"OUR RICHES IN CHRIST"
I. FOR YOU KNOW THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
A. Grace is God's undeserved, unmerited goodness to us.
1. By grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, is a gift of God.
a. Nothing I could do to deserve salvation. I really deserve judgment of God.
b. Nothing I could do to merit salvation. All the works in the world can not save me.
c. I am saved by the grace of God.
2. By grace He has redeemed me from my slavery to satan.
a. I was once held in the bondage of sin, but through grace, Jesus paid the price to give me my freedom. In Ephesians 1:7
Paul speaks of our redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of our sins through the richness of His grace.
3. Paul told the Ephesians that in the ages to come He will be showing to us the exceeding riches of His grace toward us in Christ Jesus.
B. Paul said that they knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Do you know the grace of our Lord?
II. HOW WAS THIS GRACE MANIFESTED TO US?
A. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.
1. There is no measure by which His riches can be measured.
Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you: I [am] God, [even] your God.
I will not reprove thee for the lack of sacrifices or burnt offerings, which were to be offered continually before me.
I will take no bullock out of your house, [nor] he goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field [are] mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world [is] mine, and the foulness thereof.
2. Jesus is the eternal God, He was before all things, He was exalted and worshipped by all of the angels.
3. He left all of this glory and the riches that are related to it to redeem you.
B. It was for your sake that He became poor.
1. He was born in another man's stable.
2. His parents offered a turtledove as an offering after His birth which was the offering of the poor. Those who could afford it were to offer a lamb.
3. He did not have the money to pay the taxes, and had to send Peter to catch a fish.
4. He had no place to lay His head. "The foxes have their holes, the birds have their nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."
5. He made His grand entry on another man's donkey.
6. He was buried in a borrowed tomb.
7. He was in the world and the world was made by Him, but the world knew Him not.
C. He gave Himself to be treated poorly.
1. He said in Isaiah 50:6
"I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that pulled out My beard: I hid not my face from shame and spitting."
2. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
3. He was scorned, mocked, derided, jeered, this holy Son of God.
D. Why would He come to receive all of this abuse by sinful man?
1. In Philippians 2
Paul said that He was in the form of God and thought it not something to be grasped to be equal with God, But He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in the likeness of man He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
a. He left all of the riches of glory to receive the hatred of rebelling mankind against God.
b. He knew His destiny before he ever came to the earth. It was already foretold in the holy scriptures, which meant that it was already preplanned.
c. In talking of His crucifixion Peter said to the Jews, "You according to the determinate council and foreknowledge have crucified and slain."
d. God knew the sinful nature of man, He knew how they had rebelled against His holy law, how they hated Him in their hearts.
e. He also knew that there were some men who would respond to His love and would give their lives to Him and for Him. They would worship Him in Spirit and in truth. For their sakes His grace was shown.
2. I could understand His coming to by force establish His righteous reign over the earth, to destroy all of those who were continually rebelling against Him. Who were destroying everything that was right and holy.
a. I understand fully the reasons for His second coming.
b. But to forsake those riches in glory to live in poverty and be abused, their is only one word. GRACE
3. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
a. Because He loved you and was not willing to see you perish.
b. "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame."
c. He didn't have to do it. When Peter pulled out his sword to defend Jesus from the arresting officers Jesus told him to put his sword away, that He at that moment could have commanded 10 legions of angels to come and deliver Him.
d. He made a deliberate willful choice to show you His grace by redeeming you from hell.
D. There is a verse in 2 Co. 5:21
that declares "He made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God through Him." GRACE
III. WHAT WAS HIS ULTIMATE PURPOSE? THAT YOU THROUGH HIS POVERTY MIGHT BE RICH.
A. I think of the wonderful riches that I have through my relationship with Him.
1. I do not have to worry about what I am going to eat, or what I am going to wear, He has promised to provide for all of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
2. My Father sees that the birds are fed, He will surely see that I am fed.
3. My Father sees that the fields are clothed with grass and flowers, He will surely see that I am clothed.
B. Jesus spoke of the false riches of this world. He referred to them as the deceitfulness of riches.
1. I heard this week that Bill Gates has now amassed 32 billion dollars. For what?
a. That is not true riches.
b. What if he should gain the whole world but lose his own soul?
2. He spoke of the true riches.
a. I am far richer than Bill Gates if he does not know Jesus as His Savior.
b. I would not change places with him for one second.
3. I read how a skeleton of a prospector was found in death valley. He had been prospecting for gold in the Panniment Mountains. He had scratched out a note evidently as he was dying that read "I died rich". He had a sack next to him that was full of gold, but when it was examined by an expert it was discovered to be iron pyrite or fools gold.
a. Many who are declaring, "I died rich" but they possess only fools gold.
b. Paul told Timothy to tell the rich in this world, not to trust in the uncertain riches but in the living God.
C. Writing to the church in Ephesus Paul speaks of the exceeding riches of His grace; the unsearchable riches of Christ; and the riches of His glory.
1. We used to sing.
"He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine.
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches more than tongue can tell
He is my Savior so they're mine as well,
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
I know that He will care for me."
2. Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.
D. Oh how rich we are through the grace of God.