New family in Christ
Published 2:43 pm Friday, May 1, 2009
Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14
Aim: To emphasize to the student that Christ has established His body on earth, the Church.
Golden Text: “For Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body” (Ephesians
5:23). “Christ also loved the church; and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).
After the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). He came to dwell in those who believe on Christ as their Savior from sin. His work in the sinner is described for us by Paul in Titus Chapter 3: “But according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration (the new birth), and renewing of the Holy Ghost (bringing the sinner into proper relationship with God); which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (3:5-6).
The process is simple. The gospel of Christ is heard or read by a sinner (one who has never received salvation through faith in Christ). The sinner believes that Christ died for his sins. The Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin upon the sinner and gives him the faith to believe. When the sinner receives Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit does the work of regeneration by giving him a spiritual birth into the family of God (see Golden Text above). The believer is renewed in his relationship to God. At that time the Holy Spirit baptizes the believer into the “body of Christ,” which is the organism called the Church (I Corinthians 12:12-14).
The Church is an organism established by Christ, which includes all who receive Him as Savior. Every true believer is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. This is not a denomination among men. This is the New Family mentioned in the title. Here are some of the blessings that each member of this new family has in common with all other believers.
I. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4-6). In God’s plan, before He ever created, He planned for the salvation of all who would receive Christ by faith. He knew man would sin under his probation; therefore, He planned our salvation before time began.
II. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7-10). When the Holy Spirit birthed the sinner into the Body of Christ, the Church, He applied the redemptive work of Christ to the believing sinner, and the Heavenly Father forgave the believer’s sins, along with God’s undeserved favor (grace). These things apply to each born again believer.
III. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all thing after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:11-12). This inheritance includes all that God has promised to those who will receive Christ as personal Savior, becoming a member of His own family. He being their God, and they being His children (II Corinthians 6:16-18).
IV. “In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13-14). The fourth great blessing is that every believer has been “sealed” with the Holy Spirit; that is, each believer has been given the Holy Spirit to reside within him. The fact that He abides within is a sign that God has put His divine seal of ownership upon the believer (Romans 8:9). Each believer will receive those things promised by Christ and the Father. No one can take them away. They are already the possession of the believer. The Holy Spirit is that “guarantee”!
Ah, such blessings for every repentant sinner who will believe on and receive Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Oh, the joy of being a part of the New Family, the Church of Jesus Christ!