Summary: This is the final message from the Ephesians series reviewing the basic content of the letter.
Paul Reviews His Letter to the Ephesians
The identity and responsibility of the Church
My name is Paul.
During my time on earth I was an apostle appointed by Jesus to share the good news with both Jews and Gentiles but mostly to gentiles.
I was not always and apostle and definitely not always a Christian.
In fact, I felt that followers of Jesus Christ were traitors to our faith and blasphemers deserving of death.
I was present when Stephen was stoned to death for his commitment to follow Jesus.
I made it my life’s ambition to track down and arrest key and influential followers of Jesus some of whom were killed.
That is until Jesus literally knocked me on the ground and confronted me.
That encounter was the beginning of a lifetime of encounters and labor for the savior who called me and equipped me to spread the mystery of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Rome and everywhere in between.
You can read my biography written by my great friend and coworker Luke.
Today I want to focus on what I shared with the followers of Jesus living in Ephesus.
I enjoyed a wonderful history and relationship with these dear people of God.
These dear believers lived in a cultural and religious melting pot due to its location as a seaport.
Their city hosted a major temple to Diana complete with idol worship and rampant sexual perversion through male and female temple prostitutes.
The city was every bit as morally and spiritually corrupt as Corinth.
The gospel seed planted by this courageous group of people sprouted and spread to bring amazing transformation to their culture.
My time among these faithful Christians still stirs in my heart.
I remember telling the elders…
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:18-21
I had a significant investment in those people.
“for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. Acts 20:31
I remember the day I had to leave them like it was yesterday.
When I had said my farewells we all knelt down and prayed.
And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced me and kissed me, being sorrowful most of all because of the word I had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied me to the ship. Acts 20:36-38
And I did not ever see them again.
After I was put under house arrest, the Holy Spirit prompted me to write a letter concerning the basics of being a healthy body of believers in a hostile environment.
I had warned them that after I left them, there would be those who would come in like ravenous wolves twisting the truth and trying to get people to follow them and eventually destroy them to their lies.
You know that letter as the letter of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.
This letter was passed on all though the other churches and still exists today because the truth is just as relavant today as it was when Holy Spirit directed and inspired me to write it.
I wanted them to understand their true wealth and worth by reason of their relationship with Christ.
I also wanted them to understand that with great blessing comes great responsibility.
Finally, I wanted them to understand how to overcome the greatest obstacle to those two things.
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-4
A. Paul blessed God for blessing us with every spiritual blessing 1:3-14
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ!
I started my letter by offering a blessing to God for his great blessing toward us.
Until we understand the unfathomable blessing of God in us and for us, we will never be able to accomplish all that God wants to do through us.
My father is never stingy.
He freely blesses every true believer with every spiritual blessing by reason of our connection with his beloved son.
For the sake of saving precious parchment, I only singled out just six of those life-changing blessings.
1. Specially Chosen 1:4
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.