Sermon: Bear Fruit in Suffering Ephesians 3:1-13

April 29, 2018


Sermon: Bear Fruit in Suffering  Ephesians 3:1-13
God has delivered Israel from Egypt and her gods.  In these last days God has revealed how He has delivered Egypt from Egypt.  The children of the promise whether Jew or Gentile are now made one in Christ.  Paul’s imprisoned for bringing the gospel to the nations.  I imagine they thought this would stop the Gospel but because of Paul’s imprisonment we have Paul’s letters which are still active in spreading the Gospel today.  Paul considers himself a prisoner of Christ, not of the Romans but of Christ.  He takes joy in suffering for Christ and joy in the Gentiles coming in.  When we suffer for Christ we should take joy in our suffering and not be discouraged.  Rest in Christ.
One Way Christian Center is a Reformed Baptist Church, located at 605 E. 6th Street in Olustee, OK close to Altus, OK and Altus AFB.  
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 By: Bryan Walker Given on: 4/22/2018  Sermon plays on KWHW 93.5 FM on: 5/6/2018
Ephesians 3:1-13 ESV  
Ephesians 3:1-13 ESV  
    • For what reason? (Chapter 2)
        • The unification of the church
        • Jew and gentiles believers in one body
            • Everyone united in and under Christ
    • The corner stone is Christ
        • The foundation is laid
        • This is a new temple made up of all nations and races
            • No more dividing lines or walls
    • Notice the dash “-“
        • (It is believed) everything between verse 1 and 14 is a sidebar
        • Ministering to the people – What love
            • Nourishing the people he was given
Ephesians 3:14 ESV  
    • Why not break out in prayer?
    • Something has caught his attention, something needs explained
        • How can Paul bow his knees to the father?
        • How can Paul give thanks to God?
            • He is a prisoner
                • Some might think it’s okay to curse God – NO!
                • Paul considers himself blessed with chains
                • They think chains stopped the gospel?
                    • We might not have this letter without chains
            • Paul’s in prison to bring grace to the gentiles
    • Look how Paul sums this up—
Ephesians 3:13 ESV  
    • Paul is in chains and suffering for them, and this is their glory???
        • This is a STRANGE saying?
        • How can Paul’s suffering be their glory???
            • A glory can be what we TREASURE
            • A prized possession, an inheritance
                • What Paul has brought to them?
    • KJV says dispensation of Grace
    • Dispensation comes from dispense – to give out, to be a good steward
        • Paul had received the specific mission to the Gentiles
    • He does not say a steward of the LAW
        • His ultimate goal is to dispense God’s grace
        • The law shows us how much we need grace
            • The law can only condemn
                • It cannot grant life
                    • It cannot forgive sin
                        • Law and punishment work together
Romans 8:2-3 ESV  
    • The death the law brought was conquered by grace
        • The gentiles didn’t even have the law
        • They were in the flesh, with no mirror to see how dirty they were
            • The flesh cannot please God
            • Only 2 camps
                • Children of the promise
                • Children of wrath
    • Who likes a good mystery?  “SOLVED Mystery”  1987
The mystery – the whole doctrine of salvation by Christ, of justification by his righteousness, pardon by his blood, and atonement by his sacrifice
    • All the blood of bulls and lambs
        • A life for a life, blood for blood
        • The conquering king?  In what way? Mystery
        • Who saw this coming, It pleased God to crush him, in our place
            • His blood flowed for my blood
        • This was ALL written beforehand but veiled
    • The gentiles who were the least worthy now share
        • This is “upside-down”
            • The elite was on top
            • People of power, were humbled
            • Tax collectors and sinners
Acts 17:6 ESV  
    • The last shall be first and the first shall be last
        • Jesus humbled himself as a servant
    • Even Peter needed a revelation concerning the gentile mission
Acts 10:13-15 ESV  
    • This is a HUGE shift
        • Jews could not enter a gentile home
        • They could not worship together
        • The gentiles were unclean and Jews with gentiles were unclean
    • God delivered Israel from Egypt, not just from slavery but from their Gods
        • Now God delivers Egypt from their gods
        • The elect from Egypt now worship with the Jews
Acts 10:28-29 ESV  
    • Peter had to be shown God cleansed even the Gentiles
        • This was not previously revealed
    • The Holy Spirit revealed God’s plan to his apostles and prophets
        • Paul was sent to bring this good news to the nations
    • Fellow heirs – means the gentiles have an inheritance with the Jews
        • Much of the OT was focused on the Promised Land
        • The NT is focused on our eternal Promised Land
        • This land is more beautiful
    • Same body – Meaning we are joined together to each other
I am the very least of all the saints
    • Paul was not with the other apostles during the life of Christ
    • Paul was chosen last, after the Jewish church was formed
    • This makes him fitting to bring the message to the nations
If the last are first and the first are last, being the last isn’t so bad.  Being the least among the brothers isn’t bad
        • So are we an afterthought???
    • Some think God keeps trying until something works?
        • God is just experimenting to see how we will react?
        • Man centered gospel tells us God is doing all he can
    • God’s purpose and plan are eternal
        • Man cannot thwart God’s plan
        • Paul stresses the sovereignty of God when he says:
a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—
    • Paul is in a Roman prison
        • Why not say a prisoner of Rome
            • God’s plan is for him to be in prison
            • I suppose they thought prison would stop the gospel!!!
The Romans may have him in chains but ULTIMATELY he is fulfilling the plan of God by bringing the gospel to the nations
        • His preaching to the gentiles, aroused jealously in the Jews!
    • Notice, Paul is glad to suffer for Christ
        • The vast majority of people hate Jesus Christ
            • We must expect some suffering if we follow the truth
    • John 15, If the world hated Christ and you belong to Christ, they will hate you
        • Suffering for Christ was highly prized
            • It’s an honor to suffer and die for Christ
            • Rejection is ALSO an honor
                • We want to be liked
                • We want everyone to respond to the gospel
2 Timothy 2:9-10 ESV  
    • Man cannot stop the Word of God
        • It always accomplishes its purpose
            • Many will reject it and enter eternal punishment
            • Some will embrace it and enter eternal glory
            • Regardless it accomplishes it’s purpose
    • So, what should our attitude be when people hate us because of Christ
        • Joy! Joy! Joy!
    • Was Paul imprisoned for pleasing the World?
        • Paul was imprisoned for preaching Christ
            • We are to take joy when we are persecuted
    • Paul boasts in his suffering for Christ which is for the gentiles
    • Through the church:
        • The election of saints
        • The grace of God
        • The unification of Christ’s body
        • The substitutionary atonement of Christ
        • None of this is an accident but the definite plan of God
I’ll send my son to preach repentance, oops, they rejected Him, I’ll have to change my plans.
No, he was sent to suffer, Paul was sent to suffer, it is an honor to suffer for Christ
If all of this is true
If Christ suffered and died for us
If God sent his only begotten son to crush him for us
If the Holy Spirit was sent to bear witness to us
If we are now clean and not un-clean
If we are now children, heirs, and one in Christ
If we the church display the wisdom and glory of God
Our access to the throne of God is open
We can enter with boldness and confidence because we have faith in Jesus Christ
Do not lose heart due to suffering for Christ, he did not promise you no suffering.  THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE.  

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