THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE: 7-15-18



LESSON TITLE: “THE DISCIPLES AT EPHESUS”



WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES, WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST, RAY SULLINS.

WHAT A PRIVILEGE WE HAVE THIS MORNING TO JOIN TOGETHER IN THE STUDY OF GOD’S LIVING WORD. WE WELCOME YOU TO OUR PROGRAM AND WE THANK GOD THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO BE WITH US TODAY. WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE TOGETHER THIS MORNING TO GLORIFY OUR CREATOR. MAY WE EACH DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME ACCEPTABLE IN HIS SIGHT AND ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. NOW, LET’S APPROACH OUR FATHER’S THRONE IN PRAYER.

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE'RE SO THANKFUL AGAIN THIS DAY FOR THE MANY GREAT BLESSINGS OF LIFE. FATHER, WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS COME FROM YOU, WHETHER WE THINK OF PHYSICAL THINGS OR SPIRITUAL THINGS FATHER, YOU GIVE US ALL THAT WE NEED AND WE THANK YOU. FATHER, WE ALSO ARE MAINLY THANKFUL FOR THE GREAT GIFT OF JESUS AND THE SACRIFICE HE MADE AS WELL AS HIS RESURRECTION WHICH ALLOWS US TO BE FOUND PRESENTABLE AND ACCEPTABLE IN YOUR SIGHT. AND THEREFORE FATHER, THIS DAY HELP US TO WORSHIP YOU IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH AND TO GIVE YOU OUR VERY BEST THAT YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO SEE OUR FAITH AND KNOW HOW MUCH WE LOVE YOU BUT ALSO THAT OTHERS MIGHT KNOW YOU THROUGH US IN OUR ACTIONS AS WELL. AND FATHER, WE ASK THAT THIS DAY YOU WILL HELP US TO GROW IN YOUR WORD AND KNOW MORE OF WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE US TO DO EACH AND EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

THIS MORNING WE WANT TO START OUR SONGS OF PRAISE WITH A HYMN THAT REMINDS US OF THE BEAUTY OF HEAVEN. WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE TOGETHER SING, “THERE IS A HABITATION!”



DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

FROM OUR EARLY YEARS, MOST OF US HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN SOME TYPE OF SOCIAL CLUBS OR ORGANIZATIONS. FOR MOST OF US, IT ALL STARTED OUT AS A NEW STUDENT IN KINDERGARTEN. WE BEGAN TO FORM SMALL GROUPS OF FRIENDS. LATER, AS WE GET INTO JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, THESE FRIENDSHIPS ARE CARRIED OVER INTO DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS IN SCHOOL, SUCH AS SPORTS, BAND, OR MANY OTHER TYPES OF GROUPS WHICH ARE FORMED TO PROMOTE LEARNING IN SPECIFIED AREAS. COLLEGE DAYS ARE EVEN WORSE, AS WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN MORE GROUPS AND FRATERNITIES, IN ORDER TO KEEP UP WITH OUR FRIENDS AND WITH OUR PRESENT DAY INTERESTS. LET ME THEN CLARIFY, THAT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ANY OF THESE THINGS AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT PROMOTE THAT WHICH IS CONTRARY TO GOD. HOWEVER, MANY OF US ARE OFTEN CONFUSED INTO THINKING THAT THIS IS REALLY WHAT RELIGION IS ALSO. JUST ANOTHER ORGANIZATION OR SOCIAL CLUB. HOWEVER, NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

THEN WHAT IS THE CHURCH? THE WORD CHURCH COMES FOR A GREEK WORD KNOWN AS “EKKLESIA.” GREEK WAS THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN IN. THIS WORD OR IT’S FORMS ARE USED ABOUT 115 TIMES IN THE N. T. THE WORD ACTUALLY REFERS TO THOSE WHO ARE “CALLED OUT,” “ASSEMBLED,” OR “SUMMONED FORTH,” BY THE LORD. THE BIBLE CONTINUALLY MENTIONS THIS TERM WITH A FOCUS ON THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL “PEOPLE” OF GOD.

BUT WHAT HAPPENS TODAY WHEN YOU ASK SOMEONE WHERE THEY GO TO CHURCH? THEY USUALLY SAY, “OH, I GO OVER THERE ON NORTH KANSAS EXPRESSWAY” OR “I GO TO THAT CHURCH OVER ON GLENSTONE.” THE FACT IS MOST PEOPLE FAIL TO REALIZE WHAT THE CHURCH IS, AS IS EVIDENT IN THESE TYPES OF RESPONSES. AGAIN, WE MUST REALIZE THAT THE CHURCH IS NOT A BUILDING. FURTHERMORE, IT IS NOT A CLUB, OR A FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION… IT IS GOD’S PEOPLE!

