On The Road Home

Ephesians: What is the Church? - Part 3

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Cory Brock

April 28, 2024


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] Jack is going to come read for us as we read our New Testament reading this morning, which is Ephesians chapter one, verses three to fourteen, which is printed in your bulletin, if you'd like to join in the reading.

[0:12] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

[0:32] In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved.

[0:49] In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

[1:18] In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

[1:37] In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in him were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory.

[1:55] If you're flying in a plane, which you've probably all done before, when you look down, you see the shape of the land in a way that you don't see when you're standing on the ground.

[2:09] You see that the farmland is all in squares and rectangles, and if you're flying over Paris, perhaps you see how constructed the city is, how its overall design and the air and disembolts through three cycles and cycles of circles, we're at Edinburgh's the same.

[2:26] You can be the tallest man on earth who sits currently at eight foot, three inches, 252 centimeters, and no matter how big you are, how tall you are, when you're standing on the city streets, you cannot see the overall design of a city.

[2:42] You can't see the overall design of a farmland. You can't do it. And you're not vertical enough. You're not tall enough. You're not big enough. You've got to get up above it. And the wisest person on earth, the smartest person that's ever lived, still sees everything from their own perspective.

[3:02] We see horizontally not vertically. We just, we're not big enough. We can't see the overall design. We cannot see the grand plan. We're human being. And that's not a bad thing.

[3:12] That's a part of our limitation as human beings. And Paul, in this very long sentence, which is one sentence in Greek that Jack just read for us, is inviting us, is trying to sort of draw every single one of us out of that horizontal perspective and say, do you know that you have a perspective?

[3:29] You have a worldview. You have a culture through which you see things. You can't see the big picture. You can't see the overall design. And he's raising us up to the vertical and giving us ultimately what is God's perspective on everything.

[3:43] And so he's talking here about this big grand plan that God has for the world and saying, of course you can't see it. You're human. But God has it.

[3:54] It's there. It's real. It exists. And you've got to, you've got to lift up your eyes and listen and hear what God says is the overall design of the shape of your life, of all of human history.

[4:04] Another way of saying it is he's saying every single one of us has to in this life as modern people get out of my story in order to conform to these story, get out of our personal lives, get away from ourselves, out of our story, and realize our story is part of a much bigger story.

[4:21] And that's what this one long sentence is about, God's perspective on things. And because this is one long sentence in Greek, verses 3 to 14, and that doesn't work in English grammar at all, the English Bible has broken it down into lots of sentences.

[4:41] And so when that happens, one of the losses is that in every single English sentence, there's a subject and there's a predicate, you know, back to grammar school.

[4:51] And you look for the main point, you know, what's the subject, what's the predicate of the sentence? Well, because this is actually just one long sentence in Greek, we have yet to get to the main point until today.

[5:02] So we spent two weeks on this. And the main point, the central grammatical point of this one long Greek sentence is verse 10.

[5:12] And I now, preparing this week, see why Martin Lloyd-Jones preached 24 sermons on verses 1 to 14. He's verse 10 by itself has so much, we're only going to do one.

[5:27] But it's the center, it's the real centerpiece of what Paul's been saying to us in this long sentence, it's the main point. Here it is, Paul teaches us here in this main point today of the plan, the plan of God, and then that that plan is about ultimate homecoming, it's about going home.

[5:46] And then finally, the road to home, how to get there, okay? So there is a plan, God has a plan. That plan is to take you home, and there is a road to get there.

[5:58] That's what Paul's saying here. So let's look at it, the plan. So if you look down with me at verses 9 and 10, Paul says, back from verse 7 really, that when Jesus Christ came into the middle of history and redeemed humanity by his blood, God verse 9 was making known to us the mystery of his will according to his purpose.

[6:22] And then verse 10, which is his plan for the fullness of time. All right, what is he saying? He's saying that when the time was right, the fullness of time, when time was right, God sent Jesus into the world.

