Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ephesians 6 with Jay and Chip

In an unprecedented move, Chip and Jay take the stage together to lead us in our time in the word. Here are some of my notes from this morning:

We started with some review and overview.

* Chip: You and I are "little a" apostles... I hope that this year you have a sense of your "sent-ness." Paul refers to himself as the least of the apostles, the foremost of sinners. We need this balance of knowledge of our being his ambassadors, something that gives us tremendous confidence. At the same time we need to remember with humility his great grace that has brought us into his kingdom.

* The rivers of his mercy are meant to bring us under the gracious, loving, merciful reign of Jesus.

* God is working in all kinds of ways to bring out the beauty of Jesus in us so that we might shine with the likeness of Christ in our lives.

* Those who have been transferred out of darkness and into the kingdom of the beloved son are told how to live by Paul... the challenge is that we tend to look at those in the kingdom of darkness as completely without God, but there is knowledge of the kingdom that can be found even in the pagan world.

*We live now as strangers and aliens in this pagan world, the challenge is to stay away from sinful actions, we need to keep our conduct honorable so that people will see our good works and glorify God in the days to come.

* The pagan is not impressed that you read your Bible every day. They may pray more than you to their idols. What they are impressed with is what they see as good... when they see that we are committed to our friends, to the homeless, to that which is beautiful in art and in creation, they are impressed with these things (the things we do in the "overlap" area).

*Eph. 6. Paul makes it clear we are in a battle with spiritual forces, and we must continually put on the armor of God, daily.

* Notice how often Paul tells us to pray... four times in the last few verses. The best thing we can do in the midst of spiritual battle is to pray.

* Compassionate deeds must be entwined with passionate proclamation. Our deeds and words blend together. Deeds illustrate and illuminate the gospel, and words explain it.

*There is a certain "narcotic" that comes in caring for the widow and orphan. The message of the gospel is that Jesus is King. Compassionate deeds only expand the kingdom of God when they are connected with this message. A couple quick points showing this scripturally... one is Acts 3 (Peter and John heal the lame man)... that good work is misunderstood and people think that the men do this by their own power. So they explain their good works with the gospel of Jesus.

* Tim Keller says When we serve and do mercy with others and when we proclaim the message of the gospel propositionally, either one fails to have the impact of the two together. So if we say we are opposed to homosexuality, but we serve and care for those who may be suffering in the homosexual community, it creates a dissonance in the minds of the pagan world that is extremely winsome. It opens the pagan to the possibility of responding to the gospel.

* 6:23-24. Paul circles back to where he started... God's great mercy elicits our love for him to be incorruptable, and day by day there is growing intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ.

*It is an amazing privelege to participate with God in his plans. His great grace makes us love him more and more every day.

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