|설교본문||Ephesians 2:19 - 3:1|
|설교 한 주일||June 26, 2011|
“For This Reason”
Ephesians 2:19 – 3:1
(Reading Ephesians 2:19 – 3:1 NIV)
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
Are you ready if God called you? If God calls you today, are you ready to go to heaven? “I don’t like today…” But what about tomorrow? What about when time comes, are you ready for heaven?
One missionary reached out to sister and then through his life, the gospel of Jesus Christ penetrates into her life. So, why don’t you live the same life as what the missionary did before? In the church, all the members of SFCF are called to be a missionary so that you can reach out to the people around you that they will be saved by the grace of the Lord.
We work in the church with nothing. We just come to the church. If we never do anything, we will not be grown according to your age or experience in Jesus Christ as well.
Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the believers of Ephesians churches. He is even sending a letter today to you through the Ephesians saying that, “For this reason…” We have a reason to live. We have a reason to eat. We have a reason to believe. We have reason to love. We have a reason. There is also a reason why Satan attacks us. Remember, Satan never attack non-believers. If you are very poor Christian, Satan will help you maybe and never attack you because you cannot do anything; but, if you want to stand firmly, if you want to work, if you are actually anointed by the Lord, Satan always attacks you because Satan also has strategy. He never drops the bombs like a carpet which is dropping bomb on the carpet. If so, we Christians, have to get strategy as well. We have to pray, that’s good, but what is the problem in my life? For example, I am under attack by Satan so what is the strategy of Satan? And then what will be my strategy? For example, I’m under attack because I have problem with some relationship… I have more problems… I have problem with some kind of greed… I cheated… What kind of problem I have that you have to know so that you can survive from that Satan’s attack.
Paul as well – even in preaching bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people – writing in this letter has the reason why he wrote this letter. What was the reason? Do you know that Ephesians church was mentioned in the Bible in many places like about the first letter in Revelations? You can find also the Ephesians church which is mentioned by Apostle Paul in 1Timothy and 2 Timothy, 1 Corinthians or 2 Corinthians, even you can see in Acts 19 the Ephesians as mentioned. The Ephesians church is the church is Ephesus. Ephesus is actually the place of Gentiles not the place of the Jews. Ephesus, the name of that place, actually comes from the word ‘high tide’ which means that that area is the place now where Turkey is. I mentioned before that Apostle Paul ministered into that church for three years. Even Timothy ministered in that church and even Apollo (when you see Acts 19). And of course Apostle John ministered in Ephesus as well.
There were many good preachers, good pastors, and good ministers who ministered in that place throughout many years. You see what and how the Ephesians church remained as strong and good. I want you to see it briefly in Acts 19. You will that Apostle Paul, when he visited there, that there was the Holy Spirit working in the people in Ephesus which means that the people in that church was moving by the Holy Spirit. Not because of the power or leadership or something from the pastor there, the people were moving by the Holy Spirit. Even Apostle Paul was moving, was ministered by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. And then second, there was such a great miracle that happened – healing power, changing… And then third, the movement in that Ephesians church was that the people were changed and listened to the word of God. That is why the Ephesians church stood so firmly. By the working of the Holy Spirit, they worked together and moved or transformed their lives. They listened that even there is a son of like a pastor there (actually, the Bible says seven sons); they are dealing about some kind of business in selling and making a lot of money. But then, once they heard the voice of the Lord through the ministry of Apostle Paul, they changed; they just stopped it.
