Beulah Baptist Church
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ephesians

 

EPHESIANS

 


OUTLINE OF THE BOOK

 

Greeting (Chapter 1:1-2)

I.                    Eternal  Plan of God for the Christian Believer Chapter 1:3-23

A.      Blessings of God (Part  1) Chapter 1:3-7

B.      Blessings of God (Part 2) Chapter 1:8-14

C.      Knowledge of God Chapter 1:15-18

D.      Power of God; demonstrated in Christ’s exultation Chapter 1:19-23


II.                  The Life of the Christian Believer Chapter 2:1-22

A.       The Believers Life Before Conversion ; life without Christ (2:1-3)

B.      The Believers Conversion (Part 1); the Work of God’s Mercy (2:4-7)

C.      The Believers Conversion (Part 2); the Work of God’s Grace in Salvation (2:8-10)

D.      Remember What Life Is Like Since Christ Came; Reconciliation and Peace (2:11-18)

E.       Remember Who You Are; Six Pictures of the Church (2:19-22)


III.                The Eternal Purpose of God for the Christian Believer (3:1-20)

A.      A New Body of People; the Great Mystery of Christ (3:1-13)

B.      A Mature Believer Is Christ; The Great Prayer for the Church and Believers (3:14-21)


IV.                The Walk of the Christian Believer Chapters 4:1 – 6:9

A.      The Believer is to Walk Worthy of His Calling (4:1-6)

B.      The Believer is to Walk By Using His Gifts (4:7-16)

C.      The Believer is to Walk Differently From the Gentiles (4:17-24)

D.      The Believer is to Walk Putting Off the Garments of the Old Man (4:25-30)

E.       The Believer is to Walk Following God (5:1-7)

F.       The Believer is to Walk as a Child of Light (5:8-14)

G.     The Believer is to Walk Carefully and Strictly (5:15-21)

H.      The Believing Wife and Husband Are to Walk in the Spirit of Submission and Love (5:22-33)

I.        Believing Children and Parents Are to Walk Under God’s Authority (6:1-4)

J.        Believing Slaves and Masters (Employers/Employees) Are to Walk Under God’s Authority (6:5-9)


V.                  The Warfare of the Christian Believer (6:10-24)

A.      The Armor of the Christian Soldier (6:10-20)

B.      The Examples of Faithful Christian Soldiers (6:21-24)

 

INTRODUCTORY NOTES

       Author:  Paul – [Acts 18:18-21; 19:2-41; 20:17-35] Date Written – 60-63 AD; it was written while Paul was in prison in Rome. [Acts 28:30]  To Whom Written – the saints of Ephesus and believers of today.

 

   Purpose of the writing (2 purposes)

              #1 – To reveal the purpose of God for the whole universe.

-          God has shown His purpose through Christ and He is working out His purpose through the Church which is His body on earth.

              #2 – To encourage the Church to walk in a spirit of oneness and unity.

-          Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. [Ephesians 4:32]

-          [Ephesians 1:10; 2:5,6,22] – together – we are to be doing things together because that is how you accomplish things for the Lord Jesus Christ.

-          It’s the reason we can forget ego, because together is how things get done for Christ.

-          Let’s also take the word (one) – [Ephesians 2:15,16,18; 4:4,5,6] – the Bible clearly emphasizes that we are to do things together and make it as one.  When the church functions in this manner we will carry on a great work for Jesus Christ.

 

Special features of the Book:  at the height Ephesus was the queen of the coastal cities, it was a great commercial city… it was the Temple of Diana – where people would worship through prostitution with a host of priestesses who promoted the cult through their nefarious acts.

 

The Ephesians depended on the religious cults; this city died because of its sensual unrighteousness whereby it corrupted the people to lose their will to apply a commendable trade and the city died out…

-          The church at Ephesus, when Paul arrived, had 12 members who had been won to the Lord by Apollos who was immature in the faith; as a result they had been misinformed of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer and their awareness that He has already been sent into the world. [Acts 19:1-7]

-          After Paul’s instruction to those 12 he then began to preach in the synagogue; he taught for 3 months but the Jews were hardened against the Gospel and they murmured against the message.

-          Therefore, Paul moved the Church into the school of philosophers at Tyranneus and there he preached for 2 years. [Acts 19:10}

-          God worked special miracles through Paul in Ephesus; see [Acts 19:20]

-          The believers became a great witness there in Ephesus

 

             – The great message of Ephesians is reconciliation – which means to make things friendly again.

                   Paul deals with the major problem of man – dissension and division.

1.       Man against God [Ephesians 2:1-10]

2.       Man against Man [Ephesians 2:11]

3.       Christian out of harmony w/Christians [Ephesians 4:1]

4.       Christians are seen out of harmony with God [Ephesians 5:1]

5.       Family members divided against family members [Ephesians 5:22]

6.       Employees against Employers [Ephesians 6:5]

7.       Man is out of harmony with cosmic powers [Ephesians 2:2; 6:10-12; 3:10,15; 1:10,20-21]

 (also Romans 8:18)

 

Christ is the answer to division because He reconciles all things

1.        Reconciles men to God by the blood of the cross [Ephesians 2:13]

2.       Reconciles man to man [Ephesians 2:13-22]

3.       Reconciles Christian to Christian by the power of the Holy Spirit and by giving individual gifts and functions for each member to perform [Chapter 4]

4.       Reconciles believers to God by the power and fruit of the Holy Spirit [Ephesians 5:1-21]

5.       Reconciles family members to family members by giving the example of Christ love for the Church [Ephesians 5:22-24]

6.       Reconciles employees to employers by putting both on an equal  footing before Christ [Ephesians 6:5-9]

7.       Enables man to overcome the cosmic and spiritual powers and the evil forces of the universe by the armor of God [Ephesians 6:10-18]

              – The great picture of Ephesians is God’s redemptive purpose

                    - His redemptive purpose is like a theological picture with 4 scenes

                   #1 – God’s election

                   See notes on Romans – [1 Timothy 2:6 interprets Matthew 20:28] concerning the Calvinistic views

-          All men can be saved…

-          Predestination is based on foreknowledge  God knows who will trust Him when they are called [1 Peter 1:2] – As far as God is concerned, I was saved before the foundation of the world; as far as the Holy Spirit is concerned I was saved when I was 13 years old when He entered my heart.  As far as Jesus Christ is concerned, I was saved 29 AD when He died on the cross of Calvary…

-          Men are evil because of their own choosing – man is predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son

#2 – All is presently out of order [Ephesians 2:1-18]

-          Division and disunity reign everywhere right now but the day is coming when God will gather all things together in Christ

#3 – God’s Body – His Church [Ephesians 2:19-3:13]

-          A body that He is supernaturally recreating; He is recreating them to experience the great truth of reconciliation and peace and to carry the message to all men; that’s the purpose of the Church

-          Christ is God’s instrument of reconciliation

-          The Church is Christ’s instrument of reconciliation

#4 – The Church (followers of Christ)[Ephesians 4:1-6:20]

-     followers of Christ are to walk worthy of so great a calling so as to be reconciled as

       one that functions in unity and harmony and they are to carry the message to a world

       that is swallowed up in division

 -     Ephesians and Colossian are very similar with more than 55 verses that are exactly

       the same and 25 verses that very, very similar; this means that of the 155 verses in

       Ephesians 75 are found in Colossians – both books begin with a doctrinal session and        

       end with a practical session…both were delivered by a man named Tychicus  

       [Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7]

-      Ephesians has been called the queen of the Epistles for it contains the riches of

       redemption: salvation by grace; oneness of all believers; breaking of barriers between

       Jesus/Gentiles; the calling out of the church at the rapture…emphasizes the body  (all

       believers) in Christ; while Colossians emphasizes the head.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Memory verse [1 Peter 2:9]

vv.1-2      God wants us to understand His call upon our lives but to understand we must investigate His

                 call.

-          The letter to Ephesians begins with the call of God…

-          Point #1 – God’s call to Paul [v.1]

-          Point #2 – God’s call to the Church and its believers [vv.1-2]

                 Let’s take Point #1:

-          Paul says, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God

Note four points about that statement.

#1 – Paul was greatly privileged

         No greater privilege than to serve the Lord Jesus Christ

#2 – The word apostle means one call and sent forth on a very special mission.

         The mission being a messenger to proclaim the message to the world..

         This was the call of God to Paul.

#3 – Paul was possessed by Jesus Christ

#4 – Paul was called by the will of God

         His work and employment were because he was called to be a disciple.

Point #2 – GOD’S CALL TO THE CHURCH AND ITS BELIEVERS

Paul here points to the depth of God’s call to the church.  First of all, God calls believers to be saints and to be faithful.  In the Bible the word saint does not refer to just a few people who have done great work for God.  The word saint means set apart, consecrated, and holy.

-          A saint is a follower of Christ who has been set apart sanctified to live for God

-          The saint seeks to live a consecrated holy life for the glory of God.

            Believers are saints in the sense that they have been given a new heart by God, a heart that has

            been recreated in true righteousness and holiness [4:24]

            Believers are saints in the sense that they are consecrated and set apart to live holy lives in this

            world. [1 Peter 1:15-16]

            The word faithful means the person has placed their faith in Jesus Christ.  The faithful are those

            who have surrendered their life to Jesus Christ and trusted Christ to save them – this is the very

            first call God gives to people.

            Second thing here – God calls believers to grace and peace {Ephesians 2:8-9]; grace means all the

            favors and gifts of God whether physical, material, or spiritual; see [James 1:17; Ephesians 1:7] cf

            [Romans 5:6,8,10;Romans 5:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9] – use these to back up belief on (Rapture

            Pre-Tribulation) – we shall be saved from wrath – time of the Tribulation will be a time of great

            wrath such as the world has never seen – but the believer is saved from wrath. [! Thessalonians

            1:10]  Jesus delivered us from the wrath to come.  The true church will be raptured out before the

            Tribulation.

 

Chapter 1 – Blessings of God – [vv. 3-7]

             Aim here is to lay hold on the spiritual blessings of God [Memory MV:1:3 verse]

             Outline 4 points:

             #1 – God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings [v.3]

             #2 – God has chosen us to be holy and blameless [v.4]

             #3 – God has adopted us as children [v.5-6]

             #4 – God has redeemed us [v.7]

 


 

Point #1 – throughout history God has used two methods of blessings to deal with man

-          Before Christ, God dealt with man by blessing him with material blessings

-          Promised Abraham and Israel land and wealth and fame; but Israel misused and hoarded the material blessings; instead of sharing its blessings with other nations, Israel isolated itself and claimed superiority and God-given rights over the other nations of the earth

-          Since Christ, God deals with man spiritually blessing man with spiritual things

-          Five things should be noted about this:

1.       Spiritual blessings are of the spirit

It is the spirit that controls man and the circumstances that surrounds man…

2.       Spiritual blessings are the very opposite of temporal blessings

They are the blessings of the inner man, the blessings of the immortal

 Of all the blessings they are the most satisfying; they are the blessings that erase the loneliness, alteration and purposelessness of man; they are the blessings that give man an abundance of life

3.       Spiritual blessings are vastly superior to material blessings

They are permanent, perfect, lasting forever, very same nature as God Himself

Spiritual blessings exist and can be experienced on earth in the physical being and in heaven the spiritual dimension of being

4.       Spiritual blessings are found only in Christ

The only way to experience spiritual blessings is to be “in Christ”

5.       God dealt with man in material blessings first because man had to learn several things

He had to learn an earthly inheritance does not last; it is subject to being lost or stolen – we either watch our material blessings deteriorate or we leave them behind for others

An earthly nation and material inheritance cannot bring peace and security

Peace and security are of the Spirit

Man has within his inner being a basic selfishness and greed; man has a tendency to desire and hoard the corruptible to the neglect of the spiritual

Man must undergo a basic change of character to be freed of this urge; this tendency that causes so much bondage, disruption and division within oneself and between men; man must be born again to a new creation – spiritually, permanently, eternally in Christ.

The only way to be re-created is by the hand of God Himself, through Christ’s death on the cross [Psalm 16:11]

 

Point 2 – God has chosen us to be holy and blameless [V.4]

-          God determined before the world that He would have a people in His Son Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world…

-          God determined to have a people who would be holy and without blame; who would live before Him in love forever and forever

-          This means a most wonderful thing; it means that God wants us to be with Him

-          Holy means to be set apart, consecrated to God [2 Corinthians 7:1]

-          Blameless means to be free from sin, dirt and filth – to be above reproach and without blemish [Philippians 2:15]

Point 3 – God has adopted us as His children [vv.5-6]

-          The word predestinated is the same as chosen in [v.4] of Romans 8:29-30] and the emphasis here is that God will take His children straight through to the end when we shall be glorified [Romans 8:30] and we shall be holy without blemish according to [Ephesians 5:27]

-          This predestination is for those whom He did foreknow [Romans 8:29]; see also [1 Peter 1:2]

-          Our adoption was predestinated, that is God had a plan in eternity that Jesus would carry out in time, this is most striking when we consider how sinful and depraved we are and how much we have rejected God…

-          The fact that God wills and pleasures in adopting us that He counts it as good is too much to believe

-          2 significant things:

1st – the word fore ordained does not mean that God chooses some persons for salvation    

         and everyone else for eternal punishment.  The Bible doesn’t teach that.

2nd – the word adoption means to place as a son.

3rd – adoption is by Jesus Christ and Him alone

                When a person by faith takes all they have and places their trust in Jesus Christ, God

                                    takes that person and adopts them as a brother or sister in Christ [Romans 8:15]

                           4th – God’s purpose in adoption is that we might live forever to the praise and the glory of

                                    His grace [Ephesians 2:7]

                                    -We were victims of the cold war of 57; we were children (orphans) with eternal

                                    needs; we, too, because of sin were beyond God’s circle of influence; yet He sent His

                                    Son to care for our need of cleansing; we, too, were drained of love, until we met

                                    LOVE; we, too, were children with no hope for time or eternity until we met God the

                                    Father

                                    -[Ephesians 1:5] – God took the initiative to come to us and He adopted us because

                                    He loved us and according to the good pleasure of His will

                                    -We are only adopted when we choose/accept to be “in Christ” [v.12-13]

 

Point 4 – God has redeemed us/God has forgiven us our sins [v.7]

-          The word redemption is one of the great words of the Bible, it conveys the idea of setting a man free by paying a ransom/deliverance

-          Man needs a Deliverer/Redeemer.  Why?  For several reasons man has been captivated through:

-the force of sin – all men sin and can’t help but sin, man is sown in sin – sin has captivated man [Romans 3:22-23; Romans 7:14]

-the force of corruption and death – the whole creation is corrupt – see [Romans 8:21] – everything in creation wastes away and dies [1 Corinthians 15:42,50] – [Galatians 6:8]

The force of Satan – all unbelievers are under the power and influence of Satan; he has blinded their mind to the Gospel [2 Corinthians 4:4] – he works in the children of disobedience [Ephesians 2:2][1 John 5:19]

3 key ideas in the concept of redemption:

1st – man needs to be delivered; he needs to be set free

2nd – man is unable to deliver/liberate himself

3rd – God has redeemed man by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ

        -God redeems man because of the richness of His grace

               Forgiveness means to send off, cast away, to let go; sin means to trespass, to deviate from the

               Way, all men have deviated from God, all men stand guilty before God and the penalty is death. 

               However, the blood of Jesus Christ brings forgiveness to man.  He took the penalty and bore the

               punishment himself.  Any person who believes Jesus Christ dies for them is forgiven of their

               sins. [Acts 5:31]  God’s grace is sufficient to forgive us of any sin…Redemption comes through

               the blood of Christ and God’s grace – God’s riches at Christ’s expense…

 

THE BLESSINGS OF GOD – PART II [1:8-14]

Aim – to gain assurance of the great blessing of God – memory verse [Ephesians 1:11]

-          For the Christian knowledge is not the end, but a means to the end of obtaining wisdom from God…

Outline has 4 points

#1 – God has given us wisdom and understanding [v.8]

#2 – God has revealed the mystery of His Will to us [vv.9-10]

#3 – God has given us an inheritance [v.11] – the heritage of God [vv.11-13]

#4 – God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit [vv.13-14]

 

Point 1 – God has given us wisdom and understanding [v.8]

-          Both blessings come to us through Jesus Christ; common sense should tell us that God will give His wisdom only to those who know and honor His Son

-          Wisdom means seeing and knowing the Truth; it sees the answers to the problems of life; God and man, time and eternity, good and evil, the deep things of God and the universe; this wisdom is found only in Jesus Christ and is promised only to those who will seek Jesus Christ will all of their heart.[Ephesians 1:8; James 1:5; Romans 11:33]  Prudence/understanding means seeing how to use and do the Truth…

-it is seeing the direction to take [Ephesians 1:17-18]

 

 

Point 2 – God has revealed the mystery of His will to us [vv.9-10]

         – in the Bible a mystery is not something that is hard to understand, rather it is a truth that has been

           locked up, God’s plan for ages until He was ready to reveal it to man.

-          A mystery is a truth revealed by God that had never before been known

-          The mystery of God’s will can be simply stated, God is to gather together and unify all things in a spirit of peace and harmony, all things both visible and invisible to a peaceful and eternal state under the authority of Jesus Christ, God is moving history towards that point

-          God has an eternal purpose for the world

              – there is a terrible division throughout the universe [Ephesians 6:12]

                           man is divided against man [2:11-]

                           Man against God [2:1-]     Christian against Christian [4:1-]

                           Christians divided against God [5:1-]     family members are divided against family

                            members [5:22-]     employees with employers [6-]     man is out of harmony with cosmic

                            powers [2:2; 6:10-12; 3:10, 15]

            Jesus Christ is the answer to division, He reconciles all things to Himself through the blood of the

            cross [2:4-13; 13-22; 4:-; 5:1-21, 5:22-24; 5:5-9; 6:10-18]

-          Dispensation means a household arrangement - God is planning and administering all things toward a climax for Christ and His followers

-          Jesus Christ is God’s appoint ted Head over the new creation [Ephesians 1:22-23][James 1:18]

-          The church is the LORD’s instrument of reconciliation and peace

-          The church is to take Christ’s message to the world – the church is to proclaim the message of harmony and peace

-          The church is to practice reconciliation upon the earth – division in the church is to be non-existent [2 Corinthians 5:19-20]

 

Point 3 – God has given us an inheritance, the heritage of God [vv. 11-13]

     First – our inheritance was fore ordained (predestinated); God works all things according to the

                 counsel of His will – only God knows what is best and nothing could be better than to be made

                 the heritage of God

Second – the word heritage is stated in the words (v.12) “that we should be” that is we will exist

                 eternally; the believer will be God’s most precious treasure in eternity; this is the believer’s

                 inheritance [Deuteronomy 9:29]

   Third – the reason God makes us His inheritance is that we should exist to the praise of His glory

                 [Hebrews 13:14-15]

 Fourth – how does a person receive this inheritance; [v.13] suggests 2 ways – first, by hearing the Word

                 of God [Romans 10-17]; second, after hearing, he must trust by faith in Christ [John 5:24]for an

                 inheritance to be realized someone had to die; Christ died for our sins on the cross, therefore,

                 those who are “in Christ” are made joint heirs with Christ

 

Point 4 – God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit [v. 13-14]

     Earnest means pledge, a down payment – the Holy Spirit is given to the believer in order to give the believer perfect assurance of His salvation.  We know we are redeemed because of the Holy Spirit who lives in us .  Why does God give us such a glorious guarantee as His own wonderful presence?  That His glory might be continually promised [Romans 8:16]

 

LESSON 3 – THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD [1:15-18]

 

AIM - To grow more and more in the knowledge of God…

MEMORY VERSE – Ephesians 1:17

-          Many times we lose sight of the goal; the goal of the believer is that of knowing God personally and growing in the knowledge of Him more and more

-          It is absolutely essential that believers come to know God more and more

Outline

I.                    The Basis: Faith and Love [v.15-16] 

II.                   The Need: A Growing Knowledge of God, the God of Christ and the Father of Glory [v.17-18]

III.                The Results of Knowing God [v.18]

 

Point 1 – The Basis: Faith and Love [vv. 15-16]

     Listen to the tape – but we must always remember that faith and love are what church is to be about, not programs.

Point 2 – The Need: A Growing Knowledge of God [vv.17-18]

Note – the God we are to know is our Lord Jesus Christ, not the god of our own minds – if we are to

             really know God, we must come to know the God that Christ worshipped while He was here on

             earth as a man.

3 essentials if a believer is to grow in the knowledge of God:

1 – we’re to grow in the knowledge of God and a believer must have the spirit of wisdom

-          A believer must have a spirit that hungers after, seeks after, thirsts after wisdom.

2 – wisdom can be best understood by the words what and how; wisdom means knowing what is behind

      something and how it can be done; it is knowing what is behind something and how it can be done; it

      is knowing how to use or relate to something – therefore, spiritual wisdom is knowing who God is

      and how to relate to Him; it’s knowing what to do and how to do it.

3 – wisdom differs from knowledge

-          Knowledge is the grasping of facts – much more is needed, wisdom knows how to use the facts – Point – it is not enough to know the facts about God, a person must know God personally, he must know how to experience the facts about God; he must use the facts to develop a personal relationship with God; a growing relationship and an intimate relationship

It is not an intellectual knowledge of God, but an experiential knowledge of God that is needed.

-          To grow in the knowledge of God, a believer must have the spirit of revelation

-          It is the Holy Spirit who reveals God and the believer [1 Corinthians 2:9-12]; the Spirit of God dwells in man to teach him the deep things of God [John 14; 16; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:16] – in order for a believer to grow in the knowledge of God, he must have the spirit of revelation, a spirit that drives after the knowledge of God…revelation

 means to uncover; it is the Holy Spirit who unveils the truth to believers [John 14:26; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 1:9-16]

-          To grow in the knowledge of God a believer must have the eyes of his heart opened…

-the heart must be open so that the light of God can be seen and grasped…

-the believer must open his heart, its intelligence, its will upon knowing God; the believer 

  must seek the Holy Spirit to enlighten his heart with the things of God

 

Point 3 – The Results of Knowing God [v.18]

     Results of knowing God are threefold – 1. A believer comes to know the hope of God’s calling [1:3-14]; 2. Believers come to know their inheritance in God; 3. A believer experiences the awesome power of God… [Ephesians 3:20

 


LESSON 4 – POWER OF GOD; DEMONSTRATED IN CHRIST’S EXULTATION [vv.19-23]

 

[v.22] – the word church always means a called out assembly and in this case it is talking about the body

               of Christ

AIM – to claim and live victoriously in God’s power – MV – [v.19]

OUTLINE

I.                    GOD’S POWER; A GREAT POWER v.19

II.                  GOD’S POWER; RAISED HIM, CHRIST FROM THE DEAD v.20

III.                GOD’S POWER; TOOK HIM, CHRIST, TO HEAVEN AND SET HIM AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND v.20

IV.                GOD’S POWER; EXALTED CHRIST ABOVE ALL CREATURES IN THIS WORLD AND THE ONE TO COME v.21

V.                  GOD’S POWER; EXALTED HIM, CHRIST AS THE SUPREME HEAD OF THE CHURCH vv.22-23

 

Point 1 – GOD’S POWER; A GREAT POWER V.19

-          God’s power is exceeding/it is unmeasurable

-          It is great/it is mighty/it is an explosive power

-          He makes it available to the believer/because of what He did for Christ, He extends this power to us [Romans 1:16]

-           What is the connection between knowing God and experiencing the power of God in your life?

 

Point 2 – GOD’S POWER; RAISED HIM CHRIST FROM THE DEAD v.20

-          Believers are to experience the power of God

-          When God raised Jesus Christ, He demonstrated three things for men

1st – the power to raise Christ shows that God has the power to conquer all the trials or

        temptations of man [1Corinthians 10:13]

2nd – the resurrection of Jesus Christ shows men that God has the power to give men a

         new life and the power to live that new life before God.

3rd – the power to raise Christ from the dead shows that God has the power to raise us

         from the dead [John 5:28-29][1Corinthians 15:54-56]

 

Point 3 – GOD’S POWER, TOOK HIM CHRIST TO HEAVEN AND SET HIM AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND v.20

                    [Mark 16:19] – God took Christ to heaven and exalted Him in order to demonstrate that He

                    has the power to take men to heaven and exalt them [2 Corinthians 4:14] [John 14:2-3 –

                    prepare – literally means to customize.

 

Point 4 – GOD’S POWER; EXALTED CHRIST ABOE ALL CREATURES IN THIS WORLD AND THE NEXT WORLD v21

-          Christ has been exalted over all things – all things have been placed under Him, in subjection to Him [Philippians 2:9-10]

-          God gave Jesus Christ the authority to reign over everything/He demonstrated that He has the power to raise us to rule and reign with Christ and this is what God promises to do [Matthew 25:23]

 

Point 5 – GOD’S POWER; EXALTED HIM, CHRIST AS THE SUPREME HEAD OF THE CHURCH v.22-23

-          The church is the body of Christ

1st – the church is called the body of Christ – one body with Christ as the head, the church

         as the body, Christ needs the church and the church needs Him [John 20:21] – head

         cannot function without the body/the message of Christ, the dream of salvation, the

         plan of God cannot be carried out apart from the body of believers.

                                    Point – if God had the power to create the church and to make Christ the head of

                                              the church, then God has the power to make the body function for Jesus

                                              Christ.[Ephesians 4:11-12]

                           2nd – the church completes all for Jesus Christ

                                     -Christ is working in this world through the church/the church is the instrument God

                                     uses to bring about His will on earth [Matthew 28:19-20]

 

II.  THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN BELIEVER CH.2: 1-22

 

A.       The believer’s life before conversion; life without Christ [vv.1-3]

AIM:  To flee from sin, from the kind of life you lived before Christ

Memory Verse:  Ephesians 2:1

v.1 – lost sinners are dead in trespasses in sins/they are spiritually dead [John 6:44]

       - every sinner is drawn toward Christ [John 1:9; 12:32-34] – lost men are without excuse.

         [Romans 1:19; 2:10-15; John 5:28-29] – every sinner in the world has some call, some        

         glimpse of the Light, compelling them to seek God

 

          OUTLINE

I.                     A LIFE OF DEATH v.1

II.                  A LIFE OF TRESPASSES AND SINS v.1-2

III.                A LIFE SPENT WITH THE DISOBEDIENT OF THE WORLD v.3

IV.                A LIFE UNDER GOD’S WRATH v.3

 

 

POINT 1 – A LIFE OF DEATH v.1

-          The basic meaning of death is separation/death never means extinction or nonexistence; death means separation from the body, God, or both…

-          Man was created to have fellowship with God [Genesis 1:26-27]

POINT- man does not fulfill his purpose on earth for which he was created; he has little, if anything, to do with God; he is separated from and dead to God

Bible speaks of 3 deaths:

1st  - the physical death:  the separation of man’s spirit from the body [1 Corinthians 15:21-

         22][Hebrews 9:27]

2nd – there is a spiritual death – the separation of man from God while he is still living and

          walking on earth [1 Timothy 5:6; Luke 15:32; John 6:53; Ephesians 5:14; Ephesians 4:18-

          19; Romans 8:9; 1 John 5:12; Revelation 3:1]

3rd – Eternal death:  the separation of man from God for forever; this is the second death

         [Romans 6:23; 8:6]


POINT 2 – A LIFE OF TRESPASSES AND SIN vv.1-2

-          As long as man is without Christ, he is condemned to live in trespasses and sin, he has denied Christ

-          The word sin means to miss the mark; to err – it is what is meant by falling short of the glory of God

-          God is perfect; man is imperfect

-          There is no glory in man/there is only glory in God [Romans 3:23; 5:12]      

-          Man who sins is said to be walking after three things:

1st – walks after the course of this world; its opinions, lifestyles, pleasures, values,

         religion, popularity, honor, standards, technology, values [Matthew 16:26]

2nd – walks under the power of Satan [v.2]

          -chooses to follow the evil way of Satan [John 8:44]

3rd – walks in disobedience

          -he refuses to obey God; he chooses to do what he wants to do instead of what he

          should do; he is walking after the course of this world, under the power of Satan,

          he is walking in disobedience and therefore is not a child of God. [Matthew 7:26-27]                

 

POINT 3 – A LIFE SPENT WITH THE DISOBEDIENT OF THE WORLD [2:3]

-          before conversion man lives a life with the disobedient of the world

-          “Among whom” refers to the children of disobedience mentioned in {v.2]

-          Major stress of the disobedient is the desires of the flesh and the mind

-          Sins of the flesh:  illicit sex, pornography, drunkenness, etc.

-          Sins of the mind:  immoral thoughts, unbelief, false belief, idolatry

-          Point is this:  the unconverted man lives to fulfill the desires of his flesh and his mind; in reality he has nothing else for whom to live, he knows nothing else but this world and its appeal; therefore he seeks as much of this world as he can enjoy, his life is self-centered, not God-centered; his life is world centered, not heaven centered; his life is selfish, not giving; his life is banking and hoarding, not sacrificial, not meeting the needs of others…

-          [Matthew 5:28; Mark 4:19]

-          Those on the path of disobedience are blinded to its destructive consequences.

-          A habit of sin dulls the spiritual senses, habitual sin encases the heart like concrete, it hardens, freeing the person to pursue the desires of the heart and mind – but do not be fooled, the chains of sin that have men bound can only be undone by Jesus Christ and every other solution will fail…

POINT 4 – A LIFE UNDER GOD’S WRATH [v.3]

-          Before conversion, before man is saved, man lives under the wrath of God

-          “were by nature the children of wrath” – acting against God, rejects God – ignores God, denies God, he does not acknowledge God, curses God, he does not praise God; he serves religion, not God; honors a personal idea, does not honor Son of God; he acts in wrath against God, all these are the signs of the unconverted man

-          Therefore he shall reap what he has sown – the wrath of God shall be measured to him [John 3:36]

 

LESSON 5 – CH 2:4-7 – THE BELIEVER’S CONVERSION (PART 10) – THE WORK OF GOD’S MERCY

                             AIM – is to strive to live worthy of God’s mercy

                             Memory verse:  [2:4-5]

                    

OUTLINE

I.                    GOD HAS QUICKENED US WITH CHRIST [v.4-5]

II.                  GOD HAS RAISED US UP WITH CHRIST [v.6]

III.                GOD HAS MADE US SIT IN HEAVENLY PLACED IN CHRIST [v.6]

IV.                GOD HAD ONE GREAT PURPOSE TO SHOW US THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE IN THE AGES TO COME [v.7]

 

POINT I – GOD HAS QUICKENED US WITH CHRIST [v.4-5]


-          Work of God’s mercy is to quicken us with Christ

-          the word quicken means to be made alive; we were dead in trespasses and sins, but God has made us alive

-          3 Significant Bible Points

1st – why has God quickened us?

-          Because of His very nature – God is full of mercy toward us, to draw us to Him

-          Two things are essential in order to have mercy – seeing a need and being able to meet that need

-          God sees our need and feels for us, has mercy and provides us with Christ because of His great love

-          His love goes so far that He loves a person who doesn’t deserve to be loved; His love loves even the person who is unworthy of being loved.

-          [Romans 5:8, 10]

2nd – when did God quicken us and make us alive to Him?

-          When we were dead in sins [2:1-3]

3rd – how did God quicken us?

-          By making us alive together with Christ

-          Salvation is all of Him, none of it is of us

 

POINT II – GOD HAS RAISED US UP WITH CHRIST [v.6]

-          Work of God’s mercy is to raise us up with Christ; crucial fact – scripture plainly declares that God has raised us up with Christ

-          How is this possible?

-when Christ was crucified, God raised Jesus Christ for 3 reasons:

1. Jesus Christ lived a sinless and perfect life

2. Jesus Christ was raised because He died for men

3. Jesus Christ was raised up from the dead

                   -       how does God raise up the believer together with Christ? By faith and trust [Genesis 

                           15:6; Romans 4:3] – faith in Christ is our righteousness; we are righteous because of the

                            love and faith we have in Christ…

-          Being raised up with Christ gives us a better view of God’s grace, our view of life is much richer up on our Father’s shoulders.

 

POINT III – GOD HAS MADE US SIT IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST [v.6]

-          Work of God’s mercy is to sit us in heavenly places in Christ

2 facts – 1. Believer is said to be in Christ, Christ is said to be in the heavenlies, therefore the believer is in the heavenly realm of experience with Christ – physically we live on earth, but spiritually we have already been placed in the heavenlies – believer is at both realms, belongs to two worlds, maintains 2 relationships, one to earth and one to heaven

2.  the believer’s salvation, resurrection and exaltation is an accomplished fact, in the word together or with Him a profound truth is unfolding

 

1st – God’s unsurpassing power that raised Christ from the dead and made Christ sit at

        God’s right hand in the heavenly placed [Ephesians 1:20]

2nd – believers are said to have been raised with Christ and are to seek those things which

         are above [Colossians 2:12; 3:1,3]

3rd – believers are already raised up from the dead with Christ and already seated with

         Christ at the right hand of God – the words quicken, raised and made to sit express

         what God has already done for His children in Christ…[Romans 8:11]

-          In order to enjoy the great promises of God we have to be “in Christ’

-          This is the wonderful truth of this verse.

-          Why is the tense of this verse significant?

-          At which address do you spend most of your time?

-          What changes would need to happen in order for you to spend more time at your Father’s address?

 

POINT IV – GOD HAD ONE GREAT PURPOSE TO SHOW US THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE IN THE AGES TO COME [v.7]

-          Work of God’s mercy has one great purpose to show believers the riches of His grace in the ages to come [v.7]

-          God has done so much for us through Jesus Christ that it will take an eternity to show it all off

-          Ages literally means the ages that are coming one upon another, it means eternity

-          The exceeding riches of His grace and kindness toward us through Christ Jesus – this helps us to grasp this verse better… [Ephesians 3:10-13] – we are going to look in stark amazement at God’s wonderful mercy towards man…[Matthew 13:43]

 

LESSON 6 – CH. 2:8-10 – THE BELIEVER’S CONVERSION (PART 2) THE WORK OF GOD’S GRACE IN SALVATION

                           AIM:  To gain a perfect understanding and assurance of your salvation

                           Memory verse: [Ephesians 2:8]

                      OUTLINE

I.                    THAT IS, YOU ARE SAVED [vv.8-9]

II.                  YOU ARE GOD’S WORKMANSHIP [v.10]

POINT I – YOU ARE SAVED [vv.8-9]

-          You are saved by God and God along,; this is the major point of this passage.

-          You are saved by God’s grace, which means His favor and kindness, but there is a uniqueness about His favor and kindness; it is given despite the fact that it is undeserved – God has done a thing unheard of among men.

-          What is the gift that God has given?  Jesus Christ, in order to save men

-          God in full of mercy, love, kindness, by His very nature He is full of these glorious qualities therefore God was bound to shower His grace upon man; bound to send His Son to save man.