[6:37] And that in that moment, he unveiled his will, what he wanted to do. And when he unveiled his will, he was saying, if you want to know the big plan, the purpose of all of history, look at Jesus Christ, who came to redeem us by his blood.

[6:51] Now he uses one word to describe this big plan, and it's the word mystery, the mysterion in Greek. And this word mystery is not like an Agatha Christie novel.

[7:05] It's not like Alexander McCall Smith. It's not like Sherlock Holmes. The word mystery for Paul is different than a mystery novel, a crime novel or something like that. The word mystery for him means that you couldn't see from God's perspective.

[7:21] You can't unless God chooses to tell you his perspective. And when he sent Jesus, he pulled back the curtain and says, you know, you're walking through this life in a horizontal dimension, in your own perspective, living your own story.

[7:37] Let me tell you the story. And this story, the mystery came down in the middle of history. And it's Jesus Christ. He's the centerpiece of the story.

[7:47] And that every single human being exists to align their story to the story, the big story that's happening, which is the story of Jesus Christ and his coming in the middle of the world.

[7:57] Now, one of the things we haven't said the past couple of weeks that's important is that if you read the commentators on this, they will say this one long sentence in Greek has a ton of illusions and references to the Old Testament story of the Exodus, Israel's Exodus out of Egypt.

[8:14] And it's hinted at in little words all throughout, most especially when it says, we have been redeemed by his blood. That's a reference to the redemption that took place by the Passover lamb in the Old Testament and that Jesus is the new and better Passover lamb.

[8:29] No, the mystery, Jesus in the middle of history revealed the mystery, God's big plan for all of history. I'm going to try to rhyme as much as I can today.

[8:40] That's the mystery. And you think all the way back in the Old Testament to the Exodus story, what is the Exodus story? Even if you've never read it, this is it. Humanity, Israel, God's people were in bondage to slavery.

[8:53] God came as their mighty redeemer and deliverer. And he took them out of Egypt. He took them out of slavery, but he didn't leave them there. He said, now I'm going to take you home.

[9:03] I'm going to take you to the promised land, the land flowing in milk and honey. The story, the mystery, the big plan has always been the same. You are in bondage.

[9:14] You need to be redeemed and you need to be taken home. You need to come out of Egypt and you need to go to the promised land from slavery to homecoming. That's the big mystery.

[9:24] That's the big plan. And it's Jesus's story. And Paul is saying, have you conformed your life to that story? Are you still living horizontally merely according to your own perspective in your own little kingdom?

[9:38] Here's the lesson. There really is a plan. I know it doesn't always feel that way. There's a plan. It's a big plan. It's happening right now.

[9:49] But all of us have been affected deeply in a way that you might not know, you might not be aware of by one particular person. And that person is a man by the name of Michel Foucault, a French philosopher.

[10:02] Maybe you've never heard of Michel Foucault, but every single one of us are living in his world really. And in 2016, there was a really important study about this guy, Michel Foucault, this French philosopher that said that he is the most referenced, incited, and written about philosopher person in all of history with an academic study.

[10:25] Michel Foucault, who is this guy? He's a French philosopher, and this is what, don't worry about who he is, worry about what he said because it's affected us all. And this is what Foucault taught. He said, there is no goal.

[10:36] There is no plan. And what that means is that every time a person writes a book about history, all they're doing is giving you their personal opinion on something.

[10:47] You know, there is no real history. You can't really say there's history. There's a unified history. When you assess World War II, you can't say, this is good. This is evil. No, Foucault said, no, that's just your opinion.

[11:00] That's just the way you feel about it. Because there is no grand plan. There is no big story. And that means there is no God above. There is no moral law or moral norms that we're meant to conform to.

[11:11] Foucault wrote a book about sex. And in it, he said, there's no norms for sex. No sexuality is not something you conform to. It's something that you make up. Now, do you know that you're living in Foucault's world in many ways?

[11:26] Foucault changed everything. And he coined this very famous line that you might have heard of. He said, what all this means in one phrase is, there is no meta-narrative. The meta-narrative. There is no big story.

