20230326-EPHESIANS3V14-4V3

Thu, Mar 30, 2023 5:24PM • 48:44

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

god, christ, paul, verse, jesus, unity, suffered, humility, pray, spirit, church, love, chapter, obedience, ephesians, family, meekness, glory, life, grace

 

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The mason Church of Christ welcomes you again to another radio broadcast, where we'd like to invite you to come be with us too. When we finish this broadcast at 1020, we will have a full worship service at the red roof building on highway 87. Heading up to Fredericksburg from Mason, Texas, we will have a full worship service that is we will sing we will pray, will give back to God will study from God's Word and will gather in the Lord's table. Something the first century church did every first day of the week. And we do that here. And we'd love to have you come be with us.

 

We are in Ephesians chapter three. And I think we got down to verse 13. Last time we were together want to continue reading through Ephesians. A, a letter from Paul to to the church at Ephesus a church who was a a light in a very dark world. Emphasis was a dark dark place, ugly place, sinful place. And yet here was this bright, bright spot this, this light coming out of out of that ugly world. Paul is writing to the church here. In verse 14, he's continuing his his thought from from verse one of chapter three. Because both Jew and Gentile had been reconciled to God and thus reconciled to one another. Paul is now going to bow his knees to the Father. He's going to he's going to pray to the Father a, a definite prayer posture. There were different prayer postures in, in Scripture, this was this was one of them to bow his knees to the Father. Simply meaning that he's he's about to pray to God. For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. God is the Father of all families, isn't he? This so this term for family here is it's used to other times the New Testament.

 

Luke chapter two, verse four, accepted three, verse 25, the term is used, and also here to the Ephesians. The Jews thought of the angels as God's family, his family in heaven. And, and men and women is God's family on earth. God, God is the Father of all. And Paul is praying to the Father. For those who've, who've become members of this spiritual family, this spiritual family that is in Christ, it's the church isn't it? The church is the family of God. The called out of God, God's saints, God's kingdom, His, the bride of Christ, the the vineyard so many different metaphors that refer to the church, and all all used in such a way for us to, to, to understand the church better. We when we when we look at the different metaphors when we look at them.

 

We we gain a better understanding of of how God wants us to view the church. When you're talking about this family here when we're when we're discussing the churches as a family. We get that don't we? Most of us have wonderful families that no no that's not the case for for for all but everyone understands the family. Dynamic, the closeness, the, the, the commitment. The the, the happiness when a reunion takes place the, the fellowshipping together, the getting together, getting together as often as possible. When you when you're discussing family that all that all it strikes a chord doesn't need to get to you, it, it helps us to, to understand how we are to view the church. He wants us to view the church as a family. In all in all that's entailed in that families love one another, they help one another. They, they they eat together, they they experience life together. When one is missing, it's not complete. Just there are so many directions, you can go with this when you when you think about it, when you think about the church as a family. And, and compare it to, to our experiences, the experiences that we have with family for the you know, for, for most of us, family is huge in it. I mean, again, I know, I know, there's exceptions, there's some that just they didn't have a family growing up, and it's so sad. It's so sad that they didn't before. For the most part. Most of us just have, there's a there's a family dynamic that is so strong. And, and that that needs to be brought into the church. The church needs to be that way. We need to be together and and want to be together and, and be not feel complete. When when when one is missing. In fact, when when one gets lost we we go out to find them, don't we and we bring them back. There's a it's a it's a big deal in it. Just the fact that he used that word here. I wanted to point that out. And it's not that that term for family, there's not used but Well, as I mentioned three times in the whole New Testament. So just to a good point for us to to make here.

 

I pray that he may grant you according to the riches of his glory. I pray that he may grant you verse 16, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power, through His Spirit in the inner man. Paul is praying that the Ephesian Christians will receive spiritual strength from God. The images, the riches of his glory, that includes all which which made God glorious. The total, the total of his attributes, God, God has a great abundance to give to Christians. And he prayed that the Christians might be strengthened, strengthened by the Spirit. In the inner man, he says, the inner man is the that's the spiritual man. That's the that's the spiritual part of us the most important part of us. Paul is requesting God to help Christians through through through the Spirit. He doesn't tell them how this was done though.