-          What does it mean “ye are saved through faith”?  Simply this, Jesus Christ died for us, He bore our sin and punishment upon the cross.  When we believe Jesus Christ died for us, God does a wonderful thing; he takes our faith and counts it as the death of Jesus Christ for us.

-          Point is – it is our faith that causes God to look at us as having been in Christ .  When He died on the cross, it is our faith that causes God to credit us with salvation. [John 3:16]


7 REASONS WHY SALVATION

1.        Man cannot make God owe him – man cannot put God in debt for work performed; a man who works puts his employer in debt for his services [Romans 4:4] – God is completely independent and cannot be put into debt by any man; God does not save man because He owes man; He saves man because He wills  to save man.

2.       Man cannot bring perfection to God – God is perfect, everything about man is imperfect and corruptible; man has nothing to offer God that would satisfy His perfection…

3.       Man cannot make God forgive Him – man is the one who has done wrong, offended and hurt God; man is the one who broke off the friendship and relationship with God; [Romans 3:23] – man is the one who has to apologize  and ask for forgiveness; God is the one who is to forgive because His mercy God chooses to forgive because of His heart of grace, so man cannot make God forgive him.

4.       Man cannot heal God’s heart – man’s sin breaks the heart of God, therefore man’s offense is primarily against God’s very nature of love, mercy and peace; since man’s main offense is breaking the heart of God, he can only cast himself upon the love of God, apologize and ask for God’s forgiveness, trusting God to forgive.

5.       Man cannot save himself – [Ephesians 2:8-9] – if salvation were by law or works man could ________________  be saved because no man could keep the law or do the works – salvation can only come through God’s grace.

6.       Man cannot make God love him – [Titus 3:4-7] – if salvation were by law and works, the love of God could never be known; God would be forced to save and bless us because He owes us, not because He loves us.  Our works would forever require Him to pay our wages; He wouldn’t be free to do something for us simply because He loved us.  We would never know what it is to be loved by God, we would know only what it is to be paid by God for work done.

7.       Man cannot see himself free and bring about liberty of conscience – if we were saved by law and works liberty and freedom of spirit and conscience would never be experienced; we constantly fail and come short _______________________away of us; if God does not forgive us simply because He loves us, then what can remove the guilt and aggravation of failure from our heart?  The law ______________for the law only points out our failures, and once we fail the gnawing away of conscience begins – the only way for the guilt and gnawing away of conscience is for God to forgive us failing and to convince us of His forgiveness – this is done by grace, God’s grace… [James 1:17]

-the reason salvation is by grace and not by works is to prevent men from every boasting.  [Psalm 49:6-7]


POINT II – YOU ARE GOD’S WORKMANSHIP [v.10]

-          First, we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus

-          The believer experiences 2 creations, both the natural birth and the spiritual birth.

-          The spiritual birth is the point of this verse.  When a man believes in Jesus Christ, God creates him “in Christ”

-          What does this mean?  Several things

-          First of all, that God quickens the spirit of the believer and makes his spirit alive [Ephesians 2:1,5] – God gives the believer life

-          It also means that God causes the believer to be born again spiritually [John 3:3, 5, 6]

-          It means that God actually placed His Divine nature into the heart of the believer [2 Peter 1:4]

-          It means that God actually makes  a new creature of the believer [2 Corinthians 5:17]

-          It means that God actually creates a new man out of the believer [Ephesians 4:24]

-          It means that God renews the believer by the Holy Spirit [Titus 3:5]

Second fact is we are created to do good works…

-          God saves man for good works not by good works – the believer shows He is God’s workmanship by the life he lives and displays

-          Works are an evidence of salvation; those that walk in trespasses and sin show they are not God’s workmanship no matter what profession they make  [Ephesians 2:1, 1]

-          God’s people give ample evidence of the power of a new life which operates in them; that doesn’t mean man doesn’t sin after he is saved; it just means that he doesn’t habitually commit the same sin over and over

-          God has ordained us to do good works – this is not an option for the believer; it should be the very nature of the believer – if a man is created in “in Christ”, his very nature should cause him to do good works; he cannot do otherwise; he is not perfect; he fails, but he keeps coming back to God falling on his knees, believing, asking for forgiveness and getting back up and going forth once again to do all the good he can; it is his nature, created to do good works [Matthew 5:16][Philippians 1:6] – the great blessing for the Christian is we are saved by grace and we are the workmanship of God.

 

D.REMEMBER WHAT LIFE IS LIKE SINCE CHRIST CAME; RECONCILIATION AND PEACE [2:11-18]

AIM:  TO LIVE VICTORIOUSLY IN THE PEACE OF CHRIST, THE PEACE WHICH ONLY CHRIST

            CAN BRING [Memory Verse 2:14]

-          In (vv.11-22) Paul wants the believer to grasp what God has done for man from 3 points of view:

 

#1 – from a historical view – before Christ, God dealt with man through the Jewish

         nation; since Christ, God has been dealing on a worldwide scale with both Jew and

         Gentile who are willing to follow Christ, makes them citizens of His new creation.

#2 – from an individual view – Jewish nation was made up of individual Jews as was the

         Gentile nation; therefore God deals with each individual as He deals with the Jewish

         nation and with the corporate nations of the Gentile world.

#3 – from a new creation view – God is no longer dealing with earthly division of nations;

         He is dealing with a new nationality of people, a new body of people who make up

         the true citizens of His kingdom.  These citizens are made up of all the nations of the

         world who now approach God through the Lord Jesus Christ [2 Peter 3:10-13;

         Revelation 21]


                             OUTLINE

I.                    We were far off and separated from God [v.11-13]

II.                  Christ brings us near to God [v.13]

III.                Christ brings us peace [v.14-15]

IV.                Christ brings us reconciliation [ v.16-17]

V.                  Christ brings us access to God [v.18]

 

POINT I – We were far off and separated from God [v.11-13]

-          Paul is speaking here, to everyone who is not a Jew

-          ”far off” [v.13] – there was a time when Gentiles were far off from God separated from heaven, before Christ

-          Six things kept us from God

#1 – we were barricaded from God by the Jews – God Himself had caused the Jewish nation to be born through Abraham.  He had challenged the Jews to be the missionary force to the world proclaiming that He and He alone was the True and Living God; that He was going to send a Messiah to save the world; but the Jews failed in their mission

-they became super spiritual, prideful and boastful, exclusive failing to reach out to the people of the world – they took the name Jew and circumcision and classified everyone else as Gentile or Uncircumcision.

- point is, we as Gentiles were barricaded from God by religion, a religion that had known the Truth but had allowed itself to become corrupted – religion when corrupted by man will keep a man from God – we must forever guard the Truth.

#2 we were without Christ – this means that we as Gentiles neither knew or expected a Messiah, that is the Anointed One of God; as Gentiles we had no hope of the coming Savior of the world.

#3 – we were alien from God’s people Israel  - This means we were not citizens of God’s people, the nation being built by God for Himself.

#4 – we were strangers from the Covenant and Promises of God – This means we as Gentiles were not the Covenant people of God – God did not approach the Gentiles to reckon with a Covenant relationship – only the Jews along had a covenant relationship with God.

#5 – we had no hope – This means, that as Gentiles we lived with all the fears and anxieties of life and in constant expecting of death, we had no hope of life beyond this world.

#6 – we were without God in the world – This means that we as Gentiles stand alone in the world with no source of strength or hope beyond that of which we ourselves could master or others like us provide [1 Corinthians 8:5] – since Christ has come we have no excuse for being separated from God.

POINT II – Christ brings us near to God [v.13]

-          How does Christ bring us to God? By the blood; by the blood of Christ that men are brought near God

-          Why was it necessary for Christ to die to bring man near to God (two reasons)

-          #1 – man was estranged from God

- sin brings death; the only way man could get back to God was if God loved man enough to forgive him – the glorious gospel is God did – God gave His Son as a means of reconciling man to Himself [2 Corinthians 5:21] – the blood of Christ Cleanses us [Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:15]

-          #2 – God wanted to show just how much He loved the world – [John 15:13]

- God has given His life for His enemies, not His friends, we were not friends of God, we were enemies in rebellion, rejection of God [ Romans 5:6, 8, 10]

POINT III – Christ brings us peace [v.14-15]

-          Christ is our peace; He becomes our peace when we realize that He died for us, offering us deliverance from a life of bondage of sin and death; to have life and live eternally with God

-          Christ brings us a greater sense of peace when we realize the daily power to help us overcome the aggravating and terrible weight of anguish, guilt, loneliness, emptiness and fear.

-          Christ brings a deeper scale of peace when we realize He has brought perfect love unity to the world eliminating all barriers and differences between God and man

-          Christ is man’s peace because He does four things for man:

#1 Christ brings peace by bringing men together as one [v.14]

-          He has made both Jew and Gentile one; two ways Christ makes men as one:

#1 – all men now approach God on the same basis, equal footing by the blood of Christ – one at the feet of the cross – sinners in need of grace acceptable to God because he comes as all other men lost and needful to confess Christ as Savior [John 14:27]

#2 – all men who come to Christ for salvation receive a common love and purpose for work:

 

-for every person who comes to Christ loves him and this love is a common love between believers

-common purpose and work, that of living righteously and bearing testimony to the glorious message of salvation and to life eternal [1 John 1:7]

                   #2 Christ brings peace by breaking down barriers [v.14]

-          This is a picture taken from the Temple, the Temple was surrounded by a series of courts and each court had a high wall separating it from the preceding court as one approached the temple he entered the outer court of the Gentiles, (where the buying and selling of animals and exchanging of money take place) then the Court of Women (Jewish women were limited to this court unless she had come to make her sacrifice) then the Court of the Israelites (where the whole congregation gathered at the great feast days to hand over sacrifices to the priest) the Court of the Priests was next (this area was accessible only to the work and services of the Pries) finally came the Holy of Holies (only the High Priest could enter the Holy place and he could enter only once a year at the Great Passover Feast) partition after partition kept people from God

-          The picture here is that Christ broke down all barriers to God, man can approach God because of the blood of Jesus Christ

-          All men came to God through the cross of Christ [Matthew 23:28]

#3 – Christ brings peace by wiping out the enmity of the law against us

-          Before Christ man had to approach God through law, however man discovered something – the law did not make man acceptable to God, it condemned him and showed him how far away from God he was

-          Man discovered that the Law was against him, but now, Christ has done away with enmity and the condemnation of the Law – He paid it all as the ideal and perfect man.

-          Point is – Christ fulfilled all the Law, He is now the way for man to approach God, therefore there are no Laws to keep man from God

-          Only one thing keeps a man from God – refusing to accept Christ [Matthew 5:17]

#4 – Christ brings peace by creating a new man – [Colossians 1:27] when a man turns to Christ, God recreates the man by being “born again”; man has a new beginning in Christ which brings peace of heart and mind.  Corporately, in Jesus Christ all men (Jew and Gentile) who believe in Christ make up one new body [Ephesians 2:16, 19, 20-22; 1:22


POINT IV – Christ brings us reconciliation [vv.16-17]

-          [v.16] – reconcile means to change from enmity to friendship; to restore

-          5 points about reconciliation

1)      The thing that broke the relationship between God and man was sin [Romans 5:10]

2)      Men are reconciled to God through His Son, Jesus Christ

3)      God is the One who reconciles, not man

4)      All men can be reconciled to one another, if they look up to God through the Lord Jesus Christ

5)      Men learn about reconciliation by the preaching of Jesus Christ [2 Corinthians 5:18]


 

POINT V – Christ brings us access to God [v.18]

-          Access means to move through, bring to, or present – Christ is the One who presents us to God the Sovereign Majesty of the Universe

-          Note – it is the Holy Spirit who brings us to the Father – who gives us permanent access to God’s presence [John 3:5; Romans 8:11; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:14; Galatians 4:6-7; John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:5-7; Hebrews 10:19]


E. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE; SIX PICTURES OF THE CHURCH [2:19-22]

Note: “household of God” [v.19] – other words for “household of God” might be building, habitation of

            God through the Spirit, Holy Temple this is the church of which Christ said I will build {Matthew

            16:18] – it is the spiritual house to which believers are added as lively stones [1 Peter 2:9]

 AIM – to understand your vital role in God’s church – [Memory verse – Acts 20:28]

            

OUTLINE

I.                    A NEW NATION [v.19]

II.                  GOD’S FAMILY [v.19]

III.                GOD’S BUILDING [v.20]

IV.                A GROWING ORGANISM [v.21]

V.                  AWORLDWIDE TEMPLE/UNIVERSAL CHURCH [v.21]

VI.                A LOCAL TEMPLE [v.22]

 

POINT I – A NEW NATION [v.19]

-          Fellow citizens, we the Gentiles are no longer strangers to God, ware fellow citizens with all the saints of God

-          we were strangers alien to God, we were sojourners, migrant, in exile, a time when we were outside God and His kingdom

-          a time when we had no relationship to God, His kingdom, its citizens, but note the glorious news – we are fellow citizens through the blood of Christ

-          saints – those who are set apart to God; a people being built into a new nation of God [Hebrews 11:9-10]

 

POINT II – GOD’S FAMILY [v.19]

-          Household of God – Jesus Christ has brought us into the “household of God.   This involves 2 glorious privileges: 1. The privilege of adoption  - we have been adopted as sons and daughters of His.  We now live in the household of God, all the provision of His household are now ours.  Things like love, care, help, concern, companionship, intimacy, training, discipline {Romans 8: 15-17].  2. The privilege of responsibility and service – every person in a household has duties to perform some service to the household for the good of the family [Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 4:10] – willing service with a good spirit!!


POINT III – GOD’S BUILDING [v.20]

-          Believers are pictured as building stones being used to construct a building for God – 2 significant points:

1.       Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone – the symbolism of the chief corner stone says 3 significant things to us – a) corner stone is the first stone laid, all other stones come after – He is the first of God’s new movement all others follow Him [Hebrews 2:10][Hebrews 12:2; 6:19-20][Revelation 1:8] – b) the corner stone is the supportive stone all other stones are placed on it, held up by it, they all rest on it.  The corner stone is the pre-eminent stone in position and power, so it is with Christ.  He is the power in God’s new movement. [1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:20-22] – c)corner stone is the directional stone – it is used to line up the whole building and all the other stones; it can be called the instructional stone – Christ is the One who gives the instruction and direction to God’s people [1 Peter 2:6-8][Matthew 7:24-27]

2.       We (the church) are built upon the testimonies laid by the apostles and prophets

        Their record and testimony of the Word of God itself is the foundation upon which

         the church is to be laid [Ephesians 4:11-12

 

POINT IV – A GROWING ORGANISM (v.21)

-          The church is to be a living organism – more and more believers are to be brought into the building as each day passes, the building grows and grows until Christ comes again.

-          Christ is the living stone [1 Peter 2:4-5] upon which all believers must ascribe

-          The church as 2 dynamic challenges in this point –

a) the church must grow – it must be bringing new stones (new believers) and fitting them into the building of God [Matthew 28:18-20][Matthew 16:18

b) every believer in the building is part of the building and expected to fulfill his function in the building; every believer is a laborer [1 Peter 4:10]

 

POINT V – A WORlDWIDE TEMPLE/UNIVERSAL CHURCH [v.21]

-          All – all believers make up the Temple for the Lord, a building being constructed into God’s universal church – which will literally be the new heaven and the new earth

-          Each person who comes to Christ is fitted into the building (see Point IV)

 

POINT VI – A LOCAL TEMPLE [v.22]

-          You – each local church is pictured as a structure for God’s presence and each believer is seen as an essential stone being fitted into the building

-          The churches stability lies in each stone being fitted, placed, cemented by the same LORD

-          And by each stone holding up the load, fulfilling his role in the structure

-          The local church exists for the purpose of providing a habitation and home for the presence of God through His Spirit

-          The church is to allow God to live out His life through the Spirit 

-          The Holy Spirit lives with the believers to help enable us, give direction, to comfort us, the Spirit dwells within the church to help it fulfill God’s will

-          The effectiveness of any local church depends upon how much it allows the Holy Spirit to dwell within and control its body of members [1 Corinthians 3:16]


III.                 THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD FOR THE CHRISTIAN BELIEVER [CH. 3;1-21]

 

A.       A NEW BODY OF PEOPLE; THE GREAT MYSTERY OF CHRIST [3:1-13]

1ST AIM:  To understand the great mystery of Christ that He is creating a new body of people on

                  Earth

2nd AIM:  To serve Christ more diligently than ever before all because of what Christ has done for

                  you.  Memory Verse:  Ephesians 3:12

                                    OUTLINE

I.                     It gave Paul purpose for existing [v.1-2]

II.                  It was a mystery, it required a special revelation to become known [vv.3-5]

III.                It was a three-fold revelation [v.6]

IV.                It affected Paul profoundly [vv.7-9]

V.                  It affects Heavenly Beings even now, and profoundly so, it causes them to stand in start amazement. [vv.10-12]

VI.                It stirred a willingness within Paul to suffer for the church [v.13]

 

POINT I – IT GAVE PAUL PURPOSE FOR EXISTING [vv.1-2]

-          First, Paul existed to serve Christ no matter the cost

-Paul was a prison in Rome

                    -      second, Paul existed to be a steward of God; the word dispensation means stewardship,

                            management, ownership, administration, Paul was given the duty to oversee and

                            administer the grace of God to the world…

-          Every believer is a steward of God; every believer is a slave to Christ and should serve Christ no matter the cost, even if it means imprisonment or death [Matthew 20:28]

