Summary: The riches found in Jesus are inexhaustible!
1. The Church of Jesus Christ is amazing…
a. The ‘Church’ at large, across the face of the earth.
b. Millions of people are worshipping Jesus Christ today.
c. Enjoying His Presence, Proclaiming His Name…
d. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful…
e. No matter where you live, what language you speak, what nation is home…
2. Someone once said correctly “the church is NOT an organization, but an organism.”
a. It’s alive, vibrant, and expanding.
b. Let’s look at Acts 2 beginning at v42…
3. The EC experienced some wonderful & glorious worship!
· As they continued steadfastly… in the Word, Prayer, Fellowship, Communion, Evangelism…
· There was a little bit of addition, a little subtraction…
· But God was multiplying those that would be saved!
4. That’s not to say that man hasn’t corrupted the church.
· He has. Church history is full of horrible atrocities done in the precious name of Jesus Christ.
· Things that Jesus would have never endorsed!
· Even in the EC, there were early attempts to corrupt the church from the inside… diluting its effectiveness.
· But God protects His own and the church continues strong.
Matthew 16.18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
5. What really excites & amazes me about the CHURCH how we are one but yet we possess so many differences.
a. We are made up of all sorts of Nationalities & Backgrounds.
b. Young & Old, Male & Female, Employed & Unemployed.
c. Married & Single. Strong & Weak… All of us…
d. God has brought us together in Jesus to be One Body!
6. Not only that, but He brought us together even though we weren’t and aren’t perfect.
a. Come to me… Learn of Me… Accept Me… THEN:
b. Welcome to the Family of God!
c. It’s the Magnificent Grace of God! -- Look back at 2:19ff…
I. (2:1-13) God’s Mystery Revealed
1. (1) Paul is a prisoner of the Lord!
a. What reason is Paul referring to? Why is he a prisoner?
NOTE: As Paul is writing this letter, he is prisoner of he Roman Empire. He is in a deep, dark, and horrid prison… Why?
· He’s in prison because of the church. Because of God’s great work of bringing both Jew and Gentile together in Jesus.
· To the Jew, the Gentiles were trash, fuel for the fires of hell.
· But Paul was called to the Gentiles with God’s message of hope.
· The Jews hated Paul and wanted him dead…
· The Gentiles saved?! NO WAY! Get rid of this man.
· So Paul is a prisoner because of the church…
APP: Too many Christians are prisoners to the wrong things for the wrong reasons…
· Prisoners of debts, prisoners of habits, prisoners of addictions.
· You see we’ve been given great freedom in Jesus…
· No longer a need to be a prisoner of anything or anyone but Jesus.
b. SO Paul says he’s a prisoner of Jesus Christ! Wow!
c. Yes my ministry got me in trouble… Yes, I’m chained…
d. But it’s all being used by Jesus.
e. I’m not a prisoner of Nero or Rome! I’m a prisoner of Jesus.
f. It’s all being used for the glory of God!
g. Paul writes to the Philippians from the same jail…
Phil. 1.12-13 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;
APP: Now Paul here is a special encouragement to us.
· When things aren’t going so good, when we feel imprisoned by this situation or that, when we’re wondering what’s going on…
· We can have the same ASSURANCE that God is at work.
This is important to know because Satan is constantly trying to undermine your faith and trust in God.
· He wants you to think God hates you, He’s mad at you, He’s punishing you and holding out… There’s NO HOPE!
· But see, whatever situation you’re in is not because of the upbringing you had with mean parents.
· It’s not because of a hard-hearted boss
· It’s not because you’re married to a lousy husband…
· Wherever you are has been ordained of God if you eyes of faith to see and the patience to wait on Him.
· Whenever I find myself complaining about this situation or that thing , I’m really complaining about my Heavenly Father.
· He’s allowed the things that have come into my life, your lives.