[11:37] There is no grand plan. It's just you and your feelings and your desires. It's just you living in your own little world and your own little kingdom. And so he said, my role is to show people that they are free.

[11:50] Free from all norms. Free from everything. They're just them. You can do what you want and be what you want. Now, it's very important to know about him and his ideas because it's the world that we live in.

[12:02] But let's face up to the consequences of that for just a second in Foucault's ideas. Foucault was at least bold enough, and other people have been. People like Friedrich Nietzsche or Bertrand Russell, they all said it.

[12:15] They said, look, I'm willing to admit that if I say there is no God above, there is no law within, there is no plan, that there is no meaning in this world. Now if you're there today, if you're walking through life as a secular humanist, are you willing to be as bold as Foucault?

[12:32] To say, you know, there's no God above, there's no law within, there's no norms. Are you willing to go where the logic takes you? Which is there is no meaning in this life. There's just your feelings.

[12:42] There's just your pleasures. There's nothing beyond that. The second consequence you have to live up to in that world is that there is no such thing as history. Not really.

[12:52] You know, you can write a book, you can read a book about World War II, you can say, well, this was bad and this was good. But Foucault says you can't, there's no norm to conform to. You can't really say that there are winners and losers, good and bad.

[13:03] You can't really say that. There's no such thing as history. There's just my story. But look, here's what happened. Foucault, others have written about this really well, and many like him, didn't understand the Bible.

[13:15] Because the modern world comes and it says, you know, there is no grand plan. There is no meta-narrative. God is not in control. It's just us living through our own perspectives, our own feelings, chasing our own desires.

[13:29] And one of the reasons that he wanted to say that was he said, look, anytime somebody tells you there is a great plan, there is religion that stands above you. He said that is nothing but people trying to sell you something.

[13:42] It's a power play. You know, when somebody tells you there is a big plan and you need to conform to it, they're just trying to grab power for themselves. And the failure in that, well, is that true?

[13:53] Of course. Religion often does that. Religion often has done that. But when you read the Bible, what Paul's saying here, he says the grand plan is that you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

[14:06] Foucault missed something. Foucault missed something. Because when you read about the gospel, what does it say? The mystery. What is the mystery in the middle of human history? What did God unveil for us? It's this, that the God who hung the stars came to be hung on the cross.

[14:23] You know, Foucault says every attempt to say there is a plan is just a power grab. It's just religion is just to attempt to sell people something and get money.

[14:33] But the gospel, maybe religion, but the gospel, the gospel is that the God who hung the stars came to hang on a cross for you. It's the ultimate reversal of all seeking of power.

[14:44] Jesus Christ, the God who made everything came to die. He came to be murdered. It's not a power play. It's him giving himself away for us. It's the heartbeat of the gospel.

[14:57] God is the ultimate servant, the gospel says. And it disrupts every single sense of the modern world. The way it views religion and says, you know, religion is there to control. Religion is there to seek power.

[15:08] There is no plan, but boy, the gospel does something so much better. It cuts through and underneath all of that by saying God has become the ultimate servant.

[15:18] He's come to redeem. He's come to set you free. He's come to release you from your bondage. Now let's move on. Let me just ask you, do you see this that you are part of a grand narrative, a big plan that in other words, this is God's world and you are just living in it.

[15:39] But boy, he's including you. He's drawing you in. He's redeeming you. He's letting you and your story be a part of the grand story. And so have you conformed your life to that big picture?

[15:53] Are you still living in your personal subjectivity? Another more fancy way to say it is get out of your subjectivity and align to God's objectivity. That there is truth.

[16:04] That's the big idea. There's truth that stands bigger than our feelings, bigger than our little personal kingdoms and it's the gospel that is the key that unlocks the meaning of everything.

[16:14] The gospel is the meaning of everything, even history. Now secondly, what is the big point of the plan?

[16:25] And here's verse 10, the big point of Paul's long sentence, verses three to 14. And we learn here that the point of the plan is ultimate homecoming.

[16:36] Every a way to summarize this long sentence of Paul is just to ask you the question, are you saved? Are you saved? Are you redeemed? Are you experiencing salvation?

