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"At Ephesus...In Christ"

Ephesians 1:1

January 20, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Our being "in Christ" does not negate the necessity and responsibilities of our being "at Ephesus," which is to say, citizens of the particular communities in which we live. But our being "in Christ" necessarily creates a tension with the prevailing culture within which we must live as "saints" and "faithful in Christ Jesus." How do we navigate this tension?

"To Praise of His Glory"

Ephesians 1:14 • March 10, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

Paul's three-fold use of 'to the praise of His glory" in Ephesians 1 is rooted in his Old Testament understanding of God's initiative in claiming a people for himself in texts like Deuteronomy 7:6-11. Our response to God's choosing us is lives lived for his praise.

"You Heard, You Believed, You Trusted"

Ephesians 1:12-14 • March 10, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

We come now to the third and final stanza of Paul’s Great Hymn of Praise to the Trinity. How do we reconcile v. 4 (“chosen in Him before the foundation of the world”) with v. 13 (“you heard, you believed, you trusted”)? If our salvation is all of grace and due entirely to God’s choosing us before the foundation of the world, why is it necessary for us to believe the gospel and to trust in Jesus Christ? God does not save any man or woman against their will. God’s choosing is not God coercing. And yet it is also true that because man is “dead in trespasses and in sins” (2:1), no unbeliever would be willing to believe the gospel and trust in Jesus Christ without God first bringing that person to spiritual life. God persuades the will. He makes the gospel attractive to us. “The goodness of God leads you to repentance.” How then does God bring us to spiritual life?

"The Mystery of His Will" Part 2

Ephesians 1:6-12 • March 3, 2019 • Pastor Paul Edwards

What is God doing in history? The Apostle Paul reveals at least three things which constitute God's great purpose in Christ which he is working out in human history.