Sermon: Introduction to Ephesians Ephesians 1:1-2

January 22, 2018

Summary

Sermon: Introduction to Ephesians  Ephesians 1:1-2
Today we will start the letter to the Ephesians.  Who wrote it, who was it written to.  Overview of Ephesians.  It seems this letter has more word per word than Paul’s other letters.  
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 By: Bryan Walker Given on: 1/21/2018  Sermon plays on KWHW 93.5 FM on: 2/4/2018
 
Sermon Notes: 
 
WHY EPHESIANS?
    • Kicked around Galatians, Corinthians, Luke and OT books
    • This verse stood out from Colossians
 
Colossians 4:16 ESV  
    • Maybe this was that letter?
        • Believed to be a circular letter (MORE LATER)
———-
    • Wanted a book preached on by Martin Lloyd Jones – Yes!!!
        • S Lewis Johnson, John Piper, John Stott…
        • John Calvin’s favorite book, 48 sermons in 1558
            • Paul’s Capstone, Pinacol
                • Many call it a MASTERPIECE
    • One hindrance
        • Very strong election and predestination theme
        • What will people think?
            • It’s the Word of God
———–
ABOUT EPHESUS
    • This book is for us
        • We live in an increasingly wicked time
        • TRUTH is small in numbers
    • Acts 19 – Paul encounters 12 disciples of John, who have not received the Holy Spirit
        • Ephesus started with 12 + Paul
        • Paul stays for 2 to 3 years
    • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (very ungodly city)
        • Temple of Diana
        • 450 feet long x 225 feet wide. It was 60 feet high and had at least 127 columns.
    • Idol Trade Impacted The city was stirred up to the point of rioting
            • Why? The idol trade was big business
            • We would like to stir up!
        • Today’s “Temple of Diana” is the “Temple of Self”
            • People worship there everyday
            • The devil is more cunning
            • Remove the temple building but people will still..
    • Are things hopeless?  Can we reverse the decline?
        • Ephesus became a Christian city
            • God poured out his grace
        • There is power in the Gospel of Christ
            • We can conquer overwhelming odds
            • With God, just a few people can conquer
                • God works like this, hopeless odds
                • Why? — His work and not yours
THEMES
    • We will learn many things
        • What it means to be “In Christ”
        • “Our adoption as sons”
        • The Biblical doctrine of “predestination”
John Stott –
    1. The new life which God has given us in Christ (1:3–2:10)
    2. The new society which God has created through Christ (2:11–3:21)
    3. The new standards which God expects of his new society, especially unity and purity (4:1–5:21)
    4. The new relationships into which God has brought us—harmony in the home and hostility to the devil (5:21–6:24)
 
    • The first 14 verses – one sentence in Greek
        • Exalting exclamation
 
Ephesians 1:1-14 ESV  
 
WHO IS THE AUTHOR
 
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
 
    • Not one of the church fathers questioned the authorship or authenticity
        • Most if not all quote from Ephesians
        • Widely accepted Paul as author until the 1820
            • If Paul spent 3 years there why is it not more personal
            • Some of the language is different
    • Lack of personal touch — Most likely a circular letter –
        • Paul was very well educated, different audience, different situation
    • An Apostle
        • How is Paul an apostle?  By the will of God
        • Paul recognizes he would not be an apostle by his will
        • Paul’s will was to persecute the church
    • Of Christ Jesus
        • God said no, this unworthy soul will be an apostle
        • Of all the people I could choose I choose him
            • He will speak on behalf of Christ
            • He will have the authority of Christ
            • Why? Because it’s MY WILL
        • Think of the other apostles, tax collectors and fishermen
        • Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Gideon and so on…
    • by the will of God
        • How many would agree, it is the will of God
        • Worship at the temple of self
            • No, it’s my will
        • God must call the Christian in
            • God calls his sheep, no matter the rank
            • Many self-appointed preachers
            • God calls, trains and equips the most unlikely
 
WHO IS THE BOOK WRITTEN TO
 
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus
 
    • The earliest manuscripts do not have who are in Ephesus
    • At least one has who are in Laodicea
    • The earliest has who are also faithful
        • Circular letter
 
SAINTS
 
    • Who are the saints?  What does the word mean?
    • Today one might think of Saint Thomas, Saint Patrick, iconic figures in Church history.
    • You are the saints!
        • The word means holy or set apart
            • 169 times holy
            • 62 times saint or saints
        • To the holy ones
        • The set apart ones
            • Set apart by who? God
            • Made holy by who? God
    • No letter is written to the world
        • Mistake of applying God’s promises and instructions to the world
            • Unless it is clear he is talking about the world,
                • It always applies to the set apart ones
                • Who is God speaking to?  Here, His church
    • So what does a “saint” look like?
        • Many members in Christ
        • Many body parts, many functions
            • All are in Christ, therefor reflect Christ
            • It’s impossible to be in Christ and not shine
    • What is our duty?
 