[16:47] And whenever you ask a question like that, every religion does it. It's assuming that you're saved from something and also towards something.

[16:58] So we talked last week about how in Christianity you are saved by Jesus from what? From guilt, from shame, from the bondage of sin and guilt and death.

[17:08] But a lot of times we stop there and what Paul's trying to do is say, no, don't stop there. You've got to understand you're saved towards something as well. Now salvation is not just getting out of Egypt.

[17:20] What is salvation? Salvation is getting to the promised land. And that's exactly what he's talking about in verse 10. What do you save too? And he tells us here, it's in verse 10.

[17:31] He says, in Jesus we are saved when Jesus Christ unites heaven and earth. Now ultimate salvation, do you understand Christianity this way?

[17:45] Ultimate salvation is Jesus Christ uniting heaven and earth, that salvation. This verse really is one of the keys to understanding the whole Bible from Genesis all the way to Revelation 21.

[17:59] It brings it all together and Paul uses this very special Greek word that you can't really translate. It's got so many words inside of it that it doesn't come out as one English word.

[18:10] You can see it there to unite all things in him. That's coming just from one word and it's a word that has the idea of summing things up, bringing what is fractured back together again, bringing together that which has no harmony into glorious harmony and doing it all under a leader, under a king.

[18:34] So it's got a royal idea about it that under the kingship of Jesus he's going to take all these fractured pieces and bring it all together and that includes heaven and earth.

[18:47] What in the world does he mean by that? Here's how you think about it. Do you think about salvation as going to heaven? Do you think about your salvation as just going to heaven?

[18:58] And there's a lot of good in that and it's true but that's not salvation. That's not ultimate salvation. That's temporary. And what he says here is ultimate salvation is the moment that Jesus Christ unites heaven and earth.

[19:14] It's not about dying and going to heaven. No, no, it's much bigger and it's about Jesus Christ actually bringing heaven to this earth. It's ultimate salvation.

[19:25] That's what Christianity, that's what the blood of Jesus saves you toward. And it's always been that way throughout all the Bible. We read Revelation 21 as our call to worship this morning.

[19:36] And what does John say? He says, I looked up and I saw a holy city, the new heavens and the new earth coming down. He doesn't say that he saw all these people going up. No, no.

[19:46] He says, I saw Jesus bringing heaven down to earth and saving us in that way. And that's the big meaning. You know, what did God do? He came down in the Garden of Eden.

[19:57] He came down on top of Mount Sinai. He came down into the Tabernacle. He came down into the temple. He came down in Jesus. And condescension, God's condescension, that salvation.

[20:10] Not human ascension but God's condescension. That's the real meaning of salvation. What is it? It's three things. Very briefly. Jesus is going to come again, bring heaven to earth and when he does that, he's going to wipe away every tear.

[20:28] What does that mean? It means that the embodied world will not be destroyed. No. You see, when Jesus comes and brings heaven to earth, he's going to come down to your very human resurrected body and wipe away all your tears.

[20:42] And what that means is that he's getting rid of everything that causes tears. So a lot of times we think of the end of history as the destruction of the cosmos in Christian circles.

[20:54] We think of it as all things just being destroyed. And no, it's not all things that are being destroyed. The earth is not ultimately going to be destroyed, not at all. If you believe in the resurrection, you've got to believe that you're going to be resurrected into a physical space, the world.

[21:09] That's not what's going to be destroyed. That's going to be destroyed, everything that causes tears, purification, cleansing, the wiping away of sin, the wiping away of death, the wiping away of abuse, the wiping away of everything that's fractured a family, the wiping away of all grief, of all sorrow, of all disease, the wiping away of starvation.

[21:33] That's what Jesus is doing when he brings heaven and earth together. That's the first thing. The first thing is when he unites all things, heaven and earth, he's going to bring together everything that's currently separated by sin.

[21:48] So sin is this poison. What is sin? Sin is not a thing. You can't touch sin. You can't taste it. You can't see it. You can't feel it.

