What Paul wants the Ephesians to know is you have so much in your bank account, more than you'll ever need, certainly more than you know or ever will use. But you have all of God's power, God the Father's power at your disposal. You and I are rich.
You're rich because of the Father that you have. Skip Heitzig YouTube channel. In the number 27 spot is Skip's message flight EPH01. Skip flies over the Book of Ephesians to explain this new standing in Christ you can have and how you can live out your faith.
Right now, we want to tell you about a resource that will take you on an incredible journey as you explore God's vast love for you. The year was 1962 and the United States was behind in the space race. Boldly, President Kennedy threw down a strong claim. I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. Three, two, one, zero and liftoff. When JFK made this challenge, America had little space experience.
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That's connectwithskipp.com or 1-800-922-1888. Now, we're in the book of Ephesians as we join Skip Hyten for today's teaching. Paul speaks about in this book the new society that God wants to establish on earth called the church. Jesus, you remember, said in Acts chapter 16, I will build my ekklesia, my church, my called out assembly. So the theme of this book is the new society built on Jesus Christ that was always the plan of God from the Old Testament until now.
Part of it was a mystery. He uncovers that in chapter 3. But this is a new society of both Jew and non-Jew brought together on equal footing in this new society called the church.
So it is a new family with new life, with new standards, with new relationships. All of that is outlined in this book. The book of Ephesians can be conveniently sliced into two parts.
Now, I haven't done that. I've sliced it into three parts if you've read my book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet. But it can be sliced and probably fits easier into two slices, chapters 1 through 3, slice number 1, chapters 4 through 6, slice number 2. Now, this is a typical Pauline or Pauline pattern. This is how Paul often writes. He did it also in the book of Romans. The first part of the book is doctrinal.
The second part is practical. So chapters 1, 2, and 3, he kind of lays the foundation of this new society, what God's plan was, how it works, what it is, kind of defines those things. Then beginning in chapter 4, he uses one of his favorite words after a doctrinal section, and that is the word therefore.
Based on all that you know from what I have previously written, therefore, then he gets very practical. So chapter 4, 5, and 6, he moves from doctrinal to practical, and that is Paul's style in his writings. He talks about doctrine, then he talks about duty.
He talks about what you should know, but then he moves to how you should live based on what you know. He did that in the book of Romans. The first 11 chapters are doctrinal. Beginning in chapter 12 of Romans, verse 1, Therefore I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable God, which is your reasonable service.
Same pattern. So you could, if you would like, divide the book of Ephesians up into those two sections. I've given it a third section, not just the doctrinal and the practical, but I've gotten a little more specific based on one of my favorite commentaries on the book of Ephesians. I divided up into the wealth, the walk, and the warfare of the believer. The wealth, who you are in Christ and what you have in Christ. Then the walk of the believer, and then finally the warfare of the believer.
So we're going to learn how to grow, we're going to learn how to walk, and we're going to learn how to fight. All of that is in the book of Ephesians. Now, a little bit about Ephesus before we jump in and do our survey. The city of Ephesus was the capital of the eastern part of the Roman Empire. It was a very wealthy city, it was the seat of government, it was the seat of religion, Roman religion, several different temples were there.
But it was wealthy because of where it was situated. If you have a map in the back of your Bible and you find Asia Minor, you kind of notice right in the middle on the western coast of Asia Minor lay the city of Ephesus. One of the great temples that was in that city was a temple to the goddess Diana, also known as Artemis.
Same person, one is the Greek name, one is the Roman name. She was depicted in this really grotesque, weird fashion of a woman with multiple breasts, because she was seen as the goddess of fertility, the goddess of all blessing. If you're wondering what it exactly looked like, there is a copy of the statue of Diana from that temple in Ephesus, oddly enough in the Vatican in Rome. All of that aside, that temple was located in the city of Ephesus. It connected the trade routes going from west to east and east to west.
They would often stop there, that's where it would get its wealth. The population at the time of Paul the Apostle was roughly about a half a million people that lived in that city. They would come there to spend time, worship in the temple, make new contacts, sell their goods, buy other goods, etc. Now today you can visit Ephesus, and I've done it on a few different occasions, when we've done our cruises of the journeys of Paul, or our long bus trips of the journeys of Paul, and we've stopped in through Turkey, we stop at Ephesus. Now I bring it up, because if you go, it is like the highlight of the trip of the journeys of Paul. It is one of the greatest archaeological digs in existence. You can walk today down the streets of Ephesus on the same tiles that Paul the Apostle walked on 2,000 years ago. You will pass the remains of the Odeon, the theater. You'll pass the remains of the great library of Celsus, that huge double-story edifice. Right down on Main Street you'll walk through the Agora, the ancient marketplace. You'll turn right going toward the harbor, and you'll see uncovered the 25,000 seat theater. 25,000 seats at the time of Paul.
