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May 4, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “New Life in Christ,” with a message titled “The Message of Ephesians,” from Ephesians 4:17-32.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927. The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University chapel platform, daily platform, Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University is continuing a study series from Ephesians entitled new life in Christ. Steve has written a study booklet for the series. If you would like to follow along. You can order a printed copy from the website. The Daily Platform.com today.
Steve will walk us through the overall message of Ephesians in chapter 4, verses 17 through 32.
I want to take your Bibles and turn what they please to the book of Ephesians chapter 4 this morning my my message is entitled. If you have your book with you is entitled the message of Ephesians and so were going to sort of do a deeper dive today into the overall plan and message of Ephesians last week we did a simple background check of the book and we talked about the city, the church and the correspondence that Paul wrote in today I would like us to do a better sort of a bigger understanding of the book in the next week will actually jump into the passage that we're going to read this morning, but I would like to read the passage of Scripture that were going to study and then take up simple. Look at the book of Ephesians is a whole, some going to read beginning in verse 17, down to the end of the chapter. This I say therefore and testify in the Lord that you henceforth walk, not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart, who being passed feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness, but you have not so learned Christ, if so be that you have heard him and have been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus that you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and sin not let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil. Let him install steel no more, but rather letting labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have, that he may have to give to him that needed let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
This is the passage that will be studying throughout the course of the semester.
Verse by verse. I believe it will be a great blessing to all of us as we have a greater understanding of his truth. When you look at the letters of the apostle Paul and the way he addresses the Christian life.
We see the apostle Paul, following a very consistent approach land to his letters and you can see it and almost all of his letters basically is approaches. This he starts by unfolding Christian doctrine, and then he follows up with explaining Christian practice. In other words he speaks to what a Christian is supposed to believe and then he follows up with how a Christian behaves so before behavior. What you're supposed to do. He starts with believe what you are to understand and comprehend now. Why is this so important, why don't we start with with belief first because all actions for Christian should be based on our faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God for him to come of the God must believe that he is and he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
All actions in our life should be rooted in God's purposes. God's plans and God's provisions Christian living, therefore, is living out inexperience what God has accomplished in my life through grace, so Paul's use of this approach.
Doctrine first and practice. Second, you can find in almost all of his letters and Paul's use of this approach is seen very very clearly in the book of Ephesians in the first three chapters, Paul declares the things that God is done for his sons and daughters in Christ when he saves us. That's the first three chapters any declares this work in multiple theological statements of facts. These statements of fact in the Greek are called indicative. These are things that we as believers are to believe we are to trust God would understand these things now, in contrast to what God is done in the first three chapters in the last three chapters of Ephesians we see what a Christian is to do these things we are to do are called imperatives.
Are they are commands. In other words, there not options. Their obligations there not sort of a pick and choose what they are things that we are to earnestly obey and there are at least 40 of these imperatives in these last three chapters.
So this morning I want us to go a little bit deeper and understand what is it that God is done in the first three chapters, and then secondly, what are we to do is delete believers as we see it in the last three chapters. When we consider the first three chapters, Paul expresses the splendor of God's word and saving men and women.
It is a glorious work.
It is a wonderful work and if I could entitled the first three chapters.
I would say it this way were talking about the well of the believer. What it is that we have in Christ and let me encourage you to take time.
Even this week and personal devotional time or just reading time to read through these three chapters and read them every day.
There's no way you're going to comprehend them in one reading and I don't think we can possibly cover everything in these incredible verses.
So let me this morning. Focus our attention. Out of these three chapters on three key words because these words are repeated by Paul over and over and over. The first word is the word riches, let me begin with a question.
What is it that Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Baeza does and Mark Zuckerberg all have in common. What is it money. These are considered the four richest people in the United States, Bill Gates, Microsoft Warren Buffett investor Jeff Baeza does the owner of Amazon.com Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook. These men are worth a total combined amount of $269 billion.
Now to put this into perspective, this is the come combined a male of the state budgets of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia combined.
So for those guys ago at the Ede is just going to cost a lot, no matter what they did these guys are rich. Take that image if you will, and consider the metaphor that Paul uses this to describe what you and I have in Christ. He says we are rich. Look at Ephesians chapter 1 and notice verse seven, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. The word riches. There is the Greek word please toss it means well in the extreme. The highest point on any scale it implies not only a male but value something that cost a lot, and something that is worth a lot in the first section of Ephesians, he writes about the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ and these blessings come out of the riches of his grace, and that these riches and these blessings have been given to all of us who are redeemed in chapter 1 in verse 18.
