OceanSide church of Christ
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WHAT DO WE HAVE?
Victor M. Eskew
A. We turn on the news and all we hear are horrible things.
1. Extreme political division
2. Rioting and killing in our streets
3. Accusations of corruption in our government and corporations
4. Constant updates about the evil effects of a virus that has circulated throughout the world
B. Each of us has life’s daily battles that must be fought.
6. Destroyed dreams
7. The unfaithfulness of others
C. When our lives are burdened with hardship, we have a tendency to quit remembering what we do have.
1. We are so focused on the negative that we fail to remember the positive.
2. We are so aware of the struggles that we forget the blessings.
3. We are so overcome by hardship that we neglect the wonderful things that are ours.
D. In this lesson, we want to remind us of some things. The title of the lesson is simply: “What Do We Have?”
I. FORGIVENESS OF SINS
A. We are in the middle of a pandemic in our nation.
1. It is not the coronavirus.
2. It is the virus of sin.
B. This disease impacts every human being.
1. Ecclesiastes 7:10
For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
2. Romans 3:23
All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
C. Fortunately, there is a cure for this deadly disease. It is the blood of Christ.
1. Matthew 26:28
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
2. Colossians 1:14
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
3. Revelation 1:5b
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
D. As Christians, we have appropriated this blood into our lives. This blood has cleansed our sin-stained souls and we are guiltless before the throne of God (Col. 1:21-23).
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.
II. A LOVING MASTER
A. As Christians we have been freed from the cruel taskmaster, Satan, and now serve a loving Savior.
B. We often talk about the fact that Jesus loved us (past tense), and He did for He gave Himself for us (John 15:13).
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
C. But, Jesus also loves us in the present tense. He loves us right now.
1. We know that He loves us because He is always with us (Heb. 13:5).
2. We know that He loves us because He intercedes on our behalf (I Tim. 2:5; I John 2:1).
3. We know that He loves us because He has promised that He will come back for us (John 14:1-3).
III. A ROYAL LAW
A. We have a royal law to govern and guide our lives while we are here.
B. This law is holy and perfect because it comes from the mind of God (Ps. 19:7)
C. There are many verses that pronounce a blessing on those who walk in the law of God.
1. Psalm 119:1-2
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
2. James 1:25
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
3. Revelation 22:14
Blessed are they that keep his commandments, that they may right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
IV. A HOLY WORK
A. The Lord left us a work to complete. Most of the time we refer to it as evangelism or saving souls.
B. Let’s look at it from two other perspectives.
1. We have the work of growing the Lord’s vineyard (Matt. 20:1).
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
a. We began by planting seeds into good ground.
b. The seed germinates in good and honest hearts.
c. Now, we are seeking to bring forth as much fruit from the vine that we can.
2. We have the work of building the temple of God (I Cor. 3:9-10)
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
a. Jesus is the chief cornerstone.
b. Paul and others completed the foundation in the first century.
c. Now we are adding living stones to the building with each person we convert.
d. We are erecting a marvelous temple that houses the very presence of God.
V. A RESERVOIR OF BLESSINGS
A. We often use Ephesians 1:3 to talk about the importance of being “in Christ,” but we can also emphasize the fact that we have a reservoir of spiritual blessings at our disposal as children of God.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
B. “All” spiritual blessings are ours. There is not one spiritual blessing that is left out.
1. One writer listed 15 spiritual blessings found in Ephesians 1:4-20 (http://www.smallgroupchurches.com/15-spiritual-blessings-you-have-in-christ/).
a. Chosen before the foundation of the world (v. 4)
b. Holy and Blameless (v. 4)
c. In His love (v. 4)
d. Predestined to adoption (v. 5)
e. Accepted in the beloved (v. 6)
f. Redemption through his blood (v. 7)
g. Forgiveness of sins (v. 7)
h. Riches of His grace abound to you (v. 7-8)
i. Made known the mystery of His will (v. 9)
j. Obtained an eternal inheritance (v. 11)
k. Heard the Word of truth (v. 13)
l. Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (v.13)
m. You know the hope of His calling (v. 18)
n. The riches of His inheritance (v. 18)
o. The exceeding greatness of His power (v. 19-20)
2. Another presented a list of seventy-eight (78) spiritual blessings (https://truediscipleship.com/spiritual-blessings-in-christ-jesus/).
VI. VICTORY OVER DEATH
A. Death is a reality (Heb. 9:27)
1. It ends our life on earth, including all the things we enjoy so dearly.
2. It brings all of our efforts to an end.
3. It brings our earthly relationships to an end.
4. It brings deep sorrow of heart to man. Spurgeon said that “it embitters our existence” (“The Last Enemy Destroyed, Charles Spurgeon, November 18, 1866).
5. It causes the body to rot and decay.
6. It parts us from our earthly possessions.
7. It takes its toll on every human being at some point from conception to great age.
B. In Christ, we have victory over death.
1. “…all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth…” (John 5:28-29).
2. “…that there shall be a resurrection of the dead…” (Acts 24:15).
3. I Corinthians 15:54
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
4. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body…” (Phil. 3:21)
5. “…and the dead in Christ shall rise first…” (I Thess. 4:16).
VII. A HOPE THAT LIES BEYOND
A. Can you imagine having no reason for living? Can you imagine expecting nothing after death? You die and are either buried or cremated. That’s all folks!
B. Such is not the case for the Christian. We have hope after death. Paul refers to it as “the hope of our calling” (Eph. 4:4).
1. Hope of the Second Coming of Christ (Tit. 2:13)
2. Hope of resurrection from the grave (Acts 23:6; 24:15)
3. Hope of a glorified body (I John 3:2-3)
4. Hope of heaven (Col. 1:5)
5. Hope of eternal life (Tit. 1:2; 3:7)
C. We are presently waiting for our hope (Gal 5:5).
We also rejoice in our hope (Rom. 12:12; Heb. 3:6).
Our hope is the anchor of our soul (Heb. 6:19).
Our hope is a lively, or, living hope (I Pet. 1:3).
Our hope will be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:13).
A. There is no doubt that we live in tough times.
B. Let’s not focus completely on the bad. Let’s remember what we do have.