It was in that theater where Paul was almost torn to pieces as the people of Ephesus stood and cried, Great is Diana of the Ephesians, for like about an hour or two. All of that is there today, you can see it. What's amazing is what you see today in terms of the archaeological digs of Ephesus. Only 25% of that city is uncovered.
75% of it still remains undug, underground. So it was absolutely humongous. So it has a very, very prominent place in the ancient world, thus in the New Testament. So I mentioned Paul's second and third missionary journey. After spending time at Ephesus in his third journey, three years, he leaves, but he goes back on his final trip to Jerusalem before he gets arrested. And when he goes back, he feels compelled to meet with the elders of Ephesus, but he didn't want to go to Ephesus because he didn't want to stay long, so he goes to the shores of Miletus, a little bit nearby. So the elders go to the shores of Miletus to meet Paul, and Paul sort of unloads this incredible message in Acts chapter 20.
He says, you've watched my manner of life, I've been with you for three years, you saw how I labored, you've heard my teaching. He said, now, after my departure, I know that savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Even among your own leadership, false apostles will arise and draw people to themselves. Paul could see that in the future. That's interesting because although Paul knew that was coming, he said, I'm not hanging around, God has called me to go to Jerusalem. That's where he gets arrested and then taken to Rome. What we do know after this point is Paul puts another pastor in charge of Ephesus.
He was there three years. The pastor he put in charge was none other than his protege by the name of Timothy. Timothy pastored in Ephesus, Paul pastored in Ephesus, and according to the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, the apostle John spent his latter years in that city.
And what did he spend his latter years doing? Defending the truth against false teachers that arose and were destroying the flock. The Gnostics, that brand of teaching that was already infiltrating the church.
So that's sort of a synopsis. They had the best leadership. They had Paul, they had Timothy, and they had the apostle John. Yet, by the third century AD, there really was no church of Ephesus. It became insignificant. It lost its witness. It lost believers.
Today, there is no Christian assembly in that area. And you may want to remember that somebody else wrote a letter to the church of Ephesus. Somebody even more famous than Paul. His name was Jesus. In Revelation chapter 2, he wrote a little letter, a postcard you might say, and he said to the church of Ephesus, I'm warning you.
You have left your first love. Be careful or I will remove your lampstand from out of its place. That is exactly what happened to this incredible work of God. All of that should sober us up as church people. It does not take many generations before a vital, vibrant church in an area can lose its witness.
It happened here with this church. Okay, Paul is arrested. He's taken to Rome. In Rome, he writes four letters from his two-year prison stay in that city. He writes Ephesians, he writes Philippians, he writes Colossians, and he writes Philemon. Those are called the prison letters, and Ephesians is the first one. We begin in chapter 1 with our overview looking at what we have in Christ, who we are in Christ. Let's call the first couple of chapters the wealth of the believer.
That's chapters actually 1, 2, and 3. Now there's a phrase that is an important phrase in this book, especially in this first part, that sort of is the tip-off that he's dealing with the wealth of the believer. And that is the phrase in Christ or in Christ Jesus.
He uses it 27 times. He wants you and I to know we are linked to Jesus, we are in Him, and because we're in Him we have so much. We're wealthy. We're rich.
Ephesus was considered the bank of Asia Minor. And so Paul, knowing that, uses language like inheritance, fullness, filled, all of these kind of terms that speak to the wealth of the believer because the city of Ephesus, as I mentioned, was a very wealthy city. So let's begin in verse 3 with our wealth. Why are we so wealthy? Why are we so rich? We are rich because of our Father in heaven.
Blessed be, verse 3, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. Have you ever been to your ATM, tried to draw money out, and it says, cannot process request, insufficient funds? You go, oh, man, I don't have enough in the bank account. What Paul wants the Ephesians to know is you have so much in your bank account, more than you'll ever need, certainly more than you know or ever will use, but you have all of God's power, God the Father's power at your disposal. You and I are rich. You are rich because of the Father that you have.
So what does that mean exactly? Well, first of all, He chose you in Christ, verse 4, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. I always love what Charles Spurgeon said. He said, it's a good thing God chose me before I was born. He never would have picked me after I was born. Well, the truth is, He did choose you before you were born, but that's even when He knew what you would become.
