Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sermon Notes on a Sunday Morning - Ephesians 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus -

How do we know we can trust Paul?
  • God Himself and other prophets vouched for him.
Why another apostle; there were already 12?
  • The 12 were sent to Israel (Matt 10:6; cf. Matt 15:24).
  • Twelve is a number associated with Israel (Matt 19:28).
  • Someday God is going to rule the earth through the nation Israel.
  • Paul was not "one of the gang" (Acts 20:24; Gal 1:11-12, 17-19; 2:2, 7-9; Rom 11:13; 15:15-16; 16:25; Eph 3:1-3).  (There is a school of thought that Paul should have been chosen to replace Judas, that the eleven were wrong to choose Matthias.  This school of thought is wrong - )
  • We are not the 13th tribe of Israel.  We are not spiritual Israel.  You can't serve efficiently if you don't know who your apostle is.
Paul was perfect for the job because he:
  • started out in the other party.
  • was Jew and Gentile
  • was a Roman citizen
  • spoke Greek
I urge you, then, be imitators of me (1 Cor 4:16) — KJV uses the word "followers"
In Ephesians and Romans (books of doctrine), Paul stands alone.  His other epistles were written with others.

by the will of God - Paul could have said no.

This is the will of God for us in the Church age, not just for Paul.

...who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4).

God's will is that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.  He is not going to make you believe.  The power of salvation begins where your heart stops.  His will begins with salvation but doesn't stop there.  (Example:  In America, we have "the right to swing your fist, but your right ends where my nose starts.")

God's will can be found in Scripture alone.  All other sources are subjective -

It is the will of God that we are sanctified.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thes 4:3).
It is the will of God that we give thanks for everything.

...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you 1 Thes 5:18).

It is the will of God that servants are obedient.

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ (Eph 6:5).

Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom 10:17).
To the saints who are in Ephesus -
Saints = set apart unto God.  Act like it!
You're walking in Adam or in Christ.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16; cf. Rom 8:4; Eph 2:2).
and are faithful in Christ Jesus -
You can be sanctified and not faithful.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Eph 4:30).
Ephesians is for those who are grounded in the Word.
...and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here (Col 4:9; cf. Philemon 1). 

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