Preaching Outline of the Letter to the Ephesians 4:11 Message Eighteen

The Letter to the Ephesians   Message 18

Last week we reviewed the message of Paul from chapter 4, verses 1 through 6.  We need to review again the responsibilities before moving on learning of the committed church growing and serving the Lord together.

C.  The Corporate responsibilities established.  Ephesians 4:7-13

We noted the –

    1.  The provision to serve – God has given us grace to serve

    2.  The Provider – The grace is given through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    3.  The Plan –  which we learned of in the previous message –

Ephesians 4:11-12  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The plan of the Lord involved a number of particular actions necessary for the accomplishment of His purpose.  According to His sovereign will we learn that “…he gave…”.  We saw –

      a.  The People to serve Him.  Both –

         1).  Their faith –  And –

        2).  Their potential, not their past! (Peter, Matthew, Paul)

We must always remember the Lord placed men into –

      b.  The Positions needed to establish His churches –

“…apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;…”

This morning, let’s look more closely at these offices –

        1).  Apostles

          a).  A special position –

Luke 6:13-16  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

A requirement that could no longer be met with the deaths of these believers. 

Acts 1:21-22  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

No one could be, no matter what claim they make, a chosen apostle following the deaths of these men!

          b).  A special power –

Matthew 10:1  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Acts 5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

We must mention –

          c).  A special person – Paul

1 Corinthians 9:1  Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

1 Corinthians 15:7-9  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

2 Corinthians 12:12  Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.  

His position was acknowledged by the other apostles and leaders in the church –

Galatians 2:8-9  (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Another special office that is no longer operating is that of the –

        2).  Prophets

1 Corinthians 14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

This office involved two aspects –

            a).  The Foretelling of God’s Word revealed.

1 Corinthians 14:29-32  Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

2 Peter 1:19-21  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

            b).  The Forthtelling of God’s Word, having been revealed.

Acts 11:22-23  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

Read – 1 Corinthians 14:1,3,22,24-25

The foretelling of God’s Word revealed has ceased with the completion of the Scriptures, which were completed with the Revelation of Jesus Christ penned down by the Apostle John.

The forthtelling of God’s Word having been revealed is continued by those in the following two offices which are operating today –

        3).  Evangelist 

The office operating since it was established by the Lord, through His leadership, through the Church, and commonly called today – the missionary.

Acts 8:26-40  And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached (evangelized) in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Acts 21:8  And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

2 Timothy 4:5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

        4).  Pastors and teachers

This office was established in order that the members would be taught the whole counsel of God and is also in operation today.

This office is three-fold, one man with three primary responsibilities

Acts 20:17  And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The offices were created by the Lord for the proclamation of the Gospel, the planting of His churches, –

Ephesians 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

1 Corinthians 3:10-11  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

As well as for –

      c.  The Preparation of believers to serve the Lord. 

Which we will continue to learn of next week.

Today I ask you if you understand that God’s will in all of this is for His Glory, the exaltation of His blessed Son – the Lord Jesus Christ, the salvation of men, and the establishment of His church?

Do you take each of these purposes of God seriously?  How do you show these things in your lives?

Do you care about obeying God each day?

Do those who know you know that you are in Christ Jesus?

Do people who know you know that you will be in church at service time?

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Preaching Outline of the Letter to the Ephesians 4:7-13 Message Seventeen

The Letter to the Ephesians       Message Seventeen

We should review chapter four, verses 1 through 6, in order to remember the context of Paul’s message in these verses.  The choices to be made, the church unity demanded, and then overview today the corporate responsibilities established.  First –

A.  The Choices to be made.  4:1-3

Ephesians 4:1-3  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    1. The choice Paul made in his life that God is always in Control.

    2. The choice of an obedient attitude.  Ephesians 4:1b

    3. The choice of observable actions.

Beginning in Ephesians 4:4 we have –

  B.  The Church unity demanded     Ephesians 4:4-6

Ephesians 4:4 -6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

These are nonnegotiable characteristics of a church that are necessary for growing to perfection.

They preached a consistent message to all of the churches –

1 Corinthians 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Philippians 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

And so we should follow the advice given –

Philippians 2:5-11  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In other words, Be Single Minded!

    1.  One Body

    2.  One Spirit

    3.  One Hope of your calling

    4.  One Lord

    5.  One Faith

    6.  One Baptism –  speaking to the church

    7.  One God and Father of all

With these truths in mind, we turn to –  

  C.  The Corporate responsibilities established.  Ephesians 4:7-13

    1.  The provision to serve –

Ephesians 4:7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

      a.  We have been accepted by the Lord to serve Him in His church.

           “…given grace…”  

As our Captain, He has called us into His service.  He has given each of us –

        1).  The Place of membership. 