He speaks of the riches of his glorious inheritance in the same. He wants us to understand and comprehend what we have. Chapter 2 in verse four he talks about the riches of his mercy. We her who are dead and disobedient and depraved God resurrected us from the dead. In chapter 2 in verse seven he speaks of the riches of his grace in his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus, so that in all eternity. We will have unfolded to us, the riches of his kindness in chapter 3 in verse eight he talks about the unsearchable riches of Christ. In chapter 3 in verse 16 he prays that we wouldn't be empowered only inner man by the riches of his glory. His glorious presence in our life empowering us so this is why we could entitled these first three chapters, the wealth of the believer. One writer called his current commentary on Ephesians, he entitled it be rich because that's what we have in Christ, then there's a second word and we mentioned it last week and I'd like to repeated this week and that's the word mystery.
The Greek word is the word most area on is the idea that something has not been known but now it is been revealed to if you could say at this, a group of insiders.
In other words, you and I because of our faith in Christ are part of the inside group we are we been led into the mystery into the secret. We are part of a restricted constituency by faith. So what we read in chapter 1 verse not verse nine it says he's made known unto us the mystery of his will. We understand what is the mind of the purpose of God and isn't it amazing thing that God is allowed us to know that in chapter 3 in verse three he speaks about the mystery that was known by revelation he talks about the mystery of Christ in verse six of chapter 3. He says that the mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs that is we are part of what he's doing in the world. In chapter 3 in verse nine he says the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in chapter 5 in verse 32.
He says this is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and his church. In other words, you and I are part of what God is doing in the world.
So what is this mystery I mentioned it last week.
I repeated again and that is this that God is preparing a bride for his son, God the father is preparing for God the son a bride and who is that bride it's the church is the body of believers and the second point is that the church includes believing Jews and Gentiles. He's taken the two groups. The two spiritual groups in the world. Those who believed in one God, the Jews and those who believed in multiple gods the Gentiles the pagans and he's brought them together in one body called the church and the third point of the mystery is that God is remove the wall that separated these two groups and he's made of one he's made one new man or one new humanity you.united together in one body, the church of Jesus Christ. So God is created a unified church that currently exist in if you and I are believers that we are all a part of that body and in order for this unity to be experienced, then these two groups must strive together for a solidarity with one another.
In other words, it is no small challenge in the face of such extreme diversity between these two groups for them to become one, but that's what Ephesians is all about.
It's how over to become one so we see is riches we see is mystery and then there's 1/3 word and that's found in the book of Ephesians. All of these each time seven times. This word is found seven times is the word glory, and especially in the first few verses chapter 1 verse three to verse 14 he unfolds the blessings that we have the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ and these blessings have come from the father. They have come from the sun and they have come from the spirit and each member of the Trinity is to be praised. Chapter 1 verse six, the father is to be praised for his glory and chapter 1 verse 12 it says that the sun is to be praised for his glory. In chapter 1 verse 14 he says it is the spirit that is to be praised for his glory. We are we at we could call this glory, the Trinity in glory and what God is done, we come to chapter 3 in verse 20 he says that God was to get glory in the church.
In chapter 5 in verse 27 it says that he is creating a glorious church, so three simple words riches we are wealthy in Christ we are part of this mystery in all of this is to be done for his glory. So if I could sum up the theme in the message of Ephesians.
It is this God the father is preparing for God the son through God the spirit of pride for his glory and that bride is called the church. That's why folks if we are not committed to and connected to and serving through the church were really not operating under God's plan. God's work in the world today is the church and regardless of what you do in your occupation your service to God should always be in line with the church, the body of Christ, serving God through his local church, God the father is preparing for God the son through God the spirit a bride called the church for his glory. This is what God has done for us in Christ. That leads me to the second point, and that is beginning in chapter 4 to chapter 6 we see now what it is that a believer is to do based on the foundation of what God is done in Christ and here we speak about the wall of the believer. How do we respond to these riches. What are we supposed to be doing in the Scripture says that we are to be walking in a manner that reflects our wealth now. Not everybody who is wealthy and rich. Looks like it all the time, but generally it's a common thing that if your wealthy person you live like it you eat like it and you dress like you look like you're wealthy and for us to be proper believers, then we should walk in a manner that is a reflection of our wealth and actually Paul speaks about this in Ephesians chapter 2 in verse 10, notice what he says. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. And when you come to chapter 4 beginning in chapter 4 verse one you see a complete change in Paul's writing as he goes from the well now he's talking to believers what they're supposed to do, and five times in chapters for five and six. He uses and introduces the word wall plug in chapter 4 and notice what verse 20 says.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith your call. What is he saying for us to do, where to walk in a manner that reflects the world the value of our calling to this wealth is a believer, drop down, if you will.
