Opening paragraphs I, II, III, and IV are taken from my Blog Post 070414, and explain the background of this post. Paragraph IV also identifies the chapter that will be studied. Paragraph V provides the scriptures that are contained within that chapter. Paragraph VI announces the worship and praise music video that will conclude this post.
I. “You Are There” was a thirty-minute weekly television series that ran from 1953 through 1957. During each episode, CBS reporter Walter Cronkite hosted the reenactments of historical events. Shows included, “The Landing of the Hindenburg”, “The Salem Witchcraft Trials”, “The Gettysburg Address”, “The Fall of Troy,” “The Battle Of Alamo,” and other significant happenings. Consider what it would have been like if you had been in Ephesus when Tychicus arrived with the letter that had been written by the Apostle Paul. The epistle may have been read to you, and to other believers in Christ, by Tychicus or by one of the elders of the church. But, before we get to that reading, let’s consider the things that had been going on in that area of present-day Turkey.
II. Ephesus was located was on the southwest coast of the Aegean Sea, and was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written there, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have died there. Paul’s second and third missionary journeys led him to Ephesus. His second journey lasted from about 49-52 A.D. (Acts 15:39-18:22). His third journey lasted from about 53-59 A.D (Acts 18:23-21:16). A record of the Apostle’s time in Ephesus is shown in Acts 18:19-20:38, and included that total time frame of the two journeys. Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthian church from Ephesus during his third missionary journey (1 Corinthians 16:5-8, 9, 19). Some of the events of Paul’s stay in Ephesus are listed below.
III. Ephesus (49 A.D. – 59 A.D.) (Acts 18:19-20:38)
18:19 – Reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue.
19:1-7 – Taught disciples of John the Baptist on the Baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
19:8-10 – Taught in the synagogue about the Kingdom Of God
19:11-20 – God worked miracles by the hands of Paul
19:23-41 – Taught against idolatry
20:13-38 – Bids farewell to the elders of the church in Ephesus
He encouraged them, saying the Holy Spirit had made them overseers and shepherds of the church that Jesus had purchased with His blood.
He cautioned them about conflict that would come from forces , within and without the church.
He reminded them of one of the key teachings of Jesus on benevolence,
Acts 20:35,21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
I have shown you all things, how that by so laboring ye ought to support the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
The departure of Paul from the elders was one that was tearful.
Acts 20:36-38, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21),”And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all. And they all wept sorely and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him,sorrowing most of all because of the words which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.”
IV. Getting back to “You Are There,” consider the words of the letter that you are hearing, as they are being read to you. Remember that you don’t have any of today’s favorite study Bibles, or commentaries, for reference purposes. You are hearing the inspired words of the Apostle Paul that he had written specifically to you, and for you, for the first time. You will notice that that the letter is addressed to those who have been born again, and that it is not evangelical. You will notice spiritual promises for you, as they intertwine with the purposes of God. You will also notice that the letter is spiritual, as it relates to the church and its leaders. Read the second chapter of the Ephesian letter, one verse at a time. Consider the words of each verse before you begin reading the next one. Remember that you have never, ever, heard these words. Put aside any preconceived ideas of what you may have thought, or what anyone else may have shared with you. Don’t use any outside study helps. Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to lead you to an understanding that has never been made known to you. Keep in mind that you’re not the tail that wags the dog. Remember, “You Are There!”
V. Ephesians 2, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
3 Among these also we all had our manner of living in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love wherewith He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved),
6 and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath beforehand ordained, that we should walk in them.
11 Therefore, remember that ye, being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by those who are called the Circumcision in the flesh so made by hands—
12 remember that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus, ye who once were far off have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that He might make in Himself one new man out of the two, so making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
17 He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were nigh;
18 for through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore, ye are strangers and foreigners no more, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
20 Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
21 in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord,
22 in Whom ye also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
VI. Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the orchestra and five hundred member choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church.
Prestonwood Baptist Church
Senior Pastor Dr. Jack Graham
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas, USA