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Ephesians Mark's Sermon copy

Ephesians 6:23-24
Displaying the Triumph of God
Foundation 2.22.19
Message of Eph: Display of the Triumph of God in Christ thru the Church over the cosmic enemies
The message of this book is that God Wins and he wins in Christ thru the church
The lens thru which I’ve suggested we understand the book is 3:8-11read
This passage is the nucleus of the entire book, every paragraph in the entire letter is attached to these verses and so we must understand how the theme of God triumphing over his enemies in Christ thru the church permeates every paragraph in this letter
Paul divides this drama of God’s triumph into 2 acts
The first act is in chs 1-3 & the second in chs 4-6
Paul first unveils the Plan of God to triumph over his enemies and then he rotates the searchlight onto the People of God who display God’s Triumph
The First Act is The Plan of God
A) As the curtain parts for the presentation of the first scene, the spotlight falls onto the Messengers of God (1:1-2)—Paul the author and the saints of God
Paul sits down to write this letter from a prison in Rome
It was around the year 58 that was made his way into Jerusalem and was quickly arrested (Acts 21) and he would spend the next 4 years in custody, first in Caesarea, 2 years later he is transferred to a prison in Rome as he travels on a ship (Acts 27)
Paul would’ve spent months and months on a similar type of ship during his 30 years of ministry, spreading the gospel from city after city,
As Paul sits to write Col-Eph-Philemon-Philip, he cant help but remember his journey and it sparks an analogy in his mind that he would apply to himself in these opening words that he pens to the Ephesians
You see the ship that Paul traveled on was a cargo ship that cruised the ancient seas delivering valuable goods, carrying grain, olive oil, and all sorts agricultural products from one Roman city to another
The ship had a single purpose=>deliver the goods
As Paul reflects on his life, he finds an analogy in this image which perfectly describes his life ambition and so he adopts the word apostle” for himself that was used in classical Greek to describe a cargo ship
He saw himself on a mission to deliver the goods of the gospel of JC from city to city
The term apostle captures his identity, his mission, his aim in life that he’s doing for Christ Jesus by the will of God
This is a statement of ownership and possession
He is a fully authorized delegate and ambassador carrying the message on behalf of his sender and his authority comes from God himself
In 3:1 Paul refers to himself as a prisoner of JC (3:1, 13, 4:1, 6:20)
But Paul is also steward (3:2) and servant (3:7)
App: so often we define ourselves by our birthplace, alma mater, careers, zip code, education.
But Paul found his identity in being an envoy on behalf of JC because he understood that he was sent by God just as JC was sent by God
JC is a servant (Mk10:45) and apostle (Hb 3:1)
App: Your identity should be rooted in our understanding of God’s plan for the world and your role in that plan
Paul identified himself as a prisoner, steward, servant, and cargo carrier for Christ
3:1-prisoner for the sake of the gentiles
3:2-stewardship given to me for you
App: 3:1-do you view yourself as a messenger for the benefit of others?
Paul says 4x in ch 3
for the gentiles 3:1, 8
for you in 3:2
3:9-to make all men see
1219201090530The Gospel; PresentationGospel > Gospel Class >00The Gospel; PresentationGospel > Gospel Class >The Gospel; PresentationGospel > Gospel Class >The Gospel; PresentationGospel > Gospel Class >When we understand that we are stewards, servants, cargo carriers of the gospel of JC for JC then all that matters is that we would be found faithful for elsewhere Paul says that: it is required of stewards that they may be found faithful (1 cor 4:1)
The Gospel; Presentation
Gospel > Gospel Class >
The Gospel; Presentation
Gospel > Gospel Class >
The greatest commendation you can hear when your life is over, the most honorable epitaph that can mark your life is: well done, good and faithful servant
Trans: In the first act in the first scene Paul introduces the messengers in the Plan of God who will display the Triumph of God
And so in Eph 1:1 Paul says the saints in Eph are faithful in Christ Jesus
Your identify is rooted in JC…Paul says you are untied to JC and now your life is wrapped up in his
Because of this intimacy, you’re to be faithful
Paul moves from himself to the saints who are going to read his letter and says that the first thing that should characterize your life is your faithfulness…Its all about your faithfulness
As Paul reflects on this responsibility, he says in v3:7-it is the gift of God’s grace
App: Do you see your responsibility as the Gospel carrier as a gift? You are the mailman, you are the delivery man, you have one main job for the duration of your life—deliver the gospel from one soul to another.
