Monthly Archives: December, 2015

Ephesians Study: Least of the Saints

[Ephesians 3:1-13]

Paul wrote over half of the books in the New Testament. Paul knew the Scriptures well. Paul had an encounter with Jesus and a special calling to preach to the Gentiles. He had many reasons to be puffed up. Instead we read:

1 Corinthians 15:9 “least of the apostles,” Ephesians 3:8 “very least of all the saints,” 1 Timothy 1:15 “foremost of sinners”

  • We are dead – we need to be made alive

Romans 3:23-24We are all sinners – we all fall short of the glory of God

Ephesians 2:1 – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins”

Ephesians 2:5 – “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”

Colossians 2:13 – “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins”

  • God humbles Himself – He makes us alive

Psalm 113:5-6 – “Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?”

Psalm 18:35 – “You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your right hand supports me. Your gentleness makes me great.”

Philippians 2:7-8 – “Rather, He (Jesus Christ) made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!”

  • Exalt self = humbled, humble self = exalted

Luke 18:9-14 (Parable of the Two Men Who Prayed / Pharisee and the Tax Collector) – We get full of ourselves – We become like the self-exalting man Pharisee from parable – he prayed that he wasn’t like that sinner

1 Peter 5:6 – “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

Numbers 12:3 – “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” Aaron and Miriam trash talked Moses, God exalted Moses – with him I speak face to face

Proverbs 29:23 – “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Bible Study Questions:

  1. In the Bible, humility is seen as submissiveness toward God. What are some things we need to recognize to be humble?
  1. If we are humble, we recognize God’s power and wisdom. This leads to accepting His will and leads to obedience. How do we see this in life?
  1. With humility comes suffering, hardships, and even persecution. Why do you think these things related?
  1. We are to be humble / meek; however, this does not mean we submit to everything. When are we not supposed to submit?
  1. How can we stay humble?

6.  How does humility keep us from sin?

 

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

 

Ephesians Study: Our Cornerstone

[Ephesians 2:11-23]

Psalm 118:22 – stone rejected by the builders has become the head of the corner

Verse 12 —   At one time we were                               Through Christ we are

Separated                                                                 Brought Near

Without hope                                                          With Peace

  • Fellow citizens with the saints – Members of the household of God
  • Built on Foundation of Apostles & Prophets
  • Christ – Cornerstone – whole structure joined together into Holy Temple in the Lord – We are living stones to be united to & built up by the Cornerstone

 

Christ is a stumbling block to those without faith

Isaiah 8:14 – And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. [ESV]

Parable of the Wicked Tenants – Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17

 

Christ is security to those who believe

Acts 4:11 – Built together into dwelling place for God by the Spirit – completeness & unity

Matthew 7:24-27 – built house on the Rock – hear words & act upon them – firm foundation

Isaiah 28:16 – Therefore the Lord GOD said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable. [HCSB] — Firm, Unshakable, Reliable

1 Peter 2:6 – those who trust in Him will never be put to shame – no shame

 

Follow up questions:

Read Isaiah 28:16. This verse describes the foundation of Christ as firm, unshakable, and reliable.

Take time to consider in your life…

  • How has Christ been firm?
  • How has Christ been unshakable?
  • How has Christ been reliable?

Read Psalm 118:22. This verse speaks of a stone that is rejected by the builders becoming the head of the corner, the Cornerstone. The Cornerstone holds in place all of the other stones. Consider what you have used to build up your house. Examine the pieces you used to build. Is Jesus the Cornerstone? What are some of the pieces you have been using to build? What do you need to do to get back to your foundation of Christ and allow Christ to be your Cornerstone?

Read Acts 4:11. Peter makes it clear that this cornerstone is Jesus Christ who was rejected by the Jewish leaders and crucified. If the stone is precious and sure to be laid as a cornerstone, why would it be rejected by the builders? Why did the Jewish leaders not accept Him? What can we learn from this?

Read 1 Peter 2:6. This verse says those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame. When have you felt shame in life? Why did you feel this shame? Why does the Bible promise that we will not be put to shame? How can you live this out?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Christmas Past Message

 

Look Back – Remember what God has done

Joshua 3-4 – REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE

Remember personal experience 

Remember to share faith John 21:25

NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY YOUR TESTIMONY- IT IS YOURS ALONE

Look Back – Remember past events and old life

Dwell on past sins – missing old life – longing for what was

2 Corinthians 5:17Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Leave your old self behind – put on new self (Ephesians 4:17-24)

Old self – “the flesh” is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so (Romans 8:6-7) – old self is all about us

Lot’s Wife – Genesis 19, Luke 17:32-33Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it