SO WHAT DOES THIS TERMINOLOGY, “CALLED OUT,” REALLY MEAN? THE BIBLE SAYS, AS GOD’S FOLLOWERS HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS OR THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD IN ORDER TO BE IN JESUS. IN 1 PETER 2:9, WE READ A VERSE THAT PROVES THIS VERY POINT! THERE IT SAYS, “BUT YOU ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, HIS OWN SPECIAL PEOPLE, THAT YOU MAY PROCLAIM THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.” NOT ONLY ARE WE CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT, BUT HERE IT SAYS WE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION (CHOSEN OF GOD), WE ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, WE ARE A HOLY NATION (HOLY AS HE IS HOLY), AND WE ARE HIS OWN SPECIAL PEOPLE!

NOW DO YOU SEE HOW SPECIAL THE CHURCH IS? IT IS AN INSTITUTION FROM GOD WHICH IS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO FOLLOW HIS WILL. FURTHER MORE, BY FOLLOWING HIS WILL AND BEING OBEDIENT TO HIM, WE ARE AMONG HIS CHOSEN, HOLY, AND SPECIAL PRIESTHOOD. OR IN OTHER WORDS - WE ARE HIS CHURCH!

THE FINAL VERSE WE WILL CONSIDER TO CONFIRM THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST’S CHURCH IS FOUND IN ACTS 20:28. THE LATER PART OF THAT VERSE TELLS US, “THEREFORE TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES AND TO ALL THE FLOCK, AMONG WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS MADE YOU OVERSEERS, TO SHEPHERD THE CHURCH OF GOD WHICH HE PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.” HERE WE READ THAT THE CHURCH OF OUR GOD WAS PURCHASED WITH THE BLOOD OF HIS OWN SON, JESUS CHRIST.

NOW LET ME ASK YOU, IF JESUS WAS WILLING TO DIE FOR IT AND SHED HIS BLOOD FOR IT, JUST HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CHURCH?

TODAY WE WILL AGAIN STUDY GOD’S WORD BY FOCUSING ON THINGS RELATED TO THE QUESTION, “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED!” THIS MORNING OUR SPECIFIC TOPIC OF STUDY IS ENTITLED, “THE DISCIPLES AT EPHESUS!” SO STAY WITH US AFTER OUR NEXT SONG AND IN A FEW MINUTES I WILL RETURN WITH THIS LESSON FROM GOD’S WORD. IT’S NOW TIME TO JOIN IN OUR SECOND HYMN OF THE MORNING, THE NAME OF THE SONG, “UNTO THEE O LORD.”



LESSON

RAY SULLINS

WE'RE THANKING YOU NOW FOR CONTINUING WITH US THIS DAY AS WE GO TO GOD'S WORD AND LOOK AT ANOTHER LESSON AS WE ANSWER THAT QUESTION WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? AND HOPEFULLY NOW WITH ME YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO CONSIDER ABOUT 8 DIFFERENT IDEAS AS WELL AS EXAMPLES OF CONVERSION IN THE BOOK OF ACTS, ALL OF THEM SHOWING US BASICALLY THE SAME CONCEPTS THAT ONE MUST NOT ONLY HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND KNOW WHO GOD IS BUT THEY MUST THEREFORE BELIEVE IN THAT, MAKE THAT CONFESSION WITH THEIR MOUTH, ROMANS 10, 9 AND 10. THEY MUST REPENT OF THEIR SINS BECAUSE REPENTANCE IS CERTAINLY REQUIRED UNDER SALVATION. WE KNOW THAT FROM ACTS 2:38. AND THEN ALSO WE KNOW IN ALL OF OUR EXAMPLES THAT BAPTISM HAS BEEN PRESENT. THAT'S WATER BAPTISM. AND BAPTISM WAS BEING DONE IN ORDER THAT ONE MIGHT ENTER INTO THAT DEATH STATE WITH THE FLESHLY MAN DYING OF THE OLD MAN, ROMAN CHAPTER 6 VERSES 1 THROUGH 6. AND WHEN THAT ONE COMES OUT OF THE WATER THEY RISE TO WALK IN WHAT? A NEWNESS OF LIFE, A NEW MAN, A NEW CREATION OF GOD HAVING BEEN WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS FIGURATIVELY AS THEY WERE BURIED IN THAT WATERY GRAVE. AGAIN DYING IN THE SIN OF THE OLD MAN LEAVING IT THERE IN THAT GRAVE AND RISING AS THAT NEW CREATION. SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CONCEPT!