How do you approach your job as a gospel carrier? Like Paul, it’s a gift, the same type of gift that resulted in your salvation (2:8, 3:2, 7, 8), Paul uses the same exact word…you see your if you are thankful for your gift of salvation then you will delight in extending that same gift to others
Trans: sometimes we aren’t excited about the responsibility of spreading the gospel because we don’t fully understand the depth of the benefit we are carrying…
The gospel message extends beyond our little worlds into the cosmic triumph of God
The gospel message is all about the cosmic triumph of God in Christ that is displayed in the church…listen to the purpose statement again: 3:10-11
God is doing something greater than our personal redemption, he is redeeming the entire cosmos
And God is using the church as the poster child to display his brilliant plan of the drama of redemption
**Humanity is not at the center of God’s plan of salvation,
the display of God’s wisdom & grace is central
And the audience in v10 is principalities and powers in the heavenly places
There is a cosmic battle that has been waging since the beginning of the world
00From the conflict that commenced in Gen 3:15 God promised to make enmity between Satan’s offspring and the promised seed of the MessiahFrom the conflict that commenced in Gen 3:15 God promised to make enmity between Satan’s offspring and the promised seed of the MessiahFrom the conflict that commenced in Gen 3:15 God promised to make enmity between Satan’s offspring and the promised seed of the MessiahFrom the conflict that commenced in Gen 3:15 God promised to make enmity between Satan’s offspring and the promised seed of the MessiahThe common Jewish understanding of Paul’s day was that supernatural powers have been entrusted with certain responsibilities in the cosmos but they have rebelled against God and have hijacked the rule for themselves (Jub 11:4-6; 10:7-9, 15:31-32)
From the conflict that commenced in Gen 3:15 God promised to make enmity between Satan’s offspring and the promised seed of the Messiah
From the conflict that commenced in Gen 3:15 God promised to make enmity between Satan’s offspring and the promised seed of the Messiah
Eph 6:12--cosmic rulers-lit. cosmos grabbers (Gombis 47)
14 Sept.2022 @ 07.41
The rulers of this world are trying to grasp the world away from God
In Ephesus this happened thru the worship of 50 different gods (ZECNT, 33)
But the main deity was Artemis
The primary structure of the city was the temple of Artemis, it was the largest building in antiquity (IMAGE)
One of the 7 wonders of the ancient world
She was the queen of heaven who also had power over earth and the underworld
Paul’s gospel intrudes into this spiritual world with the gospel of cosmic reconciliation and God’s triumph in Christ over all powers and demons
The gospel made such an impact on Ephesus that in Acts 19 we read that the people burned 50,000/days pieces of silver worth of magical books=$5M=250,000 books ($20/book)
They used to call Artemis kuria, now they call Jesus kurios (LORD)
They used to call her “savior” (soteira) now JC is the savior (soter)
Col 2:15 [God] had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
JC defeated them at the cross and took them captive but while the first deathblow has been dealt, their final defeat is yet to come
Victory is certain, submission of all of Christ’s enemies is definite and you and I are delegates sent into this world to declare this victory
Ephesians unveils how God triumphs over the ancient cosmic enemies in Christ thru the church
You see back in 1:10 Paul said that God is summing up all things in JC The point of the Gospel, to bring all of creation under the submission of JC
Here in 3:9-10 he uses the same three words to now show HOW that consummation in Christ takes place…through the formation of the church
App: do you see what is happening here?