 

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But I think he gets to it in the next verse. Let's see what verse 17 says, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. Christ dwells in the Christians heart through faith. John 635 says Jesus is the bread of life. He is He is food to the spiritual man Christians must study the life, the words, the example of Jesus we must, we must follow the example of Jesus. If we fill ourselves up with the life of Christ, as we, as we study scripture, as we study the life of Jesus and and how he acted, and what he did, and how he carried out his life, when we were putting that into the inner man, and, and therefore Christ is then dwelling in us, Christ dwelling in us. Continuing verse 17, I pray that you being rooted and firmly established in love, rooted as the example of the tree, the tree, the tree has has the roots that that go out and we we understand that the root system is so much bigger than even the tree. That in he, he wants us to be that way.

 

The other part of this is grounded in love is that's that grounded is the example of the building. So you got the tree in the building here. There there to be in Christ, grounded, rooted, rooted and grounded in the love of Jesus, so so that we can love the brethren in the same way, loving, loving each other in the same way that Christ loved us. That, you know, our everything is is everything is about love isn't it loves at the top of the list of the of the fruit that we're to bear. The love that God, the love that God had for us is the love that we are to extend to others to extend out. Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, string, soul in mind. And number two is to love your neighbor as yourself, to care for others to care for, and by the way, neighbor in that passage as everybody else.

 

Everybody else in this world. I'm too, to love as much as I love me. And it's a tall order. But it's something it's something to strive for, isn't it? To put others put others needs up there right up there with mine. That's what Jesus did. Did he mean he gave he gave his life so that we can have life. He loved us even more than he loved himself rooted and grounded in love. So Paul's prayer here is that we will have that, that Christians will have that. It's pretty amazing when you think about what Paul prayed for, rarely, rarely praying for himself. When we see his prayers, it's all about others, isn't it? It's all about the Ephesians In this case, it's about these churches, the churches that he planted in any and what was he wanted, he wanted them to stay faithful. He He wanted them to remain faithful. It wasn't about their their illnesses or I know we have we have long prayer lists and stuff and most of them are are for the physical. Paul's prayers for them was for the inner man wasn't it? It was for it was for the spiritual part that they would stay spiritual. They would stay faithful that they would continue to to love each other.

 

What just what an amazing thought. The whole idea of love. It comes from God for God so loved the world. Has that finish. He so loved the world that He gave His Son. That's love. That's agape love. And that's the love. That's the love that that we're to have right here. This is the love that that's mentioned here. Okay, so that you may be being rooted in firmly grounded, established in love, verse 18, that you may be able to comprehend, with all the saints. What is the length and width and height and depth of God's love? This is one of those Ephesians 318 is one of those special verses, isn't it? That you may be able to comprehend with all the saints? What is the length and width and height and depth of God's love? We need to seek to grasp the great love of Christ. The love of Christ is so great. It's so great that it I mean it exceeds man's understanding, far exceeds man's understanding. The love of Christ is it seen in the life of Jesus who who loved men so much that he was willing to come to this earth and die on the cross for their sins? No, no greater love than this. He said that a man lay down his life for his friends. There's no greater love. To even be able to grasp that. We, if we could just grasp just a bit of it. We we really can't grasp the love of Jesus in its totality, can we even, you know even alive time of living for the master it we can't grasp the love of Christ. Verse 19. And to know, so to grasp to comprehend, and to know, the Messiah is love that surpasses knowledge. So that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

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To know to know the love of Christ is to know Christ himself. As as we just mentioned, no one can fully comprehend this. The love of Christ, there's there's always more to know. The the purpose of this is to become a full grown person in Christ. He's gonna mention in the next chapter that till we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full grown man, unto the measure of the stature, the fullness of Christ, chapter four, verse 13, he's gonna, he's gonna bring this back up until we can get to that point until we can get complete and understand this completely.

 

Verse 20. Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in you, as we mentioned, Paul just continues to, to pray for for his fellow Christians, for the churches. You know, we need to make a note that it's impossible to ask too much of God. His his capacity for giving far exceeds the capacity of his children and asking his his capacity to give is far greater or then then we can even ask. God can do far more than then Christians can ever imagine. He, he blesses His people, by the power which works in them according to the power that works in you, He says, verse 21, to Him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus, to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Can, pleading that prayer. In other words, since God can do so much and does and does so much, to Him be the glory. Let, let us give praise to God for all that he's done for us and all all that he's done. In Christ, The heavens declare the glory of God because God made the heavens and it reflects his glory.

 

The same should be said about us. The church declares the glory of God because God made the church and it reflects his glory. When So, in the context here, when Jews and Gentiles dwell in one body, in love it it brings glory to the to the One who created the church brings glory to God. Of course, that that glory is in Christ as well. And Paul, Paul closes out this prayer with with an amen are this, this is true. That closes chapter three.

 

For the sake of time, we're halfway through this deal. We'll continue on, we'll just go on to chapter four. They, you'll notice in chapter four and, and I've mentioned this with Paul's writings, I try to mention it when I can, most all of Paul's letters, the first the first half, will be doctrine. This is, as one person said, or grace, this is what God has done for you. And then you see a transition in the second half of the book. And that's, that's where we are here in Ephesians. Chapter Four begins the, the second half of the book, and it begins with a therefore I therefore when you see a therefore he goes with what went before. So he's making it's a hinge word and he's making a transition. Again, this is the first three chapters This is what God has done for you.

 

Starting in chapter four, this is what God requires of you. What God has done for you what God has requires of you or grace, in obedience. There they're never separated in Scripture. Ever. Grace, in obedience go together. Grace is God's part. Obedience is man's part. Now we must understand that the obedience, the the obedience, does nothing without the grace because we're unworthy. But also understand that that grace is dependent upon my obedience.

 

And folks get confused on this. I've heard I've heard preachers say, I've heard preachers say that obedience is not required. Because we're saved by grace. Of course, that's a that's a misunderstanding of grace. That's, that's a twisted grace. A totally twisted misunderstanding of grace. Grace simply means I'm getting something I don't deserve. But It by no means stops the necessity for my obedience. Too many, too many places in Scripture that use the little two letter word if. If, if we walk in the light, as Jesus in the law is in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If, if we sin willfully after we receive the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin.

 

Hebrews 1026 By the way, First John one seven was the first one I quoted. If about John 831. If you continue in My word, you truly are my disciples, and you shall know the truth. And the truth shall set you free. We quote verse 32, quite a lot. But rarely does anyone quote the verse before it. If you continue my word, if you continue in My word, to abide in my word, to live according to my word, then you're my disciples, you're truly my disciples then. And you shall know the truth and truth shall make you free. Obedience to that truth is so plain in Scripture. And it gets left out a lot. Grace and obedience Ephesians, one through three, you could give it a heading of grace. This is what God has done for me.chapters four through six of Ephesians. After therefore, this is what God requires of me. This is what he's done. For me. This is what He requires of me, requires chapter four verse one,

 

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I therefore there's the hinge word, I, therefore the prisoner in the Lord. Remember, this is one of the prison epistles. We call it that because Paul is chained to a Roman guard. He's in Rome, he's chained to a rock. And he was chained to that guard for being a Christian. Therefore he was the prisoner in the Lord. His he wouldn't have been there had he not been a Christian had a this. This is the reason that he's in prison. And he, and he loved that too. He, he boasted in the fact that he could be a prisoner for the Lord that he could, that he could suffer for Christ, knowing, knowing that Christ had suffered for him, that and that, that is, that's the way that we need to look at it too, isn't it?