WELL, IT CERTAINLY IS THE SAME IN RELATIONSHIP TO OUR DISCUSSION OF EPHESUS THIS DAY. IN CHAPTER 19 OF THE BOOK OF ACTS WE FIND THERE THAT PAUL ACTUALLY FINDS HIMSELF IN EPHESUS WITHIN THE SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY AND AS HE ARRIVES THERE AT EPHESUS WE LEARN IMMEDIATELY IN VERSE ONE THAT HE FINDS SOME DISCIPLES THERE. OBVIOUSLY FROM THE DISCUSSION THESE DISCIPLES ARE MOST LIKELY DISCIPLES OF JOHN BUT YET MEN WHO HAD DETERMINED THAT THEY BELIEVED THE MESSAGE OF JOHN, AND REMEMBER THE MESSAGE OF JOHN, REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND AND THE ONE WHO COMES AFTER ME - IS WHAT? MIGHTIER THAN I. SO THAT MESSAGE WAS THE MESSAGE OF THE MESSIAH. SO THESE INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE BAPTISM OF JOHN, THEY BELIEVED WHAT JOHN PROCLAIMED, THEY WANTED REMISSION OR THAT REMOVAL OF SINS, BUT THEN THEY ALSO ARE WAITING FOR THAT COMING MESSIAH THAT JOHN SAID WOULD SOON COME EVEN IN THEIR LIFETIME.

AS WE THINK ABOUT THAT THEN, WE KNOW THESE DISCIPLES THEN, AS PAUL INTERACTS WITH THEM OR ASKS A QUESTION. AND IN VERSE 2 THE BIBLE SAYS THIS, “‘DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?’” AND SO PAUL CERTAINLY HIMSELF HAVING THE HOLY SPIRIT KNOWING THAT HE HAD BEEN BAPTIZED AND HAD RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT AS WELL, HE'S ASKING THEM HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT AS WELL? AND SO THEIR RESPONSE IN VERSE 2 IS, “‘WE HAVE NOT SO MUCH AS HEARD WHETHER THERE IS A HOLY SPIRIT.’” SO THAT TELLS YOU AND I SOMETHING ABOUT THESE DISCIPLES IN THE FACT THAT THEY'VE NOT YET RECEIVED THIS KNOWLEDGE, HERE BEING IN EPHESUS ALTHOUGH THEY'VE KNOWN WHAT JOHN HAS SAID AND RESPONDED TO JOHN AND THEY KNOW ABOUT THE MESSIAH. THEY HAVEN'T YET MADE ALL THE CONNECTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT NOR EVIDENTLY HAVE SEEN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHICH HAS WORKED THROUGH MANY THROUGHOUT THE BOOK OF ACTS AND THE MIRACLES THAT WERE PERFORMED TO CONFIRM THE WORD OF GOD. AND SO EVIDENTLY THEY ARE NOT MUCH AWARE OF THESE THINGS OR OF THE IDEA THAT WHEN ONE BECOMES A CHRISTIAN, ACTS 2:38, THEY NOT ONLY RECEIVED REMISSION OF SINS WHEN THEY ARE BAPTIZED BUT THEY RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

NOW, WE ALSO KNOW THAT IS THE NON-MIRACULOUS GIFT. IT DOESN'T GIVE SOMEONE THE ABILITY TO PERFORM A HEALING MIRACLE OR BRINGING ANYBODY OR SOMEONE BACK FROM THE DEAD. BUT IT SAYS ALL WHO BELIEVE AND ARE BAPTIZED RECEIVE WHAT? THAT GIFT OF THE SPIRIT, THAT GOD WITHIN THEM, THAT GUIDANCE FROM GOD IN A NON-MIRACULOUS SENSE OR IN THE NON-MIRACULOUS SENSE OF ONE HAVING THE ABILITY TO HAVE SUPERNATURAL POWERS. WE ALSO KNOW THAT BECAUSE OF VERSE SIX AND WE'LL COME DOWN TO VERSE SIX IN JUST A MOMENT OF THIS VERY SAME TEXT.

