2013 Sermon Series
- June 2, 2013
Theme: We have adequate, divine resources to fulfill Christ’s mission in a way that honors Him.
Ephesians 3:1-13 is a “parenthesis” in Paul’s letter that redefines the content of 2:11-22. It clarifies what we’ve been given in the mystery of God. This mystery is essentially taking two separate entities, Jew and Gentile, and making one family out of all who own Jesus Christ as their Lord (1 Peter 2:9). The single purpose of this one family is to let the whole world know about Jesus (John 17:20-21).
The Second Resource: The Proposal of the Gospel
The tense of the verb “revealed” in verse 5 indicates a past event but emphasizes the present. This gives it a sense of urgency. Every Christian should have an urgency that comes from God’s Spirit to spread the Gospel.
Paul carried a divinely urgent message, that there are no more barriers between Jew and Gentile. This was as revolutionary as Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” speech, and in fact more so because it had eternal spiritual implications! This received understandable resistance from the Jews, who had ignored many Old Testament notices that the Messiah would also come to the Gentiles (see Psalm 72, Isaiah 11:10, and Isaiah 49:6 for examples). As Christians, we should be exclusive in our message (only Jesus can save) but never exclusionary in who we share the Gospel with or welcome to church.
God’s Gospel proposal is that all are invited to His new family. As fellow heirs, all are welcomed into the same legal status before God. As fellow members, all are linked together in normal church life with every other soul that is in Christ. Many believe that Paul coined the word he uses here for “members,” to describe a new type of relationship that had never existed before! The word “partakers” combines the two ideas. All are joint sharers of the promise and the gift; all are on the board of directors.
There is a reason that God put you in His family and this church. You have an eternal purpose here. You should expect to reproduce yourself spiritually and to help others do the same, to get connected with the family. There is no greater joy than to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world!
- Are you pursuing the one purpose of the unified family God has created?
- Have you committed to pray to win one soul for Christ this year?
- What intentional steps is God leading you to take toward that goal?
A Hymn to Encourage:
“Chosen as His Children” by Paul Keew, text drawn from 1 Peter 1:1-2:10.
Chosen by the Father’s mercy, set apart to serve His Son,
Sanctified by His own Spirit— Praise the Holy Three in One!
Saved by resurrection power, shielded in His faithful love;
Now no enemy can tarnish my inheritance above!
I’m born again!
I’m God’s own chosen child of mercy!
Born again – what love and grace!
Father, keep me walking worthy
‘Til I look upon Your face.
Led by wisdom into suff’ring, grieved by many trials below,
Yet rejoicing in His purpose, that my faith as gold may glow.
Granted faith for overcoming, filled with love for Christ unseen;
Even angels cannot fathom what salvation God will bring!
Fixed upon this hope completely, as obedient children fear;
For the Holy One who called you purchased you with blood so dear.
Born anew from seed eternal, by His lovingkindness spurred,
Lay aside all tasteless yearnings— crave the true and living Word!
Built on Christ, the sure foundation, we are free from guilt and shame;
He is fitting us together as a house to praise His name!
We are chosen as God’s people, called from darkness into light;
O what mercy now entreats us to proclaim His glories bright!