Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
"The Exalted Christ"
Ephesians 1

Introduction:   The gospel exalts one, not many.  It exalts Christ, not man.  Our worship and life should also exalt Him.

Proposition:  When we see the character and activity of Christ, we stand in awe before Him.


A.  Abundant grace, v. 3
B.  Undeserved grace, vs. 4, 5
C.  Costly grace, v. 7
A.  The gospel, v. 13
B.  The Holy Spirit, vs. 13, 17
C.  Eternal life, v. 18
A.  His victory, vs. 19, 20
B.  His authority, v. 21
C.  His priority, vs. 22, 23
Conclusion:  Christ touches all of life, present and future, temporal and eternal, sacred and secular.  But He touches no life without permission.

    When Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. came to visit Jerusalem, they tore down part of the wall at the Jaffa Gate so that the Kaiser could enter without passing under an arch!  Christ was a far, far mightier king, yet He stooped to enter this world through the tiny doorway of human birth!

    Michael Hart has written a book entitled The 100.  In it he lists by rank the most influential persons in history.  He ranks Jesus as number three.  Number one in his book is Muhammad, and number two is Isaac Newton.  It would be interesting to know his reasoning.  He says he puts Muhammad ahead of Christ because Muhammad was directly responsible for Islam and wrote the Muslim Holy Book, the Qur'an.  Christ, on the other hand, wrote no book and had no direct personal influence on world events as Muhammad did.   It is impossible for us to see that kind of reasoning.   More books have been inspired by Christ and written about Christ than any other figure of history.  He changed the world and men more than any other.  Surely He ranks number one!

    You see lots of interesting things on T-shirts.  Some of them are funny, some are vulgar, some are insulting. One of the most surprising seen lately is this one with a verse from Romans, chapter eight: "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."

    In 1722, Ole Lorenson experienced a storm at sea.  He vowed that if he lived, he would make a significant contribution to the church.  He did survive, and his contribution can be seen in the Folk Museum in Oslo, Norway.  It is a lovely carved wood altar piece of the crucifixion.  One panel shows the scene in the upper room.  Another, the Garden of Gethsemane and the trial.  At the very top of the altar piece is the resurrection.  The guards lie prostrate.  Jesus is coming forth from the tomb.  The placing of the resurrection in the most prominent part of the carving was done deliberately.  The most significant thing about Christ is His victorious resurrection.

    Sir John Bowring was twice elected to Parliament.  He spoke five languages at the age of sixteen.  By the time of his death, he was said to be conversant in 200 languages.  He was knighted by the queen.  He was governor of Hong Kong.  He wrote thirty-six books ranging from religion to politics.  Yet all that is current from his pen is a poem he wrote.  A poem set to music.  A poem that has become hymn.  He wrote it as he sailed along the China Coast.  He passed Macao, where an earthquake had leveled the city.  He saw the ruins of a mission church.  The cross which had stood atop the chapel now stuck out of the ruins.  Musing on that, Bowring wrote these lasting words:

In the cross of Christ I glory
Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time

    Everybody is familiar with Murphy's Law.  "If anything can go wrong, it will."  That has spawned a whole set of such tongue-in-cheek "laws."  One of them is O'Reilly's Law of the Kitchen: "Cleanliness is next to impossible."  We've all heard that "Cleanliness is next to godliness," but don't you sometimes feel that cleanliness is next to impossible?  Spiritual cleanliness is only possible by the grace of God through Christ.  Without Christ, it is impossible.  We need abundant grace.

How to Use This Book
Table of Contents
The Gospel Brings Change (Eph. 2)

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