STUDIES FROM BRETHREN IN CHRIST

SERMON MENU SELECTIONS

10/10/2013 ~ Reminders of Our Purpose


What we have in common is we lve the Lord and have His word.

We need to know why we are here and  
what we are about, as New Testament Christians.

Ephesians is a letter referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Scriptures.

                 Ep.2:6
Ep.1:20 | Ep.3:10
Ep.1:3 \ | / Ep.6:12
                 ┌─> Because of the focus on the “heavenly” realm.
It is Paul’s “revelation” as the Book of Revelation was to John.
                                        
              It is written for:
             The unity of the saints 
             The characteristics of the saints.
             Purposeful prayers. ( Ep.1:15-19),( Ep.3:14-21)

EPHESIANS: Six potent chapters with distinction.
1-3 =  
The work of God – What He has done through
Jesus Christ – Privileges of being a Christian
– The calling


4-6 =  
Our work – Responsibilities;
- The walk - Be worthy of the calling


Many students focus more on the last chapters concerning conduct.

              DEVOTION
                 ┌─> A personal key of commitment for many.

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy
of the calling with which you were called, ... ~ Ephesians 4:1

└─> Paul’s now going to talk of the worthy walk.    

Actually, it is in the first chapters that
God reveals His Holiness and purpose to us.


       Summarizes the calling. <─┐                    ┌─> Called to glorify God.
... according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by
Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:20-21

                                               
He is Glorified in every generation forever and ever.

Defines the book.
↙     ↓     ↘

         ┌─> He is blessed.                                                     He blesses us. <─┐             
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, ~ Ephesians 1:3

                                               
All blessings are in Christ.


┌─> His will is for us to live.              
"... that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise
on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."
~ Matthew 5:45

                                                                             \   |   /
We are all blessed by God’s physical creation bestowing the light of life.
There are no spiritual blessings outside of Christ.


1-3 =  
How God blesses us - US IN CHRIST

4-6 =  
How we bless Him - CHRIST IN US

He chose us in Him.
... just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before Him in love, ... ~ Ephesians 1:4

Predestined us to adoption as sons.
... having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the good pleasure of His will, ... ~ Ephesians 1:5

His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
... to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which
He made us accepted in the Beloved. ~ Ephesians 1:6

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of His grace ... ~ Ephesians 1:7


Blessings of what He did for us.

  He chose us in Him  
To Himself
His grace
His blood
In Him
His will
His glory

THE CALLING
TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY = PURPOSE OF THE CHRISTIAN

... in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. ~ Ephesians 1:12
/   |   \    
... with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance
until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
~ Ephesians 1:13-14


A prayer for all of us.

... that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you
the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, ... ~ Ep. 1:17


A prayer plea for deeper than knowledge understanding:

... the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you
may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches
of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, ... ~ Ephesians 1:18


Look with your Hearts Eye.  

... and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,
according to the working of His mighty power ... ~ Ephesians 1:19


God’s prayer for us.
1. Know what is the hope of His calling
2. Riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
3. (Surpassing) Exceeding greatness of
     His power toward those that believe

What God hopes for us.

.
SURPASSING
GOD

HOPE

MEN

GREATNESS

God’s wisdom meets us in a mutual hope.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we
ask or think, according to the power that works in us, ... ~ Ephesians 3:20


... and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7


Does God have a hope? Yes, ~ us.
                                               /   |   \

God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. ~ Psalms 53:2


To remain ignorant of the calling of God is to the determent of us all.

  Without Christ  
  Aliens  
  Strangers  
  No hope  

... without Christ, being aliens ... and strangers from the covenants of
promise, having no hope and without God in the world. ~ Ephesians 2:12


An emptiness with no real purpose.

As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy man to those who send him. ~ Proverbs 10:26


Laziness is the wasting of life oh all sluggards!
One must awaken a passion to know God over Satan’s tool of apathy.


... that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil,
having been taken captive by him to do his will. ~ 2nd Timothy 2:24-26


... "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light." ~ Ephesians 5:14


The meaning of life is to know life’s purpose in God.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. ~ Revelation 21:2


The Bible tells us of the greatness of each of us getting married to God.

                                                                      ┌─> Called.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to
the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
... ~ Ephesians 1:11


It is our destiny, legacy as Christians, to live eternally with Him.

... who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of
the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. ~ Ephesians 1:14


... For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this
reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
... great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. ~ Ep. 5:25-32


                                                                                              ┌─> All that we are.
Christ offered His all that He may redeem our all.
To be in His church, commitment has to be 100%.


