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Christian Articles to Edify Folks

Thoughts From Ephesians # 25 – A Healthy Church is United By a Gospel Confession 4:4-6

June 2nd, 2018

This passage gives us the “7 Unity’s.” These “one” statements emphasize the oneness we share as Christians. We must understand however, that Eph. 4:4-6 is not teaching unity at any cost. There is a difference in unity and uniformity. Our unity must be in Christ.

One body. The Lord only has one church, and all who have accepted Jesus and have obeyed the gospel are members of the church  universal. We are diverse in background and gifts, but united in Christ.

One Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the  3rd Person of the Godhead indwells every believer (Acts 2:38). He enables us to live the Christian life.

One Hope. The one hope is the “Blessed Hope.”  (Titus 2:11-13) Jesus has promised to return for His Church. We are  to live in anticipation of that hope.

One Lord. Believers in the early church confessed  and proclaimed, “Jesus is Lord!”  (2 Cor. 4:5) When doing that they were saying, “Caesar is not Lord.”  This confession could’ve caused them their life. Today we  proclaim the Lordship of Jesus.  It is our aim and desire to live according to what He taught.

One faith. Jude wrote that we are “to contend earnestly for the  faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” The one  faith is the body of truth we  embrace and believe.

One Baptism. This is  immersion into Christ for the  remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). It is  after we are baptized that we receive our sins  forgiven and we receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

One God and Father. As his adopted children, we share the same Father (cf. Eph. 1:5) He is God over all and Father of all His children.

-Larry Miles, June 2, 2018, Anguilla

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Thoughts From Ephesians -# 22 Rooted and Grounded in Love (3:17-19)

May 30th, 2018

Paul’s prayer in this passage is that the Ephesians and us today should know Christ’s love for them. I think that sometimes we do not appreciate Christ’s love as we should or that we take it for granted. When we begin to appreciate how much Jesus  loves His Church, we will live a crucified life.

God’s love is rooted in history, especially at the  cross.  Peter wrote in 1 Pet. 1:8, “And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy.” It’s not merely head knowledge, but is a love that we experience daily in our walk for the Lord.

Notice four aspects of love that we need to know in our minds and experience in our daily walk for the Lord.

  1. Know that you are rooted and grounded in God’s love. (3:17b)  John Stott writes, “Love is to be the soil in which their life is rooted; love is to be the foundation on which their life is built.”  
  2. Know the limitless dimensions of God’s love. 3:18)  God’s love is very extensive. Scripture speaks of God’s love. He  has included all ethnic groups as part  of His family. His love is as long as eternity. Jeremiah says that He has “loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3) We must learn to comprehend it; but it takes God’s power to do so.   It is as the collective body of Christ that we express that love of God. All Christians  live out their faith seeking to reach the lost with the Gospel and to strengthen the saved.  The “one another” passage in the New Testament show us that God wants Christians to interact with other  Christians as they seek to fulfill the Great Commission. We are not intended to live the Christian life in isolation.
  3. Know that His love surpasses knowledge. (3:19a) How do we experience God’s love? Vertically, we need stop and marvel at God’s love (2:1-2) and rest in His forgiveness (4:32) Horizontally, we need to experience God’s love by showering love to the  world. 
  4. Know God’s love that you may be mature. Paul concludes this prayer with this  great phrase: “filled with all the fullness of God.”  Carson, in “Spiritual Reformation,” wrote ” Paul wants them to know that love of God in Christ to the end that they might ‘be all that God wants them to be’ or ‘spiritually mature.”  God wants us to be mature in the faith and has given us all the resources we need if we will vail ourselves of them.

We need the fulness of God’s love and power to be like Christ. We must experience the fullness of the power of God and His love that we may love our neighbors, our churches, our families and this broken world.

 

Larry Miles, May 30, 2018, Anguilla

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Thoughts From Ephesians- Number 21 – Strength and Riches Through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 3:14-16)

December 2nd, 2017

We serve an Awesome God and Lord Jesus Christ!  All three parts of the Godhead are  present in our walk of faith. When we  are in the presence of Deity, we “bow our knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,”  (Ephesians 3:14). Throughout the Old and New Testaments when godly people came int the presence of God, adoration was the  order of the day.

Even when we are not physically bending our knees in praise of our Heavenly Father, we are  to be in a spirit of adoration. Just like  it says to “pray without ceasing,” which  does not mean that we are constantly  praying; rather it means that we are  to be in a spirit of prayer, ready to pray when the need arrises. I thin  think it is the same here. Our hearts and minds must be bended in adoration to the Lord.

Christians are a part of “family of faith” mentioned  in Ephesians 3:15. We share a common faith with every Christian in the whole world. We share a common salvation (Jude 3).

As has been  stressed many times in the Epistle of Ephesians, God has  great things in place for His children. His riches are  endless and He wants us to have all the blessings a  loving Father has for His children,

He wants us to live our life with the might of God present through the  work of the Holy Spirit who indwells  us. Like I said in the very first article of this series, God is not  a stingy God , not wanting to bless us; rather, He rejoices in blessing us.

We have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling us (Acts 2:38). We must take advantage  of that blessed  truth and live daily in the Spirit. We must want all God has for us. All the blessings  of God must be received  so that we can grow in the Lord Jesus and help others  find and enjoy the marvelous light of the Gospel.

-November 6, 2017, at Graymere Church of Christ, Columbia, TN (CBI)

Larry Miles, lives in Louisville, KY, and is Co-Editor of Word and Work On-Line

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