 

If negative things come our way, for, for being a Christian, that's the way we need to look at that's the way we need to handle that. That's, that's the, that that's the, the way that we can that we can get through it is I'm suffering for Christ. And I'm glad to do it because he suffered for me. He suffered the most ultimate for me did me He died on that cross for me. I can, I can definitely take the the the negative that may come my way for for being a Christian. So I therefore the prisoner in the Lord urged you to walk worthy of the calling that you have received. As I mentioned earlier, the first first half, this is what God has done for me. Now the second half and we've begun it this is what God requires me, he requires a walk. He requires me to live my life. worthy of that calling. Worthy of, of Christ, to, to live my life for him, pleasing to Him. No longer. No longer Am I pleasing self. I'm pleasing Jesus, moving forward in other words, we are to believe the teachings of God. To trust in the promises of God and obey the commands of God. To have a walk worthy, worthy of that calling. For verse two with, with all humility and, and gentleness, with patience.

 

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Accepting one another in love. with all humility, it's the opposite of pride. Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up is the song we sing. the only the only way that we can walk with God is if we humble ourselves in the so in the in the ancient, the old heathen world, humility was not a virtue. So just Just a note on humility. It's someone said, it's evident when man sees his own unworthiness and weakness. Humility becomes evident when, when we understand how unworthy we are, how weak we are, we were in, we're in need of God. And we're, we're, we're worthless, so to speak. unworthy, unworthy of, of what we get from him. That, that brings about humility.

 

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Jesus taught a lesson on humility, when he bent over and washed the disciple’s feet. Probably one of the most humiliating acts that anyone could do. I'm sure there are people that would be very uncomfortable washing someone else's feet. It was needed back in that day and time. But it wasn't just something that anybody was willing to do. And yet the king of the world, the the Savior of the world, God come down from heaven, was willing to, to bow down to bend over and to wash his disciples’ feet. You remember when he was doing that? How uncomfortable Peter was? Peter, Peter was very uncomfortable you you'll you'll never wash my feet. Jesus said, You better you better let me you you can't be what you're going to be unless you let me do this. But Jesus's it was his, his. His lesson on humility was really a great one. And something for us to understand. Again, we sing that song, Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. we humble ourselves and he exalts us. If we exalt ourselves, we will be humbled. He brings up gentle gentleness here. In this version, another version would say meekness, meekness and gentleness would be the same. Meekness means to be to be angry at the right time. Never angry at the wrong time.

 

Strength brought under control is another definition of of meekness mo Moses is the is considered the the meekest on earth. And he saw Moses faced undeserved criticism and still did not get angry with the people. He He interceded to God on their behalf. He, he was the he was the go between memory that God was ready to, to kill them all in, in Numbers chapter 14 and and here comes Moses stepped in and said Oh, can you can you not do that? Can you? Can you give them another chance? Moses, this was this was Moses His gentleness, his meekness. It's the so it's the attitude the attitude of the mind whereby one bears, he bears the resentment or, or the or the action of others without, without wanting to get even without this need to retaliate, that's, that's meekness.

 

long suffering is in this list right here to long suffering. It means patient. It means being to suffer long. It's it never gives in. It gives folks chances after chance after chance. It it it remains steadfast to the end. It's about patience with people and it's God, God's The best example of that. I think most of us can, can understand how God has suffered long, personally speaking with each one of us. I mean, I can say it in my life, he, he is he suffered through a great deal of, of, of bitterness, just ugliness in my life, that he that he let me he let me get through it and suffered long through it. I need to be that way. I need to return that. I need to remember what he's what he suffered long in my life in dealing with others, in giving folks the benefit of doubt, in in not getting too harsh, too fast.

 

With someone it's a this long suffering spirit is one that it bears insult and injury without bitterness or complaint. It's it's a spirit that can it can be gracious toward unpleasant people. Accepting one another in love was the last part of this means to endure, to bear others to bear with them. To put up with them that said similar to the to the long suffering somebody you can you can put up with somebody and be boiling inside. But you, you you keep that in. You don't let it out. You don't you don't let that go. This, this was not what Paul was advocating. Paul is urging them to endure in love. The the the person who who is injured tries to pay no attention to it.

 

When when one is injured, he endures in love. He continues to to treat that other person in the right way. Even you know even even if you've not been asked to forgive this, this doesn't. This doesn't demand asking the other person asking for forgiveness. This is a this is an attitude that that just goes on. You know, the same attitude that Jesus had on the cross. He, they were, they were nailing him to the cross, they were mocking him, they were so ugly to him. And in the midst of that, he says, Father, forgive them, for they know what they know not what they do. This, this Forbearing one another in love or accepting one another and love is that it's that forgiving spirit. That forgiving spirit that, that forgive somebody before before they even repent.

 

Okay, verse three, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit, with the peace that binds us are in the bond of peace, keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Giving diligence one, one version says means to it means to make every effort to support is he's urging them to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. If they if they lived at peace with one another. The unity of the Spirit would be preserved. The Tie That Binds brethren together is love. Blessed be the tie that binds is that song that we sing. When When Christians love God, when they love Christ, when they love the Word of God, when they love the church, when they love one another. There will be unity and harmony in the bond of peace. This is this is what God wants from us. The unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

And oh, that we could have this today. Oh, that we can have this. With with all the denominations with all the with all the folks out there that that are claiming Christianity that are Krank claiming to love Jesus that are me leading together and worshiping together. And it's I mean, it's so splintered today of how many different groups are doing this. That's that's not what God wanted. He did not want that disunity. He wanted us to come together. He wanted us to be unified. But the Unity has to become, it has to come in the spirit. Meaning according to the Spirit, according to the Holy Spirit and what he's what he's told us that we must be unified. That's that's the big problem today.

 

The big problem today, and the reason that we have so many different churches is that folks are not going to the Spirit. That is the Word of God to bring about that unity there must be ground rules in order to have the unity that God wants. You know, folks can throw things out the window and and say, well just have unity at all costs. No, no, no ground rules that that doesn't work. That wouldn't work with it. That unity of the Spirit. The unity that comes from the Holy Spirit is going to come from here going to come from God's Word. And that's what he's going to do in the next two verses. Paul is going to tell us what the basis to that unity is. He's going to give us a broad set of ground rules that we have to agree upon.

 

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And it's the it's sometimes called the ones and you will you'll understand why when we read it. There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope At you're calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all, the seven ones, the seven ones of Ephesians. And we'll just we're getting toward the end here, I will, let's, let's touch on. Let's touch on that first one. And we'll have to, we'll have to get into deeper next time because it is deep, we're going to, we're going to talk about each one of these ones.

 

And again, understanding that they are the basis for the unity. We can't, we can't be unified unless we agree on the seven ones. That's, that's the whole point here. Diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. For there is one body, one spirit, just as you were called to one hope, at your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. I said we would go to one there, let's, let's not, let's close here. Before we close, I want you to notice in the ones in the seven ones, three of those seven ones are the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. One Spirit, one, Lord, one Father. So you've got the, in in those seven ones, we must agree on the Trinity, that is the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, the first, second and third members of the Godhead, are a part of that. A part of those ones, so seven ones, and again, next next time, we will get into each one particularly, will go into depth in each one of them. Because it's, it's very important. I mean, these, this, this is where the Unity begins. And we can't have unity without agreeing on the seven ones.

 

Let's, let's pray. Our dear God in heaven, again, we thank you for the blessings of life for for all all that you do for us for taking care of us and watching over us You're so good to us, dear God, and, and we thank you so much for, for for all that you do for us and especially for Jesus dear father, and and what he's done, to make all of this possible. We pray Dear God, that, that we can be unified that we will have that unity in the in the bond of peace help us to, to, to come together and to be unified and and we pray your blessing upon upon this message going out upon our community, upon communities all over the world, that they could come together in Christ and it's in his name that we pray, Amen.