SO WITHIN THE DISCUSSION THEY SAY THAT WE'VE NOT HEARD OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AND SO THEN HE ASKED THEM THIS, “‘SO INTO WHAT WERE YOU BAPTIZED?’” AND THEY IMMEDIATELY RESPOND IN VERSE 3 BY SAYING, “‘WE WERE BAPTIZED IN JOHN'S BAPTISM.’” SO THEY WERE BAPTIZED BUT IN THE BAPTISM THAT JOHN THE IMMERSER HAD DECLARED BUT NOT IN THE NAME OF JESUS. WHY? THE MESSIAH HAD NOT YET COME. WHY? THE CHURCH HAD NOT YET BEEN ESTABLISHED. WHY? JESUS HAD NOT YET SHED HIS BLOOD BECAUSE THE CHURCH WAS PURCHASED WITH HIS BLOOD. AND SO AFTER JESUS DID SHED HIS BLOOD IT IS NOT UNTIL ACTS CHAPTER 2 THAT WE SEE THEN PEOPLE BEING ADDED TO THE WHAT? THE CHURCH, DAILY THOSE THAT WERE BEING SAVED, ACTS 2 AND VERSE 47. BUT NOW AS HE AGAIN HEARS THEM SAYING, ‘WELL, WE'VE BEEN BAPTIZED INTO JOHN'S BAPTISM.’

NOW NOTICE WITH ME THE CLARIFICATION THAT PAUL GIVES THESE DISCIPLES. THESE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD WHO HAVE FOLLOWED JOHN AND THE DECLARATION OF WHAT JOHN HAS DECLARED ABOUT GOD, WHICH IS THAT THE MESSIAH IS COMING THEREFORE REPENT BECAUSE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. AND WHEN THE MESSIAH COMES, HE'S GOING TO ESTABLISH THAT KINGDOM. THAT'S THE MESSAGE THAT JOHN PREACHED. SO NOW PAUL SAYS TO THEM IN VERSE 4, “‘JOHN INDEED BAPTIZED WITH THE BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE, SAYING TO THE PEOPLE THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE ON HIM WHO WOULD COME AFTER HIM, THAT IS, ON CHRIST JESUS.’” SEE JOHN WAS PREACHING BAPTISM, REMISSION OF SINS, THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM BUT HE WAS ALSO PREACHING AGAIN THE WHAT? THE MESSIAH AND THAT CHRIST JESUS WOULD COME AND ESTABLISH THAT KINGDOM THAT YOU NOW ARE BEING BAPTIZED IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF. AND IT WAS NOT THEN THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING IN A KINGDOM THAT DID NOT YET EXIST UNTIL IT WAS BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE BY THE DEATH OF JESUS. AND SO THAT'S WHAT HE IS TELLING THEM, ‘YOU ARE BAPTIZED RIGHTFULLY IN THE BAPTISM OF JOHN BECAUSE JESUS HAD NOT YET COME AND THE KINGDOM OF JESUS THE MESSIAH HAD NOT YET BEEN ESTABLISHED.’ BUT NOW JOHN SPOKE OF THE ONE TO COME, THE ONE WHO WOULD BRING A KINGDOM AND THAT ONE HAS COME AND THAT ONE HAS ESTABLISHED THAT KINGDOM.

NOW HOW DO WE KNOW THAT IS THE CASE? BECAUSE VERSE FIVE SAYS, “WHEN THEY HEARD THIS, THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.” THEY UNDERSTOOD. JOHN'S BAPTISM IS NO LONGER SUFFICIENT. IT NO LONGER IS SUFFICIENT EVEN IN THE FACT THAT I AM BEING BAPTIZED IN THE REMISSION OF SINS WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH IN THE KINGDOM. BUT NOW THE MESSIAH HAS COME! AND NOW THE BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE HAS NOT THE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE COMING BUT LOOKS BACK AT HIS HAVING COME AND SHED HIS BLOOD. AND WHAT IS IT THAT GIVES FORGIVENESS OF SINS? NOT JUST A PUSHING FORWARD BUT WHAT IS IT THAT GIVES A FORGIVENESS OF SINS? THE SHEDDING OF JESUS' BLOOD. SO NOW THEY COULD BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST IN ACTS 2:38 AND RECEIVE WHAT? THE HOLY SPIRIT. THEY CAN RECEIVE THE GIFT THAT WAS PROMISED BY AND THROUGH THE MESSIAH AND THE GIFT THAT WAS AVAILABLE WITHIN THE KINGDOM THAT NOW IS ESTABLISHED. THE SAME KINGDOM LATER IN COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1 VERSE 13 IS SPOKEN OF IN THE SENSE OF NOW EXISTING. THAT THEY WERE BEING TRANSLATED OUT OF THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS AND PUT INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE DEAR SON OF THE LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER. YOU SEE THE KINGDOM THAT EXISTS, THE KINGDOM THAT WAS ESTABLISHED IN ACTS CHAPTER 2, THE KINGDOM THAT JOHN SAID WOULD COME, THAT THE MESSIAH WOULD DIE AND SHED HIS BLOOD TO PURCHASE, ACTS 2:28, AND THE KINGDOM NOW THAT THEY SAY WE WANT TO BE A PART OF, THEREFORE WE WANT TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. AND SO WHAT HAPPENS? THEY WERE BAPTIZED. THEY BECAME FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST NOT FOLLOWERS OF JOHN. ALTHOUGH THEY HAD BEEN FOLLOWERS OF JOHN. JOHN BEING A GOOD MAN BUT PREPARING THE WAY AS MATTHEW CHAPTER 3 SAYS FOR JESUS. HE WAS NOT THE MESSIAH. HE WAS NOT THE CHRIST. HE ULTIMATELY MANY TIMES CONFIRMED THAT.

