Summary: More lessons to learn from the church in Ephesus.
Warnings, Exaltations & Instructions: Further Words for Ephesus
Ephesians 1:15-16; 4:1-3
Have you noticed something that has changed recently in life? If you buy any new product in a store and compare it to what it used to look like, you will notice several things. First of all the packaging has probably changed, but you will also notice that the amount of warnings on the labels has also dramatically increased. The morning I began to write this sermon, I put this to task and checked two items I use every morning. On my deodorant there was a warning telling me that it was for “external use only”. Then, I checked my toothpaste, and sure enough, I found out that this product is not intended to be eaten.
If you truly take time to look, you will find many such warning labels. On a bottle of dog shampoo, you can find out that the contents of the bottle should not be fed to fish. On a curling iron, you find the statement, “Warning: This product can burn eyes”. If you read your little booklet that comes with your hair dryer, you will learn that you should not use the dryer in the shower or while you are sleeping. A certain toner company that makes toner for laser printers found it necessary to tell it’s users that they are not to eat the toner. In the book for my universal remote control for the television, radio, VCR and such, it tells me that the remote is not dishwasher safe. And finally, on the package for a wristwatch there is a statement that exclaims in bold lettering: Warning! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants. I don’t even want to know about the situation that caused the company to have to state this on their packaging.
Now, these are some silly examples of warning signs, but believe it or not, these statements are there because some people need to know this information. All warnings and instructions are put on products for our protection and safety, and we come in contact with useful warnings every day. For example, a do not enter – one way sign is very important if you try to enter the highway the wrong way by accident. This is very helpful to everyone who comes in contact with it.
Because warnings and instructions are there for our benefit, we should make sure that we always pay extra attention to the words that God uses to give us protection or advice in His Word. Last week, we started a new series in which we are going to take a look at the words God has given to the churches to help them out. He shares some exaltations about what they are doing well that show what we can emulate. He also shares some warnings to the church to get their attention and get them back on the right track. He also shares other information which will help them to continue on the right track. This morning, we are going to take a look at some more words of wisdom that God had for the church at Ephesus. You can follow along in your sermon notes as we look in Ephesians 1:15-16 and Ephesians 4:1-3.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
This morning, we are going to take a look at two more exaltations that the Lord gives the believers at Ephesus, and we will take a look at the instructions they are given that will lead to them leading a life worthy of the calling they have received. Before we do this, let’s ask the Lord to bless our time.
Further Exaltations: Other Things They Do Well
Last week, we discovered five things about the church in Ephesus that they had done well. They were commended for their service, steadfastness, security, selectiveness, and their perseverance through suffering. When we look back to the book of Ephesians, we see two other aspects of their Christian walk that is worthy of emulating.
Now, everyone on earth has faith whether they are religious or not. After all, think about it this way. When you flip on a light switch, what do you expect to happen? You have faith in the switch and electrical wiring in the house and trust that the light will turn on. When you turn the ignition switch in you car, what do you expect to happen? Some of us have more faith than others that the car is going to start. When you are sick, you go to the doctor with a name you probably can’t pronounce. Then, he gives you a prescription you cannot read. You, in turn, hand it to a pharmacist that you have probably never met. Then, they give you a medication that you don’t understand everything about. But yet, you take the medication out of faith in the system that it will help to make you better. That’s living by faith.