-          Every believer is a steward of God’s grace and is responsible to minister God’s grace to all men [1 Corinthians 4:1-2]

 

POINT II – IT WAS A MYSTERY; IT REQUIRED A SPECIAL REVELATION TO BECOME KNOWN [vv.3-5]

NOTE:  2 points

              #1 – The mystery is called the mystery of Christ [v.4]

              #2 – The word mystery is defined in this verse [v.9] – means that the mystery of Christ was not

                          known before the apostles and prophets; a truth that could not be discovered by human

                          reason; a truth that had to be revealed by God to be ever known. [John 3:13]


 

POINT III – IT WAS A THREE-FOLD REVELATION [v.6]

              [Romans 8:15-17] – first, we the Gentiles who believe are fellow heirs with the Jews and God

              Second, we the Gentiles are the same body with the Jews, no longer does man have to approach

              God through one body of people

-          All come to God through Jesus Christ – through the Spirit of God  believers become one in life and one in purpose – all believers are a living organism growing in Christ [John 17:20-21]

               Third, we the Gentiles receive the same promise of Christ as the Jews did

-          This includes all the promises of God – primary promise in Christ has to do with the glorious privilege of being saved, living with God for eternity  in the new heavens  and earth. [Titus 3:4-7]

 

POINT IV – IT AFFECTED PAUL PROFOUNDLY [vv.7-9]     

                 Paul knew he was called by God [Ephesians 4:1; 17; 5:19; 2 Corinthians 13; 1 Corinthians 7; 2

                 Corinthians 8]

                 Paul saw his call as a minister of God to be his greatest privilege

-          Paul’s call was a free gift to Paul from God

                  [v.7] salvation called Paul to be a minister [2 Corinthians 4:1-2] – it called him to be a preacher

                  [1 Corinthians 2:2, 4] called him to be a dynamic witness [Acts 18:9-10]

-           all Christians are called to serve

 

POINT V – IT AFFECTS HEAVENLY BEINGS EVEN NOW, AND PROFOUNDLY SO, IT CAUSES THEM TO STAND IN STARK AMAZEMENT [VV.10-12]

Heavenly beings stand in start amazement at 3 things:

#1 – At what God is doing in the church – God is saving and changing people all over the world, exalting them to be perfect mature beings who will live in His presence and serve Him forever [v.10] – note, Heavenly Beings, see what is happening right now [Romans 11:33]

#2 – At God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus – [2 Timothy 1:9]

#3 – At the believers access into God’s presence – [Ephesians 2:18] – by faith in Christ, this access is granted

 

POINT VI – IT STIRRED WITHIN PAUL A WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST [V.13]

-          The glory that lies before us is worthy of any suffering we may have to do for the LORD [1 Peter 4:12]

-          Paul had this; so must we

B.       A MATURE BELIEVER IN CHRIST; THE GREAT PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH AND BELIEVERS [3:14-21]         

AIM – to make a bold commitment to pray for the church and to pray as never before

Memory Verse:  [Ephesians 3:20]

God’s power will only come when we pray earnestly and consistently [3:14-21] – probably the second most important prayer in the Bible [Matthew 6:9-13] the 1st


OUTLINE

I.                    The Prayer [ v.14-15]Request #1 for strength and power within by God’s spirit [v.16]

II.                  Request #2 – for Christ to rule and reign within by faith [v.17]

III.                Request #3 – for love [v.17]

IV.                Request #4 – for a full understanding of all things spiritual [v.18]

V.                  Request #5 – to know the love of Christ v.19]

VI.                Request #6 – for the fullness of God v.19]

VII.              The Conclusion:  The encouragement  to pray trusts God for the answer [vv.20-21]


 

Point 1 – THE PRAYER [v.14-15]

                 Four things about this prayer for a specific cause and a specific purpose

1.       For this cause – Paul is referring back to the great salvation spoken of in [3:1-13] which God has brought about through Christ [2:1-10; 2:11-22] – this is the great cause for which Paul prays

2.       Prayer was so important that it drove Paul to his knees

-          Bowing is a sign of desperate need and dependency; it shows that a person is utterly dependent upon God; that a person is humble, earnest, reverent before God.

3.       The prayer addresses God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – Christ came to show men what God is like and the prayer is addressed to the Father for it would be He who answered the prayer.

4.       Prayer was also addressed to the Father of the whole family of God

 

Point 2 – Request #1 – FOR STRENGTH AND POWER WITHIN BY GOD’S SPIRIT [v.16]

                 First, the word strengthened means to be made strong, tough, enduring, energy

                 Second, the word power means energy, force and might

                 Third, the believer needs to be strengthened with power in the inner man that is the deepest

                            part of our being (our heart, soul, spirit)

                           Why?

-          Because it is the only way he can overcome the flesh with all its weaknesses

-          Because it is the only way the believer can lay claim to all the promises and blessings of God

Our spirits must be strong and powerful to be everything that God wants us to be and to do everything God wants us to do…

-          The One who gives this strength is the Spirit who lives in the inner man

-          God grants us the strength “according to the riches of His glory”

-          Because of God’s great love for us in Christ, He graciously does this for us [Ephesians 2:4-10][2 Corinthians 12:9-10]

 


 

Point 3 – Request #2 – FOR CHRIST TO RULE AND REIGN WITHIN BY FAITH [v.17]

-          The word dwell means to live in a permanent and not a temporary dwelling; to take up permanent residence

-          The believer is to be aware and conscious that Christ lives in their heart, and that the believer would allow Christ to control their life permanently and constantly

-          It is the presence of Christ within that motivates the believer to follow Christ

-          The more a believer is aware of the fact that Christ is within him, the more they will be conscious of the fact to walk with Christ

-          Biblical faith is a commitment to truth and reality, and fact [Galatians 2:20]

-          Spiritual maturity takes time to grow deep roots, the depth of the roots more than the height of the tree is the key to spiritual maturity

 

Point 4 – Request #3 – FOR LOVE [v.17]

-          Agape love, the same love God has for us

-          Application – love is where the believer needs to be rooted and grounded

-          Faith is how the believer is rooted and grounded in love

-          Power to live the Christian life is why the believer must be rooted and grounded in love

-          In a very real sense love is the only outlet that we can plug our spiritual cords into to live a victorious Christian life [1 John 4:7-8]

 

Point 5 – Request #4 – FOR A FULL UNDERSTANDING OF SPIRITUAL THINGS [v.18]

-          It is crucial that the believer grasp God’s glorious plan and eternal salvation; all that has been covered in the first three chapters.

-          God has done so much for the believer that it cannot be measured, therefore, we must pray and seek God for a full understanding; all believers must comprehend the breadth;, length, height, depth of what God has done for them and the church.

-          The more believers comprehend the more they will surrender their life to Christ and serve Him

-          The more we will reach out to others [1 Corinthians 2:9-12]

-          Where does the journey begin to understand Christ?  At the cross

 

Point 6 – Request #5 – TO KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST [v.19]

-          it is impossible for us to know the love of Christ beyond measure, without praying to God to help us more – we must be praying daily

-          [Romans 5:8-10]

-          We can never be satisfied with our depth, we must constantly be pursuing a greater depth/passion for the knowledge of Christ’s love for us

-          If we will love Him better, we will serve Him better

 

 


 

Point 7 – Request #6 – FOR THE FULLNESS OF GOD [v.19]

-          The believer possesses the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit, Christ, in God; when Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to indwell believers, He promised that all three, God the Father, The Son and The Spirit would come to dwell with us [John 14:16,23]

-          Point is each figure of the Godhead has a different function within the believer, therefore, the believer is to ask specific things concerning each of the Trinity…

-          Believer has already prayed to be strengthened by the Spirit [v.16] and to have Christ dwell within and control His heart [v.17] – now, the believer is to pray for all the fullness of God Himself for God to fill and flood him, ruling and reigning and having His perfect way in the believer…

F F BRUCE POINT:  the preposition “unto” suggests a progressive experience; the believer is to pray for God to constantly fill him, to constantly flood him with all the fullness of God [Romans 11:33-36]

Prayer gives the believer the passion needed to seek the fullness of God {Psalm 34:8] – to be filled should be the goal [Psalm 16:11]

 

Point 8 – THE CONCLUSION:  THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO PRAY AND TRUST GOD FOR THE ANSWER v.20-21]

                     Note :  2 points

                     1st – God is able to do what we ask – but, He is able to do even more than what we ask or

                              think; He is able to overcome anything; He is able to abundantly, to overflow with more

                              than enough. He is able to do over and above any need we have, even going beyond

                              what we think [Luke 3:8]

                      2nd – [Thompson Chain Reference Bible] says God is able to fulfill promises even if they are        

                               humanly impossible [ Romans 4:21]

                      3rd – [TCRB] points out that God is able to make grace abound [2 Corinthians 9:8]

                      4th – [TCRB] God is able to do exceeding abundantly [Ephesians 3:20]

                      5th – [TCRB] God is able to do and subdue all things [Philippians 3:21]

                      6th – [TCRB] God is able to guard the soul’s treasure [2 Timothy 1:12]

                      7th – [TCRB] God is able to save us to the uttermost [Hebrews 7:25]

                      8th – [TCRB] God is able to keep us from falling [Jude v.24]

                      Second point – Note, the source of answered prayer – it is the power that works in us.

-          The power is the combined power that God has put within us (all for that which we are praying); the power of the Spirit strengthening us, the power of Christ indwelling us; the power of love working in us; the power of understanding all that God does; and the power of the fullness of God, Himself [Matthew 19:26]

-          The purpose of God doing all this for us?  That He would be glorified in the church through Christ Jesus throughout all the ages, world without end…


IV THE WALK OF THE CHRISTIAN BELIEVER [Chapter 4:1 – 6:9]

A.      The believer is to walk worthy of his calling [4:1]


 

     AIM – to prepare yourself to walk worthy of your calling – [Memory Verse 4:1][1 Corinthians 15:58  -

                 we are to always be abounding in the work of the LORD…walking with God is a practical skill

                 that has to be learned.

                                       OUTLINE

I.                    The way to walk worthy [v.1-2]

II.                  The purpose for walking worthy; to keep the unity and the peace [v.3]

III.                The 7 basic reasons to walk worthy [v.4-6]


POINT I – THE WAY TO WALK WORTHY [v. 1-2]

Q.  How can the believer walk worthy?  What must the believer do to walk worthy in all aspects of life?  What must a believer do to walk worthy of this great calling to bring honor to God and His Church?

                  1st  - believer must walk with all lowliness [v.2] – he must be humble

                  2nd – believer must walk with all meekness[v.2] – he must be without all resentment and he

                           must be submissive…

                  3rd – we must walk with long suffering; he must be patient and enduring

                  4th – he must walk with all forbearance to others in love; that is, he must be compassionate,

                           lenient and controlled

-          The attitudes of [v.2] will never be ours unless we yield to the Holy Spirit; these become ours when we submit to the Spirit’s leading; those who do this have also chosen to walk with integrity [Romans 12:1] – in order to walk worthy we must be consistent with God and His Word.

 


 

POINT 2 – THE PURPOSE FOR WALKING WORTHY; TO KEEP THE UNITY AND THE PEACE [v.3]

-          Unity fostered by the Holy Spirit; a unity we must seek to promote among Christians and maintain

-          Purpose for walking worthy is one-fold – unity; Christians are to work at keeping peace so we can stay together in God’s Spirit…

-          When a person comes to salvation in Christ, God sows that individual together with all other Christians; we are to be unity in the bond of peace…

-          Therefore, all divisiveness is to be kept out, pushed aisde, to maintain spiritual harmony

-          Unfortunately, many times believers don’t walk according to the Spirit and divisiveness enters the church…

-          Note, the word “endeavoring” it means to be diligent, doing one’s very best, working to take care, making haste to do it

-          We are to work at keeping the unity that is ours in Christ [1 Corinthians 1:10]

 

 

POINT 3 – THE 7 BASIC REASONS TO WALK WORTHY [4-6]

1.       One body – a) new birth [John 1:11-12; 3:3; Titus 3:5];  b) new creature [2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24];  c) God’s divine nature [2 Peter 1:4;  d) Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 6:19-20];  e) bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23];  f) places the believer in the body of people He is creating [1 Corinthians 12:13]

-          no way a believer can be in conflict with another believer unless he is walking after the flesh and is in a backslidden condition for these are contrary to the fruit of the Spirit and being part of a people God is creating…[Romans 12:5]

2.       One spirit – the same Spirit that dwells in one member of the body dwells in all members of the body;  it is God’s Spirit that causes a man to be born again [John 3:5-6] – it is God’s Spirit that causes each member to act and serve the body [Acts 13:2] each member is to serve the body [1 Peter 4:10] acting independent of the body is of another spirit.

3.       One hope every genuine believer has the same hope the great day of redemption…our future lives in the New Heavens and the New Earth, one to be the pattern by which we live right now…this hope is to be the driving force that stirs us up to live in peace and unity [Romans 15:4]

4.       One LORD – only one Master and King; we are to live according to His commands [Galatians 5:22-25] bearing the fruit of His Spirit…[Matthew 7:21,23]; we are unequivicably instructed to do His will.

5.       One Faith – only faith that leads to God is that which is founded in our Lord Jesus Christ; this is the only approach to God; every believer comes to God this way, so there is no room for any differences for we all stand on the same ground, same level [Galatians 1:23][John 14:16]

6.       One baptism – by being publicly baptized all believers have given public witness to their faith; each has been identified as belonging to the same body by being initiated through the same ritual, entering the church by the same ordinance we should not become divisive.  Divisiveness brings shame  and ________________ the meaning of baptism; it shows that our commitment was shallow; it shows that our sincerity in being baptized was greatly lacking; it shows we care little for Christ and for our baptism experience. [Romans 6:3]

7.       One God and Father of All God is the creator of us all and therefore is the Supreme one – all; God is love and the Father of all believers who are part of His family.  Point:  if God is the Father how then can He be leading two believers to stand toe to toe in division against each other?  He could not.  The first great command to Israel was, Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one God…therefore it stands to reason that when we are united in unity, only then can believers be nourished and grow    [Matthew 12:33] – each believer needs one another to grow strong and to make the tree good and bear the fruit of our LORD…


B.  THE BELIEVER IS TO WALK BY USING HIS GIFTS {4:7-16]

        AIM – to discover and share your spiritual gifts; [Memory Verse:  Ephesians 4:8] – believers are not only unified [____ v.7] diversified with spiritual gifts that are to be used to minister to one another [1 Peter 4:10]

                                    


 

                                          OUTLINE

I.                    Every believer is gifted {v.7]

II.                  Every believer’s gift has cost the greatest possible price [v.8-10]

III.                Every believer’s gift is Christ centered [v.11]

IV.                Every believer’s gift has a three-fold purpose [vv.12-16]

 

Point I – Every believer is gifted [v.7]

-          Unto everyone – there is not a single believer forgotten or left out – everyone has been gifted

-          Spiritual gift does not mean the natural ability or talent of a person, God, of course, keeps these in mind when He gifts a person, but spiritual gifts are special gifts given to believers, they are highly specialized gifts that are given to build up the church and minister to the world…

-          Every believer has received a gift to carry out the work of the LORD upon the earth

-          It is through Christ grace that we receive the strength, courage, motivation, wisdom, love, caring, power, of the blessings of Christ to carry out the work

-          Christ gives us whatever we need to carry out His work [Romans 12:3]

 

Point II – Every believer’s gift has cost the greatest possible price [v.8-10]

-          Christ went to war on behalf of man to confront and conquer man’s great enemies, sin and death…

-          He gives the greatest gift of all – the gift of meaning and purpose to life – He fills life to the full for men and gives a person gifts to use in the most meaningful and purposeful of all work – serving the LORD with gladness of heart [Luke 9:43; Matthew 16:25].  We must sacrifice. Colossians 6:8]

 

Point III – Every believer’s gift is Christ centered [v.11]

                  “He gave” – it is Christ and Christ along who gives the spiritual gifts

                   5 gifts are mentioned here:

1)      Apostle  - means to send out, an apostle is an ambassador to represent one country to another country.  Three things are true of the apostle:  a0 first, he belongs to the one who sent him out; second , he is commissioned to be sent out; third, he possesses all the authority and the power of the one who sent him.

2)      Prophet – this is a gift of speaking under the inspiration of God’s spirit; it includes both prediction and proclamation [1 Corinthians 14:3

3)      Evangelist – this is the gift carrying the gospel all over the world; it is the gift that specializes in carrying the gospel to a lost world…it would include both the evangelist and the missionary [2 Timothy 4:5]

4)      Pastor – the word means Shepherd; [1 Peter 5:2; Acts 20:28] pastor is an undershepherd to the chief shepherd, Jesus Christ.  Several things about the shepherd; knows the sheep; knows each one by name [John 10:14], finds the sheep [Isaiah 40:11], guides the sheep away from the rough places and the places to fall off [Psalm 12:1-4], shepherd seeks and saves the sheep who get lost [Ezekiel 34:16] protects and even sacrifices his life for the sheep [John 10:11, restores the sheep who go astray and return [1 Peter 2:25];  Tape:6, Side: 2 - shepherd rewards the sheep for faithfulness and obedience [1 Peter 5:4] shepherd shall keep the sheep separate from the goats [Matthew 25:32.33]

5)      Teacher – is to instruct believers in the truth of God’s Word; gift to root and ground people, to reprove in correction and righteousness, doctrine [1Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11].  Every apostle, prophet and pastor has the gift of teaching; but every teacher is not an apostle, prophet, or teaches; the gift of teaching bears one of the greatest responsibilities given by God; therefore, the teacher will be required to give a strict account to God for his faithfulness in using his gift

-          The spiritual gift of teaching is that of understanding and communicating, edifying believers in the truth of God’s Word; the gift of teaching is given to the believer who dedicates his life to God’s Word and to sharing the glorious truths with people [Matthew 28:19-20]

 

Point 4 – Every believer’s gift has a three-fold purpose [v.12-16]

-          Note, a significant fact the five gifts listed above involve speech and proclamation; these gifts are specialized and looked upon as being the professional gifts of the church; these gifts are not given to every believer; however, every believer should be as an apostle in that he is faithfully serving God’s Word; every believer should be as a prophet, daily proclaiming God’s Word; should be as an evangelist bearing witness  to the lost; should be as a pastor in that believers are shepherding and caring for people all the time; as a teacher, teaching the truth of God’s Word to all he knows.