1 Corinthians 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

        2).  The Position to fill

1 Corinthians 12:14-18  For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

and –

        3).  The Power to accomplish it.

1 Corinthians 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

      b.  We have been directed by the Lord to the place of service in His church. 

Each member has a responsibility to serve in the church. 

Each member has a place of service in the church.

This place of service is defined and determined by the Lord as we will see in the following verses.

    2.  The Provider –

Ephesians 4:8-10  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?   He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

He set us free from bondage in sin to freedom, redeeming us with His own blood.  We are now free to serve Him!

Colossians 1:13-14  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

John 8:34-36  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

As previously mentioned, this place of service is defined and determined by the Lord in accordance with –

    3.  The Plan –   

We will preview these verses  today and examine them in more detail next week, but we want to lay a foundation of understanding today –

Ephesians 4:11-12  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The plan of the Lord involved a number of particular actions necessary for the accomplishment of His purpose.  According to His sovereign will we learn that “…he gave…”.  Look at –

      a.  The People to serve Him. 

         1).  Their faith.

         “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men….”   

         “Feed my sheep…”

1 Timothy 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

1 Timothy 2:7  Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

They trusted the Lord to work through them – His power became

        2).  Their potential, not their past!

The Lord placed men into –

      b.  The Positions needed to build and sustain His church –

“…apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;…”

Defined –

        1).  Apostles

        2).  Prophets

        3).  Evangelist

        4).  Pastors and teachers

Ephesians 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

The men placed in these position were given responsibility for –

      c.  The Preparation of believers to serve the Lord. 

        (1).  The responsibility of the church members who are office holders.

“…For the perfecting of the saints,…”

        (2).  The responsibility of the entire church membership.

“…for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

We must note that the gifts given by the Lord to the church were certainly the leaders, but also extend to the members as the member’s service is a direct result of the service rendered by the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, and Pastors and teachers…”

Are you preparing with all that is in you to serve the Lord where He has placed you?

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Preaching Outline on the Letter to the Ephesians 4:4-6 Message 16

VIII.  Perfection.  Ephesians 4:1-16    Message Sixteen

  A.  The Choices to be made.  4:1-3

Ephesians 4:1-3  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    1. The choice Paul made in his life.

    2. The choice of an obedient attitude.  Ephesians 4:1b

    3. The choice of observable actions.

Once we are saved, we should be –

  1.  Exchanging our pride and self confidence with lowliness and meekness
  2. Exchanging our rejecting others in anger with longsuffering.
  3. Exchanging our impatience with others for forbearance, loving them by giving them time to grow in grace.
  4. Exchanging our inclination to destroy with the desire to unite – endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

All of which brings our attitudes and our actions into submission to the plan of God which is to grow unto perfection, revealing to the world through our lives the purpose of God – His glory.

On Wednesday night, we learned of 4 facts necessary for right understanding –

Fact 1. Not every person who is saved is a member of a church.

Fact 2.  Every person who is saved should be a member of a church.

Fact 3.  Baptism is the entry to church membership.

Fact 4.  The Lord set forth His command with the expectation that every person who called upon the Lord for salvation would follow salvation with being baptized.

The Apostle Paul took great care to instruct the people in growing to Perfection by insuring they understood what to believe and beginning in verse seven by setting forth their responsibilities on how His purpose would be accomplished through them.

Beginning in Ephesians 4:4 we have –

  B.  The Church unity demanded     Ephesians 4:4-6

Ephesians 4:4 -6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

These are nonnegotiable characteristics of a church that are necessary for growing to perfection.

They preached a consistent message to all of the churches –

1 Corinthians 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Philippians 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

And so we should follow the advice given –

Philippians 2:5-11  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In other words, Be Single Minded!

We cannot be united, “…the unity of the Spirit…”, in One Lord when we have many Lords.  We cannot be united in One Faith when we have many faiths……..

Ephesians 4:4 -6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

    1.  One Body

Colossians 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    2.  One Spirit

John 16:7-15  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

There are spirits of error, teaching that which is not of God.  We must know God to know the Spirit!

1 John 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

We must know God’s Word to be able to know the difference between truth and error!

