Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ephesians 1:3-14 Church is Medium and Message

KEY TEXT: Eph 1:11-14 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

KEY THOT: Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians with the stupendous claim that all believers have received an inheritance of unlimited blessings: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:3). This spiritual inheritance is ours because we heard the gospel of salvation and believed in Christ and are now sealed by the Holy Spirit as a guarantee, deposit and foretaste of the future inheritance we are to receive. Paul states the Jews were the “first to hope in Christ” and then the “you (Gentiles) also” (v.12-13). The Ephesians received the same spiritual inheritance because Paul and his Jewish band shared the good news with them.

God has promised the inheritance of the kingdom to everyone who believes in Christ, a kingdom of unlimited blessings. Having received this inheritance, of whom the Holy Spirit is the deposit and personal guarantee, we now have the obligation to share this amazing gospel with others who have not yet heard it, so that they may also become part of God’s eternal plan to extend Christ's rule over all creation: “as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph 1:10).

God has called the church into being to declare the “praise of his glorious grace” (v.6). The church does not exist to satisfy our needs but to fulfill God’s eternal purpose and plan in Christ, which will ultimately redound to the “praise of his glory” (v.11, 12). The apostle Peter puts it this way in 1 Peter 2:9, “You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (NLT). Through the church community, those in darkness will be able to see God's wonderful light. 

I’ve found in Alpha evangelism a means of communicating the gospel through the community of believers. In Alpha, we invite seekers and skeptics to “come and see, experience, and belong”, not just come and hear. God has chosen the church as the medium and also the message of the Gospel. The Christian community is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. When seekers come into contact with the community, they do not just hear the gospel preached, but they experience the presence and power of the Kingdom and its blessings through the Holy Spirit. 

Father, what a joy to know that You have called us, the church, to be the medium and message of the Gospel of salvation. May many more seekers experience Your glorious grace through Your people. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments.