November 30th, 2017
The Church of Christ has been in the mind and plan of God before the foundation of the world. Here in Eph. 3:9, Paul calls it a mystery. The word “mystery” does not mean in Scripture what it means in today. Today it means something that we try to figure out what it is or what is happening.
Paul says that it was his privilege to “bring to light” this mystery. In the fullness of time God had sent forth His Son to redeem mankind. He came to this sin cursed word to accomplish that. After He arose from the dead and went back to Heaven in the Ascension, the Church of Christ was established on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection.
The mystery here is that both Jews and Gentiles alike can and do share in the Church. This verse reminds us of the fact that the Son of God was involved in creation.
In eph. 3:10 we’re told that God has the wisdom to devise the great salvation plan through Christ. God could have chosen any medium to accomplish this but He chose to reveal it through the Church. The Church is God’s instrument to reveal this plan where both Jew and Gentile can obtain salvation.
November 26th, 2017
The theme of grace permeates Paul’s writings. Paul experienced God’s empowering grace for ministry. Paul did not feel worthy of the great honor bestowed upon him. Preaching the Gospel was a wonderful gift, a grace in that it was unmerited favor from God. Paul felt overwhelmed by the pouring out of God’s grace on one who violently persecuted the Church of the Lord. Paul said grace was given to him; he did not and could not obtain it on his own.
One who seeks to tell the story of Jesus is one will be one who never forgets his lost condition outside of Christ. We will live as Paul did with a profound sense of humble gratitude to God. Paul sought to draw attention to the power of God and God’s willingness to use someone like him to preach the gospel to others. It was to him an unfathomable gift.
We realize that we need God’s grace to empower us. Paul ties grace and power together in verse 7. The might power of God (Eph. 1;19-20) provides sufficient strength for weak, fragile, ordinary people as they make the glories of Christ known.
-Larry Miles, August 17, 2015
Camp Cilca, IL
November 24th, 2017
A song that we learn early in life goes like this, “I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.” If we are seeking to be a missionary of Christ wherever he has called us, this is the main theme that we will be sharing with the lost. Telling the old, old story of Jesus and His love will include everything that is needed for one to come to a saving relationship with Jesus.
We have the message of Christ which is the most beautiful message of all. We must, as the early church did, preach the right message. In does not act 4:12 we read these words of the Apostle Peter, “Nor is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Sharing the saving message of Jesus and obeying it will lead to salvation. Salvation is by the grace of God, but we must appropriate that grace with obedience. When one does that he or she will be baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is only after we are baptized that we have the promise of the forgiveness of sins and the reception of the Holy Spirit.
Missionaries of the Risen Lord need to have a firm grasp on the gospel and of the great doctrines of the faith. Our goal is to preach Christ and He crucified. Our goal is to proclaim the centrality of Christ.
We are thankful for those who have preserved and passed on the gospel to future generations (2 Tim. 2:2). We must always be sharing the simple gospel to a lost world and seeking to strengthen the saved. Let’s always strive to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus!” (2 Peter 3:18)
-Larry Miles, August 16, 2015
Camp Cilca, IL