God is in the process of reconciling the entire cosmos thru Christ, for Christ, and in Christ
And the way he is doing it is thru the church
App: This is where your identity needs to be wrapped in. This is gives you purpose and meaning in life. You matter in the plan of God
You exist to be the billboard of God’s glorious grace and his manifold wisdom to the natural and supernatural world of God reconciling humanity and all of creation is being reconciled in JC
Your spiritual existence consists in more than just bible reading, its more than just one prayer a day, your Christian life entails you being rescued in the most dramatic rescue operation ever conceived in order to display the Rescuer to the watching cosmos
To make known NOW to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places through the church the manifold wisdom of God
God wants to use you NOW as a poster child of his wisdom to the defeated spiritual powers who have hijacked God’s creation but JC triumphed over them on the cross
God is showing you off to the cosmos because of what he did in you and what he is doing thru you
God is using you to restore the world back into its proper order
B) And he has chosen us as his messengers to proclaim the Redemption of God (1:3-15)
The entire trinity is involved in the redemption plan of the messengers who will speak for God
God developed the plan
JC executed the plan
HS applies the plan
So that entire trinity would be praised (1:6, 12, 14)
And in response to this majestic truth of trinitarian engagement in your redemption, Paul prays v18-that you would understand what God has done
C) The Knowledge of God (1:15-23)
Paul prays that every messenger for God would understand this power that resurrected JC and elevated him to the highest level of authority
You are God’s inheritance, he is awaiting to receive you as you await your own inheritance from your parents…God values you and cant wait for you to be seated with Christ in heaven in a position of rule and authority
Why does God want us to understand this power?
D) The Grace of God (2:1-10)
Because in 2:1-10 he says that his power brought you back from the dead (2:4) SO THAT 2:7 in the ages to come he might display the surpassing riches of his grace
You and I are resurrected from the dead and rescued from Satan’s grasp to be eternal posters that display the riches of his Grace
This grace is on display in our lives because it granted us new life (resurrected from spiritual death to life), new destiny (seated with Christ to show off his grace for eternity), new purpose (2:10-to perform good works for his glory)
What is the venue in which we perform the majority of these good works today? =>Church
E) Household of God (2:11-22)
In God’s mysterious plan he kept secret the revelation of the church as the new entity which will join the Jews and the Gentiles into the people of God
In the OT, entrance into the people of God required membership in Israel
In the New Cov, thru the blood of Christ (2:13-14) we have peace with each other and we are now the people of God and we are being built up (2:22) as a residence of the presence of the HS
God promised that he would indwell his people and he does so corporately in the church
Trans: As Paul transitions to the next scene, he says that he is willing to be imprisoned for this message because it displays the multifaceted wisdom of God
F) Wisdom of God (3:1-13)
Paul is in awe of this message and that he would be gifted the opportunity (he says this in 3:7) to be a herald of the unfathomable riches of Christ
The cacophony of Paul’s suffering and constraint in his imprisonment with the display of the wisdom of God spotlights the Triumph of God unlike anything else
The weakness & limitation of mankind creates a backdrop for the majestic display of the power of God
**That’s why God chooses the unimpressive, the non-elite, the normal people to proclaim his wisdom to portray his power
As Paul says autobiographically in 2 Cor 12:9: power is perfected in weakness…I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me
**Your life was given to you so that it may be a backdrop against which the power of God radiates more majestically
Quote: Let the name of George Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified.