[21:59] What is sin? Sin is the absence of what should be. Sin is more like a hole in a sock than it is like this podium.

[22:09] What's a hole in a sock? It's nothing. But it ruins the sock, doesn't it? Sin is nothing. It's this power that takes away what should be, like holes in socks, take away what socks are for.

[22:24] What is the union of heaven and earth? It's this moment when Jesus comes again and he rips sin out of the world so that everything that should be will be.

[22:34] Everything that has been broken and diseased, all these holes that have been put into our lives will be filled again. In other words, that means taking fractured pieces of life and putting them back together.

[22:46] Let me give you a couple of examples. One is, do we experience in this earthly life we're living right now the fracture of ethnicity in people groups?

[22:58] Racism that abounds. But when Jesus comes again, he says, I'm going to take every tribe, tongue, language, people, and nation and make them one city, one family, perfectly, harmoniously forever.

[23:11] He takes what's fractured, he makes it whole again. When Jesus comes again, he takes, you know, are you a city person? Are you an urban person? Are you a highlander or a rural person living in the city right now?

[23:23] And he said, man, I just wish I just want to get back to the green space. You know, there's always, it's always going to be this way. The urban people think the city's better, right? The people from the highlands think the highlands is better.

[23:35] The rural, the suburb people, we don't know what to say about them, you know? Now, they think the suburbs are better, right? But when Jesus comes, it says he's going to bring the holy city into the green space of this world and make us all one.

[23:49] There's no fights between urban and garden. It's a garden city. It's all together. It's all one thing. It's just whatever there should be, that's what it is. I don't know exactly, but whatever should be, that is what it will be.

[24:02] That's what he teaches us. No more broken family. You know, is your family ruptured by heart, sin? That's gone.

[24:12] All, all fracture healed. Come back together. That's the union of all things. No miserable toil, you know? Are you, do you feel fracture in the workplace?

[24:22] Do you not like your job? But when Jesus comes again, all toil will just be the glory of fruitful labor. All of it.

[24:32] It's our, it's our habit to say, it's our habit to say, this world is not my home. True in a way. But I think the more careful thing we need to say is this world is our home and sin is the nasty intruder that's come into our homes.

[24:50] This world is our home. And when heaven comes to earth, he's going to kick sin out the door. And this world will be our home again in the way that we long for it to be. Lastly, thirdly, the most important, when Jesus comes to unite heaven and earth, that means very literally that the spiritual invisible supernatural realm will be together with the visible physical realm.

[25:13] Meaning, you will see the angels. You will dwell with them. You will be one holy society, one kingdom. The invisible world, the curtain will be pulled back when Jesus unites heaven and earth and all things will be visible to you.

[25:27] You will see the big plan and you will see the invisible powers. And the most important thing in the midst of that to know is that the union of heaven and earth and Jesus is that very good and holy moment when you will get what you were ultimately made for.

[25:42] And that is to see the face of Jesus Christ. Can you pray the prayer of Psalm 27? David says, in the midst of all my fears, there's one thing I'm certain of.

[25:52] I will see the face of the Lord in the land of the living. I will gaze upon God's face. That is what you were made for and that is salvation.

[26:03] Salvation is not just the forgiveness of your sins. Salvation is getting through that by the blood of Jesus so that one day you can see the living face of Jesus Christ. That is ultimate salvation.

[26:15] That is true homecoming. That is what we were made for. Let me just ask you and we'll move briefly to the final point. Is seeing the face of Jesus Christ in the land of the living, the heartbeat of your life?

[26:30] That is what you were made for. And your heart, your soul will be restless and will be discontent until the greatest desire that you have in your life is to see the living God.

[26:43] That's salvation. The land of the living, all broken relationships healed. Those are the bonuses. But seeing Jesus, that's everything.

[26:54] That's the real goal and you will see him if you follow him. Now, Foucault, oh boy, he was so wrong. What makes better sense of our lives right now than this?