The chapter 4 verse 17 which is what we will be looking at the semester. Notice what he says this I say therefore and testify in the Lord that you henceforth walk, not his other Gentiles walk in the vanity of your mind. So here is a negative in is the only negative of the five different times he uses the word wall.
He tells us to not live like other Gentiles.
In other words, they should be a difference in our life they notice chapter 5 in verse two he tells us that we are to walk in love is Christ have also loved us. The were to walk in love and then chapter chapter 5 verse eight he tells us that we are to walk as children of light for you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord walk as children of light. I give you little illustration here when I was in college I mentioned that I went to the Citadel in South and Charleston and I got saved my freshman year and then a lot of my big change of life started coming in my sophomore year and I was starting to first of all hang out with Christian guys dedicated Christian guys astray going to Bible studies and started going to church in my life began to change and the fall of that year. We always have it school we always use that what they called senior parties and as a senior party was not quite like the rush party you had on the Friday night a senior party was located at Folly Beach and it was it was that the Folly Beach pier and they used to have a big band that would come in and they would play a basically was a band with dancing and drinking. That's what was, and in every body. Everybody went to the senior party while I went to the senior party. My freshman year because I wasn't a believer, but I'd gotten saved and I was really struggling. Should I go to the senior party or not. It only been a Christian for probably six months maybe. And so the fellow that probably have the greatest influence in my life, a fellow named Jim Smith who was one year older than I was. He was a junior I went up to his room and I told him I said you know I am really struggling with whether or not I should go to senior party. I don't know what to do with deep in my heart I kinda knew what to do, but I didn't really have any biblical reason for what I did because I did know the Bible that will and you know Jim could Jim could've said.
Steve don't go to senior party.
It's wicked is bad. That's not what a Christian all that he could have done that, and I probably would not have gone, but he did something far better. He said I want you to go and I want you to read Ephesians chapter 5 and I want you to read the first 11 verses so I went back to my room and sat down and I began to read I began I started to read a chapter 5 verse one and I got down to verse eight where it says for you were sometimes darkness. That's what I was, but now are you light in the ward walk as children of light for the fruit of righteousness is in all goodness and righteousness and truth proving what is acceptable under the Lord and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. I got it.
I'm not going to go in the bases of my decision-making was on the truth of God's word by decision was based on faith and I'm so thankful for the fact that Jim dealt with me that way because he understood that my wall needed to be based on my faith and so I took God's word applied God's word and live God's word. That's what it means to wall and then the final war walk is found in chapter 5 in verse 15 when he says they see then that you walk circumspectly, not in schools but his wives so he speaking here about a wise wall and in order for this unity to work in the face of so much diversity there has to be a solidarity and our commitment to wall the conduct of a believer should be the same in every culture. Let me say that again the conduct of a believer should be the same in every culture. So here we have great diversity here, Bob Jones University because we have people from literally all over the world. But when we take our Bibles.
The Bible was not written for one particular culture. It was written for all of God's people, and even to be specific for all Gentiles and we are to be committed to live living out this new life we are Christians. Therefore, we are to live like Christians, we are different people. Therefore, we are to behave differently. Our new status as God's new society involves new standards. Our new life in Christ demands a new lifestyle and that's the way we as believers are to live, so he speaks about the wealth of the believer walk of the believer and before we finish this morning. We go to chapter 6 and verse 10, which we will not have time to study this semester we will realize that as we seek to be unified. We do face an enemy in chapter 6 and verse 10 we are exposed to the warfare of the believer that we are to put on the whole armor of God, the wealth, the walk and the warfare.
That's the outline for the book of Ephesians.
Another rider did it this way. He used three words but they were different. The first word is the word sit because we are seated in the heavenly's and we need to understand what we have in Christ. The second word is the word walk. We are to walk with God and then the third word is the word stand. We are to stand against the wiles of the devil. I do you live the Christian life sit wall stand is almost the opposite of what we normally do.
But that's the way we are to live where to sit in the heavenly's understanding our wealth walk with God and stand against Satan. So next week as we begin, we will start with Ephesians 4, verse 17, as he tells us how it is that we are to live out this new life. Father, thank you for your word. Help us to walk faithfully with you in Jesus day a man.
God bless you.
You been listening to a sermon from Ephesians chapter 4 the sermon as part of the study series called new life in Christ by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. These daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and this radio ministry if you appreciate this program and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift.
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The Daily Platform.com.
I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. If you're looking for a regionally accredited Christian liberal arts university. I invite you to visit our campus and see how God is working in the lives of our students. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.bgyou.edu or call 800-252-6363. Thanks again for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform