THOUGHTS FROM EPHESIANS

18 THE CHRISTIAN'S TRUE WEALTH

A meditation on Ephesians 1:18

 

Paul prays that God will enlighten Christians so that we will know 'the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints'. [1:18]

Paul is not teaching about material riches, but about the incredibly rich salvation that all who believe in Jesus Christ already possess in and because of Jesus Christ [1:3].

What God has given us in Christ is not a wishy-washy, weak salvation that can be undone, undermined and eroded by our personal sin; it is not so fragile that it can be impacted by the changing levels of our spirituality; it is not so impoverished that it constantly teeters on the brink of annihilation.

This salvation, this gift from God, this inheritance is rich and glorious – and Paul prays that we will know just how great and how grand and how limitless and irreducible it really is. It is rich beyond measure. It is complete, leaving nothing to be supplied by us. It is comprehensive, leaving no aspect of our spiritual need uncovered or unsupplied. It is guaranteed, grounded in and totally dependent on the unchanging Christ and his irrevocable substitutionary death on the cross.

Sadly, many Christians have a very minimal understanding of what God has already given them in Christ. Because of this they do not live with the inner peace and joy and assurance that God purposed for them. Instead they live as if their relationship with God depended on their own obedience and spirituality, and their confidence, peace and joy are as fragile, uncertain and changing as they perceive their salvation to be.

Concerning this rich and glorious salvation the scripture teaches us that: we have eternal life right now; that we have forgiveness right now; that we have redemption right now; that we have reconciliation with God right now; that we have peace with God right now. Because none of these depend on us they are constant and secure. They are all our present, permanent possession in Christ.

But besides of all of these and many more aspects of salvation, there is Christ himself. He himself is the salvation that he gives. To those who believe in him he promised: you will never be hungry again; you will never be thirsty again. Again, this is not about material abundance but about spiritual completeness. Here in Christ himself are the greatest and most glorious riches. To know him is to have passed from darkness into light, from ignorance of God into knowledge of God, from separation from God into union with God, from death into life.

If we are not satisfied, if we find ourselves constantly seeking for something more, then we need to face two extremely important questions: Is the salvation I have received the grand salvation the Bible speaks of or a weak apology for salvation? And, Is the Jesus I have received the same grand and glorious person described in the Bible or a weak impostor created by man who at the bottom line can do nothing at all for me?

The true Jesus, and the salvation he gives us, generates total satisfaction and total assurance. If we lack either, neither our concept of Jesus nor our concept of salvation is truly biblical.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2006, 2010