Sermon in a Nutshell
I love listening to expository messages. I love the process of working my way through one book of the Bible allowing the words to saturate my being. When my hubby is preaching through a series, I find myself at mid-week going back to my notes and trying to remember the points from the previous week. This habit led me to consider a new blog series: Sermon in a Nutshell.
This week, I have also thrown in a playlist I created to accompany the first chapter of Ephesians. I am a bit eclectic…I like new music sprinkled in with a few familiar songs, so I hope you enjoy (see the playlist at the end)!
April 19, 2020 Sermon
#1: The Scriptures reveal the mysteries of Christ.
- Ephesians was a circular letter sent to a church at Ephesus and then delivered to other first-century churches. It is intended for our benefit.
- It matters a great deal who wrote the letter of Ephesians: his integrity, his trustworthiness, his reason for writing.
Does the author of Ephesians have ethos (credibility)? Yes!
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God. (Eph. 1:1)
He is an apostle of Jesus Christ: An apostle is one who is “sent,” carrying the idea of an ambassador of some kind, specifically he is one who represents Jesus Christ and speaks for Jesus. He is a special agent for Christ, bringing his message to these churches.
He is an apostle by the will of God: God chose him for this role. He is not a self-appointed apostle, but one God has sent. God appointed him. God commissioned him to this ministry.
What is Paul doing in Ephesians?
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Eph. 3:1-6)
Paul’s hope in this letter is for his readers to receive this revelation in order to have real knowledge of God (the greatest mystery of the universe) and in turn, delight in the goodness of God.
#2: The Scriptures reveal the mystery of you.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 1:2)
Paul is writing to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus. Suddenly, we feel out of place in this conversation. Ever been there?
Saints means holy ones (those made holy and righteous in Christ), those who are set apart for God’s service.
Our faithfulness is in Christ Jesus, not in ourselves. We have nothing to boast in.
We need to operate from a place of humility and confidence, walking as children, not as strangers. Everything has been given to us. You belong here. You belong before your Father and that’s what Ephesians is helping people understand. Gentiles belong. We are one in Christ (Eph. 3:6; 4:4-6).
#3: The Scriptures reveal the mystery of Love.
This letter itself is a means of grace and peace and those who receive it in faith will experience this reality.
The revealing of Christ is an act of love.
We know of God’s love by the cross.
We know of the cross through the Scriptures.