Given on May 9th 2021
Happy Mothers Day to all you Mothers out there!
God made mothers on purpose, and a man can never be a mother, regardless of how he feels about it.
Last week we finished up Chapter 2 of Ephesians.
And just like Chapter 1, we could have spent many many more Sundays within it’s verses.
When we preach through the end of the New Testament, and start back over in Genesis, and then make it to Ephesians again, we will be able to see even more in Chapter 2 than we saw in the past few Sundays.
Today were going to jump in to Chapter 3 and look at the verse 6 verses.
 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,  how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.  When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,  which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.  This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (ESV)
#1) Salvation is open to all believers ------ this is the mystery
Last week we looked at the reality that animosity between races can only be solved by Jesus Christ.
Jew & Gentile divide
They tried to hold on to their power
They old way of doing things
How they had always believed----even though it was wrong to begin with
We are one family
We fit in with eachother, regardless of personality differences
Regardless of gender or race
Regardless of income status or hobbies or tastes in music or food
All of our differences are the intentionally seasoning that God built within His Church
We need to come together and get along in spite of our differences -----
The world is watching
#2) Paul’s Revelation was written down, so that when we read it, we can perceive his insight into the mystery of Christ
Paul is claiming that God spoke to him
God revealed something to me-------
I had a revelation from God------
V.3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation ------
He didn't dial in the voice of God like it was a radio dial and he just had to tune it to the right frequency
He didn't spend hours and days and weeks in self denial fasting
He didn't say the right words at the right time and because of His efforts and his own holiness, he was able to hear from God
In fact, it was the opposite ----- he was a God hating pharisee who murdered Christians
The reality that salvation is open to all who believe, and not just the jews ------ was revealed to Him by the Spirit
It came upon him when he wasn't expecting it
Not looking for it
Not striving and stressing over hearing the voice of God and if I just try extra extra hard to hear from Him THEN God will speak to me
Well then the question needs to be asked,
How do they know that Paul’s revelation was truly from God?
Not just the Christians in Ephesus, but the Christians in Rome, Corinth, Thessalonica, and all the other Greek cities that he wrote too…….
Paul was making the claim that God spoke to Him----- and people back then, just like people now should do------ said “prove it.”
Alignment with the Old Testament
Isaiah 49:6 - I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Genesis 12 - the seed of Abraham (Jesus) will be a blessing to all the Nations
Acts 17:2 it says this:
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (ESV)
Alignment with the other Apostles and Authors of Scripture
2nd Peter 3:14-17
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures
Miracles accompanied him
Casting out demons - Acts 16:18
His clothing could heal the sick and cast out demons - Acts 19:12
Raising the dead - Acts 20
The overall message that Paul said God spoke to Him, had to do with the overall redemptive history of mankind
It wasn't the minutiae of daily life
It wasn't if he should do this or do that
It was involved in the grand scheme of how God
What God was communicating through His revelation to Paul, was so important that he ensured that the only reason someone could deny it, was out of hardness of heart
No one could mishear
Attribute it to themselves
He was getting rid of all the “well what about this or what about that”s that people use to ignore the Word of God.
If we are going to claim that we are hearing from God, then we better make sure that it
Aligns with the prophecies of the Old Testament
Is supported and affirmed by the people who literally walked with Jesus and saw him with their eyes after the resurrection
Have there be miracles to provide further proof
#3) Living for God, by what He has revealed to us in Scripture, will put us at odds with the Earthly powers of our world
For Paul, that meant imprisonment
That is where he wrote the words we are talking about this morning.
From a prison cell
He was also tortured and stoned and eventually he was beheaded
When we live according to the Scriptures, being kind and bold
Being gentle and straightforward
Being humble and unmoving
This world will react
The powers in this world that don't know Him and aren't also living for Him, will get angry
Young men and women, if your parents don't have a relationship with God, then when you start to live yours out, they will get angry with you
The same can be said for husbands and wives
Employers and employees
Citizens and their governments
Every area of life that we exist in, and every role we fill------- when we live by the standard that God set-----we will face opposition
Abandonment from family
Ostracized from your culture, job, social circle
But it isn't all doom and gloom-----
We don't have to leave society and go be a Monk ---- unless we want to, which is totally fine. Go for it.
But we do fit in, and belong.
In the family of God. that is why our first point is so important.
We need to lay our differences aside and come together, not only because the world is watching…..
But because the men and women for whom Christ died, that are living their life alongside of us ------ need help
Etc etc etc
In closing -------
#1) Salvation is open to any and all who believe -----
We can never, and should never ----- look at a group or a type of people, and say “they will never know God”
Look at the way they act
Look at their skin color
Look at the way they dress
Look at how they sin and how openly and proudly they sin
Those people over there will never know God and are doomed
Remember, it is by grace you ave been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God
If you are saved, you didn't earn it
You weren't holier than those people that you look down on
You weren't closer to salvation than someone else who sins in a different way than you do
Salvation is open to all who believe
#2) He didn't earn or work towards, hearing from God
It was a revelation
It was confirmed by its alignment with Scripture
It was confirmed by the other Apostles as being inspired by God
It was accompanied by miracles
And he held it as true all the way to his death
#3) When we live by what God says, it will put us at odds with the Earthly powers of our world