If only we could see ourselves as God sees us! There is a mental health condition called body dysmorphia, where the root of problem is that the person looks in the mirror and sees a distorted picture of themselves. They see themselves as too fat, or too thin. If only they could see themselves as they really are they would not overeat or starve themselves.
Many Christians suffer from spiritual dysmorphia – they just don’t see themselves as God sees them! We need to remind ourselves that what matters is not how we feel about ourselves but how God feels about us. What matters is not what we say about ourselves but what God says about us.
The Bible shows us how God sees us in Christ! The Bible is God’s mirror that shows us what we are truly like in God’s eyes. This morning we will look in God’s mirror to see just how precious and special we are to God!!
This letter of Paul’s is written To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Despite how much we are aware of our weaknesses and our failures, God sees Christians as holy people, and as faithful people.
And we read that God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Every spiritual blessing. Not a few blessings. Not lots of blessings but EVERY spiritual blessing we could possibly imagine! And we don’t have to wait to be given those blessings – they are already ours through Christ!
The great preacher Alexander MacLaren once wrote: ‘We may have as much of God as we want. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank and told to help himself, and comes out with only one penny, whose fault is it that he is poor?”
We have been give every spiritual blessing in Christ!
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
God chose us. “You did not choose me but I chose you” Jesus told his disciples. God chose us in order to make us
Holy and blameless in His sight
We see our own faults and imperfections and failures and wilful sins. God does not see these things because He has chosen to make us holy and blameless!
In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will
Don’t get hung up on the word predestined. That just reminds us that salvation is God’s gift. There is nothing we could have done which could contribute to our salvation. Not even saying yes to god’s gracious offer of eternal life. It is all God’s wonderful grace at work in our lives, as John Stott explains G.R.A.C.E God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
And we have been adopted as his sons
God has made all of us his children. We are not servants. We are more than friends. We have been adopted as God’s precious children.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.
We have been redeemed! Bought back through the blood of Christ poured out on the cross for us. The price has been paid! That is how much God loves us.
As the result, we have forgiveness of sins. God has forgiven and forgotten.
Psalm 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger for ever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
If you head East you just keep on going, you never reach East. If you head West you never reach West. And God has removed our sins that infinite distance from us.
The riches of God’s grace
Grace – God’s riches unearned, and undeserved have all been lavished upon us. The best meal I ever ate was an 11 course banquet in the main Hall of University College Durham in Durham Castle. The only time I have tasted Champagne sorbet, and other rare delicacies. God just keeps on pouring his wonderful lavish grace into our lives.
And all of this is part of the mystery of God’s will, God’s cosmic masterplan.
With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
God has this cosmic masterplan of salvation which we will think about again in Ephesians 3
8 … this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our salvation and the creation of the Church is just one aspect of God’s plan to redeem the entire universe. All this will reveal God’s wisdom and greatness to all the beings in the universe, in the heavenly realms as well as on earth – bringing everything to unity in His Son Jesus Christ.
God has given us so many wonderful blessings through our Saviour Jesus Christ. There was once a rich man who read about a very special and precious painting. He saw a photograph of the picture, liked what he saw and wanted to own the original. So he sent his staff out to buy it for him. For months they asked around and looked in all kinds of places. In the end the report came back. The painting had been wrapped up and tucked away in the rich man’s own house all the time. He already owned it! But just wasn’t enjoying it! In the same way, many Christians are just not enjoying so many of the blessings they have already received in Christ!
If only we could see ourselves as God sees us. It doesn’t matter how we feel about ourselves, or what we say about ourselves. What matters is how God feels about us and what God says about us. Holy and faithful, with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. Chosen, holy and blameless children of God. Redeemed and forgiven. The riches of God’s grace lavished upon us as we play our appointed part in God’s cosmic masterplan of salvation. This is what God’s word says! THIS is how precious and special YOU are to God!!!
In your prayers – praise God for all the blessings of salvation he has lavished upon us!