    3.  One Hope of your calling

Colossians 1:5  For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

    4.  One Lord

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Colossians 2:9-10  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

    5.  One Faith

Colossians 2:6-7  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Romans 3:22-26  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

    6.  One Baptism –  speaking to the church

Romans 6:1-6  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

1 Corinthians 1:13-15  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

Colossians 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

    7.  One God and Father of all

Exodus 20:1-3  And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Why?  Because there is no other!   –

Isaiah 44:6,8  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God……..Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

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Preaching Outline on the Letter to the Ephesians Message Fifteen 4:2,3

VIII.  Perfection.  Ephesians 4:1-16    Message Fifteen

  1. The Choices to be made.  4:1-3

Ephesians 4:1-3  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Last week, we looked at –

    1. The choice Paul made in his life.

Ephesians 4:1a  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord…  

Paul made his choices believing with all of his being that God is in control of all things.  What about our choice?  And also we saw that having this same confidence provides us with the foundation for –

  2. The choice of an obedient attitude.  Ephesians 4:1b

“…beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,…”

      a. The exhortation    “…beseech you…”  you have a choice to “…observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

      b. The exaltation   “…that ye walk worthy of the vocation…”

      c. The expectation  “…wherewith ye are called…”   submission to the request of He who called.

Today we declare that –

We, believing that God is in control of all things, and having the attitude that our submission and service to God is more than just required obedience, but service from an attitude of love which becomes a life of worship unto Him that is worthy, testified of in the world by –

    3. The choice of observable actions.

Ephesians 4:2-3  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Once we are saved, we should be –

  1.  Exchanging our pride and self confidence with lowliness and meekness

Moses, an example of lowliness and meekness.  He had been a prince in Egypt, raised in the house of Pharao.  When he put that life behind him, choosing to be with his people, Israel, we note that his defense of his person or his position is never heard from his own lips.  He put his trust in God.

Numbers 12:3  (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

He was accused by the people of not knowing where he was leading them. 

        1).  He led them –

          a).  To an impassible Red Sea     What happened?  –

Salvation to Israel    Opened to pass through on dry ground

Destruction to Egypt   Closed upon and drowned them

          b).  To undrinkable water   The pool of water, called Marah (bitter)      What happened?    Made sweet by throwing in a branch

          c).  To unimaginable hunger Exodus 16:4    What happened?  Manna

          d).  To uninhabitable wilderness  Exodus 17:1

Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.  What happened?  Smote the rock and water came forth

          e).  To an unprovoked battle     Exodus 17:8    Amalekites       What happened?  Raised his arms and the battle was won

        2).  He was also accused by family and ‘familiar friends’ –

          a).  His sister Miriam of not including her in the leadership of the people.

          b).  By Korah and 250 princes of taking the leadership for himself only.

          c).  By the people for leading them to a land they could not conquer, being influenced by men that he had chosen as leaders.

He is an example to men of lowliness and meekness of character, every time, praying to God to settle the problems and unite the people that they might follow God’s leadership into the land of Canaan.  He wanted the people to exchange their pride for lowliness and meekness.

We are to be –

  •  Exchanging our rejecting others in anger with longsuffering.

1 Timothy 1:16  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

   Jesus did not reject his friend, Peter, for denying him.

   Jesus did not reject his enemy, Saul, for persecuting him.

Through the Lord’s longsuffering, we learn what results are possible in people’s lives.  Along with longsuffering is the need of –

  •  Exchanging our impatience with others for forbearance, loving them by giving them time to grow in grace.

Colossians 3:13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

The Lord has every right to declare us guilty every day, but He does not.  He convicts us of our sin and gives us an opportunity to repent.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We might say that we are longsuffering with people, not rejecting them, but how often do we not reject them, but with that, do not forgive them and restore them as if nothing had ever happened?  “Forbearing one another in love”.   To forgive and choose not to remember the transgressions.

Remember the hymn –    Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between –


Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor;
Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.

Can we take the words of this familiar hymn and apply them to those around us?  Are we able to forbear one another in love?

  •  Exchanging our inclination to destroy with the desire to unite – endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Psalm 51:5  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

John 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Job 14:4  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

As new creatures through the Lord Jesus Christ, we must admit that the wrong things, the wrong thoughts, the wrong actions, must be stopped and the new things, the new thoughts, the new actions must be done, but it is difficult because we have lived for ourselves and so long in sin that it is a struggle to change. 

Illustrate the old nature with building blocks.  We are born with it and act accordingly.  The problem is that even when we get saved and are changed by God – we still desire to break down that which others have built.  The thoughts come upon us suddenly and we ourselves are taken by surprise at them, yet we must cry to the Lord for help as Paul did –

Romans 7:24-25  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

When we endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit, Who is in us, we will bind ourselves with others who are doing the same thing in the “…bond of peace.”

Putting off the old man and his ways and putting on the new with energy and determination.

This is God’s plan for His church, united in carrying out His command, taking His Word to the world!

Will we say today to the Lord, I –

  1.  Give you my pride and self confidence.  I want to simply be your servant.
  2.   Give my
  3.   Give you my impatience and anger toward others, and be longsuffering.
  4.   Give you my desire to tear down others and seek your leadership in my life to be an encouragement and build up others, united in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to be used of you to build up others and encourage them to be all that they should and can be for you!