-          There is a need for professional office bearing gifts among God people; that is to equip the saints for the ministry; to be making disciples

-          Critical point – for the church cannot be build up without the people doing the work of ministry; every person needs to be serving in the local church [1 Peter 4:10]

-          Everyone needs to be equipped and in order to be equipped we must be teachable, accountable

2nd – there is an eternal purpose for the office bearing gifts; it can be stated no clearer that

         [v.13] cf [1 Corinthians 1:10; Hosea 6:3; Hebrews 5:14]

3rd – there is a personal purpose for the office bearing gifts, this purpose also involves 3

         points:

a)      That we no longer be children [v.14]     

b)      That we grow up in all things, even Christ [v.15][John 15:3] 

c)       That we do our part in building up the church; every believer is to supply something to the body of Christ [v.16] an eternal weight of responsibility to reach and build up people rests on every believer because each one is responsible to use their gift.

-          For this reason every believer is gifted by God [1 Corinthians 12:4-7

-          There is a big difference between a program generated church and a Spirit lead program in a church – the former saps the life out of people while the latter gives life.

-          Whatever we do for the Lord, we need to ask this question – Is this practical service, will this do good for the people?

C.THE BELIEVER IS TO WALK DIFFERENTLY FROM THE GENTILES [4:17-24]

AIM:  to make absolutely sure your Christian walk matches your talk (Memory Verse 4:24] – believer

           is neither Jew nor Gentile, but belongs to a third race of people, those who are “in Christ”;

           therefore we are to walk as children of the Light

                                                OUTLINE

I.                    The believer is not to walk after Gentiles [men][v.17-19]

II.                  The believer is to walk after Christ [vv.20-24]

 

Point 1 – The believer is not to walk after Gentiles [men][vv.17-19]

-          [1 Corinthians 10:32] – believers are set apart from other Gentiles and are no longer walking as they walk – point is believers are part of a third race of people being created on earth; part of a new nation, those who belong to Christ…believers are not to walk as other men walk because believers are “new creatures” and the walk of other men did not please God  

-          This passage gives five traits that displease God and believers are to have nothing to do with these things:  unbelievers walk –

1)      In the vanity of their own mind [v.17][Genesis 6:5]

2)      Understanding darkened [v.18][2 Timothy 3:7]

3)      Alienated from the life of God [v.18] “in them” [Matthew 15:8]

4)      Pass feeling [v.19][Acts 28:27] – no longer able to be sensitive to God

5)      Give themselves over to lasciviousness/all forms of sensual living [v.19]; and uncleanness with greediness [immoral behavior][1 Thessalonians 4:7]

-          The word greediness means hoarding being enslaved to the things of the world/indulging in selfish behavior [Exodus 20:17]

-          Your witness makes a big difference in this world – be encouraged/strengthened to walk as the new man in Christ for your life will have an impact…

-          Starfish illustration

 

Point 2 – Believer is to walk after Christ [vv.20-26]

-          Note: Christ is the teacher, not the pastor, if a man has truly heard Christ then he is to walk after Christ, for Christ did not walk as the old man but walked distinctively different [sinless/perfect] for the truth is in Him

-          If a person has truly hear Christ in their heart, then it was clearly not the life lived by unbelievers; therefore a walk in Christ involves 3 actions:  believer is to –

a)      put off the old man [v.22]

b)      be renewed in the Spirit of his mind [v.23]

c)       put on the new man [v.24]

                  [v.22]  - put off the old man – refers to what a man is before he accepts Christ – [the nature of 

                                 Adam/corrupt] 3 things taught about the old man in the scriptures

        a) believes old man has already been put to death [Romans 6:6]

b) the deeds of the old man have been put off from the believer [Colossians 3:9]

c) believer is told to exercise his own will in putting off the old man; he does this by adhering to 3 truths – first, counting the old man as dead [Romans 6:11]; 2) old man is reckoned as being very much alive, for the old man is tempted to sin, but the believer is reject the temptation, to put it off [Romans 6:12-13]; 3) old man, including all creation is seen dying day by day/believer realized that the very action of things is decaying/dying.  Therefore the believer puts off the old man and by faith puts on the new man [Romans 6:6; 2 Peter 1:9]

                 [v.23] – be renewed in the spirit of your mind – our mind is to be regenerated, turned around,

                                made new; the mind of man was infected by sin, it needs to be renewed.

-          Man’s mind is futile, vain, empty because of sin [Romans 1:21} man’s mind has become reprobate [Romans 1:28] – man’s mind is carnal [Romans 8:7]

-          Man’s mind is blinded by Satan [2 Corinthians 4:4][Ephesians 4:17] vanity [Philippians 3:18-19] – focused on earthly things/alienated from God and an enemy to God [Colossians 1:21] man’s mind has become fleshly [Colossians 2:18] it has become defiled [Titus 1:15]

-          mind is renewed by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – a man is spiritually born again [John 3:3-8] made into a new man [Ephesians 4:24]; man is spiritually made into a new creature [2 Corinthians 5:17] given the mind of Christ [1 Corinthians 2:16] – a wonderful truth – when we come to know Christ we receive Christ’s mind, a mind that is to be focused upon God – only Christ can renew the mind

-          the believer is to live a transformed life; day by day receiving his mind more and more on spiritual things [Matthew 22:37; Romans 8:5-56]; believer is to cast out carnal thoughts

______________ every thought for Christ [2 Corinthians 10:5]; believer is not to let his mind by corrupted [2 Corinthians 11:3; believer is not to fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind [Ephesians 2:3] not to walk as the world walks [Ephesians 4:17] renewed in the Spirit of your mind [4:23][Philippians 2:5; 4:8]; believer is to live by the laws of God [Hebrews 10:18]; arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ in bearing suffering [1 Peter 4:1]

 


             [v.24] – put on the new man – born again spiritually [John 3:5][1 Peter 1:23]; God places His

                           divine nature into the heart of the believer [2 Peter 1:4]; God actually creates a new man 

                      out of the believer [2 Corinthians 5:17] God renews the believer by the Holy Spirit [Titus 3:5]


D. THE BELIEVER IS TO WALK PUTTING OFF THE GARMENTS OF THE OLD MAN [4:25-32]

      AIM – to strip off your old nature and put on the new [Memory Verse – Ephesians 4:29]

                                         OUTLINE

I.                    Put off the garment of lying [v.25]

II.                  Put off the garment of anger [v.26-27]

III.                Put off the garment of stealing [v.28]

IV.                Put off the garment of worthless talk [v.29]

V.                  Put off the garment of being contrary [v.30]

VI.                Put off the garments of unkindness [v.31]

VII.              Put on the garments of the new man [v.32]

 

Point I – PUT OFF THE GARMENT OF LYING [v.25]

-          The believer is to put away lying, which means that which is false, untruthful, deceptive or exaggerated, because a lie does at least 3 things:

a)       lying misrepresents the truth – the person being lied to does not know the truth; therefore, he has to live or act upon a lie; if a lie is serious it can cause serious damage

b)      Lying deceives a person – that is it leads a person astray, a person lies to get what he wants; lying is deception; which causes bewilderment, helplessness, emotional upheaval in people

c)       Lying builds a wrong relationship – a relationship built upon sinking sand; people cannot possibly be friends or live together if the relationship is based upon lies; it destroys confidence, assurance, security, love, trust, hope

-          Secondly, scripture gives one strong reason for believers to speak only truth, we are members one of another of the body of Christ, the body can only function correctly, Godly, when it speaks and acts upon the truth

-          Thirdly, the believer is to be altogether what he says – he is to be exactly before men as he is in private and in private as he is before men, he is not to be a liar [Exodus 20:16; Matthew 15:19; John 8:44; Revelation 21:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 John 2:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 John 2:27]

 

Point 2 – PUT OFF THE GARMENT OF ANGER [vv.25-27]

-          There are times when anger is called for, scripture recognizes that, but we are to guard against sinning when we become angry.  Anger causes us to either react, lash out and hurt others or else it motivates us to right wrongs and correct injustices…

a)      There is a wrong anger/unjustified selfish anger – it is the anger that brews, it is selfish, it hardens, it bears grudges against another, it won’t forget wrongs done; it wills revenge and sometimes seeks revenge, holds contempt, it despises, ridicules, arrogantly ____________ self; full of malice, it rises from pride [Proverbs 21:24]; 

b)      anger that curses, that which seeks to destroy a man morally, intellectually, spiritually.

c)       There is a justified anger – the believer must be an angry person – angry with those who sin and do wrong and are selfish in their behavior; however, a justified anger is always disciplined and self-controlled; it is always limited to those who do wrong against God or others; the distinguishing mark between justified and unjustified anger is that a justified anger is never selfish; it is never shown because of what has happened to oneself; it is anger that is purposeful, believer knows he is angry for a  legitimate reason and he seeks to correct the situation in the most peaceful way possible – we are not to let the sun go down upon our wrath [Romans 12:18; Colossians 3:8]

 

Point 3 – PUT OFF THE GARMENT OF STEALING [v.28]

                           Steal means to cheat, to take away from another person either legally or illegally; the

                           laws of men are not the determining rule whether a person is stealing or not; men can

                           sometimes use the laws to steal – stealing according to the Bible is taking what rightfully

                           or by nature belongs to anybody else.

                           Three forms of stealing:

a)      A person steals by taking something which is possessed or personally owned by someone else [Proverbs 11:10]

b)      A person steals by hoarding or banking more than he needs  - it is keeping what is not needed for one’s own; it is keeping back that which is desperately needed by others; it is hoarding the blessings and gifts God gave to be used for the welfare of others {genesis 1:28}; the earth is to be subdued by man through technology to feed, clothe, house; note what God is saying, He is not saying that some are to have the blessings of the earth; He is saying that men ought to love each other and share the blessings of the earth together…[Luke 12:20; 1;6:22-23][Matthew 6:19-21]

c)       a person steals by living extravagantly beyond what he needs – there are some who live to meet the needs of the world; yet they do not live sacrificially; they keep plenty for themselves, indulging their flesh in clothing, food, jewelry, housing, possessions, property; they live selfishly – we are to live in a way to help others [Matthew 23:25].  God has given gifted people to help the less gifted, instead of doing this, they are indulging in the flesh.  What is the answer?  Diligent work to help meet the needs of others for this is the will of God…we are to work to meet the needs of others for this is the will of God…we are to work to meet the needs of our own family and for others, to just work for self in selfish and selfishness corrupts – work is  to be for the LORD'S cause which is to reach out and help people according to [1 John 3:17]

 

Point 4 – PUT OFF THE GARMENT OF WORTHLESS TALK [v.29]

-          believer is to strip away vile talk; the word corrupt means filthy, vile, cussing, unholy talk, worthless conversation [ Romans 3:13]; an open grave is vile, it is a symbol of corruption; so is a man with a sinful mouth – vile, dirty, obscene, polluted, detestable, dishonorable, offensive – the obscene mouth may range from off color humor to dirty jokes; from immoral suggestions to outright propositions for sex, but no matter a man with a vile mouth stinks just like an open grave, his filthiness causes corruption of his character and at the character of his listeners so much so that he becomes as offensive as that of a decayed corpse

-          the vile, filthy mouth kills character, its attractiveness, trust, morality, honor and godliness [Matthew 12:34]

-          the believer is to speak only that which will build up and edify people [Ephesians 5:19}

 

Point 5 – PUT OFF THE GARMENT OF BEING CONTRARY [v.30]

-          the unbeliever does that which blasphemes the holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit for the believer is a prompter, a guide, and we can grieve the Spirit by evil talk and bitterness or we can grieve by not following His leading….

-          When we act contrary to the Spirit we hurt and grieve the Holy Spirit in 3 ways:

a)      The command in [v.30] is very forceful ; this is seen in the name of the Holy Spirit; He is not only called the Holy Spirit but the Spirit of God, a double reference

b)      There are at least 4 ways the Holy Spirit can be grieved – the Holy Spirit is grieved when believers:

1)      Allow impure things to penetrate their lives or thoughts [Romans 8:5-7]

2)      Behave immorally [Romans 8:12-13]

3)      Act unjustly [Acts 5:3-4]

4)      Participate in anything contrary to the Holy Spirit [Romans 8:8-10]

c)       The reason we should not grieve the Spirit of God is because of His great ministry to us; that is He has sealed us to the day of redemption

 

Point 6 – PUT OFF THE GARMENTS OF UNKINDNESS [v.31]

-          Believer is to strip off the garment of unkindness which is bitterness, harshness, resentment, cold, relentless, distasteful, any of these is sin to God

-          God desires men to be filled with love, joy, peace and to express it to Him and to others, anything less that the expression of these is sin; there is wrath, anger, rage, clamor, insulting, there is malice which is hurtful, injurious speech

-          Now, what sort of circumstances tempt Christians to put the garment of unkindness on?

 

Point 7 – PUT ON THE GARMENTS OF THE NEW MAN [v.32]

-          A believer is to put on the garments of the new man – frankly speaking, this verse speaks for itself more than any commentary ever could.  Four things about this:

 

a)      Kind – means to be gentle, caring, helpful, courteous, giving, [Romans 12:10] showering favors upon people, it is the opposite of neglectful or harsh, resentful – it is treating a person as one’s own kin

b)      Tenderhearted – means to show compassion, mercy, understanding , love, tenderness, warmth, to be aware of another person’s hurts, problems and difficulties, emotions, mental state, physical and spiritual condition [Matthew 5:7]

c)       Forgiving  - means to be gracious to a person, to pardon him from some wrong he has done – notice that the person has done wrong, he has caused us and is causing us pain, the command is still to forgive them…

d)      The reason we should forgive each other is because God has forgiven us – no matter how much a person has done against us it does not come close to what we have done to God; yet God has forgiven us.  Now, why has God forgiven us?  God has forgiven us for Jesus Christ Sake.  He died for our sins that we could be forgiven [Colossians 3:13]


E.THE BELIEVER IS TO WALK FOLLOWING GOD [5:1-7]

          AIM – to encourage a closer walk with God [Memory Verse: Ephesians 5:1]

                                                  OUTLINE

I.                    By becoming a follower of God [v.1]

II.                  By loving as Christ loved [v.2]

III.                By being clean bodied (morally pure) [v.3]

IV.                By being clean mouthed

V.                  By knowing God’s solemn warning [v.5-6]

VI.                By separating oneself from the unclean [v.7]

 

Point 1 – By becoming a follower of God [v.1]

-          ‘Be” means to become a follower of God; the idea is that of commitment, attachment, devotion, allegiance, attention…before a believer can become a follower of God, he must attaché himself to God; devote his life to God, then begin to follow after God

-          Followers mean imitators; we are to become like God; just as children imitate their parents we are to imitate God…[Matthew 5:48] – God demands that a believer become like God [Leviticus 19:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 1:15-16]

Point 2 – By loving as Christ loved [v.2]

-           The believer follows God by loving as Christ loved – two things about the death of Christ should be noted here.

