Sermons

Summary: God’s goodwill to us is not because of our worthiness or beauty, but because we belong to Jesus Christ. Stay close to Jesus & you will know the constant goodwill of God: the grace & peace from God the Father & the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Intro

Q. Are you familiar with the word “capricious”

- The Greek gods in the days of the Ephesian Church were known to be capricious

- Dictionary definition = “subject to sudden changes in behaviour, mood or opinion, often for no good reason”.

- You never knew where you stood

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- In a Greek legend, Mudusa was one of the 3 Gorgons (which is a terrifying feminine monster). The 3 Gorgons were all sisters and all 3 had a very dangerous power - their gaze turned men to stone

- One version of the story says that Medusa was beautiful at first, with long flowing hair, but she angered Athena the goddess of wisdom & war by violating her temple.

- So true to the capricious nature of the gods, the jealous and angry Athena turned Medusa into a snaky-haired killer with menacing teeth and brass claws.

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- The gods of the ancient world were not only capricious but wilful & needed their egos to be constantly appeased

- They were prone to assuming human form in order to "play" with their human subjects

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Q. Is this the picture we get of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

- The title of the sermon is “God’s goodwill toward us”

- Goodwill means an attitude of kindness, friendliness and benevolence

- It means that God desires a healthy & beneficial relationship with us

- That toward His people flows a river of constant goodwill from God

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Q. How do we know that God has constant goodwill toward us?

- We know it by His actions – they speak louder than words

- In this letter to the Ephesian Church, the apostle Paul not only tells us of what Jesus has done for us, but the benefits that flow from what He has done

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Q. Can we believe that this letter is true to the thoughts & actions of God? I say, absolutely!

- The first thing we need to do, however, is accept the apostles’ authority

- If we don’t accept that the apostle Paul’s words are a true reflection of God’s love towards us, then these words will not have much meaning

1. Paul’s Authority as an Apostle

- Here he not only claims that he is a messenger of Jesus Christ, which is what an apostle is, but that God willed it

- So he is not wanting to give you his opinion on the matter, but God’s

- He hasn’t set himself up as a guru & self-proclaimed expert, but one who is under the authority of Jesus Christ

- This same man was a persecutor of Christians

- He is responsible for the first brutal death of a Christian

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- Steven was one of the leaders in the church at Jerusalem

- He was brought before the supreme court of Israel called the Sanhedrin & there spoke out against their refusal to obey God & accept Jesus as the Messiah

- They became so enraged at him that they immediately ordered his execution

- It was Paul who was the then called Saul who was in charge of his execution

- Once that was completed, Saul made it his ambition to force the church out of existence

- He went on a persecution spree – it became his full-time job to seek out & bring Christians to trial

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