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Preaching Outline on the Letter to the Ephesians Message Fourteen Ephesians 4:1-3

VIII.  Perfection.  Ephesians 4:1-16   Message Fourteen

Based on the facts set before them in the previous three chapters, “I therefore….”, Paul wrote to them about choices they should make and how these choices will influence their lives in the matter of perfection (which we will speak of later) and influence the lives of those that will follow them.

Ephesians 4:1-3  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We begin by looking at –

  1.  The choice Paul made in his life.

Ephesians 4:1a  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord…  

Paul had well learned through God’s Word and personal experience that God is in control!  When we get saved, coming to God in faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we acknowledge that God is in control and we must listen and obey Him. 

We should make a public statement of this change in our lives by telling others that we have been saved by the grace of God through faith in Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

We should also make a public statement of our salvation by being baptized, showing that we believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and that we identify with Him, not being ashamed of Him –

Romans 6:4-5  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Each day following the day of our salvation we should learn through His Word by reading the Bible, learn through our prayer time with Him, and learn through the experiences of each day as He leads us, that He is in control.

This is a truth, a fact that we must learn for ourselves.  We hear it in preaching and in the testimonies of others, but each of us must learn for ourselves. 

When we are saved, we are like a container, filled with things that need to be removed and making room for things that need to be added.  This change should be noticed by our own selves and by those around us.  We will know that God is in control!  As we throw out things and as He puts in things, we find that we are trusting in Him more and more.  During this time of growth, God encourages us to trust Him more and more.

1 John 5:13-15  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of

him.

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

We must have confidence in the Lord and whatever our situation should say with the Psalmist –

Psalm 56:3-4  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

People who have confidence in the world and the things contained therein do not understand that God is in control –

What is it that Paul is declaring in the words “…I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord…..”

Emperor Nero thought Paul was his prisoner

The Romans thought Paul was their prisoner

The centurion thought that Paul had been his prisoner

Festus thought that Paul had been his prisoner

Felix had thought Paul had been his prisoner

The chief captain of the Roman guard in Jerusalem thought Paul had been his prisoner

But God was in control the entire time and was insuring that Paul would arrive safely in Rome –

Acts 23:11  And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Even if he would be traveling Prison Class!

One of my favourite thoughts on the ‘prisoner’ status of Paul is found in Paul’s journey to Rome.  Along the journey he was to them at first a prisoner, then a preacher, then a prophet, then a protector, then a provider, and upon arrival in Italy – a prince!  And finally Paul was delivered to Nero, but he was as much Nero’s prisoner as Jesus was Pilate’s prisoner –

John 19:10-11  Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Pilate had his authority from Ceasar and Ceasar was emperor according to the will of God –

Romans 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

So Pilate was under the authority of Ceasar and Ceasar was under the authority of God – “…except it were given thee from above.”  Pilate was confused by the entire situation and tried desperately to get out of it, throwing off the responsibility to others.

Caiaphas’ authority, as the High Priest, came from God.  Caiaphas was not confused and knew exactly what he was doing, therefore having the greater sin!  In both cases, though, God was in control!

Pilate thought that he was only accountable to Ceasar and Ceasar thought that he was only accountable to himself! The day of their accounting to Him before the Great White Throne of Judgment is coming!  And Ceasar and Pilate will be standing alongside the High Priest, Caiaphas, receiving their sentence of eternal separation from God – except if they turned to God for salvation before they died.  Only God and they know if this is the case at this time.

Paul believed it was most important for us to understand this fact and so stated it three times in this letter –

Ephesians 3:1  For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Ephesians 4:1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord

Ephesians 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds:

God is in control and we should make choices based on that knowledge.

Paul made his choices believing with all of his being that God is in control of all things.  What about our choice?  Having this same confidence provides us with the foundation for –

  •  The choice of an obedient attitude.  Ephesians 4:1b

“…beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,…”

  1.  The exhortation    “…beseech you…”  you have a choice to “…observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”
  • The exaltation   “…that ye walk worthy of the vocation…”

Colossians 1:21,22 yet now hath he reconciled…… In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

  •  The expectation  “…wherewith ye are called…”   submission to the request of He who called.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Next week we will look at how Paul instructs us how to fulfil the will of God – continuing to make right choices –

Conclusion –

Today we have decisions – choices to make which will affect our lives, the lives of those around us, and the lives of those that come after us.

     Do you believe that God is in control of all things?

Trust Him then and by your own choice –

Pray, asking Him for His wisdom,

Read His Word, seeking His guidance,

Live in such a way as to bring glory to God in all things.

Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

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Preaching Outline on the Letter to the Ephesians Message Thirteen

The Letter to the Ephesians  Message Thirteen

VII.  Perception.  Ephesians 3:14-21

  A.  We learned of Paul’s reliance upon God  Ephesians 3:1-13

  B.  We learned of Paul’s Request from God   Ephesians 3:14-19

Today we will learn of –

  C.  Paul’s Regard for God –

Ephesians 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding (huper) abundantly above (huper) all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Remember that we are rooted in Him and all that we are is provided by Him)

    1.  The Person regarded “…unto Him…”

When the Apostle Paul wrote these words – “…unto him…”, who was he thinking about and what was he thinking?

      a.  He who he had learned of through education in the Word of God.

        1).  Abraham      Promises

Genesis 17:1-3  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

        2).  Moses at the burning bush      Amazement

Exodus 3:3  “…I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”

        3).  Israel at Mount Sinai   Exodus 19:16     Power

        4).  Isaiah in the Temple    Conviction

Isaiah 6:1,5  In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple………Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

        5).  Ezekiel      Beauty

Ezekiel 1:27-28  And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

        6).  Daniel     Majesty

Daniel 10:5-9  Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude…….and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

    b.  He who he had learned of through experience.

        1).  I believe he was thinking of the One who sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for his sins.

        2).  I believe he was thinking of the One who sent faithful men to preach the truth to him, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

        3).  I believe he was thinking of the One who met him on the road just outside the city of Damascus, confronting him about the conviction that had been troubling him for so long.

        4).  I believe he was thinking about the One who sent the faithful servant, Annanias, to him with the message of his need to be baptized.

        5).  I believe he was thinking about the One who sent His Son to teach him the truth of the Word of God and call him into the ministry of that truth to the world, especially the Gentiles.

        6).  I believe he was thinking about the One who gave him power to preach, provision to go, partners to minister with, peace when he was afraid, perseverance in illness, and patience to wait on the Lord for direction.

    2.  The Potential   “…that is able to”

      a.  Could He command the storm to stop?   “…We perish…”

      b.  Could He feed five thousand men along with their families?

            “…what are these among so many…”

      c.  Could He raise the dead.  “…if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

      d.  Could He heal the diseased, give sight to the blind, give hearing to the deaf, give the lame strength to walk?

Yes, He could, and He can do that and more – “…that is able to…”

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

From Him into us and unto one another, the church!

Colossians 2:19  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

    3. The Portion  This word is defined as “a part of a whole”.  I use in the context of God have all and from that all, He supplies to us that part according to His will.

“…exceeding (huper) abundantly above (huper)…”

Illustrate with needing a drink of water

    4.  The Power.  The Holy Spirit in us

          “…according to the power…”   infinite power, only limited by us

    5.  The Process.   “…that worketh in us…”

How does God work these things in our lives?


 – refer back to Ephesians 3:17

  “…rooted and grounded in love…”  When we are saved, we are attached to Him.  Where He is, there we should be!

“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake…”

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Walvoord stated –

Closely related to the teaching work of the Holy Spirit is the work of the Spirit in guiding the Christian. Guidance is a most important element in Christian experience, and it is essential to a life in the will of God. Guidance while similar to the teaching work of the Spirit has a distinct character. While the teaching ministry of the Spirit in this age is directed to making clear the content of the Word of God, guidance is the application of the truths thus known to the individual problems of each life. While the Word of God may reveal the purpose of God to preach the Gospel throughout the world, only the Spirit of God can call an individual life to an appointed field of service. In the many details of each life, only the Spirit of God can provide the necessary guidance.

Genesis 24:27  And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

In love,  He came to this earth to live and to die for mankind according to the eternal plan of God – to lead us in the way!

Ephesians 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

All that come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, because of His love are blessed above measure in being –

Forgiven, are holy and without blame before Him

Adopted into His family

Made accepted in the beloved

Sealed us with the Holy Spirit

Moved us from death unto life

Instructed us as to His will

Given us an inheritance

Set us in heavenly places with Christ

Showing us the exceeding riches of His kindness

As Christians, this is the love we are planted in, He who from which we receive our life.

Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus of the results of the love of God –

  D.  Paul’s Rejoicing in God.

Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

What do you think of when you think of God?  Is He glory to you?

Conclusion Romans 12:1,2  Why do we challenge ourselves with this portion of Scripture so often?  Because of the importance to our daily lives!

