Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. This is the third part of Pastor Rich's sermon titled, A Prayer for the Church, preached on May 28, 2017, at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Consume the Word of God, His self-disclosure to you, so that you will know what is already yours in Christ.
The word here, know, is epignosis. It means a true, accurate, thorough, and full knowledge. Do you have an accurate and full grasp of all that God has for you? We often pray asking for new blessings. Lord, I need you to show yourself. Lord, I need this. Really, God, are you there?
And we ask for new blessings oblivious to every spiritual blessing that has already been lavished on us in Christ. Maybe that describes you this morning. You need to know who you are.
You need to know all that God has lavished on you. It's kind of like many of us, most of us, probably, have smartphones. It's amazing what that smartphone can do, isn't it?
It's amazing. You know, if I gave you a smartphone, or let's say you gave me a smartphone, and I just, oh wow, it's a phone. So I bring it up, and all I do with it is just call people.
That's all I do. I have no idea that this phone can do anything else. I have no idea that Google is out there, that this can be a GPS, and it can help me find my location, my destination where I'm going to. That it has all this information on there. There are all these people that I can connect with on this smartphone.
I have no idea that it can do all that. So all I do is just call you, and then I'm on the road, and I'm taking a trip, and I've got my smartphone with me, and I have no idea how that smartphone can help me. Does maybe this describe your knowledge of God? Do you know what you have in Christ? Are you still praying for new and fresh blessings, oblivious to all the blessings that God has lavished on you in Christ, that are yours today and now, that He is leading you towards in fullness and absolute satisfaction?
This is what Paul is praying for. When we know all that is ours in Christ, when we know the fullness of His blessing and His grace that He has lavished on us, then that knowledge will rescue you and me from distraction, the distractions of fleeting pleasures and fleeting prosperity, of feeling things like, I would feel more complete in Christ if I had better health, or I could serve Him more if I had wealth. Knowing who we are in Christ rescues us from these sorts of things. Satisfaction in Christ will rescue you from satisfaction in lesser things, often base things. It's letting go of the lesser to grasp the greater truth and the greater blessing.
This is the parable that Jesus gave in Matthew 13, the hidden treasure in the field. He says the Kingdom of God is that way and the Kingdom of God is just exactly that. You and I who are in Christ, that we belong to Him.
We are apart. We are citizens of His Kingdom. And the parable tells of this man who actually owned quite a bit. And he goes into this field and he's digging in this field and he discovers this massive treasure. And what does he do?
He covers it back up, he goes back and what does he do? He sells everything that he has so that he can have what? This treasure. Maybe there's things that we need to let go of in our lives, things that we think are bringing us satisfaction. When I don't realize the surpassing treasure that I have in Jesus Christ. You know, Paul said something very similar to that, didn't he? All things that were gaining to me, I counted them as loss. I saw them as trash stuff you throw away.
Why? That I may gain Christ. Do I know what I have in Christ?
Do I know who I am in Christ? So what is it that he is asking God to help us grasp fully and understand? Three things we go through today. Number one, the hope of his calling. Secondly, is the beauty of his church and thirdly, is the greatness of his power. But the hope of his calling. Verse 18, at the eyes of your understanding, being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling. That you may know what is the hope of his calling. Now, there's two senses in this, the hope of his calling, that you are progressing in the hope of his calling. You are called to be saints. You are called to be holy. You are called to follow in Christ's steps.
And he doesn't just leave it up to you. You're not left up to just your own efforts and devices. God is at work in you.
Do you understand that? God, you are at work in my life. My son, Ben, and his wife, Megan, and their two children, leaving New York, packing up to go to Maine. All kinds of trouble. One word, U-Haul.
Says it all, doesn't it? Right? U-Haul. Trailer breaking down on the road. They have to pull over in a rest area and they have to call U-Haul at 1130 at night to come and rescue them. U-Haul thankfully puts them up in a hotel.
So that's where I think they're still there right now waiting for U-Haul to come and fix or trade the trailer out or something like that. You know, eventually they're headed off to Poland for the next couple of years in a cross-cultural internship. And I said, Ben, I can see that the Lord, your loving father, is molding you. Because, you know, you go to these other countries, you don't have all the conveniences that you have here in America. But God is molding and fashioning you in his love. He's preparing you for the difficulties that you'll face so that you will simply persevere that the joy of the Lord will be your strength. God's molding you. Won't that radically alter how you respond to challenges and obstacles in life when you recognize this truth that God is working in you? God is working in you. The hope of his calling that you are progressing in the holiness, the righteousness that he's wanting to form in you. And it comes oftentimes through adversity.
So don't avoid it. Walk through it with him. That's the hope of his calling. He's forming a masterpiece that will reflect the magnificence of Jesus. That's what he's doing in you. He's begun a good work in you and he will complete it. He's made that promise. He's made it.
But not only that, you're progressing in the hope of his calling, but you're persevering towards the hope of his calling. I ended last Sunday with this illustration of two women hired doing exactly the same job. One was promised at the end of the year. It was a tedious job. One was promised $30,000. The other was promised $30 million.
How do you think each of them approached their work? One of them thought it was tedious. She was thinking of quitting. The other person, the other lady expecting the $30 million.
She says, I whistle while I work. Christian, do you understand the $30 million payout that is coming to you when this is done? Do you understand it? Do you know the riches that you have in Christ? Romans 8, 18, for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Do you know there's a timeframe there?
I often do this. If eternity was from that wall to that wall, what is your life on that timeframe, on that timeline? Your life is a tiny, tiny speck that you could not even identify. And if you are in Christ, you will have all of eternity to bask in the glory and the satisfaction of an infinitely good God. And 10,000 years from now, you might be able to look back and faintly remember all the adversities and trials of this life. But to you, it will seem like nothing more than a tiny little prick of the finger. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Think about that. Keep the big picture in view because you have an enemy of the soul who would absolutely delight to keep you fixed on the troubles of the here and now and forget the big picture. That's what he wants. You know, Satan loves religion as long as it's long-faced religion. He loves it because there's nothing attractive about long-faced religion. It's repulsive, frankly.
That's why he loves it so much. But we are going to be long-faced if we do not grasp the heights of his plans for us. Folks, we need to do that.
We need to do that. Peter says it very well, if for a brief time, if need be, we have been grieved by various trials. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
And listen, this is not a put on. Oh, I'm a Christian. I'm supposed to be happy. So I'm going to be happy.
That's not what it is. It comes from the understanding of the heights of his plan for us. The magnitude of the blessings that he has lavished on us.
The 30 million dollar payday that is coming after this very brief stint of working in the factory. Do you understand what is yours in Christ? Do you know the heights of his plans for you?
Do you know the blessings that he has lavished on you? I call you to that this morning, the hope of his calling. Father, it is your desire to shape and fashion us in the likeness of your son, the Lord Jesus. Father, I pray that indeed you will renew our minds. And help us this morning, Father, grasp the heights of your plans for us. May we know and have a fuller knowledge and comprehension of all that is ours already in Christ. Father, do the necessary work in our minds, I pray, that we indeed will be the church. We will be the people that you have called us to be.
Not because we're just putting on the face. But because we're living in the outflow of what is true of you and what is true of us in Christ. Father, do that work in us this morning, I pray. In Jesus' name, Amen. You've been listening to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, lead pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Visit our church website to see upcoming events or to listen to more messages at www.gbcwinston.com. To discover how to live by grace, tune in with us on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-19 09:39:15 / 2022-11-19 09:44:11 / 5