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Showing posts from October, 2017

Given by Revelation – Ephesians 3:1-6

In a couple of days we come to Halloween, which is another way of saying All Hallows Eve, the day before All Hallows Day, which among certain denominations is the day the church remembers and celebrates the memory of the saints and martyrs of the church.It is unfortunate, in my mind, that we have replaced the memory of saints and martyrs with goblins, ghosts, and devils.But be that as it may, and whatever one thinks of the current celebration of Halloween, something very wonderful did happen on this day exactly 500 years ago – the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.It is generally agreed by historians that the Reformation began when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses for debate on the subject of indulgences to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517.
In itself, the nailing of the 95 theses was not a very dramatic event, however.Luther himself never expected the commotion that resulted from it.It has been said that Luther was like a blind man in a bell tower…

Do not lose heart – Eph. 3:1-13

We need to remember that the apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote this.Indeed, the apostle himself reminds us in the opening words of chapter 3: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles. . .” (1).In 4:1 he again describes himself as “the prisoner of the Lord,” and in 5:20 as “an ambassador in bonds.”Technically, he was the prisoner of the Romans, awaiting trial before Caesar.But Paul never describes himself in those terms; it is always, “the prisoner of the Lord.”
This personal description was significant because for one thing it was a reminder that ultimately it is Christ who is sovereign.He is the prisoner of the Lord because, on one level, it was the Lord who put him there.Paul knew from experience that if he was in prison, it was because it was the Lord who put him there.Why did he get thrown into prison in Philippi?Because a jailor needed to hear the gospel and be saved.Why was he then in prison?Because the Roman emperor Nero needed to be confronte…

What is the Church?  Ephesians 2:19-22

In the West, where individualism reigns supreme, we have privatized almost everything, including the Christian faith.But it’s interesting, isn’t it, as we look at Paul’s words here in Ephesians 2, that one of the overriding concerns of the cross is to bring people together.The reconciliation that was accomplished on the cross, doesn’t just reconcile people to God – though that is the main thing – it also reconciles man to man.And it doesn’t stop there, it brings men and women into the community of the church.We are not meant to live out the Christian life in solitude, cut off from other believers.We are to live together in the fellowship of those who have also been called out of darkness and into the marvelous light of Christ.
And yet, despite the clear importance of the church, there is a lot of confusion as to what the church is.Too often, I think, church is equated with the meeting that happens on Sunday morning.Though this event is certainly necessary and very important to the life…