[27:09] Is there any story that makes more sense of life than this story? Let me just apply that in one simple way. Do you walk through life right now in your present circumstances feeling the struggles, the frustrations, the burdens, the anxieties and the fears of this life?

[27:26] Are you struggling with decisions in your life, with work, with fractured relationship, pain all the time, stresses, antagonisms? Are you struggling with that?

[27:39] Of course you are. Right? Why? Because you're not home. If you were made to see Jesus Christ, if that's true salvation, you are now living in the not yet and so of course you're experiencing a lack of fulfillment, of course.

[27:57] We can't expect anything else. But you can have joy. And here's how, lastly, the road home. Are you on the road home? So the way you can have joy in the midst of a frustrating life, waiting to see Jesus Christ in the land of the living, is to know that you're on the road towards that.

[28:15] You're on the road home. And so let me just say what Paul says at the very end. I would love to have one more sermon on just this part, but we won't. We'll move on.

[28:26] Verses 11 to 14, he tells us, are you a follower of Jesus? He says in verse 11, here's what it means. If you're on the road towards that homecoming, you verse 11 have obtained the inheritance and inheritance already.

[28:40] Now this is a legal language, very legal language, where he's told us, if you were in Egypt, the Egypt of your own sin and death, and Jesus took you out of that bondage by his blood, that means you've been adopted.

[28:53] You're a son or a daughter of the king. And Jesus, God has signed your paperwork. It's legal language. He's stamped it. It's that he sealed it with a signet ring.

[29:06] And you've got that inheritance. It's the inheritance. It's the coming union of heaven and earth. It's going to be yours. It's going to be yours because you're part of Jesus' family. And if you think about an inheritance in this modern world, when you think about an inheritance, when we think it, we think, boy, I would love for somebody to leave that trust fund they set aside as my inheritance.

[29:28] We think about big wads of cash as our inheritance or big houses. But in the ancient world, in the Greco-Roman world, that's not really what an inheritance is.

[29:38] What did God say to Abraham was his inheritance. I'm going to give you land. And I'll be with you in that land. That's the inheritance.

[29:49] In the Greco-Roman first century, what's an inheritance? It's a father saying to children, I'm going to give you sheep, cattle, goats, land, and you're going to have this family to be a part of and govern.

[30:01] That's inheritance. And when Paul says, you've got an inheritance, it's coming, he's talking, he's as serious as the promise to Abraham, the promise to Abraham, the land.

[30:11] It's real. And he's saying the land will be yours, the world will be yours, the earth renewed will be yours. It's that real. And you will see Jesus because he will be with you.

[30:21] That's the inheritance. Now, are you on the road towards that? Here's how you know. Paul says in verse 13, have you heard the word of truth?

[30:31] That's the language. What does that mean? Are you here today on this Sunday morning, having heard the word of truth?

[30:42] And the word of truth is simply this, the truth that you're encountered by the fact that this is not your world. It's God's world.

[30:53] But you're made for it. The word of truth is you're not just living in your personal story. And you can't just live life according to the way you feel. That God exists and there are moral norms above that stand outside of you.

[31:06] And God's calling you to conform to that. And you feel the weight of that because you can't. That's the word of truth. And so, secondly, he says, therefore Ephesians and Edinburgh folk, have you heard?

[31:18] The second thing he says is the gospel and believed it, verse 13. You got to hear the word of truth, that this story is so much bigger than your story. And yet, there's the word of the gospel and faith.

[31:32] And when you hear that, he's saying, well, in the light of all we've said so far as we close, what is the gospel? What's the gospel in the light of verse 10? The gospel is that you were made for a harmonious, glorious life in the presence of God.

[31:50] And because we broke that with holes and socks and so much more. Because of that, Jesus Christ came in the middle of human history and was torn apart. Jesus Christ was ripped in half.

[32:01] Jesus Christ was undone. Jesus Christ was the one that became totally fractured. Jesus Christ lost everything so that we could be renewed when he comes to put the pieces back together.

[32:13] That's the gospel. It's a big gospel, a whole gospel, a cosmic gospel. It's so much bigger than just the forgiveness of sins, though, man, we need that.

