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Summary: Sermon series on the Book of Ephesians. This is part 1.

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This sermon was preached by Rev. Larry C. Brincefield on Wed., October 27, 2004

Title: Ephesians #1

Text: Ephesians 1:1

Introduction

1. Introduction to Ephesians

A. Paul wrote the book of Ephesians while he was a prisoner in Rome.

Ephesians isn’t the only book that he wrote from prison…

He also wrote Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon while in prison.

Now, I’m sure that prison wasn’t all fun and games…

But it wasn’t so dismal that he wasn’t able to receive guests and communicate through his letters.

When you think about it…Paul wrote some incredible things while in prison.

I have found that if we will allow God to use us…

That He will use us even during the most difficult times of our lives.

Charles Erdman wrote, “If as a result of his confinement nothing else had been accomplished by the apostle but the composition of this one sublime masterpiece, the church of all the ages would still have found, in this epistle alone, sufficient reason for prising God, who thus ever can bring good out of evil and light out of darkness”1

B. Paul had spent time with the Ephesian Christians…

He first went there for a short visit during his 2nd missionary journey…

The people of Ephesus begged him to stay longer…

But he felt that he must continue on…

But he made plans for a return trip.

And then, on his 3rd missionary journey, Paul stayed in Ephesus for 3 years.

Ephesus was one of the great cities in that part of the world.

It was a Roman Capital city…

It was a center of great wealth and commerce…

It also the center of religious turmoil…

Ephesus was the center for the worship of the goddess Diana...

As a result of Paul’s ministry to Ephesus…

Christianity spread beyond Ephesus and into the surrounding region.

Unlike some of the other letters that Paul wrote…

Ephesians wasn’t written to combat some spiritual problem or need…

It was written to build and strengthen the Body of Christ…

The Church.

Read Ephesians 1:1

Body

1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God

A. Paul calls himself an apostle of Christ Jesus.

An apostle is a messenger…

One who is sent with a mission.

Paul regards himself not only as belonging to Christ…

In the sense that he invited Jesus into his heart…

But he also believes that the risen Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus…

And as a result, he feels that he has been personally commissioned by Jesus Christ to do the work of the Gospel…

That is, spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ…

Paul has a particular burden to share the Good News about Jesus with the Gentiles.

B. Not only does he call himself an apostle of Christ Jesus…

But he adds the phrase, “by the will of God”

In one sense, these words add a sense of authority to his words…

Because he has been called of God to do God’s Work.

Starting out this letter this way…

Would hopefully add weight to his words…

But in another sense, there is an added sense of humility…

Paul realizes that he is unworthy to be an apostle of Jesus Christ…

Later on in the epistle, we will see where Paul says, “I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” Eph 3:8


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