Summary: A sermon on Ephesians 3:8. (Material adapted from Charles Spurgeon’s Sermon with the same title)
Sermon for 4/19/2009 on Ephesians 3:2-9
The Unsearchable Riches of Christ- Ephesians 3:8
When asked if I was a preacher (pastor) I would say, “That’s what they tell me.” Or “Unfortunately, Yes.” I don’t say that anymore
A. I feel it is a great privilege to be allowed to preach the gospel. In 2008 I was out of the pulpit for less than 6 months. Since 1995 I had been preaching and teaching non stop. When I was out for those 6 months, it gave me a new perspective.
1. (Jer 20:9 NIV) But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
2. (1 Cor 9:16 NIV) Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
B. It is a delight to be able to preach and teach. It is good news!
C. The angels are not going to come down from heaven and tell the news. It is up to us!
D. Young men, if you have the love of Jesus Christ in you, strive to be a preacher. It does not come from a great speaking ability or from a delightfully obnoxious personality, it comes from the Lord. Preachers are taking a lot of hits in our day.
E. (Luke 10:2 NIV) He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
F. We see here that Paul was thankful for the privilege of preaching, but it greatly humbled him. Vs. 8- I am the least of all God’s people. In other places he says that he is the least of the apostles and does not even deserve to be called an apostle, because he persecuted the church. In another verse he says that he is the worst of sinners.
G. I do not believe that is all there is to this. To preach the gospel is a humbling experience. I mourn my weaknesses. The further I go with the Lord, the more I realize how weak and unworthy I am.
I. If we want to be more humble, try some hard work for the Lord. If we want to know our unworthiness, attempt something great for Jesus. Those who have been to the battlefront and know the horrors of spiritual warfare know that they are nothing.
J. Preacher, you should do this or that. Throw away those notes and just get down among the people and holler at them. Good for some! Not for me! Charles Spurgeon, who gave me many of these thoughts this morning, was a great preacher. He would study all week and then get up and preach with almost no notes and deliver the most beautiful sermons in the English language. Good for him! Who did this? The Lord! And the Lord took a shy boy and now I am a preacher. Am I the best? No! That is not the point.
K. (Rom 10:16 NIV) Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"(Rom 10:17 NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Have people respond to the message. Are they responding to me or to the Lord? It is a humbling experience.
L. I covet your prayers!
Thesis: This morning we are going to talk about the who, the what and the why of Ephesians 3:8.
I. The Who- The unsearchable riches of who?
A. I love Easter. Why? Because I get to talk about Jesus.
B. (Gen 3:15 NIV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
C. After several thousands of years, the Christ came. (Gal 4:4 NIV) when the time had fully come, God sent his Son.
E. Over 30 years he lived on earth. Over 3 of his last years were spent in ministry. (John 1:14) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
G. (Phil 2:5 NIV) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus :( Phil 2:6 NIV) who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (Phil 2:7 NIV) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Phil 2:8 NIV) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!