-          First, the phrase “gave Himself for us” is a simple phrase with profound meaning – it does not mean that Christ died merely as an example for us showing that we should be willing to die for some great cause – it means that Christ died in our place as our substitute – this meaning is unquestionably clear because the idea of sacrifice for the Jewish or pagan men of that day was a life given in anothers place – so Christ died for us [Ephesians 5:2; John 6:51]

-          Secondly, the words “Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice to God for a "sweet smelling savour” gives a higher meaning to the death of Christ than just meeting our needs – the word offering refers to burnt offering of the Old Testament according to [Leviticus 1]

-burnt offering was given to God not only because of sin, but because a person wished to honor and glorify God; show his love and adoration to God, this is an aspect of Christ’s death of that is often overlooked, an aspect that rises far above just meeting our need

-Christ sought first and foremost to do the will of God, to honor God unlike the first man Adam [John 14:31]

-point is the believer is to walk in love, just as Christ has loved us and given Himself as an offering and a sacrifice to God, there is to be no limit of our sacrificing ourselves to God and to man [John 15:12]

 

Point 3 – By being clean bodied (morally pure) [v.3]

-          The believer is to be, must be morally pure; if a believer is to follow God, he has to be morally pure, he cannot let himself become spotted

-          He has to keep his body from fornication, uncleanness, covetousness

-          Note the command – “they are not to be named once among us” the command is an imperative – let it never be named, not even once…

-          Note another fact, such things are not even to be talked about; they are not to be named, talked about or mentioned in our conversations; this kind of stuff is to be far removed from our minds [Matthew 5:8]

-          If we are going to follow the LORD we must do it on His terms and not on ours

 

Point 4 – by being clean mouthed [v.4]

-          If a believer is to follow and imitate God, he has to be pure in speech and his conversation; he has to keep his mouth or tongue clean

-          He cannot let his mouth become vile, polluted, filthy, never not once to engage in filthiness, using the mouth in obscene, shameful, vile, polluted, abased, immoral conduct and conversation…what an indictment of our day – a day of sodomy and perversion…and notice the word refers to both conduct and speech – how polluted and foul-mouthed; so many have become so much so that society could easily be known as a second Sodom [Romans 1:26-27]

-          The believer is never not even once to engage in foolish talking that is empty, unthoughtful, senseless, wasted, idle, aimless, or purposeless talk; talk that just fritters away and wastes time, that has absolutely no purpose to it; it also means sinful, foolish, silly and corrupt tale [Proverbs 10:19]

-          The believer is never once to engage in jesting that is to joke, talk foolishly, poke fun, act or speak without thought; to be suggestive in conversation, to make wise cracks; it also has the idea of being cunning, clever, of being polished and suggestive in off color joking and using it to attract attention and win favors [Proverbs 26:18-19]

-          Believers are to be engaged in conversation that builds people up and that offers thanks and praise to God [Colossians 4:6]

                                                   

Point 5 – By knowing God’s solemn warning [vv.5-6]

                         Note:  3 significant points

a)      Uncleanness has not part with God – the profession of a person does not matter; if he practices these things he will not share in the Kingdom of Christ and of God – note the doom pronounced is not future it is present – it does not say he shall not have, but rather he does not have an inheritance with God.  Note the specific sins listed: whoremonger – that’s illicit sexual intercourse, fornicating, prostitution, immoral behavior; unclean person – immoral, dirty thoughts or behavior; being a covetous person that is desirous, greedy; being an idolater worship of idols and heathen

b)      There are deceivers all around us – there are people who would tell us that sex is a natural, normal thing for man that a one-time affair is acceptable and will not harm us; people that would tell us that securing possessions is normal behavior and that banking and storing up is acceptable; it builds position, ego, self-image and that could never be wrong; having more that what we need enables us to give to help the needy as we desire [Romans 16:18]

c)       That there are 2 main deceptions about Christianity – first, there were those who felt they could do and say anything and still be acceptable to God; this idea finds it roots in Nosticism philosophy.  Nosticism said that man is both body and spirit, nostics felt that the spirit was the only part of man that really mattered.  Nostics felt that the spirit was the only part that really concerned God, what a man did with his body did not matter, the body was not important.  Nostics felt that it didn’t matter whatsoever if a man abused his body; however, Christianity counters never – Don’t let it be named once among you [Hebrews2:14]; 1 Corinthians 6:19] Christ is interested in the whole man and he saves the whole man…Second, there were those in the church who thought that sin was irrelevant; how much a person sinned did not matter; God is love and forgives no matter how much wrong we do.  In fact, some argue the more we sin, the more God demonstrates His mercy in us.  So why not live the way we want – Christianity counters never – Don’t let it be named once among you.

-          God’s love, grace and mercy are not only a gift and a privilege but a responsibility and an obligation – sin is not irrelevant.  Now the Bible says to balance it out that Jesus forgives seventy times seven, that means He forgives unlimited if a person truly seeks forgiveness [2 Peter 1: 4-9]; v.9 – “blind, can’t see afar off’ – note that he is still saved – he doesn’t lose salvation, he loses fellowship with God – notice what God says [Ephesians 5:6] because of these things the wrath of God comes upon  the children f disobedience

-          The wrath of God rises from His very nature of holiness – it is an anger that is righteous, just and good that stands against the sins and evil of men; their dirt, pollution, immoralities, their injustices and neglect of a world that reels under the weight, lost, starving, diseased and dying masses [Romans 1:18]

 

Point 6 – By separating oneself from the unclean [v.7]

-          If a believer is to follow God, he must not take part, nor assemble with those who do take part in the sins listed here [1 John 2:15-16]

-          We need to beware of being a co-conspirator with those who rebel against God; we cannot walk with and follow God if we aren’t tuned in to God

 

F.THE BELIEVER IS TO WALK AS A CHILD OF LIGHT [5:8-14]

          AIM:  to make sure you walk in God’s light and not in darkness [Memory Verse Ephesians 5:11]

-          Two walks of life are available to men – the walk of life and lightness in Christ; or the walk of death and darkness without Christ and a person’s life and eternity is determined by which path they choose…

             OUTLINE

I.                    Light not darkness is the nature of believers [v.8]

II.                  Light bears the things of light [v.9]

III.                Light shows what is acceptable [v.10]

IV.                Light exposes the works of darkness [v.11-12]

V.                  Light reveals and converts everything it touches [v.`13]

VI.                Light awakens the sleeping [v.14]

 

Point 1 – Light not darkness is the nature of believers [v.8]

-          First of all, a person without Christ is in darkness, lost, no idea of why he is on earth really; the real purpose meaning of life is a mystery to him; apart from God no man knows the truth [Matthew 6:23]

-          Believer was in darkness, but the Truth of the Gospel brings light [John 8:12] – it is Christ who brings light to life; He shows us the truth of life; of God; of death; He shows us the significance, the purpose, the meaning of life – Christ makes us light – we are the light of the eternal God, therefore, we are to walk as children of light [Matthew 5:14]


Point 2 – Light bears the things of light [v.9]

-          Fruit of the Spirit refers to certain graces wrought in the character of the believer [Galatians 5:22-23] not to be confused with soul-winning [John 15:1-6]

-          A life that illuminates light will give off three things in particular – it will give off goodness, righteousness, and truth

a)      Goodness – it is being full of virtue and excellence, kindness, helpfulness, consideration; it means a person has a good heart and good behavior; it means that a person is good and does good; it means that a person is a quality person – note: a good person treats every person as they need to be treated, he doesn’t take advantage of, nor stand by and let others take advantage of someone else; he stands up and lives for what is right and good and just.  This means that goodness involves discipline, correction, rebuke, and instruction, as well as love and care, peace and conciliation; a good person will not give license to evil; a good person will not let evil run rampant or allow others to suffer evil [Psalm 34:8] – believers are to be filled with all goodness [Romans 15:14]


b)      Righteousness – means two simple but profound things; it means both to be right and to do right

-there are those who stress being righteous and neglect doing righteous and this leads to two serious errors; first – it leads to the area of false security – it could cause a person to think he is right with God and yet neglecting to live as he should, neglects to do good; neglects to obey God and he serves man – he may be saved but he is out of fellowship with God…or he may not be saved because he stresses being righteous but neglects dong righteous – so it could lead to false security – secondly, it could lead to loose living – allowing one to go out and to do pretty much as one desires; he thinks no matter what he does he is still acceptable to God

-there are those who stress doing righteous and neglect being righteous; this also leads to two serious errors…

    -first, it leads to self-righteousness and legalism; it causes a person to stress that he

                                        is saved acceptable to God because he does good; he works and behaves morally,

                                        keeping certain rules; he does the things a Christian should do by obeying the

                                        main laws of God; but he neglects the basic law, the law of love and acceptance,

                                        that God does not love and accept him because he does good; but because he

                                        loves and trusts the righteousness of Christ

                                       -secondly, it leads to the error of being judgmental and fault finding; a person who

                                        thinks he is acceptable to God because he keeps certain rules and does good,

                                        often judges and finds fault with other people…

                                        -he feels rules and regulations can be kept and therefore anyone who fails is

                                         judged and criticized…false righteousness

                                         -righteousness in the Bible is being as well as doing righteousness, the Bible

                                         knows nothing about being acceptable to God without being made righteous in

                                         Christ Jesus [Matthew 5:20] – here’s the way it works – you place your

                                         unrighteousness in Jesus Christ and His righteousness, that’s all you have to do

c)       Truth – is a moral, saving, working, living truth; it is not simply something to be known, it is something to be done [John 8:31] – it is the knowledge and experience of the reality as opposed to false reality; it is truth in the inward parts; it is opposed to sham and hypocrisy; it permits no compromise with evil; it abstains from the appearance of evil [1 Thessalonians 5:22]; it is a regard for truth in every respect, believing it, speaking it reverencing it, acting it, hoping in it, rejoicing in it – this frees one from all the bondages and impediments of life [John 7:16-17; John 14:6; John 17:17] – Jesus Christ revealed the Truth [John 1:9, 14] – the Truth sets man free from the bondages of sin [Romans 6][John 1:12] – the truth sets man free from the bondages of death [Hebrews 2:14, 15][Romans 8:2] – the truth sets man free from the bondages of hell [1 Peter 3:18] – the truth sets man free to be saved to the uttermost [Hebrews 7:25]

 

Point 3 – Light shows what is acceptable [v.10]

-          As the believer walks in the light he proves what is acceptable and not acceptable to the LORD; he discriminates what is:

-acceptable and not acceptable to the LORD

-he shows to the world what is acceptable to the LORD

-he shows what path to take and not take

-he shows what a person should do and not do

                     -     everything the believer does is to be done unto the LORD – he is to:

                            -set his attention upon pleasing the LORD

                            -strive to do the pleasure of the LORD

                            -struggle to bring his will under control, to control his behavior in order to fulfill the joy

                              of the LORD [1 Thessalonians 4:1]

 

Point 4 – Light exposes the works of darkness [v.11-12]

-          First of all, the change is very clear forceful, believers are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness

-note: the works of darkness are dark, leaving a man stumbling, groping about in the world, lost and unable to see where he is going; not only is it dark, but unfruitful bearing no lasting fruit beyond this world when death overtakes him – the unfruitful works of darkness [Ephesians 5:3-6] and in the works of the flesh [Galatians 5:19-21]

                    -      unfruitful works of darkness lead to death, therefore, the believer is to have no 

                           fellowship with these things [2 Corinthians 6:14]

-          Believer is to live in so much light (be so close to God) that his life reproved (exposes, rebukes, convicts) people of their sins of dark works

-          Sin is never to be taken lightly, the very fact that we are changed to reprove it is clear evidence [Luke 17:3]

-          Reason we are not to have fellowship with dark works is this – it is a shame to even speak of those things which are done by them in secret

-          What a rebuke, we are not to even talk about dark works; we are not to be sharing conversation about the dark works of this world [Colossians 4:6]

 

Point 5 – Light reveals and converts everything it touches [v.13]

                  Notice 2 things about this verse – when light touches something it becomes light; it is lit up

                  and to some degree the object gives off light itself; it is converted it is changed.

-          When the light of Christ touches a person in darkness that light is lit up that life changes; it becomes light, the darkness is done away with and eliminated

-          Another fact is that person will begin to touch the lives of those in darkness who surround him

-          Secondly, so long as evil is done in secret, it thrives, but when it is dragged out of the darkness, closed rooms, it dies – when a person confronts Christ, his dark works are exposed in all their hurt, filth, damage, and corruption; we must always remember this is the very reason many refuse to confront Christ – they prefer their dark works according to [John 3:19-20] – but when a man confronts the LORD and abandons his dark sins he becomes light in the LORD [Ephesians 5:8] – he is transformed by the power of Christ – the light of Christ reveals, cleanses, heals man of the darkness of his sins.

 

Point 6 – Light awakens the sleeping [v.14]

-          light awakens those who are spiritually dead – most people in the world are sleeping men.  When it comes to walking in the light of God they are living in the darkness of spiritual sleep and spiritual death, rushing on toward that inevitable day of eternal darkness and death

-          note an unfortunate fact, this passage is being written to believers, too many professing believers are passing through life just like the unbelievers – asleep, living in the darkness of spiritual sleep and spiritual death – fellowshipping with and too often participating in the works of darkness

-          they are unaware of the great promises and heritage God has given us in Christ Jesus [Romans 13:11]

-          the only source to awaken one out of spiritual sleep and death is Christ Jesus [John 1:4; 8:12]

G.THE BELIEVER IS TO WALK CAREFULLY AND STRICTLY IN THIS WORLD [5:15-21]

           AIM:  is to set a dynamic example in the way we as Christians should walk [Memory Verse 5:17]

-          the Christian’s life is a visual sermon, whether he wants  it to be or not, it is a visual sermon – whether you are walking sharply in the Spirit or failing in the flesh you are providing an example which will be copies by someone.  POEM – “Walk a Little Plainer Daddy”

-          how a believer walks day by day is crucial to the cause of Christ, and to the welfare of society – he either contributes to the building up of society or to the tearing down of society – he either carries the message of life to the world or he carries the message of silence and death – for this reason it is important that the believer walk strictly and carefully throughout life.


 

                               OUTLINE

I.                    By looking around and watching every step [v.15]

II.                  By redeeming the time [v.16]

III.                By understanding the LORD’s will [v.17]

IV.                By rejecting drunkenness [v.18]

V.                  By being filled with the spirit [vv.18-21]

 

Point 1 – By looking around and watching every step [ v.15]

-          Life is a walk and God expects us to walk carefully as we should –now , notice there are 2 kings of persons  who walk throughout life – the first one, the fool or the unwise person – this simply means the person who is unthinking, thoughtless, uncaring, careless and worldly minded

-          The unwise is the person who gives little thought to where he should go and where he should not go, he just arises and goes about his daily routine with little thought about God and about what happens beyond this life

-          If he makes a mistake here or there it does not matter that much not to him; making mistakes is just the way of human life he says, he thinks he will be acceptable to God if he just lives a life that is fairly decent, fairly honorable, fairly useful

-          He thinks he will be acceptable to God if he lives a life that pays his dues to God a little here and a little there

-          The unwise person is not concerned about watching every step and being alert to every temptation and pitfall in life – he could care less about struggling, being exact, being strict in his life – living this king of life is not important to him – there is the fool or unwise

Secondly, we find the wise person, the thinking, thoughtful, caring careful spiritually minded person – this is a person on a mission, a person who knows God personally

-          Knows he is on this earth to live righteously a godly life to bear testimony to Jesus Christ, therefore, when he arises to go about his daily  affairs he walks in the presence and praise of God…his thoughts are upon God all day long – mistakes matter to him it all matters – he cares about the evil in the world – the wise man is not only concerned about every step of life, he struggles to watch every step to make sure that he tries to walk through life in a disciplined and a controlled manner – he knows that the only answer to the problems of this world is Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ’s righteousness [Galatians 5:16]


Point 2 – By redeeming the time [v.16]

-          The idea is not to buy time – time is the gift of God, a man has time; what man must do is use his time to buy things of value and this means 2 things

#1 a person is to use his time wisely, he is not to waste time, time is a gift of God, it exists, it is here with or without us – what we have to do is use time wisely, use it to do the best we can

 -the choice is ours, we can sit and twiddle away hours engaging in an activity or conversation that is of little value or worth or we can use it wisely in our profession, our work, contributing to the good of society

-in our worship, in our service for Christ all day long using our God-given gifts to minister as a good steward of God’s grace [1 Peter 4:10]

                   Secondly, a person is to use his time by taking advantage of the opportunities that arise

                   through the day.  The believer is to:

-          Redeem the opportunities; to live righteously and godly; to witness and share Christ, to be diligent on the job; to set an example of commitment and discipline at home, work, and play; to be faithful to God and family; to speak up for Christ and righteousness;  to pray, instead of allowing time to be wasted; if a believer commits himself to prayer as Christ and Paul prayed, he will find that he has no time to waste – notice, why we are to redeem the time – because the days are evil – this refers to all the evil that confronts the believer as he walks day by day

-          So much evil that he must stay alert to keep from falling and failing; he must be alert to live righteously and bear testimony for Jesus Christ

-          The evil can range from mild temptations to persecutions – from small  money problems to a world economic collapse; from a minor family squabble to a real war – the evil of the world is ever before us

-          Our task is to redeem the time, make the most use of the time we have – for the opportunity will soon pass because the days are evil – opportunities that will pass to witness, to show diligence, to speak up, to love, to minister, to work hard, to pray, to give to the cause of Christ

How many of us waste time?  Much time is wasted not being:

-          Efficient, watching television, reading unsuitable literature, sitting in restaurants, loafing, not working diligently; engaging in an unprofitable activity on weekends, sitting around in useless activity and talk

-          The call of the hour is to redeem time [2Corinthians 10:5; Psalm 90:12]

 

Point 3 – By understanding the LORD’s will [v.17]

Note, how both the unwise man and the wise man are defined in this verse,; the unwise man is a man who does not understand the will of the LORD – the wise man is a man who does understand the will of the LORD

-          The word, understand, means to grasp, perceive, to see with the mind, to comprehend – the days are full of evil [v.16] – the believer must understand what the will of God is to conquer the evil and if he does not then he is as a fool and acting unwisely

-          Three lights that guide us:  1) God’s Word; 2) Holy Spirit; 3) Circumstances

-          How can a person know what the will of the LORD is?  2 ways

#1 – by knowing the Word of God – by knowing it so well that he can apply it to the

                                    situations that confront him every day [John 8:31-32] 

#2 – by being sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit  - [Psalm 143:10]

 

Point 4 – By rejecting drunkenness [v.18]

-          Drunkenness means to be intoxicated with drink or drugs; the word excess is excessive behavior [ in the Greek it means the dissipation and the wasting away of the body] uncontrollable behavior – these are the sins of the flesh [drunkenness] often leads to other sins – immodest clothing, loose behavior, exposure of the body, sexual thoughts, immorality, wickedness, violence, physical abuse, notions of grandeur, strength or power

-          The Bible says several things about drunkenness

-it excludes a person from the kingdom of God [1 Corinthians 6:10]

-it leads to other forms of misbehavior and sin [Luke 15:13]

-makes it impossible to grasp the fleeting opportunities of time [Ephesians 5:16-18]


