, I attended church all my
life and supported its ministry with my money and service."
said Gabriel, "that's certainly worth a point."
said the man with his eyes beginning to show a bit of panic. "Well, how
about this: I opened a shelter for the homeless in my city, and fed needy
people by the hundreds during holidays."
that's good for two more points," said the angel.
POINTS!" cried the man in desperation. "At this rate the only way I
will get to heaven is by the grace of God."
And Gabriel said
Let me ask you a
personal question: Christ earned, purchased, obtained His seat at the right
hand of the Father by living a perfect and sinless life and then dying a
sacrificial death and nothing less than that would be acceptable. What do you
have that would compare???????? The answer is NOTHING.
"On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand"
Our being pictured in
the Scripture seated in Christ in the “heavenlys” means …We don't have to prove
ourselves worthy. Salvation and eternal life aren't conditioned on how many
good deeds we've done in the last week. It's an accomplished fact and our
sure possession as demonstrated by the fact that we are seated in the
“heavenlys” in Christ Jesus.
All the saints are
seated at rest in Christ, as all the work of Salvation is accomplished.
2. Being seated
together in Christ implies...Relationship…we are welcome in His presence.
Someone comes to your
door…depending on who they are:
.. You will step outside to
visit with them or
will open the door and insist that they come in and sit down….If you ask them
in to sit it would imply:
you have a
they have acceptance
they have access
it is acceptable that
they are there
The fact that He has "made us sit together …in Christ Jesus…" implies
that we have as much access and are as welcome in the presence of God as Christ
is. That is a bold statement but it is backed up by Scripture.
When you come before
God, you can come in complete confidence, knowing that because you have been
made to sit in Christ you are welcome before God because of the relationship
you have with Christ.
"…We have obtained an inheritance."
We, I think, have a
tendency to be hesitant and bashful about coming into the Lord’s presence. We
are aware of our failures and shortcomings and we seem to come so often and we
seem to always be needy and anxious so we are shy about coming, but:
this: You come home from work one day and find there is a line outside of your
·· there is an insurance man
wanting to make a sale
·· the cable TV guy
·· a man hoping to sell some
·· there is a guy from the
cemetery wanting to give you a funeral plot and sell you one right next to it
is a person waiting in line from MCI and one from Sprint, and one from AT&T
and one from WWF….
Now, let me ask you a
…this is your father’s house and you have come to speak to your father. Do you
get in the end of the line or do you walk right past all those who are waiting
in line, and you are not rebuked by your father, you are welcomed by your
father because you are his son.
Heb. 4:16 says "… come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Being seated together
in Christ implies a resolve …we are content in His presence. It implies
acceptance of His purpose.
Note the purpose the
Lord had in mind when He made us sit together in Him. Vs
Vs 4-7 (is one complete
sentence declaring God’s purpose in seating us with Christ)
We are examples of His
grace Vs 7
We are trophies of His
kindness Vs 7
We are demonstrations
of His workmanship Vs 10
It ought to be the
resolve of every believer that we will sit down to the Lord’s purpose
and be content, demonstrating the richness of God’s work in our life. That
should be the resolve of the heart of every Saint. We have settled in to the
purpose of God. We are no longer
undecided. We are seated resolved, content, in agreement and committed.
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. His message was,
while I work in your life to fulfill my purpose, just sit down with me and be content
and let me work.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising
We are still and
seated in relation to His Word.
We are still and
seated in relation to His Will.
We are still and
seated in relation to His Working in our lives.
Sometimes His Word and will and working in our life is like the immunization
shots we all had to take growing up, aren’t they? They were no fun.
But in relation to
what our Father desires, we are seated in Christ …No debate, no argument, no
complaining, no refusing, no whining.
We are seated in full resolve and agreement.
That hasn’t always
been the case in all the lives of the Saints.
·· Demas…loved the present world
over the purpose of God. He could not contently sit down to the purpose of God.
·· Peter …struggled with being
content with the purpose of God. He
resisted and denied…he was placed in circumstances that appeared to put him in
danger and he crumbled…and cursed, so as not to be identified with the Lord. Do
you know what the Lord would say to His Saints?
Be still, and know that I am God:
Conclusion: As Saints,
our relationship to God pictured with our being made to sit together in Christ,
At rest as Christ
has completed the work of our salvation.
In a relationship
with the Father through Christ the Son.
Resolved to be content with
the purpose of glorifying the work of God.