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Preaching Outline of the Letter to the Ephesians Message Twelve

The Letter to the Ephesians  Message Twelve

VII.  Perception.  Ephesians 3:14-21

  A.  We learned of Paul’s reliance upon God and –

  B.  Paul’s Request from God –

Paul began his request from God that believers will be –

    1.  Strengthened

Ephesians 3:16   That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Paul also requested of God that believers, through this strength, would be –

    2.  Stable – nothing wavering, every day enjoying the presence of God in us –

Ephesians 3:17   That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

      a. Christ is in us –  “…dwell in your hearts by faith…”

Colossians 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

We learned last week that Paul is writing  – “That Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith…”  The truth he is expressing is understood by the meaning of the word “dwell” that he used as led by the Lord.  He is helping us understand that Jesus Christ has moved in permanently, He has settled His place in our hearts and our faith can be sure of this.

We should be confident that Christ is in us and that –

      b.  We are in Christ –

1 Corinthians 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

How can I be steadfast? How can I be unmovable?  By remembering that I am in Christ!

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Timothy 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

We are vitally connected to the Lord, He in us and we in Him –

John 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Is your life an example of Godly strength and Godly stability –

Paul bowed his knee in prayer for them that they would be –

    3.  Saturated – ‘…filled…’

      a.  Filled with understanding –

Ephesians 3:18   May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

“May be able….”  to have the strength to do this thing

“…to comprehend…”  to apprehend, to understand, “I’ve got it”!!

“…with all saints…”   every saint can have this strength and understanding.

“…what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.”

Filled with the understanding of God’s will in which we live.

In the 1960’s a phrase was coined which defined thinking that is common to man from the time of Adam and Eve – “think outside of the box”.  This is the thought process of breaking through laws, whether natural or societal, or accepted practices, in order to introduce or invent something new. This thinking is encouraged when, let’s say, a current product has become ordinary and people want more.  For example – the clothes washing machine.  Some of you remember, others have seen pictures of the wash tub and the scrub board.  A man in New York was thinking outside of the box and invented the wash scrub board, make life easy of the woman – but not easy enough.  More thinking was done, a barrel with a paddle took the place of the tub and wash board – but while easier, it was still very difficult, time-consuming work.  With the addition of gears and crank handles, the washing machine was introduced – an invention which revolutionized washing clothes, bringing the woman from the river and rocks into the comfort of her own house.

Can a new thing be good?  Of course these things are wonderful, helpful. But we must always remember that God has set bounds, laws, that we are not to venture beyond, to break through the laws of God.  This as we are full aware of led to destruction, the introduction of sin into the world.

God has given us a box to live in and we should seek to comprehend – to know and live within its “…breadth, and length, and depth, and height…”

The ultimate purpose of washing clothes is to make them clean.

The method is of no concern if the purpose is accomplished.

The ultimate purpose of God is His glory.

The method is intrinsic to accomplishing His purpose.

We must understand that God did not –

      establish 10:00 am as the church meeting time.

     Nor establish Wednesday night as mid-week prayer meeting and Bible study.

     Nor establish three congregational songs and a Bible recitation before the message

But we must also understand that He did establish –

     The primacy of His Word being preached and taught.

      The church is an assembly of saved, baptized people covenanting together to carry out His Will according to His Word.

     The church is to take His Word into all the world, preaching the gospel to every creature.

     The church is to baptize those that believe and call upon Him for salvation.

     The church is to teach these believers to know and do His will.

     The believers are to love the world as Jesus loves the world.

     The believers are to pray for those in authority, to pray for one another, to pray for the lost to be saved.

Living within the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, living within the box will bring glory to God and accomplish His purpose.

Thinking outside of the box in the Biblical context has led to such ungodly practices as infant baptism, unsaved church membership, replacement of the assembly of believers – the church – with informal Bible study groups, outreach ministries working outside of church authority, building coffee shops or other similar businesses to remove the hesitancy of ‘attending church’, online, cable, television, and radio ministries taking the place of the church. 

Those who claim to be churches, the people of God, had better be warned against thinking outside of the box that God has established.

We should be living inside the box! 

We cannot add anything to God’s Word and make it better! 

We cannot add anything to God’s will and make it better!

We cannot change God’s plan and make it better!

      b.  Filled with God.

Ephesians 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

It is not a matter of seeking to have more of God, it is a matter of surrender to Him – “Lord, all that I am, all that I will be, all that I have is yours. 

Look at the example of the Macedonians –

2 Corinthians 8:1-5  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

They were filled with faith, with trust of God that He would care for them and they expressed their faith and trust through that which can be known by those around us –

Galatians 5:22-25  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Are you steadfast, trusting the strength of the Lord? Or is your life just a show, like a beautiful tree without a stable root system?

Are you satisfied, knowing that God’s word holds all the answers in practice and principle for you to accomplish His purpose?

Are you submitted to Him in everything? Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

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Preaching Outline on the Letter to the Ephesians Message Eleven

The Letter to the Ephesians    Message Eleven

VII.  Perception.  Ephesians 3:14-21

  A.  Last week we learned of Paul’s reliance upon God and we began to look at –

  B.  Paul’s Request from God –

Paul began his request from God that believers will be –

    1.  Strengthened

Ephesians 3:16   That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

2 Corinthians 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Preparing, not the guest room, but the dwelling place of the very special Friend.  The work is too much for the individual, help is needed, and that help can only be given by the Holy Spirit.   The Spirit leads the believer to prepare the inner man not only for the Saviour’s presence, but also His leadership. This is a daily work in the believer.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new

We must have the willingness, through faith, to do the will of God before we know what His will is.  We might prepare ourselves through the Word of God –

1 Thessalonians 5:16-21  Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

As Christians, we begin our new lives with God by faith, trusting Him and His Word. 

We begin to “Rejoice evermore” because we are saved and life with Him is settled forever!

We continue by “praying without ceasing” because we need time with our Lord, we have questions that we need answered, help when in trouble, compassion for others, and as we rejoice and pray –

Grow into being able to “In every thing give thanks” because we have peace that we did not have before.  We have excitement as prayers are answered.  We have friendship with one another in church –

But we need to be careful that we do not say “Lord, I have faith to be saved, and I have faith to rejoice, and I have faith to pray, and I have faith to give thanks, but Lord, I do not want to obey you in this.

Lord, I will obey in many things, but not this.  God knows our weaknesses and so He has commanded us in this also –

“Quench not the Spirit”.  Do not throw water on the fire of God.

“Despise not prophesyings”.  Do not reject the Word of God confirming God’s will for you today.

“Prove all things”.  Obey God and see that His will is best.

“Hold fast that which is good”.  You might say “I trusted God, read His Word, and obeyed His direction, but it sure did not seem good today”!

Remember –

Romans 8:27-28  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We have been given help from God that we may know how to exchange wrong for right.  Integrity is only possible when new actions are in accordance with our new nature. By the Word of God, the Bible, we learn what to put behind us, and also what to accept into our lives –

We need help because it is difficult!

Colossians 3:8-17  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: ……Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Why do we need strength from God?  Because the things that God identifies as wrong are accepted by the world as being right – in their place.  They justify themselves by claiming there is a time for cheating, for lying, for putting themselves first – before anyone else.

Proverbs 17:15  He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

Isaiah 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

When the believer, you, say that these things are wrong, always wrong, you will be ridiculed, mocked, shunned.  You will need the strength of God to stand in truth.

1 Peter 4:1-5  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

Will you desire and pray for His strength today?

Will you read God’s Word so that you can know what is right and what is wrong?

Will you choose to do right instead of doing wrong?

Paul also requested of God that believers might be –

    2.  Stable – nothing wavering, every day enjoying the presence of God in us –

Ephesians 3:17   That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

      a. Christ is in us –  “…dwell in your hearts by faith…”

Colossians 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

We might ask what is Paul writing about here – “That Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith…”?  The truth he is expressing is understood by the meaning of the word “dwell” that he used as led by the Lord.  He is helping us understand that Jesus Christ has moved in permanently, He has settled His place in our hearts and our faith can be sure of this.

We should be confident that Christ is in us and that –

      b.  We are in Christ –

1 Corinthians 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

How can I be steadfast? How can I be unmovable?  By remembering that I am in Christ!

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Timothy 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

We are vitally connected to the Lord, He in us and we in Him –

John 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Is your life an example of Godly strength and Godly stability?

Are you depending on Him each day?

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Preaching outline for Mothers Day 8 May 2022

Mothers Day       May 8, 2022

God’s Word reveals His will for the woman in the role of a mother.

An early thought in the process of preparing the Mother’s day message began with these verses –

Proverbs 23:22, 30:17b Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.…… The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

Following prayerful consideration, I turned to another theme for this day, although I do believe the warning is appropriate.

Now, to continue – with some very basic, Biblical facts that have been ignored in much of the world –

First, she is to be a woman!  (Not a like-gender partner)

I. A woman

    A. Created by God with a purpose.

      1. God created man from dust (earth) for Himself.
      2. God created woman from the man.
      3. God created woman for man (to complete him).

Genesis 2:18-24  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    B. The relationships changed due to sin.

Genesis 3:7-16  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

      1. She is still responsible to complete the man.
      2. She is now to be subject to him.  In this –
      3. She is to glorify God in her life.

2 Timothy 1:5  When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

II.  A Wife

  A. The authority.

    1. The authority of her father is transferred to her husband at the time of their marriage. Remember – “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

Numbers 30:3-8  If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.

    2. Husband is held responsible –

Exodus 4:24-25  And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.