He knew you all through and through, and yet He chose you. Now, I've read enough books over my lifetime to know that there are some people that this bothers, that God chooses, pre-elacts, pre-determines, predestines people. It's not fair that God would choose somebody and not choose somebody else.
Why is that unfair? You have the power of choice. What if I said, if you chose somebody, that's not fair. You shouldn't choose that. You shouldn't choose who to marry.
What, are you nuts? If you have the power of choice, why can't God have the power of choice? And there are certain factors about that choice we don't need to get into. We've covered that before, but one of the great truths is we are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.
And that should excite you. Jesus chose Judas, knowing Judas would betray him. Jesus chose Peter, knowing that Peter would deny him.
Jesus chose Thomas, knowing that Thomas would disbelieve him. But He chose them anyway, before they were born, and worked through them so they could become vital witnesses. So, we're rich because of our Father. He chose us. Not only that, but He adopted us, verse 5, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. So, He chose us. He adopted us.
That is, He placed us as adult sons, giving us all the inheritance as if we were natural born children. And then finally, He redeemed us. In verse 7, in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.
This is the language of the slave market. To redeem is to buy a slave back, or to give a slave its freedom by paying a price. So, He redeemed us. He paid the price to set us free. Now, what did He use to pay that price?
Blood, the blood of His Son. We call it theologically a vicarious atonement, a substitutionary atonement. 2 Corinthians 5, verse 21, God made Him, Jesus, who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. So, by this doctrine of substitution, or this idea of replacement, He took you off the punishment course, put Jesus in your place, treated Jesus like you deserve to be treated, letting Him die, so that now, because of that sinless substitution, He can treat you like Jesus deserves to be treated. That's redemption.
That makes us rich. We're chosen, we're adopted, we're redeemed. He expands on that in this chapter. He offers a prayer for them on that behalf. Go to chapter 2. He continues with this theme of wealth, and it shows in chapter 2, we're not just rich because of our Father, we're rich because of our forgiveness from the Father. In chapter 2, Paul shows that we were in the graveyard, but we went to glory. We were dead, but we've been made alive.
Chapter 2 verse 1, And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the Spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, just as others. Paul tells us in this chapter that when you were born, you were born dead. You were D-O-A, dead on arrival.
You were born, you say, well, I was born, that's life. You were only physically alive. You were spiritually cut off. You were separated from God. All people are born separated from God because of the sin of Adam. Romans chapter 5, By one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and death spread to all men, and death reigned. So that's the flow of sin in the world. Sin entered, death entered, death spread, death reigned. So everyone born after Adam was born dead on arrival. You were dead. It's not that you were just sick. You were dead.
You had no capacity at all to act on your own behalf. Now, most people don't believe this, and I'm convinced most Christians don't even know how bad off they were. The theologians call this depravity, total depravity.
Now, total depravity doesn't mean you're as bad as you can be, but it does mean you're as bad off as you can possibly be. Before God, you are hopeless apart from Him doing something. So you, who were dead, He made alive, you were dead in trespasses and sins. So He talks about your past life, but look at verse 4. But God.
Remember that series we did called But God? It's a phrase that shows up 45 times in the Scripture. It shows that because God enters the situation, everything after that changes. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
By grace you have been saved and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. When did God love you? When you were lovable? Did God love you when you were lovely? When you decided, Lord, I'm going to give my life to Jesus.
Okay, now I love you. God loved you when He knew the truth about you. When you were at your very worst. When you were dead.
When you were alienated. So because of that, and here's Paul's contention. No matter your background, Gentile, Jewish, Jew or non-Jew, you're all in the same boat before God with the same needs so that when you are brought into this new society, this new family, there's no second-class citizens. That's Skip Heitzig's number 27 message on our Top 40 Messages countdown. It's from his series, The Bible from 30,000 Feet. Find the full message and more of Skip's teachings, including his latest sermons and current teaching series at youtube.com slash calvaryabq. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with the gospel. When Jesus came to this earth, He presented a brand new way of thinking that challenged the religious leaders of His day. The truths that He taught still challenge worldly thinking. And through this broadcast, we want to inspire more listeners like you to live a Christ-centered life. So please help take these messages to more places by giving a gift today.
Here's how you can do that. Skip has several Bible reading plans available in the YouVersion Bible app. You can dive deeper into several books of the Bible to gain new insights. Just search Skip Heitzig in the YouVersion Bible app and tune in tomorrow as Skip shares another Top 40 message about some surprising facts on your eternal home, pointing out that if you want to learn more about heaven, you should only look to the Bible. . Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-21 13:57:49 / 2023-06-21 14:07:02 / 9