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Warilla North Baptist Church

First Impression of Ephesians

First Impression of Ephesians

 

 

Bible reading – Ephesians 1:1

Message Synopsis  -

Ask for feedback as to people’s first impressions on reading Ephesians over the last week

Record on the whiteboard….

 

I don’t want reading the Bible to be intimidating… 

God has given us the Bible, the Word of God, 2Timothy 3:16  Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 17 The Scriptures train God's servants to do all kinds of good deeds.   But, truly, you are going to have to interact with scripture to get soemthing out of it; putting it under your pillow is going to do you no good whatsoever!  For me, the Bible has been the single most influential thing in my 

 

Brian’s 1st impressions…

 

It is short and seems to be too the point, although I missed some of the points!

Hard to understand, particularly the first half

There is a lot about Jews and gentiles

Peace seems to get a mention a bit

‘Mystery’ is mentioned a lot

Power is mentioned a lot

There seems to be a lot of repetition in chapters 4&5

 

Next week we will be looking at the big questions that we have of Ephesians

 

 

 

Thoughts on 1st impressions -

 

First impressions are important – but only as first impressions.  My fear is that sometimes we settle for 1st impressions and think that is all there is.  You would hate for someone to judge you and reject you by first impressions!

 

If we had time I would ask you to go back and read it again and give me your second impressions!

 

First impressions are a jump off point; the doorway beginning to understand and appreciate the passage.  You can’t avoid 1st impressions but you must not settle for them either.

 

Your first impressions probably tell more about you than what you are impressed or not impressed with.

 

Honesty –

Honesty avoids being sucked in by ‘popular interpretations’.

 

 

Mark 1:21-28  Jesus in a synagogue

21 Jesus and his disciples came to the town of Capernaum, and on the next Sabbath Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people who heard him were amazed at the way he taught, for he wasn't like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority. 23 Just then a man with an evil spirit came into the synagogue and screamed, 24  "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are---you are God's holy messenger!" 25 Jesus ordered the spirit, "Be quiet, and come out of the man!" 26 The evil spirit shook the man hard, gave a loud scream, and came out of him. 27 The people were all so amazed that they started saying to one another, "What is this? Is it some kind of new teaching? This man has authority to give orders to the evil spirits, and they obey him!" 28 And so the news about Jesus spread quickly everywhere in the province of Galilee.

Text Box: )What Jesus does not who he is

What they can get from him not what he has to offer

First impressions stick…

Mark 6:1-6   Jesus at home in Nazareth

1 Jesus left that place and went back to his hometown, followed by his disciples. 2 On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue. Many people were there; and when they heard him, they were all amazed. "Where did he get all this?" they asked. "What wisdom is this that has been given him? How does he perform miracles? 3 Isn’t he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters living here?" And so they rejected him. 4 Jesus said to them, "Prophets are respected everywhere except in their own hometown and by their relatives and their family." 5 He was not able to perform any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 He was greatly surprised, because the people did not have faith. Then Jesus went to the villages around there, teaching the people. )

 

It is no different with the Bible.  Turn with me to Nehemiah 3:1- ff

 

 

 


Some first impressions of Ephesians

 

Lets have a quick look at the first verse of the letter.  For many of us our 1st impressions would have us skip over the first couple of verses, the impression being that they are not all that important.  Let me tell you otherwise…

 

Ephesians Chapter 1, verses 1

1 From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. To God's people who live in Ephesus and are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

 

Not only does it tell us who the letter is from and who it is too (which are vitally important bits of information if you want to understand the letter) it also tells us something of the why and wherefore that prompted the letter.

 

Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 17 The Scriptures train God's servants to do all kinds of good deeds.   2Timothy 3:16 

 

Paul is the writer – we will presume that it is Paul, the bloke who was once against the church and is obviously now for the church.

 

But what does he say about himself?

 

He says that he is ‘chosen by God’ and ‘an apostle of Christ Jesus’.

 

Those words would not have been taken lightly.  Apostle meant ‘one who is sent’.  The apostle is not someone who speaks or acts in his or her own right but with the authority of another.  The other in this case is God.  Paul says he is chosen by God

 

 

What does he say about his readers?

 

‘God’s people’ who are ‘faithful followers’.

 

(There is possibly someone here who is saying to themselves ‘but it says to the Ephesians so how do I know it is for me?’  God had you in mind when he wrote this letter.  The original, it would appear, said ‘to God’s people who live… and are faithful followers of Christ Jesus’.   There are always those who say ‘it’s for everyone else but it’s not for me’. 

 

It is for the faithful followers

Not the leaders of the church

Not the talented

Not the academic

Not the gifted

 

The faithful followers, even those who want to be faithful followers and know they have not made it yet

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