Harboring unforgiveness towards others / holding grudges

FORGIVE means to NOT TALK ABOUT IT and to NOT THINK ABOUT IT

Forgive just as Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)

FORGIVE LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED

Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (Matthew 6:12)

Guard your heart – Proverbs 4:23

Pray for themBut I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27-28)

Look Back – Remember Past Mistakes

Romans 3:23 – All fall short of the glory of God

Everyone makes mistakes:

  1.  Abraham fled to Egypt because of drought (Genesis 12-13)
  2. Moses killed Egyptian (Exodus 2) & struck rock in anger (Numbers 20)
  3. Peter denied Jesus THREE times (Mark 14:66-72)

Today’s Passage: Conception and Birth of Jesus – Matthew 1:18-25

“Verse 21 – “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Nathan Rebukes David – 2 Samuel 12:1-14

  • David – man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22).
  • David commits adultery & plans murder to cover up sin (2 Samuel 11).
  • David’s repents – TRUE REPENTANCE – David’s prayer – Psalm 51

Knowing if it is a sin

  • Sin is going against God and His Word. Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. (1 John 3:4). Know God’s Word. Know His Commands. READ BIBLE & PRAY – REQUIRES AN ACTIVE, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP
  • Believers have His Spirit (the Spirit of God) to teach (Ephesians 1:17) and convict (John 16:8)

You must admit sins

  • To be healed (James 5:16)
  • To get another chance (Proverbs 28:13)
  • To be changed (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5)
  • To share with others

Your sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ

  • Declare with your mouth and believe in your heart (Romans 10:9)
  • While you were dead in sin He forgave ALL our sins (Colossians 2:13)
  • The debt was cancelled – Jesus nailed it to the Cross – paid in full (Colossians 2:14)
  • He blots out our transgressions (Isaiah 43:25)
  • He will not even remember our sins – acts as if they never happened – forgives as far as the east to the west (Psalm 103:12)

Confession isn’t necessary for forgiveness – Jesus finished that once for all – but it is important

There is NO ONE between you and God.

  • Jesus encourages us to confess to the Lord (Matthew 6:12, Mark 11:25, Luke 11:4)
  • We were given an Advocate with the Father – Mediator – Holy Spirit (1 John 2:1)
  • We should reach out to Him daily for a spiritual washing (1 John 1:9)
  • We should confess to each other because it’s beneficial to the body (James 5:16)
  • Not only do others realize we all struggle, but there is ACCOUNTABILITY. We all need an accountability partner who will SPEAK TRUTH.

Philippians 1:6 – He will complete the work He began in you – TRUST

Ephesians Study: God’s Workmanship

[Ephesians 2:1-10]

All you do is STRANGE and WONDERFUL (Psalm 139:14)

We are clay. You are the Potter. We are all the work of Your hand (Isaiah 64:8)

God is Rich in Mercy

  • By Grace saved through faith
  • Gift of God – not works – not fulfillment of Law’s demands least man boast

Because of Great Love for Us

  • Great
  • Wonderful
  • Intense

Even Loved us when Dead in Sin – He made us Alive with Christ

  • In fellowship with Christ – sit down together with Him in heaven
  • In union with Christ – raised together with Him
  • He gave us the very life of Christ Himself

We are His Workmanship

  • In Jesus Christ – recreated in Christ / born anew
  • For good worksfruit of faith / done for God’s glory
  • Prepared beforehand/ predestined / prearranged / made ready

GOD DOES THE MAKING AND THE SAVING – It is FINISHED!

I am accepted I am secure I am significant
I am God’s child (John 1:12) I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2) I am salt & light of earth (Matthew 5:13-14)
I have been justified through Christ (Romans 5:1) I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor. 1:21-22) I am chosen & appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I am united with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17) I am citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20) I am a personal witness of Christ (Act 1:8)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27) I can find grace & mercy in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1) I am born of God; evil one cannot touch me (1 Jn. 5:18) I am God’s co-worker (1 Corinthians 3:9)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14) I can’t be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39) I am seated with Christ in heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6)
I have access to God thru the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18) I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love & a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

Bible Study Questions:

  • What was our condition before Christ?
  • What motivated God to save us? What does it mean to be saved?
  • What did God do even though we were dead in trespasses? How?
  • In verse 2:9, Paul speaks about salvation not being a reward for good things we have done. Why was this necessary? What is our part of the salvation process?
  • The passage speaks about good works that were prepared in advance. What does this mean? What does this mean for you? How is this different from what the world thinks of good works?
  • In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says that we are “God’s workmanship.” What does this mean to you? Why is it sometimes difficult to see yourself as such?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle