Larry's Lines

Christian Articles to Edify Folks

Thoughts from Ephesians – # 19 The Mystery of the Ages (Eph. 3:9-10)

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.

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Thought #18- Christ-Centered Missionary Proclaims the Incalculable Riches of Christ Eph. 3:8b-9

November 29th, 2017

In verse 8 and 9, Paul uses 2 purpose clauses to help explain how precious the grace of God was and is for the Christian.  The   first purpose was to proclaim the incalculable riches of Christ.  This particular word appears nowhere outside of Biblical Greek.  Other biblical writers convey the incalculable nature of God’s attributes. Job speaks of the “unsearchable” ways of God (Job. 5:9; 9:10). Paul elsewhere describes the wisdom of God and His “untraceable” ways (Rom. 11:33).

Paul’s all-consuming subject of proclamation was a person: Christ. Is Christ the all-consuming focus of your teaching and preaching?   We should proclaim the riches of Christ to our own soul daily, and out of the overflow with Him, declare   His glory to others.

Our goal in preaching and teaching and evangelizing is to bring praise for the Savior.  We sing the song, “O, What a Savior!” Jesus changes lives. Keep the life-changer at the heart of your message.

Paul also received grace in order to explain the global nature of God’s plan of salvation.  It is Jew and Gentile together in Christ.  Paul always emphasizes the sovereignty of God; this plan was in the mind of God before the foundation of the world. There is a passion for mission that permeates the whole Bible.   Jesus is the center of the plan of salvation. We remember the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch.  From the passage he was reading, which we today know as Isaiah 53, Phillip started there and preached to him Jesus. We all know the results. The man to a decision for Jesus   and was baptized into Christ and went away rejoicing.

-Larry Miles, August 17, 2015

Camp Cilca, IL

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Thoughts From Ephesians 17- a Christ-Centered Missionary is Overwhelmed by the Grace of Christ (Eph. 3:7-8a

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

 

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Christian Articles to Edify Folks