Ephesians (Program #75)-Various Aspects of the Church
Through out the ages, many commentaries had touch the book of Ephesians. It’s an Epistle unlike any other in the Bible for it takes the heavens as its’ view point to unveil the Church, God’s eternal purpose.
Many agreed that this book is the highest revelation in the New Testament regarding God’s eternal purpose. Listen Paul’s word again in Chapter 3. “That by revelation the mystery was made known to me, …….. the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in spirit, that in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the Body and fellow partakers of the promise through the gospel.”
Yes, this is the book of the mystery of Christ hidden but now been made known. For this Paul consider himself a prisoner of Christ with the high calling to enlighten all, he says, “that they may see what the economy of the mystery is which through out the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things. In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the Church according to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This revelation is still been unveil in this age in which we live. And it is been the goal of this long life-study that we conclude today with our 75th program on the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians (Program #74) -The Spirit and the Church
One of the major changes that takes place in the life of a Christian is in their mind. As unbelievers we were as Paul described in Ephesians 4, darkened in our understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which was in us and because of the hardness of our heart.
Contrast that to the conditions of the believers that follow in Chapter 5, For you were once darkness but are now light in the Lord, walk as children of light for the fruits of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth. How does this transformation in our minds take place? The answer to this crucial matter is also found in Ephesians.
The book of Ephesians which stresses the Church places tremendous importance on the matter of Oneness. The oneness of the Spirit and the oneness of the faith are both highlighted in this book. But notably it does not speak about the oneness of teaching or of doctrine, in fact both teaching and doctrine are the subject of Paul’s warning in Chapter 4:13-14, “Until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, …That we may be no longer little children tossed by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching in the sleight of men, in craftiness with a view to a system of error.“ Obviously the oneness of the faith is something other than that of doctrine or teaching.
Ephesians (Program #72) – Growth by Feeding for the Building
The book of Ephesians has two distinct sections. The first three chapters give us a clear account of all of Christ is accomplished to produce the Church as the One New Man. His work on the cross, in resurrection has brought forth this New Man, composed of His redeemed people, built together in Himself to become not just One New Man but even the New Man filled unto all the fullness of God. Well, this seem to be a logical conclusion to the book, but Paul goes on to the last three chapters and points out how much God needs our human co-operation if the Church is to be built up as the habitation of God in Spirit. We want to look today, just what kind of co-operation God is looking for.
Ephesians (Program #71) – Ordinances and the Church Life
The book of Ephesians reveals that what God is after is for Christ to be wrought into His chosen and redeemed people to produce the Church. But it also exposes many of the negative things that frustrate us form attaining to His purpose. Among these are the obvious items of sin and worldliness. But though these things surely damage the Church none are so great a problem as the not so obvious matter of ordinances.
Ordinances expressed our own way of practicing the Christian life. And each group, each gathering of believers has its’ own particular characteristics, its’ way to practice, to meet and to worship. Yet these ways that we treasure and value so dearly may in fact be the factor divide us from other believers and thereby frustrate God to the uttermost and He desires to obtain His heart desire, the Church as the One New Man.
If you ever visited a country where idol worship is practiced, one of the striking aspects of such worship is that it’s always done in silent. The worshipers are silent or dumb because the idols they are worshiping are dumb. But our God is not an idol and He certainly is not dumb.
For Hebrews 12 tells us, “you have come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” And it’s interesting here implying that not only do the worshipers speak but listen to Hebrew 12:24 “And to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks something better than that of Abel.” Here not only do the worshipers speak even the blood is speaking. A marvelous portion today based on really Ephesians where we are to be filled in spirit speaking.
Ephesians (Program #69) -Experiencing the Riches of Christ
Ephesians Chapter 3 is a remarkable Chapter in all of Scripture. For it tells us that the immeasurable, unsearchable and unlimited Christ has now become so close, so intimate and so personal to us that He is actually making His home in our hearts.
This Chapter also tells us that this one is unsearchably rich. In fact it’s by our experiencing Him in this unsearchable riches that bit by bit, day by day, He is able to spread Himself into all the regions of all our inner being. This is the Christ that Paul presents to us in the book of Ephesians. And it is the very Christ that Paul himself experienced and described in many of his other epistles. We will consider the unsearchable riches of Christ on our program today.
Ephesians (Program #68) -The Church—the Expression of Christ
Through out Church history many items have been used by God to help His people to become close to Him and experience Him. The gifts of the Spirit, miraculous power, great teachings from the Bible with deep and profound doctrines are just few of the things that God had used through out the ages.
But while on one hand God has used these things, it must also be confessed that these things can and have been used by God’s enemy to distract God’s people from the very Christ that they are intended to bring us to.
Substitute for Christ are most often good things even spiritual things. But they are things, and not the very person of Christ Himself. Of this, we must be very clear and constantly on guard not to fall into such a temptation.
Ephesians (Program #67) -Putting on the New Man by Growing Up into Christ
The Church as seen in Ephesians has many aspects. First as the Body of Christ, the Church has His life. But even in a higher aspect is that of the New Man. In order for the Church to be joint with Christ as the head to become he New Man, it must not only have the life of Christ, but it must also have Christ as its’ person. It is this aspect that the apostle Paul was focused on as he prayed so earnestly in Chapter 3 that we would be strengthened so that Christ might make His home in our hearts.
What is it really to have Christ making His home in our hearts? It means that His person with His own likes and dislikes would occupy our hearts, replacing even becoming our own likes and dislikes.
Ephesians (Program #66) – Christ in God’s Economy, Taking Christ as our Person
Many books in the New Testament speak of the mysteries of God. First of all, Colossians tells us that God is a mystery but that Christ is the mystery of God. But then Christ also is a mystery. And so Ephesians tells us that the mystery of Christ is the Church. Well, you may say what’s so mysterious about the Church? The Church in reality is where the immeasurable Christ far above all, can still be so small and so intimate that He can dwell within us. Even makes His home in our hearts. Now this is mysterious. For as the apostle Paul himself put it, “this mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.“