The Letter to the Ephesians Message Twenty
From message nineteen leading into today’s message – Twenty
We have reviewed these truths as given by God through the Apostle Paul, learning of –
c. The Preparation of believers to serve the Lord.
(1). The responsibility of the office holders – Evangelist, Pastors and Teachers.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
(a). The revelation from the Lord
(b). The reason for the revelation from the Lord
(c). The results of the revelation from the Lord
(2). The responsibility of the church members.
“…for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
4. The Purpose What is the Lord looking for as the final result?
We are being equipped and should be equipping others to be –
D. The Committed Church serving and growing together. Ephesians 3:13-16
God has revealed –
1. The Characteristics to be desired. (The complete body)
a. Unity b. Knowledge c. Maturity d. Image
2. The Childish attitudes are to be discarded 4:14-16. That we henceforth be no more children, (without understanding, changeable…) –
Attitudes and actions of those who never mature were condemned by the Lord –
Matthew 11:16-19 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children (little boys) sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. (natural born child of its parents)
Decisions are often based on peer pressure instead of careful consideration of the facts. If a teacher can present a course of action based on what the majority of others seem to be doing, he can convince many to follow him without considering the reasons for their decisions. A Biblical example of adults acting like children, participating in an action that they do not understand is recorded in –
Acts 19:32-41 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And when the townclerk had appeased the people……..Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
They were unreasonable and instead of seeking out the facts of why the townspeople had gathered together, they simply joined in, their ignorance adding to the chaos. They were acting like children and had to be threatened with punishment in order to get them to be quiet and orderly. These are not the actions of mature men and women.
Paul gave –
3. The challenge to the childlike believer –
Ephesians 4:15-16 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Work together for the glory of God, not self .
Illustration – giving of self to others for a higher cause.
The city where we live has a military base which is known as the home of The Blue Angels. They are a precision flying group which promote the US Navy, The US Navy air wing, and above this, the United States of America. They travel throughout the States, amazing audiences with their skill in close order flying, often their wingtips only half a meter apart! They operate under one name – The Blue Angels – and they fly as one group. They are constantly practicing and learning to work together.
It is interesting as you watch them to consider that there are hundreds of people involved – aircraft mechanics, electricians, computer specialist, doctors that monitor the pilot’s health, ground crew that fill the tanks with petrol and some that wash and polish the airplanes, and the pilots themselves. All of them are simply known as The Blue Angels and the Blue Angels represent the USA. They endeavour to be united in this cause.
If those of the world will give themselves to work together for something greater than themselves, how much more should we, as the children of God, work toward glorifying the Lord through our love for Him and showing that through our love for one another.
Think for a moment of a church that glorifies the Lord Jesus in every way. Think of what it takes to grow into Him to the fulness of His Body.
Do you want this church, your church to reflect the image of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Remember what God stated in the beginning – “Let us make man in our image”
This is the desire of our Lord – that we, His church, would be in His image.