Why a Sermon Series on Ephesians?
This book was written by the apostle Paul and is only 6 chapters long. Reading this book from beginning to end (if you are an average reader like me) will take you approximately 20 minutes.
Samuel Coleridge, the English poet said that Ephesians is “the divinest composition of man.” Another writer refers to it as, “the Grand Canyon of Scripture,” because “it is breathtakingly beautiful and apparently inexhaustible to the one who wants to take it in”. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls Ephesians “the sublimest and the most majestic expression” of the gospel. Reformation preacher John Calvin is not alone among Christians in prizing Ephesians as his favourite letter in the New Testament.
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul shows how the grace of God in Christ empowers the church to live victoriously in a broken world. The subtitle for our sermon series in Ephesians is ‘Gospel Truths Lead to Gospel Living’. The first three chapters are saturated with the gospel while the last three chapters give you plenty of opportunities to apply it to your life. Paul’s profound expositions of God’s glorious grace will lead us to the practical implications of that gospel living.
In his letter to the Ephesian Church, Paul celebrates and explains God’s mission of reconciliation in Ephesians 1, applies it to individuals in Ephesians 2:1–10 and the Jews and Gentiles in Ephesians 2:11–22, and exhorts the church to live it out in their relationships with one another in Ephesians 4–6. The beautiful thing about Ephesians is that it encourages us to see how our individual testimonies accompany corporate implications. This epistle will transform your understanding of God’s work in and through the church.
We were dead not only to God, but to the people of God. However, Christ’s cross has obliterated the dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile. By God’s grace we are united to God and to one another. Therefore, no matter our ethnicity, our social status, or our moral backgrounds, we as Christians are now fellow citizens, members of the same family, and strategic stones in the temple of God.
As we study Ephesians, we will also see how the grace of God transforms our relationship with the broken world. Paul teaches that we are in a spiritual war and that we must put on the necessary armour so that we may fight against the demonic realm. As members of Christ’s visible church, we must remember that we are fighting in an invisible (spiritual) war that has already been won by Christ, whose victory is displayed through his church.
Every week we stand together with brothers and sisters in Christ who have battled all week. Many are exhausted, possibly feel defeated, and don’t know if they even want to keep on fighting. Ephesians will encourage us in this spiritual fight and offer us hope that faithfulness and victory are possible in Christ. This letter calls believers to walk in hope, love, holiness, and wisdom within our local church congregation and in the world.
For these reasons and more, Ephesians is a powerhouse letter. It has gospel. It has mission. It has clear instructions for the Christian life. It has hope. As we study this book verse by verse for the next few months, pray with me as the apostle Paul prayed in (1:17-19),
… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you[us] a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.