Point 5 – By being filled with the Spirit [vv.18-21]

-          This command is in the present tense, that means that the believer is to be always filled with the Holy Spirit and to keep on being filled

-          The Spirits filling comes to the believer who walks obediently day by bay according to [John 14:21] – it is consciousness of his presence, his leadership moment by moment – this consciousness is a believer’s privilege

-          But this filling is not an automatic experience – the responsibility to be filled rests on the shoulders of the believer – he is filled only as he walks obediently with Christ

-          In understanding what is means to be filled with the Spirit [John 14:21-22]

-          The Holy Spirit is the very special manifestation of Christ within the believer;  apparently this refers to special manifestations to the heart of the believer; those very special times  of deep love between Christ and His follower [John 14:18-20]

-          Note, special manifestations of God to the believer dome only to the believer who does 2 things:

#1 – the believer who received the commands of Christ has them in his heart, knows them and has made them his own [Psalm 119:11]

#2 – the believer who keeps (obeys) the  commandments of Jesus

-          The believer who does these 2 things shows they really do love Jesus and receives the special manifestations of the Holy Spirit

Note an important fact – the special manifestation is questioned – Judas asked the question the first time [John 14:21-22] – Judas was thinking like all men, a physical appearance, a visible appearance

-       manifestation means unveiling or revelation – it suggests that some new thing, mystery

                            has now come to light that a man didn’t know before; it is something that goes beyond

                            man’s reasoning, thinking [Acts 4:31]

 

                     Note 3 traits of the Spirit-filled person:

 #1 - have a singing Spirit – (sing the hymns, spiritual songs (made up by us)

#2 – have a thankful Spirit [Philippians 4:6]

#3 – has a submissive, respectful Spirit [1 Peter 5:5]

H.BELIEVING WIFE AND HUSBAND ARE TO WALK ON THE SPIRIT OF SUBMISSION AND LOVE [Ephesians 5:23-33]

         AIM:  to gain a true understanding of what a godly marriage is [Memory Verse Ephesians 5:31]

                                       

OUTLINE

I.                    The wife is to walk in a spirit of submission [vv.22-24]

II.                  The husband is to love his wife [vv. 25-33]

 

Point 1 – The wife is to walk in a spirit of submission [vv.22-24]

-          wife is to be subject to her husband in everything according to [v.24] – the Divine order is found [1 Corinthians 11:2-16] companion passage is found [Colossians 3:18-19] – the wife is to be in subjection even to an unsaved husband, in order to win him to the LORD [1 Peter 3:1-2]

-          3 reasons why the wife is to be submissive to her husband

#1 – To submit is God’s will – in fact, it is a commandment of God; there is to be no argument, no question about being submissive.  God is God and He has the right to demand anything of us – note the words “as unto the LORD” when we do anything, it is to be done” as unto the LORD” – Why?  Because we love the LORD – What kind of spirit is the Christian wife to have as she obeys God?

     -is it a spirit of slavery?  Or of love?

     -is it a spirit of hostility?  Or love?

     -a spirit of resentment?  Or love?

     -a spirit of reaction?  Or love?

-the answer is obvious it is love, she loves the LORD, therefore to please the LORD she submits herself to her husband

-the point – God instructs wives to walk in a spirit of submission to their husbands

#2 – To submit is God’s order for the family – there is to be a basic partnership and order in the family – Note 3 important facts:

a)      The husband is the head of the wife – the word head in scripture refers to authority, not being.  Neither man nor woman is superior to the other in being – men and women are equal in God’s eyes – there is an essential partnership in men and women, neither is independent from the other – both are from the other and the relationship that exists between them has come from God [1 Corinthians 11:11-12] – there is both neither male or female in God’s eyes he sees them both as one; each as significant as the other [Galatians 3:28}

When God talks about man being the head of the woman, He is not talking about ability, worth, competency, value, advantage; God is talking about function and order in an organization – every organization has to have a head for it to be operated in an efficient and orderly manner – God has ordained it that man is the head of the partnership

b)      The great pattern for the wife to follow is Christ and the church – Christ is the head of the church, therefore, He has authority over the church; so long as the church lives by this rule, it experiences love, joy, peace, orderliness and is able to carry out its function on earth to the fullest – so it is with the husband d, he is the head of the family the ultimate authority in the family; the wife is to be submissive to that authority just as the church is to Christ – as long as she and the family live by this rule they experience love, joy, peace, orderliness and it fulfills its function and purpose (as a family) here on earth – this of course assumes that the husband is fulfilling his part in the family – each person must do their part if the family is to accomplish its purpose.

c)       The husband is the savior of the body just as Christ is the Savior of the church – Christ is the great protector and comforter of the church; so the husband is to be the great protector and comforter of the wife – by nature  (constitution and build of the body) the husband is stronger than the wife – therefore in God’s order of things he is to be the main protector and comforter of the wife – these 2 function are 2 of the great benefits a  wife received from a loving husband who is faithful to the LORD

#3 – to submit is a spiritual mystery [v.23] – the wife’s submission is comparable to Christ and the church; again Christ is the pattern for the wife.

-as she submits to Christ, so she is to submit to her husband

-as she depends upon Christ for protection and help, so she is to depend upon her husband for help and protection

-as she depends upon Christ for companionship and comfort, so she is to depend upon her husband for companionship and comfort

-the submission the wife is to show to her husband is the same submission all believers are to show to God [Ephesians 5:21]

-submission does not mean that women are inferior to men, it simply means that there is to be an arrangement, an order in the household

-every body must have an organization; a head – in God’s order the husband is the head, therefore, the wife is to submit herself in an attitude of understanding and reasonableness…[Proverbs 31:10-31; Colossians 3:18]

-  what comes to your mind when you hear the word submit?

-  How good are you at submitting?

-  Why do you suppose that submission runs against the grain of some people?

-  Why do some people tend to think submission is another term for becoming a doormat?

-  What do these verses teach concerning God’s order for the home?

-  How easy is it for you to accept this truth and apply it to your marriage?


 

Point 2 – The husband is to love his wife [vv.25-33

-          Five significant points about the husband to love his wife –

1) the love a husband is to have for his wife is the very love of God Himself (agape love)

agape love is a selfless and pure love, a giving and a sacrificial love; it is the love of the mind and will as well as of the heart – it is not only a love of affection and feelings it is a love of the will and commitment; it is the love that wills and commits itself to love a person; it is a love that ___________ for the highest good of the person loved; that loves even if the person does not deserve to be loved; that loves even if the person is utterly unworthy of being loved

-imagine what would happen in most marriages if a husband loved his wife with a selfless, pure, giving, sacrificial love; loved her with a love of the will as well as with the heart and loved her with a love of commitment as well as of affection?

-the love the husband is to have for his wife is the same as what Christ had for the church, He sacrificed Himself for it..

Sacrificial love of the husband for his wife involves 3 things:

a)it involves being set apart and cleansed – sanctify means set apart

b) having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing – Spots would mean mistakes that tarnish one’s life and marriage – mistakes so serious that they are difficult to wash off one’s body and out of one’s mind – wrinkles would be things that cause friction, rattle the nerves and need to be ironed out

c)holy and without blemish – holy means separate and untouched by evil

 - the paint is striking for it shows just how dependent the marriage is upon the love of he husband [Ephesians 5:25][1 Peter 3:7]

 2) the love the husband is to have for his wife is the very same love he has for his own body

- this means he is to nourish and cherish his wife as he does his own body; the work nourish means to feed, clothe, nurture, to hold ever so dear within the heart

This means that the husband is to become one flesh, one set of bones with his wife, two people could never come any closer, complete absorption, assimilation, of each to the other – mind, spirit, objective, purpose, behavior, activity.

3) The love the husband is to have for his wife is the love that would stir him to leave his parents and be joined to his wife

4) The love the husband is to have for his wife is a spiritual mystery; a spiritual love, a love just like Christ’s love for the church

5) The husband is to love his wife as himself and the wife is to reverence and respect and esteem her husband…

[v.31] – joined – to be, glued, bound, totally united that the two become one, therefore to join means a spiritual union, a union higher and stronger than that of a parent and child

- it is a union that means more than living together, having sex and offspring – animals can do that; it is a union wrought by God alone

- it is a spiritual union that puts man above the plain of animals; a dedication, consecration, completeness, satisfaction, that makes a person the exclusive possession of god and of the spouse

- both must be willing to submit to God for this to happen; for there are 3 unions in a marriage that is really joined together by God

     a) physical union – sharing of each others body [1 Corinthian 7:2-5]

     b) mental union – sharing of each others lives, dreams, hopes, working together to realize those dreams and hopes

      c) spiritual union – sharing, melting, molding of each others spirit

Therefore, there has to be a sharing with God in order for there to be a nurturing and a sharing of the spirit because the point is the greatest thing in the world is to know God personally and to be perfectly assured that we shall live now and eternally; to have a life abundant with love, significantly meaning and the best purpose humanly possible – but a man or a woman cannot experience life abundant all by themselves; they can only nurture the mind and mesh themselves together mentally and physically to come together spiritually the couple must share God and his saving grace together.

A couple that is spiritually united does 2 things:

#1 – they submit themselves one to another in the fear of God [Ephesians 5:21, 28, 30]

#2 – share the presence of God and His saving grace

[v.32] – marriage is a spiritual union that can be wrought by God and God along – it is much more than 2 people agreeing to live together and be loyal to one another

 



I.BELIEVING CHILDREN AND PARENTS ARE TO WALK UNDER GOD”S AUTHORITY [6:1-4]

         AIM:  to use God’s model to construct your home [Memory Verse Ephesians 6:4]

-          Strong Christian families are God’s design for the world – where they can feel the protection, love, security, where mistakes can be made, forgiveness given, unconditional love demonstrated [Psalm 127:3] children and parents are to walk together under the authority of God Almighty

     

   OUTLINE

I.                    Believing children are to obey their parents [vv.1-3]

II.                  Believing parents are not to provoke their children but nurture them in the LORD [v.4]

 

 


 

Point 1 – Believing children are to obey their parents [vv.1-3]

                 Obey means to submit to, hearken to, heed, to follow the guidance of children who are abused

                 physically, sexually, and any other way are not required to obey such parents; for their parents

                 are on the wrong side of God’s will and command.

                 Obey here means in the LORD – note the command [v.1]

                 -the phrase “in the Lord” means 2 things:

                 1) there’s a limit to the child’s obedience – when a parent is not acting in the LORD he is not to

                      be obeyed – God has nothing to do with the abuse of precious children – if a child can break

                      away from abusing parents he has every right to do so {Mark 9:42-48] – the abusing parent

                      better heal, God will not tolerate the abuse of Children – we must proclaim the Word of

                      God – a child is only required to obey in the LORD

                  2) Tells when a child is to obey his parents – obey in the LORD: it pleases God when children

                       obey their parents who are acting in the LORD – note the emphasis – children are not told

                       to obey parents because it pleases the parent, but because it pleases the LORD – the child

                       is to walk closely with the LORD, so close that obeying your parents becomes a by-product

                       of your desire to please God [Colossians 3:20]

           [v.2]  - to obey parents means to honor one’s mother and father, to honor means to esteem, to

                        show respect, kindness, courtesy – no matter how old you are as a child, if you have  

                        parents still living, you are to honor your parents  [1 Timothy 5:4, 8].  Note 2 promises

                        made to children who honor their parents:

a)      Things will go well for the child – this means that God will be with the child strengthening the child where it counts that the child may be able to bear up under any trial or challenge or circumstance because  he will have been strengthened in the inner man.

b)      The child is assured he will live a long life on earth – there is little question that Paul meant this, we  can take the verse at face value if a child obeys his parents in the LORD, God will give him a long life on the earth

-          Is there even an exception to his – what about small babies and children who are taken on to heaven?  Does this violate the promise?  No

-          If a child were really obedient, then all we can say is God knows what is best; and for some reason God wanted that precious little life with Him at that particular time; God just could not wait for the fellowship and joy the precious life would bring to him

-          How do you get a child to obey you?  Parents have a choice of either threatening the child or training the child to follow willingly [Proverbs 15:1, 18:21]

 

 

Point 2 – Believing parents are not to provoke their children but nurture them in the LORD [v.4]

                 Provoke means to arouse to wrath or anger; to provoke to the point of utter exasperation and 

                 resentment.

Four things that will provoke a child:

a)      Failing to accept the fact that things do change – will provoke a child; time and generations do change; this does not mean that a child should be able to do whatever his generation is doing;

 

 

but it does mean that parents need to be alert to the changes – allowing the child to be a part of his generation, instead of trying to conform the child to the parents childhood generation; that generation does not exist now nor will it ever again – What changes should/should not be allowed by a Christian parent?  Rebellion, immorality, injustice – these are contrary to the Word of God, changes that don’t involve these areas probably should be allowed.  Point is this – a parent must not resist normal, natural change that takes place between generations.

b)      Overcontrolling – this ranges all the way from stern restriction , discipline, to child abuse – discipline and restricting a child too much will stifle that child’s growth or stir that child to rebel causing the child to flee from the parents -  point is – there must  be a balance between the child’s family life and community life – child should be allowed to do his own thing sometimes and be required to share with family at other times – [Colossians 3:21]

c)       Undercontrolling – it should be noted that this is the most prevalent problem in an industrialized society – there is a tendency to give the child whatever he wants, more than what he needs and beyond what is best for the child – parents pamper, indulge or give in to a child for at least 5 reasons –

1)      In order to escape responsibility for the child/to get the child out from under the parents feet

2)      In order to gain social standing or to relive his own childhood – the parent was not allowed to do what he wanted as a child therefore he sees to it that his child has everything and does everything everyone else does/his child will have everything no matter the cost

3)      Because of a false understanding or philosophy of child raising – he gives in to ill-behavior [whining, pouting, temper tantrums] just to secure peace and quiet

4)      Because of misguided devotion and love – to keep from losing the loyalty, quietness, cooperativeness and affection of the child

5)      Because of insecurity and lack of purpose – some cling and pamper because the parents are insecure in the world; others cling and pamper because they lack any other purpose – the child feels the need for security and purpose [Proverbs 19:18; 22:15]

d)      Living an inconsistent life – the parent who tells a child one thing and then turns around and does the thing himself is full of hypocrisy and false profession – how many children are doing things their parents are doing themselves [1 Kings 22:52]

-          A PARENT IS TO BRING UP A CHILD IN THENURTURE AND ADMONITION OF THE LORD

-          Nurture means to hold training, education of children which involves the cultivation of mind, morals, commands, admonitions, reproof, punishment, correcting mistakes, curbing the passions, to increase the virtue

-          Admonition means council, exhortation, correction – note: the parent is not to raise the child after his own ideas and notions of what is best for the child, but after the nurture and admonition of the LORD – God’s Word is to be the guide in rearing our children, the benefits in bringing up a child in the LORD are innumberable.

a)      A child brought to Christ grows up learning love 

b)      Learns power and triumph – that God helps His followers through all with a supernatural power to help

c)       Learning hope and faith – that no matter what happens God is still our hope – for it is He who provides our strength

d)      Learning the truth of life and endurance (service) – God has given us the privilege of life/ we are to serve, to work diligently in appreciation for the life God has given us

e)      Learns trust and endurance – the way to escape the temptations and pitfalls is to trust Christ and endure in our walk with Him

f)       Learning peace – that there is an inner peace despite the troubled waters of life – peace is knowing and trusting Christ [_______6:6-7]

-          The only way a parent can accomplish this is by building a relationship with their child

 

 

J. BELIEVING SLAVES AND MASTERS (EMPLOYERS/EMPLOYEES) ARE TO WALK UNDER GOD’S AUTHORITY [6:5-9]

       AIM:  to carry Godly standards into the workplace [Memory Verse Ephesians 6:7]

                                         OUTLINE

I.                    The workman must obey [v.5-8]

II.                  The employer must obey [v.9]

 

 

Point 1 – the workman must obey [vv.5-8]

-          According to the Bible the workman is to follow the instructions of the employer – note the phrase “according to the flesh” – this means that employers ought to be obeyed in matters involving the workplace; the employer has no authority in the spiritual realm ; that authority belongs to Jesus Christ

-Six specific instructions are given to the Christian workers –

a) is to work with fear and trembling – but not the fear of a superior or the trembling that something unpleasant might happen – the Christian workers is to fear and tremble before God, lest he bring some irresponsible work that brings reproach upon the LORD’s name – the Christian worker is to respect and be eager to please his employer [Luke 1:50]

b) work in singleness of heart as to Christ – “singleness of heart” means with purposed and focused attention; sincerity and without any pretense, hypocrisy or slackness – it means that the workman is totally committed to his work, he does his job and does it well because he offers his labor to the LORD [1 Corinthians 6:20]

c) not to work with eye service as a man pleaser – he is not to work just when the boss in looking; there are those who slow down when the boss isn’t looking; they are guilty of seeking favors they do not deserve; such standards rob labor of his dignity and bring ill-repute to the name of Christ – when a man returns home at the end of a day, only one question he should ask – Have I pleased the LORD? [John 12:43] 

d) as a servant of Christ doing the will of God from his heart – from the heart means with interest and energy; it is the opposite of _______________ and listlessness, of having no energy or the heart for the work – the Christian worker must always remember this even if the boss doesn’t see what he is doing/Christ sees what kind of work he is doing therefore we are to work as if we are working to serve Christ; he must work to do the will of God; he must work to do both from the heart {Hebrews 12:28]

                           e) work with good will, as to the LORD – it could be stated no clearer, the Christian

