We are calling this series Called to CommUNITY because:
Ephesians 1: 3 We are united with Christ
Ephesians 4: 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit.
We are in community with Christ and because of this we are able to live out community with each other.
1. To be able to understand this, we have to go back and remember who we are in Christ.
Paul spend the first 1/2 of his letter telling us who we are in our relationship with Jesus
- United with Christ 1: 3
- Adopted into His family 1: 5
- Planned that we would be in this relationship before the world began 1: 4
- He has filled us with Himself and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit 1: 14
- We were enemies of God and a wall had come up between us and God 2: 1 – 4
- Even in the midst of our rebellion, Jesus came to break down the wall between us and Him 2: 15
- Paul is asking that our eyes would be opened up so we would understand:
- The Hope to which He has called us
- The glorious inheritance that is ours
- The power that is at work within us.
Now that Paul knows all these things we are able to understand the next step.
2. Paul the Prisoner
Ephesians 3: 1 Paul a prisoner of Christ
Prisoner means Bond Slave. A bond slave is a person who sold themselves into slavery because of massive debt. At then end of seven years the person who bought them was required to release them. If the slave did not want to go, then he could become a bond slave. He chose to become an eternal slave for his master. The master would then take him to the city gates and in front of everyone, he would pierce his ear showing ownership.
Paul is sayng he has chosen to not just live in the house, but become a bond slave.
We forget we are not our own, we are brought with a price
1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20 dont you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Paul is saying I know who I am in Christ and I belong to Him so I now belong to Him and will honor Him with my body.
3. Paul the prisoner for serving
Ephesians 4: 1 Therefore I a prisoner for serving Jesus. (Not a prisoner to Jesus but becasue of Jesus) I beg you…
What would you beg? GET ME OUT OF THESE CHAINS
Key Point: God want to use you to bring others into this incredible relationship with Him.
Ephesians 3: 1 A Prisoner of Christ for the benefit of you Gentiles.
This wasn’t easy.
Philippians 1: 17 There are people stirring up trouble while I am in chains.
Prayer could have been, I need to get out and take care of the church and what is happening.
Paul tried praying this type of prayer once asking God to remove the thorn in his life. God just answered my grace is sufficient.
Paul’s prayer was “Pray that I would keep speaking boldly for Him as I should”
This is where so many of us lose it. We are not real bond slaves and complain every time something happens u=to us.
John 12: 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
In Expect we shared that God gets glory from bearing much fruit.
ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN AS A SINGLE KERNEL OR PRODUCING MANY SEEDS?
What would happen if the church quit praying that God would get us out of this situation and started praying God give me boldness to share your name.
2 Corinthians 4: 17 Light and momentary problems are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weights them all.
Look at Paul’s challenge to Timothy the pastor of Ephesus
2 Timothy 1: 8 Never be ashamed to tell others about Jesus..Join me in my suffering.
Ask God to give you boldness today no matter what you are going through.