Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The apostle Paul ends his letter to the church in Ephesus by sharing the hope he has for his brothers and sisters in the faith. Today, Pastor Rich wraps up our study in Ephesians with this sermon titled, Peace, Love with Faith and Grace. We're in chapter six, verses 21 through 24.
Let's listen in. So here we are now at the conclusion of Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, which was, by the way, to be read by surrounding churches. And it was.
It was read widely. And so it's kind of a farewell fitting time for Patrick. Thank you for that living picture, Patrick. And we're going to miss you.
I'm going to miss you. Patrick has been very instrumental in the teaching ministry here at Grace. He's an excellent teacher. He's impacted many lives. God has blessed him with a very sharp mind and he really causes people to think. It's good for God's people to think. And Patrick has been very helpful along those lines. And by the way, when he said they're packing up the mules, he really means that.
Okay. Anyway, for today, our text is the last few verses of Ephesians six, verses 21 through 24. Peace, love with faith and grace. What we have is a portrait of Christian fellowship in the first couple of verses here.
You ever been to a class? Maybe you remember this when you were in elementary and the teacher would say, take out a sheet of paper and I'm going to explain something. I'm going to read something and I want you to draw it. We would do this for family devotions. When our children were young, we would read through the stories of the Old Testament and our kids would have pieces of paper and crayons and they were more writing pictures, what was in their mind about what was being described in the biblical narrative. So if I were to ask you to draw a portrait of Christian fellowship, what would you draw?
I hope it wouldn't simply be just a large room with people holding coffee cups. I hope there would be more to it than that. And in the first two verses, verses 21 and 22, we have a beautiful portrait of Christian fellowship. The apostle says so that you also may know how I am and what I'm doing. Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I sent him to you for this very purpose that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your heart. There's so many elements in those verses right there, elements of Christian fellowship. Let's talk about them. Paul says that you may know.
See, the believers want to know. There's connection. There's vital connection there. So they're wondering, how's the apostle Paul? He's dear to us.
How's he doing? He wants them to know how I am. He says, well, I'm in prison. And they knew that. And so that's one reason why they're wondering how the apostle Paul is doing.
It's very possible that in a room in prison that there could be serious neglect and abuse, right? They want to know how the apostle is doing. And so he lets them know how he's doing, but also not only how he's doing, but what he is doing. He wants them to know what he's doing. That's key. That's so important because that was priority.
We studied that last time. That was priority to him. He wants them to know what he's doing.
Wait, you mean you're not just sitting in prison? No, he's advancing in mission. He's advancing in mission. You know why that's important? Because Paul wants them, he wants them to be encouraged, and he encourages them through his own example by informing them that circumstances do not alter mission or calling.
Yes, he's chained up in prison, but that circumstance has not changed his calling or his mission. And so it is for you and me. That's fellowship. That's a key element of fellowship to truly encourage each other in leading by example.
That's the key example to strengthen each other, to remind each other that circumstances don't change our calling or our mission. And so he says, Tychicus, a beloved brother. Tychicus was probably from Ephesus, and he was visiting Paul. And he calls him, he calls him Tychicus, the beloved brother.
What a title to have. I can look out in the congregation and there's some people that I can truly say, beloved brother. And it is a wonderful thing to be able to have that relationship with another individual, a beloved brother, a cherished person, a genuinely close relationship, people who delighted to be in each other's company. And they're not threatened by a tiny possible glaze of ice on the road.
No soapbox. But there is a close relationship because they are cherished persons. They have a cherished relationship. But not only does he say a beloved brother, but he calls him a faithful minister in the Lord.
Really, really good titles. And this talks about the level and the type of relationship that existed between these individuals, as was true with Paul and many other believers. You can read the end of Corinthians and the end of Romans, and you read about all the people that were so instrumental in Paul's life that worked with him in mission. And as Tychicus here is called a faithful minister in the Lord, he's communicating that Tychicus is a trustworthy, dependable partner in the people business. Ministry has its challenges, huge challenges often. And when you encounter someone who is faithful, who is there and you know that person is there and you can talk to that person and they're not going to turn their back on you and they might disagree with you and yet they're going to encourage you and support you.
Let me tell you something, folks, that is a huge encouragement. That's what the church is all about. It's what the church is. This is a portrait of fellowship and Paul is communicating it here with the way he talks about Tychicus and what if we as the church speak of each other this way. Thank you, Patrick, for sharing what you have of Grace Bible Church and the role that we've had in your life, in your family's life. Faithful ministers, thank you, church, for being there. This is a portrait of fellowship. But he says, I'm sending Tychicus to you.
Now there's another important element, isn't there? To you, presence, personal communication. This is, for example, what God has done for us in Christ. He sent Christ to us. God, the infinite sovereign of the universe, did not just stand aloof and make demands of us to be holy and just. No, he sent his son to us to communicate himself to us in person. And this is what Tychicus was doing for Paul. He was a representative of the apostle and he was coming to give news about how Paul is doing and what he is doing and how he is doing. He really doesn't talk about that here, does he? Except for the fact that he is thriving in mission and calling, even though he's chained to a Roman guard.
He's thriving in mission and calling. So Tychicus is sent to them to give them that news. And it says to encourage that he may encourage your hearts. Encourage, that word encourage is the word parakaleo.
We know that word, don't we? That's a title of the Holy Spirit. That's what he does to call to oneself.
That's the essence of encouragement. It's also translated to comfort. Encouragement, comfort, to call to oneself. To call to oneself. This is a significant element of Christian fellowship, proximity with each other, desiring to be in each other's presence, the togetherness of the vital connection that is ours in Jesus Christ, because we are in Christ and we share the riches of his grace.
The partnership, the fellowship that is there. Paul with Tychicus, Paul with the Ephesian believers and all together there. He wants them to know what God is doing in these challenging circumstances. Yes, the apostle is in prison.
The one who led many people to Christ, the one who started many churches, the one who is writing to them as a loving father would. What is God doing in these challenging circumstances? And this is where they get the sense of how Paul is doing, not what he's doing, but how they get the sense of how he is doing by what he is doing. And here's what he communicates that the life changing gospel is advancing. Even though he is in prison, the life changing gospel is advancing. And that brings them great comfort and encouragement. So Paul is not in despair.
No, these are not circumstances that he would choose for himself, but he's not going to let these circumstances change his mission or his calling. And they are certainly not going to get in the way of the advancement of the life changing gospel of grace. And so as he communicates that to the Ephesian and the Colossian churches through Tychicus in the letter that he sends to them, the people are encouraged and they continue to pray for Paul. But they're not praying for him that God would simply release him. They're praying for him that God would give him the boldness that he desires, the freedom of speech that he desires, that he would lack inhibition and that he would speak freely of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And so he gives them that encouraging message and Tychicus communicates that to him that the life changing gospel is advancing.
And then Paul brings it to a close here in verses 23 and 24. Peace be to the brothers. Peace be to the brothers. You are my siblings, Paul says, in Christ.
We are siblings in Christ. Peace to you. This is a benediction.
This is a common one for him. The word peace is the word Irenae, understanding the struggle that they're in, the persecution that many face, the Paul being in prison, right? Irenae, you know what that means? He says peace to the brethren.
It means exemption from rage and havoc. Boy, we need that today, don't we? We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-22 17:38:35 / 2023-02-22 17:43:16 / 5