Summary: To get a sense of who we are in Christ and be encouraged..
Ephesians 1: 1,2
Meeting Creek EFC/Sept. 24/00
Objective: To get a sense of who we are in Christ and be encouraged..
We will be going through Ephesians
- it will take a while with breaks all but it will be very encouraging.
- take notes because at least for now we will have questions and deeper talk next Sunday.
"focuses on what God did through the historical work of Jesus Christ and does through his Spirit today, in order to build his new society in the midst of the old."
Let us dive in.
Read Eph 1: 1,2
Let us pray?
Paul is using a normal letter greeting but adding to it: Name, title/ recipients, blessing
Marvin Penner, your pastor, to the Meeting Creek EFC: May God bless you.
What I want to focus our attention on today is the middle part of the greeting
How does Paul identify the people he is writing to?
With three adjectives; Saints, Faithful, and in Christ
Take them one at a time;
- means holy ones
- used first of Israel "holy nation"
- come to mean God’s holy people of God’s "Israel"
Gal 6:15,16 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.
- Because the Bible is God’s word to us too we too are addressed as saints - God’s holy people
- trusting or having faith
- means those who practice faith or are faithing
- God’s people are the "household of faith"
Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
- this is a description of you or is addressed to you
Are these descriptions accurate of you and of this church?
Were they accurate of the church of Ephesis?
Look at 1 Timothy for a good view of what these people were like
1:3 timothy is the pastor and is given instruction
1:3,4 - against false teachers
1:6 - wandered from the truth
2:8-14 - mixed up worship
3:1-12 - problem with impure leaders
4:7 - followed godless myths and old wives tales
4: 3,4 - unequal aid to widows
4:8 - relatives uncared for
6: 3-5 - controversy, argument, malicious talk, constant friction, using church for finacial gain
6: 10 - love of money
Sounds like us, you think?
Yet Paul affectionately calls these people faithful saints!!
The secret is in the third adjective "in Christ"
In Romans it says 8:1 "therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ."
- Paul is seeing them in the same way as God does - in Christ
Some one says, "I am a great swimmer. I can stay underwater for an hour and even catch fish in my bare hands."
- so you throw them in and hold me under for one minute before they sputter and begin to drown.
- They forgot to tell you "in my scuba gear".
like the poor fellow in the wet suit
- the difference is it is harder to get out of Christ then it is to get out of a wet suit
You are in Christ if you are a Christian!!!
God does not see you as unholy and unfaithful but in the holiness and faithfulness of Christ
There are things you can do now which you never could before
you can live right
Put on scuba gear and walk around having never tried it - does that mean it is impossible?
You have Christ on. You not you but Christ, can do things and that is the basis upon which Paul greets you and on which God sees you.
Stay with me and we will learn better how to live as what who we are.
Now thank God that irregardless of who you think you are, in Christ you are a saint and you are holy.