The Riches of a Christian
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
I want us to “grow in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18).
Some Christians, I know, are like a wasp. A wasp is more a giant the moment that it’s hatched when it comes out of the nest than at any other moment. From that time, it starts to shrink. They start on fire for the Lord, then stop growing.
The book of Ephesians emphasizes growth.
But the book of Ephesians also tells of the riches that are ours in Christ Jesus. It tells us how to go from the rags of our self-righteousness to the riches of God’s glory and His righteousness. In our passage, the means are spiritual, and they are in Christ Jesus.
I want to tell you, you might worry about the virus or a recession, or whatever they call it. There is no virus or depression in glory. And did you know they don’t have a floating dollar up there? Did you know that your assets are safe and secure if they’re in the Lord Jesus Christ? The saved are immensely, gloriously wealthy? That’s what it’s all about.
Now, the bible says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Now, God doesn’t want any children unless they’re rich children. You are fabulously, immensely rich, and the purpose of this message is to help you rejoice in the riches of the redeemed.
The book of Ephesians is talking about those in Christ. In verses, 1:15-18, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.“
I. The Source of These Riches
They come from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who has blessed us. I want to say, to begin with, therefore, that these riches are not riches that you earn; these riches are riches that are inherited. We have a rich Father.
Now, the Rockefellers have a lot of money, but that doesn’t do me any good because I’m not in that family.
Ephesians is to those who are in the family of God—if God is your Father.
You see, notice verse 2: “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:2). Now, if God isn’t your Father, you’re not rich. But if God is your Father, and He’s rich, and you’re His heir, then you are rich.
“Oh,” you say, “well, God is the Father of everybody.” Yes, we all come from God, but we have lost spiritual sonship by sin. No, God is not the Father of everybody. God is the Father of those who are freed from the dominion of sin in Christ.
If you’ve been born again, the bible says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12) Jesus said to those who are unsaved, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” (John 8:44
You know, we sing that song, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
A scientist one time sat out to determine how many stars there were in the universe. And the figure that he came up with—and I’d like to know how he did it—was ten raised to the twenty-eighth power; that is, ten with twenty-eight zeros after it. And he’s saying that’s how many stars there are in the universe.
After that, and interestingly enough, Sir James Jeans, an eminent British scientist, thought he would try to estimate how many grains of sand there are on the earth. And do you know what he found? The same number: ten to the twenty-eighth power. He said he estimated that is how many grains of sand there are in all of the earth.
But I want you to read what the bible says: “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand.” (Psalm 139:17–18).
“If I would count them, God’s thoughts toward me, they are more in number than the sand”—more than ten raised to the twenty-eighth power.
So, how are you going to count your many blessings? You can’t number them. You can’t count all of your spiritual benefits.
You can’t estimate the love of God for you brethren.
Our Father is rich in houses and lands; He has a wealth of the world in His hands!” He is the source of these blessings.
II. The Spirituality of These Riches
And so, that’s the first thing I want you to notice: the source of our riches. They are from God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of greatness, the God of glory, the God of goodness. He is the source of our riches.
The second thing I want you to notice with me is the spirituality of these blessings because I will lose some of you right now.
There are a lot of you who want to be rich, but the wrong way. You don’t want the right kind of riches. All you want is that long green. You want that filthy lucre. And you think, “Boy, if I just had a lot of that, that would make me happy.” Only true riches can make you happy.
And notice how God describes these riches: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings”—”spiritual blessings.” (Ephesians 1:3)
The spirituality of the riches: you see, true riches are always in the spiritual realm—they must be because the spiritual is the only thing that’s going to last.
It’s the only thing that will escape the gnawing tooth of time and the corroding fingers of decay—spiritual riches. Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:20)
If you want to know how rich you are, you add up everything you have that money cannot buy and death can’t take away.
Then you’ll know how rich you are: everything that you own that money cannot buy, and that death cannot take away.
For example, money can’t buy peace of heart. Money cannot buy forgiveness of sin. Money cannot buy a home in heaven. Money cannot quiet the cries of a guilty conscience or heal the bloody wounds of a wasted life.
True riches are spiritual riches because spiritual riches meet genuine needs.
And the bible says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Now, as I’ve said before, sometimes we want things we don’t need and need something we don’t want.
Sometimes I have wanted a second helping of ice cream. I didn’t need it.
Sometimes my dad said, “You need a spanking.” I didn’t want it, but I needed it.
Sometimes, we need things that we need and don’t want, want, and don’t need.
But the bible says, bless God, that “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
That means there will be an unfailing supply of all that we need.
And yet, there are so many Christians who have failed to appropriate the promises of God. God has supplied their need. He “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings.“
III. The Sufficiency of These Riches
Now, the third thing I want you to notice: Not only the source of the riches, and not only the spirituality of the wealth but I want you to see, thirdly, the sufficiency of the wealth.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all …“—and some translations translate “with every,” and it’s better—”with [every] spiritual [blessing] …“—because the word blessing is singular; therefore, the word should be every rather than all. The passage should read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with [every] spiritual [blessing] in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
Or it could be “with all spiritual blessings“—it doesn’t change the meaning very much—”with all spiritual blessings … in Christ [Jesus].”
That means God provides even more than we need. May I say that again? God is infinite love, has given even more than you need. And nothing that you will ever need has been overlooked.
Now you don’t believe that right now. If you did, you’d just be bouncing sitting right there in that seat—you’d be so happy if you understood.
You see, the problem is we read this, and it doesn’t get into our noggins; it doesn’t get into our hearts. We don’t understand what God is saying. One of these days, somebody will pick up this book, read it, and believe it, and the rest of us are going to be ashamed of ourselves.
Now you say, “Oh, yeah, He’s going to bless me.”
No! He has blessed us. The bible says, He “hath blessed us.” Now, already we’ve got it; not, we’ll get it, we’ve got it now; not some blessings, all spiritual blessing.
Nothing that love can give kept from us. We have it all. He will supply the needs of your spiritual soul and your body of the past, the present, and the future; your needs for salvation, sanctification, service, and glorification.
All that you’ll ever need is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He “hath blessed us with all“—every—”[blessing].” Sometimes people want to know, “Have you had the second blessing?” I don’t want to stop there. Second blessing? Why stop when I’ve got them all. Man, I’ve got them all, every gift, and they’re all in Jesus.
Jesus is all, and all is in Jesus! And if you understand that you have the Lord Jesus Christ! If this ever really dawns on you!
You know, we talked in our study in Romans—and some of you were not there, so let me plow this ground just a little bit more—you know, the bible says, “He that spared not his own Son … how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
What a great verse!
God gave us His Son. Well, if God gave us His Son, the Lord Jesus, isn’t He going to provide us with everything with the Lord Jesus?
The logic of that verse is so tremendous. If God gave us the great gift unasked, will He not give us the others for the asking?
If He gave us one great gift that cost so much, will He not bestow the lesser blessings, which cost Him nothing but the delights of giving?
For example, if I gave you a valuable painting, don’t you think that I would not begrudge the wrapping that contains the picture? If I gave you a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh, don’t you think I’d give you the paper containing the painting?
I gave my wife an engagement ring when we were engaged, and I said, “Wilt thou?” and she wilted.
Now, do you think I would give her a ring and say she couldn’t have that little box with the fuzz on the outside?
“He that spared not his own Son … how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Suppose you were to say to me, “Can I have your boy to be crucified for his enemies?” I’d say, “Of course not.” But suppose I loved you so much that I’d give my son to be crucified by his enemies, then you said, “Can I have his football and his bicycle?” I’d say, “Of course.” If I loved you enough to give you my son, wouldn’t I give you his football and bicycle?
Do you get the logic of this thing? If He gave the first gift while we were enemies, how much more now that we’re His dear children and He will provide us with all that we need!
How rich I am! How rich I am! How rich I am! “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Glory to God!
It’s wonderful. God’s riches are sufficient. He “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings.”
That’s the reason Paul said, “I just pray you to get your eyes opened; I just pray you’ll see it.” (Ephesians 1:18) Just what is the hope of His calling? The riches of His glory. I hope you’ll see what your inheritance is; I hope you’ll know what you have in Christ Jesus.
IV. The Sphere of These Riches
All right now, the next thing I want you to notice—the fourth thing: I want you to see the sphere of the riches—where these riches are.
Where are they deposited? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:3)
Now, you notice the word places, if you have a King James Version of the Bible, is in italics. That is to show us that it is not original; the translator has only supplied it to make it read more smoothly.
But what it says is this: that He “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in [the heavenlies]”—”in [the heavenlies].”
It’s not talking about heaven; it’s not talking about the paradise that people go to when we die.
And if you think that, you’re going to say, “Yeah, sure, when I get to heaven, I’m going to have all these riches.” But if you read it that way, you’re going to miss the point entirely.
He’s not talking about going to heaven someday; he’s talking about heaven coming to you right now. And if you don’t understand that, you’re going to miss it.
You see, right now, everybody in His church is living in one of two worlds: the worldly or the heavenly.
You see, right now, either you’re in the world, where you’ve never been born again—or you’re in the heavenly.
You see, there’s an unseen world all around us: it’s called the heavenly. There’s an unseen world right here right now—you don’t see it.
Did you know right now there are cowboys and horses, and there are cartoons, and there’s music, and, oh, there are all kinds of things—murder mysteries and other things—right here on in my living room.
You don’t see it because you don’t have a television to tune it in. There’s music in the air, but you don’t have a radio to bring it in.
There are all kinds of things going on right now.
You can’t see it. If you were to bring Columbus here—Columbus who sailed the ocean blue—and tell Columbus that, friend, it would be easier for him to believe that he could find the east by sailing west than it would be to think that there are music and pictures and all that in this room, right?
Of course! He could not conceive that kind of a world. And yet, that world is all around us. All you have to do is tune it in. You tune in to station J-E-S-U-S, and you’re going to tune in another world, too—and that is the world of the heavenly. And that is where our blessings lie.
The heavenly realm is more real than this world. One day this earth is going to be turned to be burned over, but I tell you, the bible said that Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)
Do you remember when Elisha was at Dothan, and his servant was all upset because the enemies were all around, and he said, “Alas, my master! how shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15) And Elisha, the prophet, said, “[O God], open his eyes, that he may see.” His eyes were opened “and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17).
You see, they were there, but the servant could not see them.
One day, our eyes are going to open to that realm called the heavenly.
The heavenly: this is where your riches are. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:3)
Right now: Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
V. The Security of These Riches
Now, one last thing I want you to notice: Not only the sufficiency of the riches, and not only the sphere of the wealth—they’re in heavenly places—but I want you to notice the security of the wealth.
For it says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places“—or, “in the heavenlies”—”in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
And in Christ, there is the security of the riches, because the bible teaches, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Now, this phrase “in Christ” is small. It is a little phrase, but it is used almost 150 times in the bible: “in Christ.” It is used fourteen times in this one chapter: “in Christ.”
“In Christ” is the security of the riches: in Christ. Now it’s a small phrase, but a short key may unlock the door to a vast treasure: “in Christ.” And this is the secret of having all of these riches: It is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, what does it mean to be in Christ?
Well, you see, there are only two men in all eternity, really: Adam and Christ.
And either you’re a part of Adam, or you’re a part of Christ. The bible says “In Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
That is, you’re either following Adam or Christ . Either you are in Adam—that is, you’re sentenced to death—or you’re in Christ, and you have a brand-new life.
Now, if you are in Christ, that means that all that happened to Jesus happened to you.
That is, when Jesus was crucified, you were crucified. When Jesus was buried, you were buried. When Jesus arose, you arose. When Jesus ascended, you ascended. When Jesus is sat down in heavenly places, you are seated with Him in glory. You see, you are in Christ.
Christ acted for you. The bible says, “As he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17) “As he is, so are we“—if you are in Christ.
Now, this is deep; but get it.
That’s where your security is: being in Christ. How do you get into Christ?
Well, when you hear the gospel, believe the gospel, repent of your sin and are baptized for the remission of sins.
Now you walk by faith (bible) and trust Jesus Christ to direct your thinking and actions; the bible says that the Holy Spirit gets the credit for all this: He baptizes you into the Body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
God puts you into Christ, into His universal, invisible Body.
And then God looks at you as though He looks at His own dear Son.
You are in Christ. You have become a part of Christ. You’re in Jesus, and when you get into Jesus, God looks at you as He would look at His own dear Son. That’s security; the forgiveness of sins is a guaranteed
Someone asks, how can I stay faithful to Christ? The same way you remain faithful to wife, husband children. You love Him with all your heart,
If you are in Christ, Christ is also in you. You can stay faithful to those that you genuinely love.
You cannot lose the security if you love Jesus; if you love Jesus, you keep His commandments.
Now, what more can He say than to you He hath said? You’re rich—gloriously, fabulously wealthy—if you know the Lord Jesus Christ.