Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3
Getting rich quick seems to be an endeavor many people in our time wish were possible. Some even diligently pursue every scheme imaginable to achieve it. What if I could prove to you that it is possible to “get rich quick?” If you are thinking this article is about another “scheme” to get rich it is not. The riches I am writing about are not the temporal, material possessions that fade or rust or can be stolen. The riches I am writing about are the ones entrenched in Christ. If you want to really get rich quick, then you must be found “in Christ.”
That is where it starts: being in Christ. To be in Christ, there must be an acknowledgement that you are spiritually bankrupt and cannot earn heaven’s riches on your own. Heaven’s riches can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. All the blessings of heaven will be yours in Christ when you repent of sin, seek His forgiveness, confess Him as Lord of your life, and believe that He rose again – all for you! It is at that moment, God takes you and transfers you from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light. He declares you righteous; you are in Christ. Once you have been declared by God to be in Christ, your position is now secure and now you must take possession of those riches that come with that position and allow God to enrich your lives with them, practically. That is what the book of Ephesians is about: being in Christ. God speaks to us through this letter to identify the origin of our heavenly riches and how they ought to impact us from a practical standpoint.
The city of Ephesus was best known for its Temple of Diana, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Ephesus was also an important political, educational and commercial center, a great city in its time. Some have even equated it with Alexandria in Egypt. It was a city of great wealth and prosperity. Yet with all the wealth, the populous was still in need. There was such a spiritual poverty within that city that God used Aquila and Priscilla, who were left there by Paul on his second missionary journey, to establish a church that would minister the gospel (see Acts 18). Later, Paul would return on his third journey to help establish this church more firmly (Acts 19 & 20). Using the mindset of wealth, to which his readers would be acutely attuned, Paul wrote this letter to them so they would know how God has enriched their lives and that, by taking possession of their divine riches, their lives can change. Our lives can change too, much like those in Ephesus.
Like much of Paul’s writings, Ephesians is full of doctrine and practice. Paul takes the first half of his letter to identify the doctrinal truths that provide the foundation of our riches, all of which are found “in Christ.” The second half of his letter is full of practical truths. Paul shares how sound doctrine ought to impact the life of every believer. The riches provided for all of us in Christ are enough for us to be different in the way we handle life. The way we handle adversity ought to communicate the abundant resource we have in our relationship with God. The Christian home ought to be place where conflicts are handled with the riches found in Christ, our interactions communicating that God is building the house. The Christian teenager and young adult have enough riches in Christ that they can build godly relationships without searching for satisfaction in sexual pleasures outside of marriage. All of us have enough resources in Christ to pursue pleasing God as our top priority. The riches this world offers will never compare to all the riches we have in Christ. If believers would recognize the riches they already possess in Christ, and allow those riches to have an impact on the way they think and live, the message of the cross would ring much louder and clearer to those they seek to reach.
In my humble opinion, far too many believers have become so consumed with material pursuits they have forgotten the wealth of spiritual blessings they have in their relationship with Christ. By not taking advantage of those resources, many believers lose their effectiveness for Christ because their lives are often characterized by defeat and continual discouragement. Some Christian homes are filled with strife and anguish because they are trying to build their house apart from God and his requirements for spousal responsibilities in marriage. Christian teens and young adults get involved in sex before marriage because they are seeking to define themselves in their relationships with others, instead of finding satisfaction in Christ and living as He desires.
God has truly blessed us beyond measure. I invite you to study this book along with us at Maranatha Bible Church in Van Buren. The truth is that, if we consider our position in Christ as being eternally secure, we then take possession of that position and allow it to change our thinking and behavior. There is no room for discouragement and despair when we are rejoicing in the truth that all of God’s treasures in Christ are ours because we are in Christ. Stop living like spiritual paupers. God has abundantly poured out more than we need to live as spiritually wealthy citizens of heaven.
If you are in Christ, don’t let the snares of this life weigh upon you so heavily that you forget how much your life has been enriched by the grace of God in redeeming you for His glory.