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 third 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 3, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles—
2 if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you,
3 how by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words,
4 whereby when ye read this, ye may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ),
5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel,
7 for which I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ,
10 with the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known through the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 according to the eternal purpose which He hath purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,
12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
13 Therefore, I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which are your glory.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 from whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height,
19 and to know the love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
VI. Now, let us worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as we are blessed by the Gaithers and friends.
The Hallelujiah Side