The following is an outline (plus some explanatory notes) for the Sunday sermon on January 23, 2022 at Pioneer Bible Church.
Ephesians – Saints: Set Apart In Calling and Practice
REVIEW: Overview of Ephesians
- Divided into Two Sections – Chapters 1-3 (Position) and Chapters 4-6 (Practice)
- Connected by Ephesians 4:1 (HINGE)
- Paul, Christ’s Ambassador, writing to those set apart to God through faith in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:1-2)
Greetings – Their Importance
Why read and study the greetings in the New Testament letters? Why are they important? In New Testament letter greetings we find:
- Introduction of Author and Recipients
- Introduction of Key Themes
- Positional Truths – ie//SAINTS, in Christ, church, children, etc.
- Former persecutor transformed by grace (cf. Acts 9)
- Apostle (Ambassador) of Christ Jesus (in chains – 3:1;4:1; 6:20)
- By the will of God – God’s plan and God’s message
- Saints – Ones Set Apart; Holy Ones. Saints are individuals set apart from sin, judgement, and the world; they are also set apart by God to God by the work of Jesus Christ. Saints are God’s cherished possession, set apart in love and set apart for His purposes.
- Believers (Faithful) – Believing Ones. Faithful does not mean we do great things for God to become saints. Faithful means “believing.” Saints are those who believe on the Lord Jesus.
- In Christ Jesus – union to Christ – A key theme we will explore throughout this letter.
- Ephesus – circular letter – see Acts 19-20 (previous 3 year ministry)
Grace to You and Peace: SOURCE
- God OUR Father. He is not only the Father of our Lord Jesus (1:3), but through union to Jesus He is OUR Father as well.
- The Lord Jesus Christ – He is the Lord; He is God. He is Jesus; He is the Savior. He is the Christ; He is the chosen King.
Grace To You
- Grace in position – saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- Wayne Grudem was the first person I remember explaining grace, not only as God’s undeserved favor, but as God’s favor to the ill-deserving.(1)
- Chuck Swindoll explained grace as an individual of higher status stooping down to aid someone of lower status. God has stooped down to us in Christ coming and dying for us. (2)
- Grace in experience – gifted and enabled by grace (Ephesians 4:7-16). God continues to lean into us to enable us to serve Him. He has stooped down to us in sending the Spirit to live in us.
Peace To You
- Peace in position – The War with God and His People Is Over (Ephesians 2:11-22) – Christ is our peace. Since Christ has died in our place for our sin, all of God’s wrath against His saints has been spent. There is no more condemnation (Romans 8:1). The war with God is over, and Jesus is our peace.
- Peace in experience – Walking with God in unity and harmony, and experiencing the rest that brings; living as if the war is over. Ephesians 4:1-16 will provide the action application.
Grace and Peace
- We have been saved by grace into peace with God and one another.
- We are to live empowered by that same grace in practical peace with God and one another.
- Is your trust in Jesus Christ? Are you set apart to God through faith in Him? If not, trust in Him, TODAY!
- Believers, May We Take God at His Word:
- We are saints through faith in Jesus (set apart to God).
- God’s grace has saved us and is available to continually empower us to live for Him.
- We are at peace with God, and, by grace, we may live in peace with God and one another.
(1) “God’s grace means God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment” (Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology. Zondervan, 1994, 200).
(2) Charles R. Swindoll. The Grace Awakening. Word Publishing, 1996, 8-11.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.