Sunday, April 19, 2009

“The Wealth and Walk of a Christ Follower” -- An Introduction

Until very recently the human race has used two means of communication: in person or through writing. There were no phones, fax, email, face book, radio, TV, skywriting, etc. The Bible is God’s written communication with us. Although written a long time ago, since it is from God, it is as current in its instruction and life application as if it were written yesterday.

This Sunday we begin looking at one of God’s letters in the New Testament – Ephesians. God used Paul to write this letter focusing on two key concepts: one, the spiritual and relational wealth that each of His children possesses because of Jesus Christ (“who has blessed us….with every spiritual blessing in Christ” 1:3); and two, the God-centered walk in life each of His children can experience because of that wealth (“…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” 4:1).

I would recommend that you read through the book of Ephesians out loud in one sitting in preparation for Sunday. It will probably will take about 30 minutes.

Who Wrote This Letter?
  • Authored by God
  • Written by Paul
  1. Paul’s first mission trip started in AD 46 at Antioch where Paul journeyed to Cyprus and into Asia Minor (Turkey ).
  2. Paul’s second major mission trip started in AD 49 and lasted 4 years. It was on this trip that he made a brief stop in Ephesus.
  3. Paul’s third trip started in AD 53 and lasted 5 years. It was during this trip that Paul spent 3+ years in Ephesus.
  4. Paul was placed under house arrest in Rome for 2 years in AD 62 at which time he wrote the letter to the Ephesians and gives it to Tychicus to deliver to Ephesus.
  5. Paul was an apostle of Christ Jesus. -- An apostle is literally a “sent one,” an official representative for someone else.

To Whom Was It Written?
  • Written to saints
  1. Saint - “a person officially recognized especially by canonization as being entitled to public veneration and capable of interceding for people on earth.” --The American Heritage Dictionary
  2. Saint – one who is “set apart” to God by God.
  • Located in Ephesus
  • Positioned in Christ

Foundational Concepts:
  • Grace - God responding with kind love to those who cannot earn it and do not deserve it.
  • Peace - restoration of inner harmony with God and harmonious relationships with others.
  1. Peace with God through Christ
  2. Peace with people

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