Faithlife
Faithlife

Eph 1_1-2 To Whom it May Concern

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 Secular:

  • From the dark squalor of a prison cell…
  • Held by the Roman state…
  • Caged like a dangerous animal… striped of freedom… with death its only escape
  • Paul the apostle to the Gentile World… gives a loving dispatch to the saints
  • Comprehensive and affectionate… this letter oozes with both urgency and deep instruction
  • Parting instruction….
  • An Apostolic – Last Will and Testament
  • Having suffered for the sake of the gospel… the much persecuted Paul’s concern for the saints resonates with a gem amongst the epistles.
  • Paul starts with a rich introduction…
  • One that has a lot to say to us…

Biblical:

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Personal:

  • Some people talk just to hear their voice…
  • Words that are not weighty…
  • Words that a hollow….
  • But Paul speaks weighty words…
  • The Holy Spirit inspires weighty words…
  • No word a mistake or void of meaning…
  • The warmth and depth of Paul’s words should resonate with us…
  • We know the weight of words…
  •  A doctor’s report of tests…
  • A principal’s stern words…
  • A beloved’s gentle whispers…
  • Have weight… and we know
  • The Word of God from the messenger in chains…
  • The Word of God from one who loves the church… giving her his freedom and ultimately his life is speaking…
  •  The Word of God preserved that the beloved of God can hear his voice… know his heart…. See his glory… reveal in his truth.

Bridge:

  • So it comes to the moment…
  • Paul in  his last days…
  • Leaning forward…
  • A strong spirit and a weakened body to speak of God and to call on the church and instruct the saints….
  •  In love and passion beginning a treatise of love and holiness.
  • In urgency and in eternal peace and joy… a reminder preserved and treasured that we would know…
  • The MESSENGER says… We are Saints, called by God, who are to be Faithful to be In Christ

Body:

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

  • Paul… Saul… history
  • Apostle of Christ Jesus…
    • Messenger…
    • Confessor…
    • Witness…
    • Of the one and only…Christ Jesus
  • Not only (or primarily) Who… an Apostle of Christ
  • In light of the context (letter)
  • But How!
  • Predestination…
    • Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  
    •  God is sovereign
    • God chooses God Ordains
  • World History
    • Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  
    •  Planet, Stars
    • Rulers, Authorities
  • Salvific History
    • 1 Co 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  
    • Not of us… not of a clever presentation
    • It is of God
  • Apostolic History
    • Eph 4:10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) - JESUS11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…
    •  God gifted… God appointed
    • Called of God… for a purpose
  • Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
  • Called to his role… by Christ

1b To the saints who are in Ephesus

  • Old manuscripts…
  • Ephesus / Laodicea
  • Circular letter
  • Makes the letter even more special….

1b To the saints who are in Ephesus

  • Saints…
    • Special?
    • Canonized
      • No
    • Holy Ones
    • John 17 sanctified…
    • Jn 17:16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
  • Saints…
  • God’s divine action…
  • Faith by Spirit…
  • Regeneration by Spirit…
  • New and eternal!
  • Drawn into the company of God’s family
  • Sinner to Saint…
    • The glories of God revealed!
    • God is holy
    • And Call us to be holy
  • ONE WAY
    • Saints are those who recognize…
    • They are sinners… helpless apart from God
    • Those who hear the message of the glory of God… revealed by God
    • A glimpse of Glory
    • That drops us to our knees…
    • I have offended you God
    • And then know….
    • That He is our salvation and our hope
    • Trust in Christ…
    • Who was crucified, died and buried for your sin! – see the glories of Calvary
    • From a world of No Hope…
    • To an Eternity of Hope – Joy and Peace in Christ
    • The inheritance of a sinner… now saint…

Mark of saint…

and are faithful

  • Faithful…
  • 1 - Exercising faith…
  • Hear the Gospel… live the reality… faithful… is living the faith that God gives… Romans 15:13
        • Proximity
    • Intellectual
      • Content * Emotional
      • Response
    • Volitional
      • The Choice
      • What shall we say shall we continue in Sin that Grace may abound
  • John 20:27…Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
  • 2 - Continuing faith…
  • Because God perseveres… we persevere…
  • Mt 10:22 …and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
  • We must be faithful…
  •  It is proper to say that a Christian is one who is characterized by a full faith to the very end of life.
  •  Exercising… Continuing… in Faith
  • Saints who are faithfull

in Christ Jesus:

  • In Christ…
  • 164 times in Paul’s writing…
  • More than believing or trusting….
  • More than the atonement
  • Eph 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
  • In Christ is a spiritual joining… CURRENT and ONGOING
  • Image of Marriage – Eph 5:22-33
  • Image of Vine and Branches – John 15:1-17
  • Images of stones on a foundation Eph 2:20-22
  • Image of a body (organic union) 1 Cor. 12:12-27

  • It is at the very heart of our salvation… to be seen as Christ…
  • To be chosen before the foundation of the earth to receive the benefits of the Cross… IDENTITY
  • Atoned for… Justified… Sanctified… In Christ.
  • Separated from the World…
  • Separated unto Christ and his righteousness….
  • Distance is ugliness, evil and sin…
  •  The MESSENGER says… We are Saints who are to be Faithful to be In Christ

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Saint…
  • Here is the blessing from Paul…
  •  Only available to those who have received sovereign Grace…
  • Know Grace... Know Hope… Know Peace… Know Joy
  • Know God… through Jesus Christ… and know these things
  •  Grace… peace
  • Come in Christ from God
  • Grace and Peace are the marks of a saint!

Conclusion:

The Word of God through the Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…

The MESSENGER says… We are Saints who are to be Faithful to be In Christ

To the saints who are in Squamish, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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