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Before He made the world - He loved us

Before He made the world - He loved us

We begin Paul's letter to the Ephesians – look at our inheritance in Christ.

Ephesians 1: Greeting

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ

10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,

16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,

18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,

23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 2:By Grace Through Faith

1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience---

3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ---by grace you have been saved---

6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

One in Christ

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands---

12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit

Things to think about…

1.Paul makes a bold claim right from the start. Paul an Apostle by the will of God. We can put our name in there and say that we are Christians by the will of God. This is a point to rejoice, God's will overtook our personal will and desires and was determined even before the foundation of the world Eph 1:4.

2.Look at the 'spiritual blessings' that Paul talks about in Eph1: 3. In vss 4-10 the only observable blessings are wisdom and insight, vs 8. We have had our sin forgiven, received redemption, had the mystery of the gospel revealed and therefore obtained an inheritance and received salvation – which is guaranteed. These are eternal blessings. This life is the wilderness; we are simply passing through to the eternal Promised Land. Glory comes later. Paul says our predestination in Christ is a comforting truth Eph 1:5&11.

3.Paul gives thanks for the Ephesians because they have a name for loving and caring for other Christians, Eph 1:15. I praise God for the love we have for each other in our church. May that continue to spill out into the community.

4.Satan still roams around like a lion seeking whom he may devour and as such wreaks havoc on the earth. So what does Paul mean when he says God has put all things under His feet, Eph 1:22? Even though Satan was defeated at the cross, there is a time, still in the future when the influence of Satan will cease.

5.Were you really in such a bad state before your salvation in Christ? Well, only if you consider 'death' as a bad state to be in, Eph 2:1. What does this really mean? We were still alive of course, but we were dead spiritually. Essentially it means we were cut off from eternal life and we lived for ourselves – by making a temporal life here on earth. Paul goes on to explain the difference.

6.Paul really wants us to get the message of grace by saying it twice. He says in Eph 2:5 and again in vs 8 'by grace you have been saved'. He is saying to these Ephesians – you didn't deserve this – this came from a Source outside yourselves. Grace is something that cannot be earned – it is bestowed upon someone. Does this sound unfair to you? It is, that's why it's called 'GRACE'. We really don't want 'fair' folks. None of us would be saved if we all had 'fair'.

7.If you have not started memorising scripture, why not start with Eph 2:8-10. These verses serve as both an encouragement as well as giving you a life purpose. We have been saved by grace – something we didn't deserve, but now that we are saved we now have a life commission and a calling, to perform 'good works'. These works don't save us, but they show the fruit of our salvation.

8.Paul's whole point in Eph 2:11-22 is that we can only be united to the 'Commonwealth of Israel' through faith in Christ. Sacrifices and offerings are now obsolete. Christ Jesus is the cornerstone of this temple, Eph 2:20, 21. We are part of the building and should encourage others to join. Prayer is essential here as we are only able to join by grace. Pray for those around you that you may have an influence in their lives.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

For Cell groups

We will be considering the topic of baptism for next week's baptism service.

1.Who should get baptized?

2.What does baptism represent?

3.What passages come to mind when considering baptism in the NT?

Prayer Points

1.Next Sunday 5 people getting baptised at Colleges Crossing.

2.Pray for continued follow up rain

3.Pray for those who have recently come to CBC that they settle into the fellowship.

4.Pray for our help and response to Stanthorpe community.

5.Ministries this term 4 – PlayPatch, Kids@Church, Recharge youth.

6.More Sunday school and RI teachers

7.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

8.Sunday's messages. "There's no better guarantee than this" Eph 1:1-14. in the morning and "Why do bad things happen to good people" – Sunday night.

9.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

10.Church finances to meet our expenses.

11.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

Praise Points.

1.Quite a few visitors and new folk at CBC in both services.

2.Sunday worship – great blessing. Thanks Josh, Ben and Jesse.

3.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

4.A number being baptised.

Announcements

1.Hawkins group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Playpatch –Friday mornings – 9:30 – 11am for mums and bubs. See Carly Backwell for details.

3.Recharge Youth – Friday night 7pm – High Schoolers.

4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children Sunday mornings.

5.Prayer meetings – 5:30am – 6:30am at church Wednesday and Friday mornings.

6.AGM meeting – now on the 17th November after the morning service.

7.Baptism service at Colleges Crossing – 10th Nov @12pm.

8.Creation Ministries – Sunday 1st December. Dr Ron Neller "From Evolutionist to Creationist!"Invite a friend 6pm.

9.Carols service 22nd December – 6pm. Invite family and friends.

This month's catechism question...

Q. 6. What is the first petition?
A. "Hallowed be your name."

Bible Reference – Matt.6:9; Luke 11:2.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

The mystery of the gospel
The power over death and the grave