SO NOW THAT THEY KNOW THE CHRIST, THEY KNOW THAT HE HAS COME, THEY KNOW THAT HE SHED HIS BLOOD. THEY KNOW THAT THE KINGDOM HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. WHAT DID THEY WANT TO DO? THEY WANT TO BE BAPTIZED INTO THE NAME...THE ONLY NAME BY WHICH A MAN CAN BE WHAT? SAVED. ISN'T THAT WHAT ACTS CHAPTER 4 VERSE 12 SAYS? THERE'S NO OTHER NAME. NOT JOHN, NOT THE NAME OF MAN TODAY. THERE'S NO OTHER NAME BUT JESUS BY WHICH A MAN CAN BE SAVED. SO THEY WANTED TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS. AND NO DOUBT THAT'S WHAT PAUL INSTRUCTED THEM TO DO.

NOW, FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND WITH ME THOUGH THAT THE CONCEPT OF THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ACTS 2:38 AND WHAT PAUL INITIALLY TALKED TO THEM ABOUT IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS REALLY PERTAINING TO THE MIRACULOUS. NOTICE WHAT HE NOW DOES IN VERSE SIX. PAUL BEING A FULL-FLEDGED, NOT JUST A DISCIPLE, BUT AN APOSTLE OF GOD. HAD THE POWER NOT ONLY TO HAVE THE GIFTS, THE FULL MEASURE OF THE GIFTS BUT WHAT CAN THE APOSTLES DO THAT NO ONE ELSE COULD DO? THEY COULD TRANSFER THOSE GIFTS. THEY COULD TRANSFER THE MIRACULOUS TO THE FAITHFUL. AND SO NOW NOTICE WITH ME WHAT PAUL DOES IN VERSE SIX AFTER THEY ARE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. AND PAUL THEN “LAID HANDS ON THEM, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME UPON THEM, AND THEY EVEN SPOKE WITH TONGUES AND PROPHESIED.” HE SAYS THERE WERE ABOUT 12 OF THEM. SO 12 MEN IN EPHESUS AND NOW THEY ARE DISCIPLES. THEY ARE BELIEVERS OF WHAT JOHN HAS SAID. THEY'VE EVEN BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JOHN BUT THEY'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR SOMETHING THAT VERY THING JOHN PROCLAIMED. AND NOW PAUL SAYS THAT THING HAS COME. JESUS CAME, JESUS DIED, HE SHED HIS BLOOD, HE PURCHASED AND ESTABLISHED THE KINGDOM OR THE CHURCH. AND NOW THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS. AFTER THEY WERE BAPTIZED, JUST LIKE IN ACTS CHAPTER 8 WHEN PETER LAID HANDS ON SOME WHO RECEIVED THE POWER THROUGH THE LAYING ON OF HANDS AND THEN SIMON THE SORCERER SAYS GIVE ME THIS POWER TOO BY THE LAYING ON OF HANDS. HE HAD RECEIVED THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. THESE INDIVIDUALS WOULD RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT NOT THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. BUT NOW PAUL GIVES THEM THOSE GIFTS. WHY? THAT THEY MIGHT HELP HIM DO THE WORK AT EPHESUS. AND IT LATER TELLS US THERE IN VERSE 10 THAT FOR SEVERAL YEARS THEN HE TAKE THESE INDIVIDUALS WHOM HE NOW HAS GIVEN THE POWER OF GOD TO AND WHAT DID THEY DO? EVANGELIZE THROUGHOUT EPHESUS. ISN'T THAT BEAUTIFUL! THAT HE TEACHES THEM, PREACHES TO THEM, AND HE PREACHES JESUS AND THEY RESPOND TO JESUS. NOW YOU MIGHT SAY, ‘OH WELL, WE'RE STILL NOT SURE ABOUT THIS KINGDOM CONCEPT.’

DO YOU KNOW WHAT PAUL WAS PREACHING? HE WAS PREACHING THE SAME THING WE'VE BEEN FINDING OUT ABOUT PHILIP BACK IN ACTS CHAPTER 8 AND OTHER PLACES. THEY WERE PREACHING JESUS AND THE KINGDOM. AND WE KNOW THAT BECAUSE GUESS WHAT VERSE EIGHT SAYS IN THIS TEXT? IT SAYS, AND WHEN “HE WENT INTO THE SYNAGOGUE AND SPOKE BOLDLY FOR THREE MONTHS.” HE REASONED AND PERSUADED WITH THEM CONCERNING THE THINGS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. YOU SEE, WHEN JESUS WAS PREACHED HIS KINGDOM WAS PREACHED BECAUSE HE PURCHASED THE KINGDOM WITH THE ACT OF THE SHEDDING OF THE BLOOD THE KINGDOM THAT THEY ALL WERE WAITING FOR, AS JOHN THE IMMERSER HAD EVEN DECLARED AND THE KINGDOM THAT NOW THOSE IN EPHESUS AND THE SPECIFIC DISCIPLES RESPONDED TO THE TEACHINGS OF AS THEY NOW WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THAT GOD COULD ADD THEM BACK, ACTS 2 VERSE 47, TO THE CHURCH OR THE KINGDOM ITSELF. THAT THEY COULD BE TRANSLATED OUT OF THE POWER OF DARKNESS INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE DEAR SON OF HIS LOVE. AND THEN THAT THEY MIGHT DO WHAT? WORK TOGETHER DESPITE THE FACT, VERSE NINE SAYS, THAT SOME WERE STILL SPEAKING EVIL ABOUT THE WAY AND THE IDEA OF THE WAY IS JESUS. SOME WERE STILL AGAINST IN EPHESUS JESUS AND THE JEWS WERE AGAINST THE CONCEPT OF THE MESSIAH HAVING COME. THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE IT. BUT WHAT WAS PAUL PREACHING? WHAT WERE THESE DISCIPLES PREACHING? THESE FOLLOWERS NOW OF JESUS THROUGH THE TEACHINGS OF PAUL THAT JESUS HAD COME. THAT THE KINGDOM HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AND NOW THATT PEOPLE NEEDED TO OBEY THE GOSPEL PLAN OF SALVATION.

SO THAT'S THE CHALLENGE THAT I LEAVE YOU WITH AS WELL TODAY. THE SAME MESSAGE HAS BEEN PROCLAIMED TO US TIME AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT AND SPECIFICALLY THE BOOK OF ACTS. AND I ASK YOU AGAIN THE QUESTION, TO SINCERELY LOOK AT YOUR LIFE AND ASK HAVE YOU FULLY CONFESSED THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST BEFORE MEN? HAVE YOU REPENTED OF YOUR SINS? AND HAVE YOU BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST UNDERSTANDING THAT IT IS IN BAPTISM AND ONLY IN BAPTISM THAT BY YOUR FAITH YOU HAVE THE WASHING AND REMOVAL OF SINS AND THEREFORE YOU ARE ADDED BY GOD TO HIS CHURCH. IF NOT, WHY NOT TODAY? WHY NOT MAKE TODAY THE DAY OF SALVATION ANDWHY NOT KNOW TODAY THAT YOU'RE SAVED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE!



CLOSING COMMENTS

LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY FOR THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM. I HOPE AND TRUST, THAT TOGETHER WE HAVE ALL BENEFITED FROM THIS SERVICE TO OUR LORD. LET ME ALSO INVITE YOU TO JOIN US EVERY LORD’S DAY MORNING AT 7:30 AS WE GIVE THIS TIME TO OUR CREATOR.

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YET AGAIN WE HAVE HAD CLEAR CONFIRMATION IN THE WORD OF GOD THAT THOSE IN EPHESUS HAD TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. THE QUESTION IS, HAVE YOU BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS IN ORDER TO PROVE YOUR FAITH IN HIM AND TO SUBMIT TO HIS PERFECT WILL? IF NOT, WHY NOT OBEY GOD FULLY TODAY?