Larry's Lines

Christian Articles to Edify Folks

Thoughts From Ephesians #28 Our New Identity-Don’t Live Like Pagans (4:17-19)

June 5th, 2018

In these verses Paul tells believers what used too mark their lives (17-19) “Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: you should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts” (verse 17). Paul calls Christians to live no longer like the surrounding pagan culture.

Since Ephesian Christians and us today have  entered a new relationship with Christ we are  “walk the line.” We are to walk worthy of the  of our calling (4:1). We must dedicate  our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are as the  song James DeForrest Murch wrote, “I’ll put Jesus First in my Life.”

Snodgrass wrotem “We had no light; we were balckened out. Sin produces a malfunction of the mind.”

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Thoughts From Ephesians # 27 A Healthy Church Is Marked By Spiritual Maturity Eph. 4:13-16

June 3rd, 2018

In this passage Paul mentions four traits of a spiritually mature person.

Maturity Involves Christlikeness. (4:13) Our goal is to be like Jesus. We should long for the qualities Paul mentions in verses 2-3. We should long for spiritual maturity both individually and as a corporate body of Christ.

Maturity Involves Doctrinal Stability (4:13-14)  We need to grow in our knowledge of the  truth. In verse 14 Paul says that we should no longer be “little children” thrown about with every wind of doctrine.

Children spiritually are gullible and easily deceived. False teachers prey on the gullible saying things like:

  • All religions are the same.
  • If you are a good person, you’ll go to heaven.
  • The Bible is just one of many other religious books.
  • Believe in the idea of a resurrection, not a bodily resurrection

Children must be taught as they grow up. It is the same spiritually with new believers.We are to row through the Word and become disciple-making teachers (1 Peter 2:1-3; Heb. 5:11-14)

Maturity Involves Truth Joined With Love. (4:15-16)  We must present God’s truth to others with love. We must hold the truth high (1 Tim. 3:15). Maturity  involves a truth-telling, truth maintaining, truth doing love.  Are you and your congregation know as  ones know and teach the truth with love?

Maturity Involves Contribution. Every member is to contribute, using what he or she has. We must use our talents  to reach the lost and strengthen the saved.We must grow into Christ and use our gifts in love.

-Larry Miles, June 3, 2018 Anguilla

 

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Thoughts from Ephesians # 26 A Healthy Church Is Marked by Spiritual Diversity (Eph. 4:7-12)

June 3rd, 2018

Unity does not mean sameness. Each of us has talents which we can use to enrich and bless the church.

We Have Diverse Gifts (4:7-10) This one of the key passages in the New Testament concerning spiritual gifts (cf. Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12-14) The gifts or talents we have are to be used to edify the church and to help. build it up and to help us reach the lost with the saving grace of Jesus.

Someone said, “These gifts are ways in which we extend the ministry of Jesus on the earth. When you see gifts at work, you should adore Jesus who gave them. When someone’s gift blesses you, you should see that as Jesus blessing you.”

In verse 8 Paul refers to Psalm 68 and relates Christ’s triumph and authority. Jesus triumphed over sin, death, hell, and the grave.  He gave/gives His congregation spiritually gifted people so that we might minister to His church.

In verses 9 and 10, Paul speaks of both Christ’s descent and ascent. He sees the incarnation (descent) and the ascension of Christ as evidence that Jesus is booth Savior and King. Christ is above all and fills all. We must marvel at His generosity and authority.

We Have Diverse Responsibilities. (4:11-12) Christ gave us gifts that we would USE them. Both leaders and members have been given gifts to use to reach the lost and strengthen the saved. The church needs different people playing different positions to be a unified and effective teem.

The leaders equip the saints. (4:11) Paul mentions those in positions of leadership in the church such as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.

The office of apostle and prophet was temporary and ceased to exist after the first century. There are no apostles today and no need for prophets as we have the entire Word of God for us today.

Evangelists are those gifted in proclaiming the gospel (Acts 21:8; 2 Tim. 4:5). In one sense, all are to be involved in evangelization, but God has called and ordained some to publicly fulfil this “office.”

The term Pastor is the same “office” mentioned in the New Testament as elder, bishop and overseer. It does not refer to the preacher, although a preacher could be one of the elders.  It is the responsibility and privilege for the shepherds to tend and oversee the flock (the church). The term teacher is mentioned here also. Elders and shepherds have a responsibility to feed the sheep (Christians).

The saints do the work of ministry. Church leaders prepare, complete, train, and equip God’s people for ministry. We all must use whatever talents that God has given to us to help reach the lost and strengthen the saved. There is room in the kingdom for all of us to do our part.  We can never do enough works to be saved, but one we are saved we must be the best workers that the Lord has. There is nothing greater to do with your life than to spend it for the glory of our Redeemer-King and the advancement of His Kingdom.

-Larry Miles, June 3, 2018, Anguilla

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Larry's Lines

Christian Articles to Edify Folks