App: If God takes away your flourishing career, so be it. If God takes away your global ministry, so be it. If God limits your influence, so be it. The only thing you and I are to be concerned about is the unsearchable riches of Christ (3:8)
This is the point of your life and this is how your life can best display the wisdom of God to the watching world and cosmic powers
G) The Power of God (3:14-21)
And Paul’s response to this privilege is to get on his knees and beg God for his power to be unleashed in our lives
In this passage we see that God displays his Triumph by having the entire trinity enter your life and work in you
The HS renews you, JC dwells in your heart so you would always remember his sovereign love and the Father comes into your life and shapes you so that you fully manifest the character of God to the world
As Paul is about to draw the curtain on the first Act and dim the lights on the Plan of God to Display his triumph, I imagine Paul’s hand trembling a little as he contemplates what he is about to write in vv20-21and then he thinks, I’m going for it, and he dips his pen into the ink and writes vv20-21read
Paul pens a word that challenges God to demonstrate his power in our lives that Paul couldn’t even ask for because he coudn't imagine the kind of power he was asking God to unleash in your life
Paul says, ask the unthinkable, ask the unimageable, ask for the infinite power of God to be channeled toward you and those around you to accomplish infinitely powerful acts for the glory of God
App: ask God to exceed your expectations. ask God to show you such amazing things from his word, to experience the love of Christ afresh, to have the HS chisel away all rough edges in your life you with such precision that you are amazed at what is crafted by the HS
As the curtain drops, this is the last scene Paul wants your eyes to capture—God’s gloriously rich, infinite, super abundant power unleashed in your life to accomplish such things thru you in our study, church, your family, thru your ministry and missionary efforts that all the results are beyond your current wildest imagination
Trans: Paul ends on such a majestic note because of what comes in the 2nd Act—the Display of God’s Triumph in the People of God chs 4-6
The Second Act is The People of God
As the curtain is drawn, Paul now features the People of God in motion
Paul reaches back to Gen 5:24 to harness an image that functions as an analogy for the Christian life as we walk with God as Enoch walked with God until God took him home
Paul deploys this image in 6 scenes that feature 6 categories in the Christian life that faithfully displays the Triumph of God
Life of Unity 4:1-16
The first expression of God’s triumph in your life is that you are in peace with other believers
v2-Your life is characterized by all humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and love
v4-6 Our lives are characterized by unity because we all belong to the same body-church, we have the same HS, live for the same hope, we submit to the same Lord, we believe the same gospel, we have publicly associated ourselves with JC thru the same public symbol-baptism, and we have the same God and Father who is over all and through all and in all
And together we labor toward the same goal: v12b-13, 16b read
The way we contribute to the unity of the church and the maturity of the church is by pursuing maturity initially which is the focus of the next scene
Life of Holiness 4:17-32
We don’t walk as the gentiles whose lives are consumed with sins of the mind, mouth, emotions, and actions
Instead we speak truth, we have righteous anger over sin, we work diligently, we have wholesome conversations—v29read—every word that we say is edifying wholesome, gracious, it builds up the listener not tear them down
Col 4:6 says let your speech always be with grace
Because when it is not, 4:30-we grieve the HS by whom we are sealed for the day of redemption
The way we counter any temptation to sinful and unwholesome speech is by having a gracious disposition 4:31-32read
This kind of disposition is rooted in our remembrance that we were enemies of God but he forgave us in Christ and God’s forgiveness of all the sins we had done and will ever do against him was rooted in his love for us which should prompt us toward a life of love
Life of Love 5:1-6
Our lives will radiate love toward others if we follow the model of loveChrist’s sacrifice for us on the cross and if we flee the misrepresentation of love that is trapped in human obsession with self that often becomes evident in immoral thoughts and actions and in impure speech
Paul says the Christian’s love and life is to be so far from this perversion of love that v3-these things should not even be named among the saints
And v7-we should not participate in these deeds of darkness but instead walk in the light
Life of Light 5:7-14
We live in the light because we have a
new nature-we are light in the lord v8
new master-v10=we are pleasing the lord not the prince of this age, and
new commission (5:11-14)=we preach the gospel of light into the dark world so v11-we have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness but our lives are now in the light
Life of Wisdom 5:15-21
The way we walk in the light is by living a life of wisdom, living carefully and circumspectly by
Being stewards of our time 5:15-16
Being students of God’s will (5:17)
Being slaves of the HS (5:18-21)
We recognize that we will give an account for every moment of our lives and so we adopt J Edwards’ life motto: "Resolved, never to lose one moment of time." how? “God, stamp eternity on my eyelids."
We pray along with Moses in Ps 90:12-"teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom."
We’ll offer God a wise life if we submit ourselves to the HS’s guidance in every compartment of our lives which takes us to the primary relationships in our lives
Husbands love their wives with the same sacrificial love that JC loved his bride the church.
