Larry's Lines

Christian Articles to Edify Folks

Thought # 16– A Christ-Centered Missionary Understands the Message of Christ (Eph. 3:2-6)

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

 

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Thought # 15 – A Christ-Centered Missionary Follows the Will of Christ- (Eph. 3:1, 13)

November 23rd, 2017

Although Paul is referring to himself, these   attributes or characteristics should be found in all Christians. Ephesians is one of the four so-called “Prison Epistles,” Philippians, Colossians and Philemon being the other three.  It is God’s will that every Christian be a missionary, sharing the gospel where he or she resides, whether at home or abroad. All of us need to testify to the grace of Jesus. We must always seek to be in the will of God.

In Eph. 3:1 Paul refers to himself as the prisoner of Christ.  Although he was a prisoner of the Roman emperor, he does not designate himself as such.  It was the will of Christ that took Paul to prison. Paul did not view this imprisonment as a hindrance or a stumbling block to his ministry. Rather he saw his many imprisonments as opportunities to reach the lost with the gospel and strengthen the saved. They could chain Paul but not his message (Eph. 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:9).

The most important thing to Paul was not his safety but   he saw it as a mission for the King. We sing the song, “I came on business for the king.”  Christians are to be heralds for our king, proclaiming the good news where ever we are, whether free or in chains. Paul would have been chained to a Roman soldier and had a captive audience.  We read in the   word of God that many came to the Lord, even those of the Praetorian Guard and those of Caesar’s household.

In Eph. 3:13 we read of the loving pastoral heart of Paul. He is the one in prison but he appears to want to set his readers minds at ease. Paul does not want the church to be disheartened; he wants them to see that his sufferings are a part of God’s glorious plan.

-Larry Miles, August 15, 2015

Camp Cilca, IL

 

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Thought # 14 – “Identification: Who We have Now Become” (Eph. 2:19-22)

November 21st, 2017

Thought # 14 – “Identification: Who We have Now Become” (Eph. 2:19-22)

The Apostle Paul summarizes the reconciling work of Christ by saying the Gentiles are now joined together with the Jewish Christians in a new community, the Church. To illustrate our identity, Paul uses three word pictures: citizens, family, and stones in a temple.

Citizens of God’s Kingdom (Eph. 2:19).  Paul tells the Gentiles that they are now, along with the Jewish Christians, are a part of the kingdom of God. They and we are no longer second class citizens in someone else’s territory. The Gentiles have the same rights as the Jews in a relationship with God.

Paul says in Phil. 3:20 that “our citizenship is in heaven…” As his subjects, we have privileges to enjoy and responsibilities to be carried out. Paul contrasts this citizenship with Roman citizenship, which was greatly prized in his time. Roman citizenship was prized and we must be striving to be live   according to our spiritual constitution, the New Covenant Scriptures and serve, honor, and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.

The hymn writer writes these words: “I love Thy kingdom, Lord, the house of Thine abode…” We are in both the kingdom and the church.

Members of God’s family (Eph. 2:19b) One might imagine Jew and gentile together in a secular kingdom, to not in the same family. That would be stunning. In 1 Tim. 3:15, Paul says we are “God’s household.”

How are we one family? We have the same Father.  We have free access to Him.  The church so made up of adopted children. We have family responsibilities which are to bring glory to our heavenly Father.  In 1 Tim. 5:1-2 Paul says that we should treat one another like family. Every member of the family has responsibilities and a role in God’s household.

Stones in God’s Temple (Eph 2:20-22)   the third metaphor that Paul uses would have been vivid for his audience.  The Jews were used to a physical temple in Jerusalem. Except for the Babylonian captivity and the early part of the Persian Empire there had been an earthly temple for nearly 1,000 years.

Paul says that the foundation of the temple is God’s Word. The church of the Lord Jesus stands or falls upon its faithfulness to God’s Word.   Next we see the mention of the cornerstone. As the hymn writer says:  “The Church’s One Foundation IS Jesus Christ, Her Lord…”

Paul likens people to stones. Peter calls us “living stones” (2 Pet. 2:5). Each member is added to the church.  Both Jew and Gentile are now a dwelling place for God by the Holy Spirit.  We are joined together and built together. We are related to each other and are growing together in Christ.

We need each other’s time, talent, treasure, love, resources, encouragement and rebuke. We are to live   the Christian life together, entered in Christ and rooted in the teaching of Scripture.

-Larry Miles, August 14, 2015

Camp Cilca, IL

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Christian Articles to Edify Folks