A Disciple Looks Like Job
January 13, 2019
Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-2
I. Your mission of making disciples is possible because of God’s Word.
A. Notice how Paul describes himself in verse 1: he is an apostle of Christ Jesus. An apostle is literally a sent one. So, who sent Paul on his mission according to vs. 1? Christ Jesus. Jesus had chosen, authorized and empowered Paul with a message from Him. Because he was an apostle Paul saw himself as an ambassador of Jesus. Whatever Paul said, it was like Jesus Himself had spoken those words. Paul’s words had that kind of authority and power behind them. Paul’s message was Christ’s message. As such, Paul was speaking the very word of God.
B. It is the fact that Paul writes to saints who are in Ephesus (vs. 1) that gives Paul’s mission a sense of Mission Impossible to it. Ephesus according to Acts 19 was the center of a religious cult that worshiped the goddess Artemis at a temple made for her. Ephesus also worshiped the Roman emperor and was full of sexual immorality and the worship of money. Why was making disciples in Ephesus actually possible? Because of the powerful Word of God. When we speak faithfully the Word of God, God Himself is speaking through us.
II. Your mission of making disciples is possible because of God’s will.
A. In verse 1 of Ephesians Paul is called an apostle by the will of God. Paul is speaking very personally to the Ephesian church here. It was totally by God’s grace that he was called to be an apostle of Jesus. He did not deserve this ministry. What Paul deserved was Jesus’ judgment for being a persecutor of Christ’s followers. Paul is also saying, “If Jesus could change my life, if he could turn my life upside down from being a hater of Jesus to a lover of Jesus, then whose life could He not change? If Jesus could do that, then what could He not do if it is God’s will?”
B. What is God’s will with regard to more disciples being added to His church? Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus will build His church. That is God’s will. Can anything – even hell itself – stop Jesus from building His church? No! It’s true, we as Jesus’ followers still have a responsibility to tell people that Jesus died for their sins. But what is our confidence if we tell people about Jesus? Some of those people will follow Jesus and be added to His church.
III. Your mission of making disciples is possible because of the power of the message.
A. What is this Christian message that we have been given by Paul and the apostles? Verse one tells us that it is a message for those who are faithful in Christ Jesus. You are in Christ. Therefore, you will not be overcome. The power of Jesus is in you to fulfill the mission Jesus has given you. The first blessing that Paul mentions that makes up the Christian message is grace (vs. 2). Grace is God’s unmerited or undeserved favor. If grace is the origin of God’s plan to gather disciples into His church, then peace is the result of it. Because of God’s grace we are now forgiven and reconciled to God. We have peace with God and with other people because of His grace. We have peace in our relationships with other Christians that flows out of our peace with God. Peace is the result of grace.
Have confidence that the mission to make disciples of Jesus is not mission impossible.
The letter to the Ephesians
Commentaries on Ephesians by Peter O’Brien, Bryan Chapell, and Richard Coekin