Men are called to lead their wives and women are called to follow.
Not because they are somehow deficient or less rational or more emotional or as if they lack a sense of reason or ability
The Bible does not present women in any way subservient or deficient to men’s abilities.
In fact, if you read the OT stories of Deborah, Abigail, Jael, Sarah, Prov 31 woman and others you can see them acting wisely and rationally and cleverly to improve their family or society
Paul writes in Gal 3:28-There is no female or male in God’s church…no gender is superior, there is no gender inequality in God’s creation of man and woman…we have different roles we fulfill.
From the beginning of human civilization, God intended for the man to lead and the woman to follow
And when Satan shows up to tempt, in Gen 3, in v 6 there is a little Hebrew word “with” that indicates that Adam was present for the temptation
He wasn’t swinging on trees or talking to other animals…he stood by and watched Satan undermine God’s original intent for male-female order and he did not step in the way of Eve and defend her and because Satan addressed his lies toward Eve, 1 Tim 2 says she was deceived
But get this, Rom 5 says that sin entered into the world thru Adam and in Gen 3 when God comes looking for answers on what happened, he asks Adam because he is the leader
God has always seen man and woman as complementing each other because Gen 2 says that it wasn’t good that man was alone, the one flesh imagery suggests completion
Singleness for life for the sake of ministry is an exception not the rule and God gives extra grace (its called a gift in 1 Cor 7) to those who remain single
Equality does not mean we are identical…the world may assume that equality means sameness but in God’s plan there is a difference that is to be celebrated
You know what analogy the Bible uses to explain the difference in roles? The trinity.
In 1 Cor 11 Paul speaks of man’s leadership in the church and he says its like God is the head of JC…does that mean that JC is less God, no, but he has a different role to fulfill and then in John 16 we see that JC has authority over the HS, so is the HS a weaker and less able member of the trinity?
That’s blasphemy.
So in Eph 5 Paul says that the way we display the triumph of God in our lives is by recognizing the complementary roles we are too fulfill as men and women and celebrating them instead of mocking, demeaning, abusing one gender or the other or assuming one is more rational, less emotional, and somehow better than the other gender
Trans Paul says that Gods triumphant work in our lives trickles down to our interaction with our parents and our employers
We honor both, we submit to both as if we are submitting directly to the Lord
Trans: But before Paul draws the curtain for the last time in portraying the drama of God’s redemption, he returns to the scene of war
Life of War 6:10-24
Paul reminds us that we are not passive observers in the battle with sin & Satan
The battle is severe and rages on and so Paul challenges us 4x to stand firm and resist the devil
We are dressed in the armor, we are withstanding the attacks of the same powers that JC defeated who have diverted their attention for a season on us as combatants for Christ
Victory is certain. God will be triumphant, the first deathblow has been made but the battle isn’t over
Rm 16:20 promises that JC will crush Satan under your feet
Christian; God rescued you, he delivered you, he justified you, he declared you not guilty, he saved you, and will one day glorify you
Until that day, God calls you to fight against your evil desires, fight against the world’s temptation, fight against anything that may distract you from being used by God to display God’s triumph through Christ in your life
It is ironic that in a letter that is filled with language of cosmic warfare and a war that has been waging since the dawn of human civilization, Paul ends with farewell words that stress Peace
Paul’s final words in 6:23-24 are the same as his opening words back in 1:2: Grace and Peace
Even though life at times feels like a category 5 storm, you remain tranquil because God’s grace sustains you
God picked you out, he breathed life into you, adopted you, elevated you to sit in heaven with his son the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and this God channels all of his power toward you, power that is as grand and majestic as the glory that fills the world, and this power is at work in you as the entire Trinity is laboring to make you the perfect representative of His triumphant message
You see we don’t merely proclaim a crucified Savior, we broadcast a Triumphant King
You are called to waive the banner of Christus Victor as you pass thru this world
This calling is worth committing to. This message is worth proclaiming. This story is worth living and dying for.
Display the triumph of God in Christ over the cosmic powers thru your life
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