[32:24] And that's the big picture of the gospel. He was undone so that everything might be put back together. Now, Paul says, are you on the road home? Have you heard the word of truth in your life?

[32:34] That the story is so much bigger than you. And Jesus came in the middle of history to make you a part of it. That's the word of the gospel. And so he says, so believe it.

[32:47] Wherever you are in the journey of faith today, whether you're a 50-year Christian or you're exploring today, perhaps having been living just in a mere world of Western secularism, wherever you might be, Paul says, believe.

[33:01] And believe is something a little different than what the Ephesians would have understood it to be when they first heard that word. You see, in the Greco-Roman world, the way you related to a God, you didn't believe.

[33:15] It wasn't just saying, oh, that God exists. That's not what he means. Belief is not just saying, yeah, you know, God exists. There are moral norms. There's more than my eyes can see.

[33:25] I'm spiritual. That's not belief, according to the Bible. Everybody thought that in the Greco-Roman world. That wasn't belief. They would just come and practice religion, pay their tribute, expect things from the gods.

[33:37] No, belief, belief is when Jesus Christ cross is personal to you. It's when you trust Him.

[33:50] It's when you have relationship with the living God who wants to see you face to face. That's belief. Do you believe? 50-year Christian, are you believing right now?

[34:04] Today's the day to renew. Today's the day to come back. And he says, if you do the very final word, you are sealed. That means you're sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

[34:16] You're going to get the inheritance because he's already come and shown you that. And how do you know? Because the Spirit is in your life right now. So if God is with you right now by the Spirit, boy, he's going to come down and be with you in the homecoming of heaven and earth.

[34:31] You're sealed by the Spirit. Meaning, are you aware believer, person who's trusting in Jesus today, that the Holy Spirit is with you and in your life right now?

[34:43] Can you see it? Are you looking for it? Sin remembers separates, but the Holy Spirit heals. That's the way to look for it. So can you think of ways in your life where there was once very serious fracture, but now you can see things coming back together?

[35:01] The Holy Spirit comes to heal your soul. Is there a vice and idol, something you were desperate to have? And now you want that thing less than you used to? That's the Holy Spirit working in your life.

[35:13] Is there a relationship in your life where you could not bring yourself to forgive, but now you're in a place where you think because you follow Jesus that you're more able to forgive?

[35:25] That's the Holy Spirit at work in your life. Is there somewhere in somebody in your life that you need forgiveness from where you've done harm, but you weren't willing to ask for it? And now you're moving towards a space you have done that and you've asked for it?

[35:40] That's the Holy Spirit. Sin fractures the Holy Spirit brings back together. If you're experiencing that because of the gospel, you've got the Holy Spirit in your life.

[35:50] Now, the rest of this book of Ephesians that we'll spin through June on for now is going to say one big thing to us, and so I won't say it now except to glimpse it.

[36:01] The rest of the book of Ephesians is just about this. Choose the church. The church are the people, the living body in this earthly life that are meant to be glimpsing what life will be like when heaven and earth are one.

[36:19] That's the church. Are calling to be light, salt, witness to what it will be like when heaven and earth are one.

[36:30] By the power of the gospel, go and be it. Let's pray. Here, we thank you for the grand narrative, the big picture that we are made for the earth.

[36:41] Adam was made for the earth. We and Eve, we are too. So we thank you that you are not leaving this world just to be destroyed, but you're going to renew all things.

[36:54] We want right now, Lord, above all else. We want to want to see Jesus. Pull away the desires we have that are getting in the way of that.

[37:06] Lord, by the Holy Spirit, we ask now, rip out of our hearts. Do the surgery on us we need to get rid of the things we want more than to see the face of Jesus.

[37:22] We want, we long, Lord, to not be bored, but to be enlightened, awakened, thriving in that desire above all else.

[37:32] I pray that for many, many people here today, Lord, for those that might be watching the live stream right now. We just pray all of us would be invigorated to want to see Jesus.

[37:43] We pray that in Christ's name. Amen.