What about you and me? We listen; we hear the voice of the Lord, “I want to hear really good preaching, a really good sermon…” for what? “This preaching is no good…this pastor is no good…” then for what? What is the reason that you are looking for really good? Would you ask yourself? The people in Ephesus listened to the gospel of Jesus Christ and they changed, transformed their lives. So, Apostle Paul stayed there for two years and now he is writing in prison – he is writing a letter to the people in Ephesus. That was this letter today – For This Reason. What was the reason? I said that Ephesians is the place where the Gentiles live by. There are no Jewish people – the people whom God promised. Now, Apostle Paul is telling his people in the church of Ephesus (verse 19), “You are…built…” which means you are a building. Somebody built; it’s not new. You are now built. Apostle Paul reminds the people in that church, “You are built…” I believe that even the Holy Spirit is reminding you today, “You are built…” which means you are not there as it is automatically, as it is naturally. Apostle Paul said, “That is the reason…” That reason was “You are built…” Why did Apostle Paul emphasize that you are built? – Because Apostle saw them before when he just started his ministry in that place. The people were there without Jesus Christ. They are dying and running into the end of the edge where there is no any hope and salvation. But now, Apostle Paul saw the people in that place and said, “My people in Ephesus, even though I’m in jail, in prison, remember you are built not by your hands…”
And then he continued in verse 21, “You are complete building…one by one of you…joined together…not individual…very closely…so tightly, without any gap…so that Satan won’t possibly penetrate into or crack…joined together… First, you are built one by one as a whole or complete building and then that building one by one joined together.” That is how Apostle Paul described the shape or picture of church in Ephesus? Remember, you are built on the foundation of apostles and the prophets, according to Paul, and in the Lord Jesus Christ. And then now, you are joined together not working individually. Then third, rise to become a holy temple. Yes, you are built and you now stood high in order to be a holy temple.
Remember, you are built in the church one by one with complete being and then joined together to become a holy temple. This is the desire of God we now can see from the letter of Apostle Paul. God want to see that you and me are built and then we join and work together to become a holy temple which is holy temple in the Lord. You too are being built together – not completed or under construction. ‘Under construction’ is going to be completed – until when? – Until Jesus comes. This is how the church in this world wants to be.
You are the whole building. One by one in that church are recognized as whole – whole means complete, not only your mouth, not only your hands, not only your idea but your whole inner man, inner being and outer man – your whole body is now being recognized as element of the temple of God. So, when we serve the Lord we serve with all our strength. We serve Him with all our mind. We serve Him with all our soul because God recognizes us as a whole being, a complete one, joined together. That is one of the expectations of God to us – join together. We cannot work and also it is not the wisdom of God that we work alone. Somebody is working there, another somebody is working there and then they don’t know each other. One of my friends, an American once said that he was engaged in one American troupe who I was thinking that he was in Air Force but he was engaged in carrier. When he finished his service, he realized that they (brothers) work together in one carrier but they didn’t know for few months. If we work together in one church and if we don’t know each other that is kind of problem. That’s not the expectation, that’s not the will of God. God wants us in joining together. If you want join together, we have to open our heart so that we become a holy temple. Not the building, not the house but God want us because we are built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and then we are joining together to become a holy temple. The holy temple is where God dwells. We pray in our church but then I hope that this church, this is the holy temple because we joined together so that God dwells in us.
And then this last sentence of what Apostle Paul wrote, ‘by His Spirit’. As I said, the Ephesians church is moving and transformation was there because of the Holy Spirit. God is here by His Spirit through Jesus Christ. So, do not disregard the temple of God – SFCF as temple of God. Maybe you cannot see God – where He is. SFCF, we join together. We are built by the hands of the Lord. I’m so much proud of being a member of His church because in our church, holy temple, God is working.
For this reason…such, such reason…because you are already a holy temple where God dwells in His Spirit, “For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus…” Because of Jesus Christ and to serve the Lord, he was in prison. He was in prison because of Jesus Christ when he was willing to preach, willing to spread, and willing to claim the love of Jesus Christ to the people, to the Gentiles, to everybody in the world; but, he was now in prison. Yet, when you see verse 13, he said, “Brothers and sisters in Ephesus don’t make yourself troubled because I am suffering. This is your glory.” How? Brothers and sisters when you are working good in your life, sometimes the situation or something turned out that is not as good as your expected and you will be very much disappointed even to me. But I will never be disappointed because this is not the suffering – this is the way that we can see the glory of God in our ministry. Brothers and sisters, this is the letter from the Holy Spirit today to you, to his holy temple in SFCF. It is you, church!
Rev. David Bang