In Ephesians 3:1-13 Paul explains the mystery of the Gospel. He explains it as the Gentiles being included in salvations plan. For theses of us who are gentile this is wonderful news. As Paul explains this mystery, he explains his service to the church in the working of this mystery. As we look at Paul's part we can see the same working going on in each of our lives at we endeavor to serve God.
As with most mysteries we can solve the mystery by answering three simple questions. What? How? and Why?
What Minister verse 7
Sometimes we only think of Pastors as ministers. There is nothing farther from the truth. Here the greek means intermediary in a transaction, agent or courier.
Pastors vs Preachers I am not sure where the thought that preacher (proclaimer of the gospel) was only evangelist. Everyone who knows Christ as savior is responsible for proclaiming the gospel.
We are each responsible for ministering in the work God has called us.
Bring to light verse 9
Whatever service God has called you to it will bring something to the light.
Christ is light darkness flees light
God does not call us to hide things
The truth will set you free.
Gift of Gods grace verse 7
Grace - being in Gods favor
By the working of his power Verse 7
No flesh will glory
least of the saints
The church will be advanced verse 10
God is not looking for superstars
He wants a place where sinners can come and here the gospel
Narareth was never the saviors home during his public ministry. He lived in Capernaum till he left Galilee six months before the crucifixion
Luke includes the story of the great catch
Three of these four had been disciples and been following Jesus. When Jesus came back to Galilee they where making money fishing. Here he calls them to full time ministry. Our calling can change from time to time. Seldom does it require use to make a complete change. Pastors may be an exception. For most of us God only asks us to be faithful where we are.
Fishers of men. Interesting concept.
--Must go where the fish are.
--Must use equipment
--Normally includes bait
No condemnation--Greek here speaks not about forgiveness but about being free from the punishment from having at one time being guilty. Some Christians walk around like someone has just died every minute of their life. We are not required to live like that. You are a free moral agent and can live a defeated life if you choose. Paul here is telling us it is not required.
Freedom--Not to do anything we want but from having to do something. -----Sin-We are more than conquers in christ -----Relationship-We can forgive -----Finance-Favor of God -----Worry-Minde of peace
Don't have to smell Hell- Freedom from the law of sin and Death for our soul.
John 4:1-4; Luke 3:19-20; Mark 1:14; Matt 4:12
1.There is a bigger picture than what we see
Woman coming to draw a day water
Jesus gave here living water
--What are we missing every day?
2. Nothing to draw
--Jesus does not need material things to work miracles
3. Nothing to hide
--Jesus knew everything
4. Message that Jesus is the messiah
--Some say Jesus never said he was the messiah
5 Food you know nothing about.
There are three great questions that will confront you sometime in your life. If they haven't yet, they will, you may not have lived long enough yet. The answer to these three questions are all found in The Gospel of John the first few verses.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Five little verses that can answer some of the biggest questions you will ever have in your life. Lets look at one question at a time and find the answer in our five little verses.
1. How does this work?
I have asked this question many times in a lot of different situations. I have worked in the world of science all of my life. There are rules in science that are always true. You can understand any difficult concept if you understand the scienfiic rules that apply. Gravity always pulls an object toward the center of the earth. Always has always will. In my chosen profession energy is conserved. If I have a heat exchanger and I know the energy in a fluid on one side of a heat exchanger and I know the mass of the fluid on the other side I can every time perdict the temperature of the second fluid. How? energy is conserved.
Same question differant situation. In my years of pastoring I have talked with many teenagers and parents of teenagers who where broken hearted over puppy love. I am not sure why it is called puppy love. Most puppies don't hurt you, puppy love sure does. I think it is called puppy love because it can lead to a dog's life. I have told all those parents and teenagers it will get better and it always does. I have heard it said time heals, and it does.
Everything you see hear or experience didn't just happen it was intelligently designed. It is not a accident the earth takes 365.24 days to circle the sun. It is not an accident the earth is titled so here in Tennessee we get to enjoy all four seasons. And it is not by accident that time mends a broken heart. THERE WAS AN INTELLIGENT DESIGNER and John tells us his name was Jesus!
Verse 3 All things were made through him and without him was not any thing made that was made.
2. Why am I alive?
Tuff question! It would have took more than five verses for John to answer this one for each of us. So he took a little short cut here. He told us who gave us life so we could go to him to find out why we are alive.
Verse 4 In him was life
Why are you alive? I have had that question. To be totally honest I have had that question about other people. Some of you are thinking how can a pastor think that? Be honest you have wondered the same thing. Someone takes their own child's life.
If you are asking that question today, maybe there is a simple answer, if you just ask the right person. The wrong places to ask are:
The oppsite sex
You need to ask the one who initially possessed the life we all now have. John said his name is Jesus.
3. What do I need to do?
I have this question often about a verity of topics. If I only knew what tomorrow looks like. There use to be a show that come on TV for just one or two seasons. I don't remember the name of the show. But a man would get the next days paper the day before it happen. He could see where someone would be killed and he would try to intervene. He would see there was going to be a fire and he would try to prevent it. You get the way the show went. Would be good to get the paper a day early.
John tells us Jesus was the light of men. He gets the paper a day early. He is trying to lead his children. We need to follow the light. The darkness can not overcome him. Don't worry.
John says the man who knows the way and has the light, his name is Jesus!
Jesus didn't accidentally use words. He said what he meant and meant what he said. Unlike us sometimes, he didn't talk and them think. The thought he generated here is simple. When you meet christ you have a new life. Nicodemus was a ruler A member of the Sanhedrin Court. He is called a Pharisee religious leader. He recognized Jesus was a teacher come from God. It makes you wander why all the "religous people" didn't see he was God. I wonder the same thing today.
Happened at a specific time - not over a long period.
The mother travailed - church
It was recorded - Birth Certificate / Lamb's book of life
Baby produced - babe in Christ
God so loved us he did something for us we couldn't do for ourselfs.
God didn't come to condem the world