    3. She is not inferior to her husband.
    4. She is designed by God to fulfil and different role than the man.

  B. The responsibility.

      1.  To be separated unto God – have faith in God.

Colossians 2:6-7  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

      2. To be separated unto her husband – have faith in his faith.
     

          The wife married him and must be able to submit to him.  The pattern of submission is declared by God –

Ephesians 5:22-25  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

      a. Submission is evidence of order, not of being inferior in being!
      b. Submission instills respect for God and the authority that He has invested in Fathers, Mothers, Governments, and all in authority.

        1).  Respect for God –

Exodus 20:1,2  And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

        2).  Respect for parents –

Exodus 20:12  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

        3).  Respect for those in authority –

1 Peter 2:13-14  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

  III.  A Mother

    A. She is to help maintain order in the home. (Note that the husband is ultimately      responsible to God for these things).


    B. She is to love her children and therefore, bring them to the Lord through His Word –

2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

Timothy’s mother and grandmother concentrated on teaching him the Word of God –

2 Timothy 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

This the true love, bringing the child up to know and love God!

Every woman fulfils at least one of the three roles intended by God for her.  She is a woman, and she should be all that she can be in that role.  If she does not marry and if she does not have children, she should not believe herself to be less than any woman, wife, or mother. 

For the woman that does marry, but does not have children, she also should be thankful of the family that she has, the opportunities afforded to her to complete her husband in the work that God has for them.

For the woman that marries and has children, she should not believe herself to be better than any other, but she is to take her roles seriously and carry them out for the glory of God.

Also, lest you do not have an opportunity to listen to the message which will be preached on Fathers Day, any man also fulfils at least one role, that of being a man.  Let him do it with integrity and dignity.   If he does not marry, or if he marries and has no children, he should be thankful for the life that he has to live for the Lord.

If he marries and has children, he is to take his responsibilities seriously and carry them out for the glory of God.

Mothers – will you dedicated yourself today to be the mother that God will have you to be –

No matter what time of life you find yourself in –

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Preaching outline on Letter to the Ephesians Message Ten

The Letter to the Ephesians    Message Ten   1 May 2022

Two weeks ago we read the first thirteen verses of chapter three and learned of God’s –

VI.  Promise  Ephesians 3:1-13

Through these verses we learned that God revealed His plan –

  A.  To enable all men to come to Him by grace through faith –

  B.  To explain that Paul was called of God to salvation and once saved, to service as he wrote in –

Ephesians 2:8-10  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

As we saw, he was to declare the message to all men, but particularly the Gentiles.

    1.  Paul was touched by conviction, as they were.

    2.  He was taught by revelation –

      a.  The Authority of this revelation was God.

      b.  The acceptance of this authority was of God

    3.  He was tasked with the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles.

    4.  He was training others to follow the commission of God –

  C.  To exalt the Lord Jesus Christ

  D.  To ease their concern for him

Ephesians 3:13  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Today we turn from God’s promise to Paul’s –

VII.  Perception.  Ephesians 3:14-21

He perceived  (understood) the Greatness of God and the need (emptiness) of men which we see in his reliance, his request, and his regard for God.

  A.  Paul’s Reliance on God

Paul knew that the distance between man and God is infinite.  We can travel forever and never arrive into His presence!  We learn from Paul’s message to those in Athens as recorded in Acts 17 that they could not know God, except that He revealed Himself to them. 

Acts 17:19-23  And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

 Paul knew that God was not conceived in the imaginations of man, and even that knowing the truth of God, all of the praying and all of the preaching would be of none affect except that God’s power was in it.  Therefore Paul stated –

    Ephesians 3:14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

In the Old Testament at the rebuilding of the Temple following the Babylonian captivity, Zerubabble was reminded that even though the building was constructed by the labour of men, it was God through His power who enabled them to build it and it was God who would consecrate and establish it as the House of Prayer.

It was through the account given by Zechariah in chapter 4, verse 6 that we are reminded of our need to rely on God –  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

It was through the words of Jesus that we are reminded that while men built the house, it was through His power and for His purpose that it was built –

Matthew 21:13  And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer…..

Paul both learned this truth and he practiced it, relying on the Lord –

1 Corinthians 2:4-5  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

He prayed that others would learn and lean on the Lord for power in their lives.

    2.  The picture of what is, but even more, in holiness what should be.

    Ephesians 3:15   Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

When we think of ‘family’, we should be reminded that ‘family’ began in the mind and heart of God.

Man separated himself from God through sin, but in doing this, he did not destroy the concept of family set forth by God.  This being true, we understand more about why Satan attacks the family with more energy and hatred than any other institution.  The family has been under attack since the beginning in the Garden of Eden.  Even after these thousands of years, the family unit still brings glory to God.

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