Minister's Message

“Our Riches in Christ”

Ephesians 1:1-3

     Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In this week’s Message from the Minister, I would like to discuss the many spiritual blessings, or riches, that we have in Christ. Have you ever heard of “Hetty” Green, who was known as “America’s Greatest Miser?” Hetty Green lived in a cold water flat in Hoboken, wore the same shapeless black dress for days on end, seldom bathed and when her son hurt his leg severely would not pay to get a doctor and her son’s leg was amputated because she delayed too long looking for a free clinic. She ate oatmeal cold because it cost to heat it. She was known as the Epitome of Parsimony, the Princess of Penury. They called her the Witch of Wall Street. And when she died in 1916 at 81 she left an estate of more than $100 million. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? For someone who had such great assets, to go through life miserable. Living the life of a pauper, when great wealth was at her disposal.

     But the same could be said of many Christians today. In Christ Jesus we have countless spiritual blessings. In Ephesians 1:3 the Bible says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” However, many of these blessings go unused. Blessings that are wonderful but unappreciated by many. This results in some Christians living what Thoreau would call “lives of quiet desperation.” It results in what describe as “Christians living below their privileges!”

     It is in the New Testament book of Ephesians, in particular, where these “riches” are described. The apostle Paul includes in his prayer for the Christians at Ephesus that “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

     It appears that the apostle Paul, the author of the book of Ephesians, was amazed at the richness of our faith. In Galatians 1:1 he declares that his apostleship was not of his own choosing. Formerly “Saul of Tarsus,” the persecutor of the church (Acts 9:1, 2), he became the “apostle to the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15). He knew it was by the grace of God and carried with it a special charge (Ephesians 3:8). Paul never ceased to be amazed that one so unworthy as he should have been chosen for so high a task.

     His modesty was genuine, even though we may disagree with his self-evaluation. In Ephesians 3:8 he wrote, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” “Grace,” in this context, means a special endowment that brings responsibility for service. To “preach” is to make plain “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” To be “unsearchable” is to be far beyond what we can know, but not beyond our appreciation!

     The recipients are “the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). They were called “saints.” The word “saint” means “one who has been set apart.” It is related to the word “sanctified” which also means “set apart.” All Christians were called saints in the New Testament, for in Christ Jesus even the vilest sinners are “sanctified” upon their conversion. We’ll continue this subject in next week’s bulleting, but may we never forget “our riches in Christ!” And may we, remember our Mission and Vision statement. We are “A New Testament church seeking to evangelize, starting with the central core of Greater Cleveland. We will use our unique gifts and opportunities to engage with the community to bring souls to Jesus, develop and equip them for a 21st century ministry.” And always remember that God loves you, Jesus died for you, I love you, and I am your servant for Jesus’ sake!

Yours because of Calvary,

Terrance R. McClain, PhD

Minister

 
  September 2020  
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