PAUL’S CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH

Intro: A new direction for the book of Ephesians is revealed in its fourth chapter. In verse 1, the word "therefore" indicates this modification. "This is what I want you to do because of what I have said," Paul is saying.
The first few chapters of this book are, in my opinion, among the Bible's most exciting and profound. Paul provides a wonderful inventory of divine truth in just 66 chapters. I don't want to repeat the verses we've studied, but I do want to briefly remind you of the glorious truths we've learned. Paul has emphasized doctrine in the book's first three chapters. We have been hearing him explain the fundamental truths we hold. Additionally, he has been instructing us regarding our position within the Lord Jesus Christ. Permit me to provide a brief synopsis of the significant truths that we have already encountered throughout this book. In Christ, God chose us before the world was made (Eph. 1:4. Through Jesus, God has blessed us all spiritually - Eph. 1:3. We will one day be like Jesus and with Jesus, according to God's plan (Eph. 1:5; 11-12. We are accepted by God because of Jesus (Eph. 1:6. God demonstrated the cleansing power of Christ's blood—Eph. 1:7. We were dead in our sins and headed to Hell when God reached out to us - Eph. 2:1-4. We were loved by God—Eph. 2:4. We were given life by God (Eph. 2:5. Eph. says that God has secured our future. 2:6-7. According to Ephesians, God has secured our salvation. 2:8-9. In Jesus, God has given us a new life—Eph. 2:10. In Jesus, God has united Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-18. From those who believe the Gospel, God has created a new race (Eph. 2:19-22. God wants to utilize us, favor us and show the heavenly secret of His never-ending effortlessness and love - Eph. 3:1-21. The first three chapters of this book consist of everything I just mentioned and more. In conclusion, in the first three chapters, Paul focuses on three significant truths. He writes about how God reconciled people who had been alienated from Him. He writes about how God brought Jews and Gentiles together in the person of His Son and reconciled them. He writes about how God also redeemed Gentiles and Jews and created a new people out of them, the body of Christ. We learn about who Jesus is and everything the Lord has given us by His grace through each of these profound truths. Paul's perspective changes at this point. When Paul uses the word "therefore," he is pointing us back to everything he has written previously and stating that everything he has written previously requires a particular response. Paul moves away from doctrine and toward duty. From positional truth to practical truth, he has changed. He shifts our focus from what we believe to how we should act. Paul alternates between exposition and exhortation. He shifts from theory to practice. Paul now tells us how we are supposed to behave after describing who we are and what we are supposed to believe. Moreover, Paul employs this strategy numerous times throughout the New Testament. Doctrinal themes run through Romans' first eleven chapters. “I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,” he writes in Romans 12:1. In Gal., the same pattern appears. 5:1; Phil. 2:1-2; Col. 3:5; and one Thes 4:1. Many people have forgotten what Paul knows: Doctrine is the source of duty! What we believe to be true will always determine how we act in life. The principles we hold to be true will always guide our actions. To put it another way, if we want to act right, we need to believe right. Proper living necessitates the right doctrine! We will not be able to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord until we reach a point where we have a complete comprehension of the Bible's teachings. We will neglect our duty to serve the Lord as long as our doctrine is lacking. As a result, Paul shifts his focus from teaching us doctrine to teaching us our responsibilities as believers. He wants us to understand that our actions should reflect who we are. He wants us to know that our behavior in front of God should be determined by our beliefs about God. I would like to draw your attention to Paul's Challenge to the Church as we begin our study of the second chapter of Ephesians. We can relate to a few aspects of this challenge in terms of our daily walk. Pay attention to Paul's Challenge to the Church with me. I. THIS CHALLENGE IS PERSONAL Paul says, "I...beseech you..." The use of the word "you" serves as a reminder that Paul is addressing an individual. Even though this book was written nearly 2,000 years ago for the Ephesian church, it could just as easily have been handed to everyone in this room today. Therefore, keep in mind that the things we will examine today and all the way through the book were not only written to saints two millennia ago; rather, they were written to us as well! They are written to us to push us to be the best versions of ourselves in the Lord Jesus Christ. The word "beseech" has many different meanings. "to call to one's side, to summon;" is the meaning. to encourage, plead, and console; to encourage and empower oneself through consolation; to instruct, or to instruct. "I come alongside you to strengthen you through instruction," Paul is saying. to inspire you to follow your heart; to be your friend, guide you, and comfort you. The same word that is translated "Comforter" four times in John's Gospel is the root of the word "beseech." According to John 14:16-18, "16 And I will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" 17 the very spirit of truth; whom the world cannot accept because it neither sees nor knows: But you know him; because he is a part of you and will be in you. 18 I won't let you feel helpless: I'll get there for you. Being our "Comforter" is one aspect of the Holy Spirit's ministry. He comes alongside the saints of God like a trusted friend to provide, among other things, support, encouragement, consolation, instruction, teaching, comfort, and exhortation. He carries out this ministry in an effort to support our spiritual development. He does this to conform us to Jesus Christ more. He does it to push us to be the best versions of ourselves in the Lord. You have experienced and benefited from the Holy Spirit's personal and powerful ministry if you are saved. This ought to encourage us, by the way! "I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans)," as Jesus stated in John 14:18, I'll get there for you. We are not alone in this world! The Holy Spirit is there to assist us in becoming everything the Lord saved us to be. John 14:17 says that He is in us and that He will never leave us. One way the Lord Jesus fulfills His promise to His people in Hebrew is through that. Matt. 13:5, "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." “... lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” says verse 20 of 28:20. However, Paul, a saint, is the one who provides consolation, encouragement, and strength, and not the Spirit of God. This brings to light a crucial fact. Even though the Spirit of God acts as a comforter in our lives, we are still obligated to support one another and help each other reach our full potential in Christ. A true friend will fall in love with you: To motivate: "22 Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the church that was in Jerusalem:" In order for Barnabas to reach Antioch, they sent him out. 23 Who, when he arrived and witnessed God's grace, was glad and exhorted them all to seek the Lord with all their heart. 24 He was a good man who believed and was filled with the Holy Spirit: and many more people joined the Lord,” Acts 11:22–24. To restore: "1 Brethren, ye who are spiritual, restore such a man in the spirit of meekness if he be overcome by a fault;" Take into account yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Accept one another's burdens and live up to the commandments of Christ,” Gal. 6:1-2. To challenge: "11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I stood up to him in the face because he was to blame." 12 He ate with the Gentiles before that certain word from James: However, when they arrived, he withdrew and separated himself out of fear of the circumcised. 13 The other Jews also disagreed with him; so much so that their dissimulation carried Barnabas along with it. 14 But I said to Peter in front of them all, "If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compelst thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel." Gal. 2:11-14. “ A friend's wounds are faithful; However, the kiss of an adversary is deceptive,” Pro. 27:6. To Educate: "24 And a certain Jew by the name of Apollos, who was born in Alexandria and was powerful in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus." 25 The Lord showed this man the right way to go; He spoke and diligently taught about the Lord, knowing only John's baptism, and he was spiritually fervent. 26 Then he started speaking out loud in the synagogue: Acts 18:24–26 says, "They took him to them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly, when Aquila and Priscilla had heard." To assist: "You shall not see your brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide yourself from them: Deuteronomy says, "thou shalt surely aid him in raising them again." 22:4. “ My young children, let us not love with words or language; but in truth and deed,” John 3:18. Someone like Paul is a genuine friend. A true friend is someone who won't let you live below standard. A true friend is someone who comes alongside you "to exhort, to entreat, to comfort;" they help you become more like Jesus. to encourage and empower oneself through consolation; to instruct, or to instruct. Therefore, Paul's challenge is a personal one. It was as if a trusted friend had approached them, wrapped his arm around them, and said, "Listen, I want to tell you about everything God has given to you in Jesus Christ, and I want to help you live up to your true potential in Jesus." I'm here to assist. I am here to help. You will learn from me here. I have your back. Your friend is me. The fact that we have such a friend in the Holy Spirit is such a comfort. Having friends of that nature in your life is truly a blessing. Being that kind of friend to someone else is such a testimony! I. The Personality of This Challenge II Despite the fact that this challenge is personal, it is also powerful. Paul reminds them that he is a prisoner in Rome when he says, "I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you..." However, he wants them to be aware that he is not Rome's prisoner. He wants them to be aware that He is "the Lord's prisoner." The difference is enormous! Paul was not imprisoned by iron or bars. The ties of love held him captive. He was Christ's prisoner. In Ephesians, Paul stated this. 3:1. "one held in bonds" is the meaning of the word "prisoner." Paul wants his readers to understand that, despite the fact that he was in a Roman prison, the Lord Jesus Christ actually had custody of him. Paul became the Lord's property when he converted to Christianity. Paul could be used however the Lord saw fit. Paul was used by God. Through his pen, he wrote 14 New Testament books. By the way, the majority of them were written while Paul was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. Paul was sent by God to plant churches in numerous major cities at the time. Even though Paul spent a lot of his time in prison, God used him in big ways. Even though Rome had the key to Paul's cell, God determined the length of his chains! Paul does not claim to be a prisoner in order to win their sympathy. He is not attempting to provoke any kind of emotional response. Consider the source of this challenge, he is saying. I am not requesting anything from you that you are not already doing. I am not attempting to persuade you of anything that I already hold to be true. He's saying, "Take a look at me! I hold these beliefs, and the course of my life has been shaped by them." He is not bringing Caesar's chains into the spotlight; He is bringing Christ's chains to light! On the way to Damascus, Jesus imprisoned Paul, and he never desired to be released from his captivity. Paul had no free will because he was under the Lord's control. He lacked his own rights. He had no other plans. Through the eyes of the Lord Jesus, he saw everything. Paul was held captive by God to such an extent that everything he thought, planned, did, said, or did not do was carried out in accordance with the will of the one who held Paul captive. 1 Cor. says that he did everything for God's glory. 