"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also,
he cannot be my disciple." ~ Luke 14:26


One can truly only love if a release of self frees one
- to live through His love.
It is told to us in the Glory of Him.


For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your
Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
~ Isaiah 54:5


... walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, ... ~ Ephesians 4:1

We have been called to be the bride of Christ.

... If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
~ 2nd Timothy 2:13


... I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, ... in it the righteousness
of God is revealed from faith to faith; ... ~ Romans 1:16-17

               From Him to us. <─┘└─> Generation to generation.
Living in us is His power of resurrection.
                  /   |   \

... which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and
seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, ... ~ Ephesians 1:20


It is His Spirit we strive to be in.

... that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship
of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, ... ~ Philippians 3:10


... in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit
of promise, ... to the praise of His glory. ~ Ephesians 1:13-14


It is by His holiness that we are raised to meet His calling.

... with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from
the dead. ... whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; ~ Romans 1:3-6


And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, ...
~ Ephesians 2:1-2


It is all about the power of resurrection, to become alive again.

"...'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD to these
bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live."'"
~ Ezekiel 37:3-5


But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love
with which He loved us, .. ~ Ephesians 2:4


What is the work of God? ~ Resurrection – because He loves us.

┌─> Generation to generation.   
... that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of
His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 2:7

└─> Willingness to forgive us.    

(Newness)                   
Death → Life → To Him in Heaven
(Sinner)
                                           


... alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:3-11

His kindness is that He redeems us.     Our purpose is to be redeemed.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Many will miss the calling rather blaming God as cruel.
So chaos plagues humanity and God is accused to be a monster;
Events such as tsunamis, sweeping hurricanes, solar storms,
infant deaths, heinous deformities, terrorists, cancers, etc.
└─> All hard questions. <─┘

God counters every generation’s disgust with a  
steadfast revival offer found in His eternal calling.

→ Life is hard, it will kill you in bitterness and take away your joy.
God gives back peace the world can not offer.
He asks us to join in Him.


... in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for
a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:19-22


No longer strangers or aliens but members of His household.

... no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with
the saints and members of the household of God, ... ~ Ephesians 2:19


God welcomes us as part of His own eternal family.
"New Jerusalem"


... in whom the whole building, being joined together,
grows into a holy temple in the Lord, ... ~ Ephesians 2:21


A building construction of God, and for God!
A temple with us as the building stones.


... as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ...
~ 1st Peter 2:4-7


A house without God is desolate and in trouble.
The main point is to walk worthy so as to be with God.  
     └─> By our own changed life we show God.

A battle much larger than we are able to comprehend has occurred.


A mystery revealed that has changed all of God’s universe at large. <─┐              
... to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery,
which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden
in God who created all things through Jesus Christ, ... ~ Ephesians 3:9-12


So that all of the spiritual hierarchy is now enlightened.

... to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known
by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, ...
~ Ephesians 3:10


By the nature of His church, all can know
His all encompassing saving wisdom.


... reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by
the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.
~ 1st Peter 1:12


It speaks of the redemption of mankind
and the destruction of the works of Satan.


For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against
spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ~ Ephesians 6:12


He has chosen us as the messengers of His winning message.

... So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old,
called the Devil and Satan, ... ~ Revelation 12:5-9


... "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." ~ Luke 10:18

                                                         ┌─> Satan.
"... the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren,
who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down."
~ Revelation 12:10


Sin → Accuser → Saved by His Blood

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their
testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." ~ Revelation 12:11


VICTORY FOR MANKIND.
1. By the blood of the Lamb
2. The word of their (us) testimony
3. Forever till death for love of Him


God is vindicated when we love Him while the angels rejoice.

"... there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner who repents." ~ Luke 15:10


God has called us out of darkness to become part of His marvelous light.

... His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who
called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; ... ~ 1st Peter 2:9


We are put on display to expose His redeeming wisdom.
The calling – we are the witnesses as seen by His spiritual realm.


For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which
God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10


We are all suffering Jobs, mere creatures created of God’s hope
for us and Himself. Can we endure and maintain the hope that saves?
Eternity beckons ...


For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ... For the creation
was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it
in hope; ... ~ Romans 8:18-21


Do you hear the call?
He shows His love and kindness by offering
life to us throughout the generations.


I would like to thank my exceptionally passionate and astute brother in Christ, Andy Cantrell.



 

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