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Church of Christ Sermons and Lessons on Ephesians


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Bobby Stafford Paul's Farewell to the Ephesians           Ephesians

Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesians


Paul had much to say to the Christians at Ephesus.  He finished his letter with a fond farewell to them.  We will look briefly at those closing remarks and then focus on the theme of the book.

Text:  Ephesians 6:21-24


I.  Farewell  Verses 21-22  Paul was sending Tychicus to them to give a first-hand report of Paul’s affairs.  The brethren there were doubtlessly concerned about how Paul was doing.  Recall the final scene with the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:36-38.  Tychicus would comfort their hearts and rid them of fears they may have had about Paul’s condition.  Tychicus was called beloved brother and faithful minister “in the Lord.”  Paul obviously thought very highly of him.  (Colossians 4:7-8)  Verses 23-24  Paul closed with a wish for peace [how very necessary this is] and love with faith [linked together].  Finally, he sent a desire for grace to all who love the Lord in sincerity.


II.  A Summary of the Letter  Primary Theme  Ephesians 1:3  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” NKJV  Every spiritual blessing is “in Christ.”  Notice how that phrase runs throughout the letter.

A.  Chosen in Him  (Ephesians 1:4)  “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,”  NKJV  The chosen ones are those who are “in Christ.”  God decided in the past ages that “in Christ” would be the location of those God finds “accepted.”  (Ephesians 1:6)  “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”  Notice II Thessalonians 2:13-14  “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  To which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  and Revelation 17:14  “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen and faithful.”

B.  Redemption is in Christ.  (Ephesians 1:7)  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”  Colossians 1:14 is a sister passage.  “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”  Redeemed – we are bought with a price.  (Acts 20:28)  “Therefore take heed to ourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  Those who are in Christ are those who are in His church!  They have been forgiven of their sins – washed away at baptism.  (Acts 22:16)  “And now why are you waiting?  Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”  The location of forgiveness is in Christ.  (Ephesians 4:32)  “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

C.  Our inheritance is in Him.  (Ephesians 1:11)  “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”  Read I Peter 1:3-4.  “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  Only those in Christ have this promised inheritance.

D.  God’s exceeding riches are shown to those in Christ.  (Ephesians 2:13-16)  “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”  It is only in Him that we can be reconciled to God and enjoy peace.  (II Corinthians 5:18-20)  “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”


As we close our study of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, let us read Ephesians 1:22-23.  “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church. which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”  (Ephesians 5:23, 25-27)  “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”  Salvation is only found in Christ’s church – nowhere else.  God’s Word informs us clearly how one is saved from his sins:  hear and believe, repent, confess, and be baptized.  (Galatians 3:26-27)  “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” 

Bobby Stafford 

September 21, 2014

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