John Calvin:  if we have the faith of the gospel, we must consequently give ourselves over entirely to our God and separate ourselves from the corruptions of the world
 
ARE FAITHFUL IN CHRIST JESUS
 
    • Does not say were at one time
    • Does not say made a profession of faith
    • Says ARE faithful
        • All who believe are saints
        • We are made holy by faith in Christ
        • The letter is NOT to the un-faithful but faithful
    • Some think of faithful as loyalty
        • Yes, it is that and more
    • Some think of faithful as a submissive follower
        • Yes, it is that and more
    • To understand faithful, we must look at the object
        • What are we faithful in?  Christ
        • You can look at “in Christ” 2 ways
            • We become a part of Christ
                • He is the vine we are the branches
                • He is the head we are the body
                • He is the husband we are the bride
            • 2nd The object of our faith
                • It does not say faithful in myself
                • Faithful in my wife or kids
                • Faithful in Christ
            • There is only one mediator
                • There is only one way
                • There is only one sufficient atonement
                • Our faith is in Christ
                • Darkness, Christ is our light
                • Christ is our example
            • Not a mere knowledge of Christ
                • Resting in Christ
    •  
 
(2)  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
    • We can think of this as a general salutation
        • Shalom, Hello, Greetings, To whom it may concern, I hope this letter finds you well, Dear John, Happy Holidays
    • Martin Lloyd Jones
        • It’s a summary of the Christian faith.
        • I agree, look at the words
 
GRACE
 
    • Grace to who? The saints (set apart) who ARE faithful in Christ Jesus
        • Unmerited favor
        • Favor by, God
        • Favor delivered by, Jesus Christ
        • Favor sealed through the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13)
            • Yes I know all of this since childhood!!!
    • Ponder grace, one word
        • Let’s think in terms of a gift
            • Times when you receive a “gift” but it was obligated by a reason?
                • Reasons, Christmas, Valentines, and Birthday
                • Dog house flowers
                • Is God obligated in any way, no
                • Can God bestow grace on one and not another, yes
                    • Why?  Because He is not obligated to/for anyone
            • Receive a gift when you don’t need it or want it?
                • How many need to put on a smile and say thank you
                    • I already have one of these
                    • What am I going to do with this?
                    • I was really hoping for something else
                • Do we gloss over grace as if we didn’t need it?
                • Do we secretly want something besides Christ’s blood?
                    • God that’s nice but I really wanted a new house
                    • We can fake our friend and family with a smile and a thank you BUT God knows the heart
            • How great is this gift?
                • Is it a stocking stuffer?
                • Jeff Bezos out of the blue calls you up
                    • Who? (90.6 billion)
                    • Everything I have you will share in
                    • Telemarketing scam…
                        • Why me?
                        • You don’t know him
            • How about the giver and the receiver relationship?
                • You were once hostile towards God
                • Jeff Bezos is now your enemy
                    • You would love to shut Amazon down
                    • You actively protest Amazon
                • And you still get the phone call
 
PEACE
 
    • From hostility to peace
    • Cold is the absence of heat, this is how it is defined
    • Dark is the absence of light
        • Black and white slide
    • Peace is the absence of hostility
        • We have war; The absence of war is peace
        • How can we understand hunger, thirst, cold, needy
 
GOD OUR FATHER
 
    • Faith summary
    • Eph 1:5  he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ
    • Adoption means full sonship (more on this later)
 
LORD JESUS CHRIST
 
    • Bow the knee and say Caesar is Lord?
        • Caesar is sovereign over all?
            • No, they would not say Caesar is Lord but Christ is Lord
            • The were beheaded and burned at the stake
    • Who is your Lord?
    • Who do you worship? (self)
What do you bow your knee to?

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