10:31. Paul is merely instructing us by telling us that he is actually living the life he is challenging us to live. Even though Paul is imprisoned in Rome, the fact that he continues to live this way gives this challenge weight and power. The person who wins this challenge also matters. A hypocrite who encourages others to live one way while leading another is no laughing matter. No, this is the holy Apostle who inspires others to live lives similar to those of Christ. Moreover, before we exhort others to live a certain way, we must ensure that our own life is in line with our exhortation. The words of a hypocrite, on the other hand, are nothing more than empty words; as devoid of contact information as a hermit's address book I. This Challenge Is Personal II. Thirdly, this challenge is potent. The challenge posed by Paul is straightforward. "...that we walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called," he declares. "to walk around" is what the word "walk" means. It's about how a person "regulates" their life. It refers to "our conduct, or how we live day to day," to put it simply. Moreover, that "walk" of the world will play a significant role throughout the remainder of this book. Paul instructs us to "walk worthy." The term "worthy" is a fascinating one. "to balance the scales" is the meaning. To raise the other arm of the scales is the literal translation. The concept of "adding something of equal value" is present in it. "A calling, an invitation" is the meaning of the word "vocation." It mostly refers to our "divine invitation to embrace God's free offer of salvation through Christ" in this passage. As a result, Paul instructs us to "live our lives in such a way that we balance the scales by adding something of equal value to what we have been given in Jesus." In Jesus Christ, we have been given everything. In Ephesians 1:1–21, Paul has been discussing this. Permit me to remind you once more! In Christ, God chose us before the world was made (Eph. 1:4. Through Jesus, God has blessed us all spiritually - Eph. 1:3. We will one day be like Jesus and with Jesus, according to God's plan (Eph. 1:5; 11-12. We are accepted by God because of Jesus (Eph. 1:6. God demonstrated the cleansing power of Christ's blood—Eph. 1:7. We were dead in our sins and headed to Hell when God reached out to us - Eph. 2:1-4. We were loved by God—Eph. 2:4. We were given life by God (Eph. 2:5. Eph. says that God has secured our future. 2:6-7. According to Ephesians, God has secured our salvation. 2:8-9. In Jesus, God has given us a new life—Eph. 2:10. In Jesus, God has united Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-18. From those who believe the Gospel, God has created a new race (Eph. 2:19-22. Eph. says that God wants to use us, bless us, and show us the divine mystery of His everlasting love and grace. 3:1-21. That's all doctrine! We learn who we are and what we have in Jesus from all of that. God placed it on one side of the scale when He gave us all that and more. Now that we are saved and understand this doctrine, we have a responsibility. We are responsible for balancing the scales. How do we achieve that? We accomplish this by submitting to God's Word and living lives that are consistent with the teachings we have received. In the coming weeks, we'll talk more about it, but for now, let me direct you to Phil. According to 1:27, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:" that regardless of whether I come to see you or not, I may learn about your affairs so that you can persevere in unison and work toward the gospel faith together. We are required to lead lives that reflect well on the gospel. When God saved us, He changed us, and we are called to live lives that reflect that. 2 Corinthians tells us to be different. 5:17; to keep holy, 1 Peter 1:16; to follow in Jesus' footsteps, 1 John 2:6. Paul's challenge is extremely applicable. "God has tipped the scales with His blessings," he is merely stating. For everything He has done for you, you owe a lot to Him. Do everything in your power to live in a way that evens the scales now that He has called you to Jesus and saved you by His grace. We are aware that we will never be able to repay the Lord for everything He has done for us and given us in Jesus Christ. Fortunately, He doesn't tell us to. The only thing He asks of us is that we live lives that reflect who He is, what He has done for us, and what He has given us in Jesus Christ. Conc: I admit that this frightens me. When I take a moment to reflect on everything that I have in the Lord Jesus Christ—and I have only scratched the surface of it so far today—I come to the conclusion that I am far behind in loving Him and living for Him as I ought to. However, it is my responsibility to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith" I am "called." It is my responsibility to try to balance the scales! I am obligated to practice the light doctrine. It is my responsibility to ensure that my actions adhere to His ideals. It is my responsibility to ensure that my actions reflect my beliefs. That is my responsibility as a Christian and ours as a church! As we draw to a close, take Heb. 11. Many of the great heroes and heroines of the faith are introduced to us in that significant chapter. Numerous individuals, including Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, and Rahab. But, if you pay attention, Heb. 11:32-38. God says in verse 38 that the world wasn't "worthy of them." Friends, it's the same word! The Lord, His will, and the ultimate objective of Heaven were the focus of these saints. They didn't walk with the world in their sights. The world also did not deserve to have these saints in its midst, just as they did not deserve the things they went through! God is instructing us that when our deeds align with His teachings; when our actions conform to His ideals; The world is not "worthy" of us when our actions match His Word. To put it another way, by living godly, holy lives, believers tip the scales in God's favor so much that the world is forever grateful to them for revealing, living, and proclaiming the truth about God. Paul asks the church to consider our lives in light of everything that Jesus Christ has given us. We must do everything in our power to balance the scales, which is his challenge. His challenge is to live these kinds of lives so that God can be glorified and the world can see evidence of faith in God's Word and God's saving grace. How do you respond to Paul's challenge in your life?

Post a Comment

ប៉ាវកាហ្វេ Admin