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Kingdom Heirs Cultivating Cultural Change

Ephesians 5:5 • September 13, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

The culture is going to hell, and it should. It is has been found guilty of all manner of evil against God, and God is right and just to condemn it. Yet God has devised a rescue plan to move people from the kingdom of darkness, the the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom controls all earthly kingdoms, yet its power is veiled. Unbelievers are ambivalent to the power of the Kingdom. How is the Kingdom revealed? As believers carry their holiness with humility. This is the only hope for cultural change.

Christ the Mediator: "He Gave a People to Be His"

1 Peter 2:4-10 • September 13, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Do you know who you are? The trouble with the church is that we fail to fully comprehend who we are as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation.

The Kingdom of Christ and of God: Heirs of the Kingdom

Ephesians 5:5 • September 6, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Believers are not subjects of the Kingdom of Christ, we are heirs of the kingdom of Christ. God demand holiness as the decorum of those who have been separated unto Him as uniquely His. And the environment in which these Kingdom Heirs live is one of response to the grace they have received which produces a language of thanksgiving..

Christ the Mediator: "His Only Begotten Son"

Hebrews 2:14-18 • September 6, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Why was it necessary for God to come in human flesh? Central to our understanding of the substitutionary atonement is what it means that Jesus is "the only begotten Son of God," which has nothing to do with his birth in Bethlehem and everything to do with His eternal generation.

The New Man's New Realm

Ephesians 5:3-5 • August 30, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

The Christian is a person whom the Apostle Paul describes as "a new man" (Ephesians 4:24) who has been transferred from "the course of this world" to "the kingdom of Christ and of God." The decorum of the heirs of this kingdom is holiness, and in Ephesians 5:3-5 Paul delineates behaviors that among Christians are unmentionable, unbecoming, and unfitting and points to God's grace in Christ as the identifying marker of the behavior and speech of believers.

Failed Miracles: The Shunamite Woman's Son

2 Kings 4:8-37 • August 23, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

What are the causes of our ineffectiveness in ministry, both in our personal Christian lives and as the church? We find the answer in an analysis of what went wrong and what went right in Elisha's raising of the Shunamite's son from the dead.

Longing for Zion, At Home in Babylon

Psalm 137 • August 23, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Are you feeling like a stranger in your own country? Psalm 137 is a lament by the people of God who have been taken captive and carried away from their true home in Zion and displaced in Babylon. What lessons can we learn from the exiled Israelites in this Psalm which might help us with our own angst and anxiety in 2020 America?

Christ For Us, To God: An Offering and A Sacrifice

Ephesians 5:2 • August 16, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Love in the context of Paul's letter to the Ephesians is defined by what he has already said about love in the first four chapters; but here in 5:2 Paul gives us the most sublimely concise definition of the love of God in Christ as the standard by which we are to live lives of love not only on our relationship to one another, but more importantly in our relationship with the Holy Trinity.

So You Want to Be Like God, You Say?

Ephesians 4:31-32 • August 9, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Kindness, Tenderheartedness, and Forgiveness are all essential to our life together as members of the body of Christ. But these three virtues are not the natural virtues which even unbelievers are capable of expressing. These virtues are the unique possession of those of have been created after God in righteousness and true holiness.

Bitterness: Its Source and Destructive Consequences

Ephesians 4:31-32 • August 9, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Bitterness is a grief or a grievance that has been nurtured into a destructive pattern of wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking that has as its ultimate goal the destruction of those who have created the grievance. How do we deal with bitterness before it poisons everyone around us and destroys everything in its path?

Say What? Grieving the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:29-30 • August 2, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

While there are indeed multiple ways in which it is possible for the believer to grieve the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:30 is narrowly focused on grieving the Holy Spirit in relation to the way in which we communicate with one another as members of the Body of Christ. To understand the seriousness of grieving the Spirit, we must understand who the Holy Spirit is and be aware of the biblical indications that we have grieved Him.

Say What? The New Man's Language

Ephesians 4:29-30 • August 2, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

What is to characterize the way in which God's people speak to one another? Our communication is to have the primary objective of building each other up through admonition, exhortation, reproof, and rebuke with the ultimate result of ministering grace to those who hear.

The New Man's Economics

Ephesians 4:28 • July 26, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

On the surface, Paul's imperative that we no longer steal appears to be no different than the moral philosophy of the pagan unbeliever. But Paul has much more in view than merely not taking that which does not belong to us. In this one verse Paul instructs the believer on what is to be our attitude toward work and welfare from a uniquely Christian point of view.

Anger Management

Ephesians 4:26-27 • July 26, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Does it surprise you that the Apostle Paul commands the believer to be angry? And when he says, "Be angry, and sin not," he is not merely warning against sinful anger vs. righteous anger. When is it ever appropriate to be angry?

The Character of the Christian

Ephesians 4:25-32 • July 19, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

From Ephesians 4:25 to the end of his letter, Paul begins to outline the great virtues that are characteristic of the Christian. He begins with "the truth as it is in Jesus" as fundamental to all of the other virtues which follow. What is the truth? How does one come in to relationship with this truth? And how does this truth evidence itself in the life of the Christian?

The Change Agent

Ephesians 4:20-21 • July 12, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

In Ephesians 4:17-24 the Apostle Paul contrasts the spiritual condition and lifestyle of the unbeliever (vv. 17-19) with the spiritual condition and lifestyle of the believer (vv. 22-24). But the difference is not one of mere outward morality. There is an internal spiritual change that has taken place which is responsible for the stark contrast between the believer and the unbeliever. What is the agent God uses to bring about this change? The Apostle identifies it for us in vv. 20-21 and this the subject of today's message.

Created After God

Ephesians 4:17-24 • June 28, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

In Ephesians 4:24 the Apostle declares that the believer is different from the unbeliever because he has been "created after God in righteousness and true holiness." What does it means to be "created after God"? What caused you to be "created after God"? What is the evidence that you have been "created after God"? The answer is is Ephesians 4:20-21.

What is Different About You?

Ephesians 4:17-24 • June 28, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

What distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian, a believer from an unbeliever? In this study of Ephesians 4:17-24, the Apostle Paul contrasts the unbeliever's mind - the vanity of the mind - with the believer's mind - renewed in the spirit of the mind - and the behaviors which result from each. If unbelievers do not ask you what you have they don't have or what is different about you, could it be that there is nothing at all different about you because you are not really a Christian?

Pretentious Minds

Ephesians 4:17-19 • June 21, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

What is to characterize the thinking and behavior of those who have been made new through reconciliation with God by faith in Jesus Christ? The Apostle first tells us that we are NOT to conduct ourselves like those who have never been regenerated, and goes on in Ephesians 4:17-19 to describe in detail the cause and consequence of the condition of the unregenerate mind.

Perfect Christians, Part Two

Ephesians 4:11-16 • June 14, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

How does the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16 define the "perfect" Christian? What does it mean to have "arrived" as a follower of Jesus? What is it we are aiming for in the Christian life? And how can we ultimately be assured that we will attain that goal? [Pictured is the amphitheater in ancient Ephesus]

Perfect Christians

Ephesians 4:11-16 • June 14, 2020 • Pastor Paul Edwards

What is God doing in the world? The word "until" in Ephesians 4:13 gives us a clear indication that our present circumstances are but a moment in God's greater purpose to bring each of us to a place of perfection in the Lord Jesus Christ when He ultimately reconciles all things together in Christ. The world seeks unity and reconciliation, but they refuse to heed the message of the gospel where alone true unity is found.

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