Sunday, October 9, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 9: Live as Followers of Christ

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 9:
Live as Followers of Christ
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

In Paul’s 35 years of ministry, since his conversion in Damascus, we have recorded in the Holy Bible many of his epistles, or letters.

Paul’s first journey took place from 33AD (the year of his conversion), through 46AD, leaving Damascus in 38AD.

Paul’s 2nd journey began in 50AD, four years later; during this time he wrote 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, and Galatians, with his second journey ending in 54AD.

Paul’s 3rd journey began in 55AD and lasted until 58AD where he found himself imprisoned in Judea from 58-60AD. During his 3rd journey Paul wrote 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and Romans. We have no record of writings from Paul during his prison time between 58-60AD in Judea.

After his release from Judea, Paul traveled on his voyage to Rome from 60-61AD, writing Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, and finding himself in a Roman prison in 63AD.

Released soon after his incarceration, Paul then writes the epistles Hebrews, 1st Timothy, Titus and his final letter before his death 2 Timothy, which was written from a Roman prison he was placed in during 66-68AD.

Though the bible does not tell us when or how Paul died, it is believed by scholars that he was beheaded in 68AD in May or June.


17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Paul explains how the Body of Believer’s are to live.

The message of this epistle to the church is “The Church, The Body of Christ”.

a. You no longer live as the Gentiles do
                                                                                  i. In the futility of their thinking

b. They are darkened (their understanding darkened)
                                                                                  i. And separated from the life of God

                                                                               ii. Because ignorance that is in them is DUE to the hardening of their hearts

c. Having lost ALL sensitivity
                                                                                  i. They have given themselves over to sensuality

                                                                               ii. So as to indulge in every kind of impurity

                                                                            iii. And they are full of greed

a. When you heard about Christ
                                                                                  i. And were taught by Him in accordance with the Truth that is in Jesus

b. You were taught with regard to your former way of life
                                                                                  i. To put-off your OLD SELF (old palayos– not recent)

c. Which is the Old Man
                                                                                  i. Corrupted by deceitful desires

                                                                               ii. And be made (LIT – and that you put on) the NEW man created to be like God

                                                                            iii. True righteousness and holiness

a. Put away (cast off literally speaking) lying
                                                                                  i. Speak truth with your neighbor

                                                                               ii. For we are ONE BODY

b. In your anger, do not sin
                                                                                  i. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry

                                                                               ii. Do not give the devil a foothold

c. Anyone who has been stealing, must steal no longer
                                                                                  i. But MUST work

                                                                               ii. Doing something with their own hands

                                                                            iii. That way they may have something to share with those in need

d. Do not let unwholesome (corrupt) talk come out of your mouths
                                                                                  i. Corrupt – morally bad

                                                                               ii. Speaking lies, gossip, backstabbing, speaking ill of others you think wronged you

                                                                            iii. But ONLY speak what is helpful for building others up

                                                                              iv. According to their needs (not yours)

                                                                                 v. That it may benefit those who listen

CONCLUSION – do not grieve the holy spirit of god
Who has sealed you (with the Holy Spirit) for the Day of Redemption, Meaning, the seal for the Day of Redemption may be broken. How? By grieving the Holy Spirit.

How do you grieve the Holy Spirit?

Paul has been telling us for the last couple sermons, by being Spiritually Immature, or living in a way that is contrary to the life of a person who is truly a follower of Christ.

Paul says, get rid of (to keep from grieving the Holy Spirit);
·        Bitterness
·        Rage
·        Anger
·        Brawling
·        Slander
·        All forms of malice (depravity & wickedness)

Be kind and compassionate to one another.

And do not be Spiritually immature;
·        Live a life worthy of the calling you have received
o   Completely humble
o   Gentile
o   Patient
o   Bearing with one another in love (I Cor. 13)
o   Making EVERY effort to keep unity of Spirit through the bond of peace

·        Stop living like a spoiled immature infant, a big baby
o   Self-centered
o   Crying a lot, especially if you don’t think your needs are being met
o   Messy, not cleaning up messes you create
o   Impatient, wanting what you want, and wanting it 5 minutes ago
o   Not cooperating
o   Unable to apologize
o   Resisting sharing
o   Explosive, going off at just about anything and everything
§  If you are always having problems with others…you may actually be the problem
o   Having great expectations for others, but none for yourself

It is time for you, who are called to live a life worthy of Him who has called you.

It is time to grow up in the Lord.

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