                           worker serves the LORD, not other men – no matter where he works, what he does, it is 

                           not immoral or unjust labor, he is to work diligently as though his ________________

                           were the LORD Jesus [1 Corinthians 15:5-8]

                           f)result of diligent labor is to be a reciprocal reward – the LORD is going to give the

                           Christian workman exactly what he labored for, no more, no less – there is no respecter

                           of persons with God, everyone is going to get exactly what he labored for on this earth,

                           regardless of his wealth, his profession, his poverty – a person may have been dishonest

                           or honest, a good or poor workman, white collar or blue collar, a professional or a

                           laborer, a business man or a workman – disabled or gifted, it matters not; everyone is

                           going to receive from God exactly what he’s put in his day to day work

                           -if he has been working as unto Christ diligently he will be greatly rewarded; if he has

                             been working for self, he will not be rewarded;

                           -if he has been sometimes slack, sometimes diligent then he will receive a piece-meal

                             reward [2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5]

                           -our witness will have no credibility if we are not good workers [Colossians 3:23]

 

 

Point 2 – the Employer must obey [v.9]

-          The employer is given 2 clear commandments how he is to treat the employee under him

a)      First, he is to do the very same things that are required of the workman, he is to treat the workman just like he expects the workman to treat him

-          What a difference this would make in labor/management relations if it were really practiced by both parties

-          The employer must realize he serves the LORD and employees with fear and trembling; that is managing with respect and eager concern he must manage with singleness of heart as to  Christ – he must manage doing the will of God from the heart not as a man pleaser

-          He must manage to the LORD; serving, knowing he is to receive a reciprocal reward for how well he managed his employees

-          An employer expects 2 things from his workman – diligence and loyalty – that should also go for the employer -  be diligent and loyal to the employee under you – demonstrate your loyalty with fair wages and job security. 


b)      The employer is to forbear threats – this does not mean that the workman cannot be corrected or released if he is not diligent and loyal –stern measures are taken only after all other measures are exhausted – point is – employers must guard against unwarranted threats for they too have a master in heaven and He has no favorites; just as an employer we hold the employee accountable to us; so the LORD holds us accountable to Him [Colossians 4:1; Malachi 3:5]

 

 

 

K. THE WARFARE OF THE CHRISTIAN BELIEVER [6:10-24]

          AIM:  is to prepare yourself, the Christian soldier, for spiritual warfare [Memory Verse Ephesians

                     6:11]

-          The believer’s life is a battlefield, immediately upon receiving Christ the believer finds himself in a constant struggle, he is engaged in an unending war; he is a soldier, a combatant in conflict; his calling is not to a life of enjoyment and ease, but to a life of conflict; there are foes within and foes without – but from the cradle to the grave this is the constant struggle against the lust of the flesh, the temptations offered by both the world and Satan; a struggle against corruption that leads to a sure death.

                                      OUTLINE

I.                    The soldiers charge [v.10-11]

II.                  The soldier’s enemy, the devil and his strategies [v.11]

III.                The soldier’s warfare, it is not human but spiritual [v.12]

IV.                The soldier’s duty: to take the whole armor of God [v.13]

V.                  The soldier’s armor [v.14-17]

VI.                The supernatural provision; prayer [v.18-20]

 

 

Point 1 – The Soldier’s Charge [v.10-11]

-          Note the word brothers; it is Christian believers who need the charge, the instruction, not the world; Christian believers must diligently heed what is about to be said, there is no other way to conquer the enemies who stand so violently opposed to the Christian believer.  Unless the believer heeds the message of this passage – he will give in to sin and temptation and not have the abundant life of joy and satisfaction of pleasing God as most men do.

-          Not enjoying the fellowship, power, love of God’s daily presence

-          He’ll go through this life uncertain of the future; of not having the confidence of being acceptable to God, of living forever with God

-          A believer must do exactly as God says in order to defeat the enemies of life.

-          The charge is two-fold:

a)      The believer must be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might

-          Note the stress upon power and strength – e different words are used – be strong – in the LORD’S power, in the LORD’S might; the believer is to be strong in the Sovereign 

                           Unlimited power of God…note, the critical point the believer’s strength is not found in

                           this world or in his own might; his strength is found in the LORD…

-          In a living dynamic relationship with God

-          The LORD is the source of our strength…

b)      The believer must put on the armor of God – once a believer is strong within, then he is ready to be clothed with the armor of God

-          Note – no amount of armor is worth the material it is made of unless the soldier has the heart to fight

-          A believer must be strong in the LORD, before he can be clothed with the armor of God and wage war against the foes of life

-          Once a man has the presence and power of God in his heart, it is then that he begins to arm himself; it is then that he begins to arm himself to wage war with the spiritual enemies of life

-          Note a critical point:  he must put on the whole armor, leaving nothing out; for if he leaves something out he stands a chance of being wounded perhaps killed [Ephesians 3:16, 20]

 

 

Point 2 – The Soldier’s Enemy; The Devil and his Strategies [v.11]

                  Wiles means cunning devices, deceits, craftiness, trickery, methods which the devil use to

                  capture the believer; he will use whatever means possible to capture the believer

a)      There are strategies that appeal to the lust of the eyes – Satan will see to it that something crosses the eyesight of the believer that appeals to the flesh and to the pride of life [John 8:44]

b)      To send false teachers – a very dynamic teacher to deceive the believer Satan is a being who is transformed into a messenger of light, and he has the ministers who walk about as ministers of righteousness – but they proclaim a righteousness other than that of Christ; their message is that of self righteousness, human goodness and works, ego and self-image, personal development and growth, self-improvement and correction, mind and will; such messages appeal to flesh of man.  Point is  - one of the most prominent strategies of the devil is to deceive man with false teachers, with false ministers and their appealing but false messages -   the believer is doomed unless he is clothes in the full armor of God. [2 Corinthians 2:11]

 

 

Point 3 – The Soldier’s Warfare; It’s Not Human But Spiritual [v.12]

                  Wrestle, Paul used a Greek athletic term

-          The point to see here, is that the believer’s foes aren’t human   (flesh and blood), nor physical, they are spiritual; spiritual forces that have unbelievable power – the verse reveals some specific things to us

a)      first, the forces of evil are powerful – the thrust of this verse is to stress the enormous power of evil forces which stand against the believer

b)      The forces of evil are numerous – principalities, powers, rulers all convey the idea of a large number of evil forces who ate struggling against the believer

                      c)       The forces of evil are apparently organized into a government or a hierarchy of evil – again principalities, powers, rulers, all point ranking of spiritual forces with

                              enormous position and authority and with rule

d)      The forces of evil are the rulers of the darkness of this world – darkness in the Bible means the ignorance of truth and reality, of the real nature and purpose of things

e)      The forces of evil are spiritual forces of wickedness – they seek to receive the loyalty and devotion that is due to God; therefore, they are after the spirit of man, that part that is destined to worship and serve God and exist forever; if they can capture the spirit of man they have him forever. [Luke 4:6; 22:21; 1 Peter. 5:8]

 

 

Point 4 – The Soldier’s Duty; To Take The Whole Armor of God [v.13]

                  Note again, how the believer’s need to take the whole armor is stressed, this again shows how

                  essential the armor is – Why? Because of the evil day  What is the evil day?  1. It refers to the

                  onslaught of evil that is the world today [Ephesians 5:16]; 2. It refers to any day; to the

                  onslaught of trials and temptations that confront us at any given moment during any day – we

                  must stand against the day of evil but we cannot unless we have prepared ourselves and taken

                  on the whole armor of God [Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 10:4]

 

 

Point 5 – The Soldier’s Armor [vv.14-17]

-          The sign of the  Christian soldier is the belt of Truth; now, what specifically is the belt of Truth that the believer is to put on?

a)      Christ is the Truth, the believer is to put on Christ [John 1:14]

b)      Word of God is the Truth, the believer is to put on the Word of God; he is sanctified by it [John 17:17]

c)       Speaking and living a life of truthfulness is the truth [Malachi 2:6] Truth does several things for the Christian soldier

1)      It keeps him from flapping about from one thing to another; from being tossed to and fro by every attach of the enemy   [Ephesians 4:14]

2)      It keeps him from becoming entangled with the affair of this life [2 Timothy 2:3-4]

3)      It supports him in the battles and trials of life [Hebrew 4:15-16]

Breastplate of Righteousness – the believer’s heart is focused upon the LORD and His righteousness and that focus mist be protected – the sign of a Christians soldier is righteousness

-          Righteousness keeps the heart from ever being wounded and losing its focus

-          Believers are to strive after the righteousness of Christ; to live righteously in this present world [Matthew 5:20; 2 Corinthians 5:21]

Sandals of the Gospel – the sign of the Christian soldier is readiness; a readiness to march and to bear witness to the Gospel; wherever the Christian soldier’s feet take him, he shares the Gospel with a world reeling in conflict, in desperate need to be grounded in the Gospel [Mark 16:15]

Shield of Faith in God – Satan has fiery darts to cause the believer to question, to doubt, to become defeated, only the oblong shield that protects the whole body helps the believer to deflect these darts –

Tape: 9, Side: 2

 

the sign of the Christian soldier is the shield of faith in God, a complete and perfect confidence in God to shield us from all the dark Satan throws at us [Psalm 33:20; 84:9; 3:3-4]

Helmet of Salvation – to cover the head and the mind of the soldier – the sign of the Christian soldier is the helmet of salvation; the head of deliverance keeping his mind forever on Jesus Christ and His objective for the whole world that men can be saved and live forever with Christ [Romans 8:6; 2 Corinthians 10:5][Colossians 3:1-2]

Sword of the Spirit (The Word of God) – the sign of the Christian soldier is his use of the Word of God; by living in the scriptures he protects himself from the onslaught of the enemy and he fights and wins battle after battle, day after day [Matthew 4:1-10; Hebrews 4:12]

 

 

Point 6 – The Supernatural Provision; PRAYER [v.18-30]

-          The soldier enters the battle fully armed, but something else is needed great confidence, assurance, courage, and these things come from a spirit of Prayer – the following things need to be noted about the soldier’s prayer.

a)      He must pray always – in order to be assured of God’s protection and to maintain a constant line of communication with God and His presence

b)      Prayer infuses the needed assurance, confidence and courage {1 Chronicles 16:11]

c)       He must pray in the Holy Spirit; that is the Spirit of the only Living and True  God

d)      Prayer to one’s own thoughts; some man-made God is empty and useless [Romans 8:26-27]

e)      He must be sleepless in prayer; the Christian soldier must concentrate and persevere in prayer; to the point of being sleepless in prayer – praying so intensely that he actually goes without sleep in order to pray [Matthew 26:41]

                              f)       He must pay unselfishly the soldier is not in the battle alone, many are engaged in the same battle – the outcome of the battle is determined by the welfare of

                                     every one involve; the Christian soldier must pray:

-for every one involved with him (church family) side by side

-as intensely for his fellow soldiers as he does for himself [Ephesians 1:15-16]

                            g)   he must pray for leaders in particular – leaders (their example) often determine the

                                  outcome of the battle [Romans 15:30; 2 Thessalonians 3:1]

Are you serious about prayer?  Are you seriously committed to praying?

 

 

L.THE EXAMPLES OF FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS [6:21-24]

               AIM:  to become a strong and faithful soldier of the LORD [Memory Verse  Ephesians 6:24]

                                   OUTLINE

I.                    There was the Christian soldier, Tychicus [vv.21-22]

II.                  There was the Christian soldier, Paul [vv.23-23]

 

 

 

Point 1 – There was the Christian soldier, Tychicus [vv.21-22]

 

-          Paul says 3 significant things about this great soldier of Christ

a)      He was a beloved brother – a man who had believed in Jesus Christ and demonstrated it by loving others [Acts 20:34][Galatians 6:10]

b)      A faithful minister – a man called and gifted by Christ to preach the Gospel and minister to God’s people; he was a man with a world wide vision and he gave his life to reach people with the glorious news of salvation [John 9:4; Acts 4:20]

c)       A friend of believers – he was a messenger of encouragement; Tychicus had his own ministry, he had given himself to a worldwide vision; yet here he is helping Paul, serving in Paul’s ministry; apparently he was the ideal minister of encouragement [Philippians 2:3-4] – an essential quality to be a Christian soldier is faithfulness [1 Corinthians 4:2][Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12]

 

 

Point 2 – There was the Christian soldier, Paul [vv.23-24]

-          a glimpse into Paul’s heart can be gleaned from these 2 verses

a)Paul was a spiritual brother to other believers – note his concern for the spiritual welfare of the other believers; he wished for them to have peace  (freedom from disturbance); love (tenderness, a warm attachment, enthusiasm) faith (belief, trust, loyalty)

b)Paul was a prayer warrior for other believers – he desired that God’s grace would rest upon them; a prayer that God’s grace would rest upon us.

- what can we learn from Paul and Tychicus?

- to be concerned with the spiritual welfare of others

-to be a prayer warrior for other believers

-to continue to serve, even if our service goes unheralded

-put your complete trust in the LORD

-be faithful in your service to the LORD

-rest in the grace of the LORD

-above all, be an encourager of the brethren

 

Some general information about marriage, to go along with {Ephesians 5:21-33]

- in God’s sight a wedding equals welding

- [v.31] – in God’s sight marriage is where flesh joins flesh [Matthew 19:56]

- when a man and a woman are joined together, God sees them as one flesh (even if they were miles    

   apart) you are no longer an individual; but in reality when you get married you are half an individual,

   and that is where the phrase where’s your better half comes from

-that’s how God looks at it

 


 

Now, in man’s sight, it’s a ceremony where people come into a church and have a marriage ceremony performed {John 2:1-2]

-          we know that a wedding is honorable in all [Hebrews 13:4]

-          [Genesis 2:18] we do need a helpmeet [Proverbs 18:22] we obtain  favor from the LORD, the LORD meant for men and women to become husband and wife

-          A wedding (marriage) is supposed to be a touch of heaven on this earth {Ephesians 5:31-32] – a marriage pictures Christ and the church – so its important to be saved – so they can get God’s blessings…we are not to be unequally yoked [2Corinthians 6:14]

-          Amos 3:3-6] for a marriage to work like God would want it to work people have to be saved

-          [21 Corinthians 6:15-17] again, it is important to be saved; for if one or the other partner is not saved, though they be married, the Bible says it is like sleeping with a harlot

-          [1 Corinthians 7:39; Genesis 2:18-24] when a man takes a wife; when a woman takes a husband they are to take that person for a lifetime

 

ADMONITIONS TO THE WOMEN

As a woman is to be in subjection to the husband d, that is the foundation of a marriage [Matthew 7:24-27] – if the foundation isn’t right the marriage will crumble [Ephesians 5:21, 24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1-6]

[Genesis 3:16] - ________________she is to be in subjection in all things “as unto the LORD” [Ephesians 5:24] it is the husband who will give an account to the LORD for the marriage – so if a wife is going to be an equal rights wife, have her say, do her thing, regardless of what the husband says – God is not going to bless that marriage

Flesh is important – [1 Corinthians 7:2, 9, 36] – there is no shame in a sexual relationship with your wife [Hebrews 13:4; Genesis 2:25]

[1 Corinthians 7:4-5] it is important for a man and woman to be faithful to each other [Genesis 30:1] more than one wife didn’t work

[Proverbs 12:4][Proverbs 17:22; Numbers 5:11-31 (pay close attention to vv. 12, 13, 20, 21, 27, 31); Proverbs 31: 11, 28, 25, 30, 31]

A WOMAN OUGHT FEAR THE LORD

-          Don’t quit on God because He hasn’t quit on you – don’t go and get divorced at just any little whim that comes along [Proverbs 23:17; 31:30]

-          You must have your own convictions based in the LORD [1 Peter 3:6]

 

ADMONITIONS FOR THE MEN

-          Men, the most important thing you are to deal with is finances, you’ve got to go to work – put God first [Proverbs 13:11] and give God His part first.

-          You need to recognize that a woman is insecure by nature, because she came from man and she is weaker than man [1 Peter 3:7] – that does not mean physically or spiritually that means emotionally and you are to nourish your wife [Ephesians 5:21-33] – there is a way to take care of your wife [Proverbs 3:9-10][Philippians 4:19 – it’s a general truth

-          Flesh is important for the man because he’s got to realize he is the savior of the wife’s body; he’s to know her [1 Peter 3:7] – he’s to know her by the body [1 Corinthians 4] – he’s to know she has feelings [Ephesians 5; 1 Corinthians 7:3] he’s to know that she is to be loved, honored, and given attention – Proverbs 2:16-19] fidelity is also important [Proverbs 12:4 reverse is also true

-          [Proverbs 2:19; 3:3-10, 23, 31; Proverbs 5:15] –don’t be flattering others; [Proverbs 6:24-35] – its important that you flatter your wife – but don’t be flattered by others; be  watchful, be on the alert because according to the Bible these women are smooth.

        [Proverbs 7] – talks about a woman dressing like a harlot, getting a man to go to bed                 

                            with her…strong men have been laid low by the means of a whorish woman…men like

                           Samson by Delilah [Proverbs 7:10,16, 21, 26]

-          Fear of the LORD is important [Proverbs 1] – you’ve got to hate evil [Proverbs 8:13]

-          General truth is – if I fear man, I’ll not fear God; if I fear God, I’ll not fear man [Proverbs 29:25]

 

ADMONITIONS FOR BOTH

[Proverbs 18:10][1 Peter 3:4; Proverbs 15:1; Ephesians 4:26-27; 1 Timothy 2:14-15; 1 John 3:12; 2

Timothy 2:22]