THE PRISON EPISTLES
The Prison epistles are known to be Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. These books have three sections in the apiece. I've been preaching a series of sermons on Sunday Nights from them. They each have a personal section where Paul addresses the church and fellow workers of his in the ministry, then they each have a doctrinal section where the apostle Paul is used of the Holy Spirit to teach, instruct, and correct the doctrine of the church. And finally, each section has a practical section where Practical Christian Living is addressed. And this is the section of these books I've been preaching on each Sunday Evening. I started with the last two chapters of II Corinthians and then read these Prison epistles, and here are some gleanings:
1) II Cor. 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for thee" This is not a statement to give us hope, this is a statement of fact. God's grace is sufficient. The Bible says if God gave us His only Son, will he not also "freely give us all things"? The answer is yes! God's grace is sufficient, but we still must look to the God of grace during trying times. The answer is not in ourselves, but in the Lord.
2) PROBLEMS IN THE CHURCH Where do problems come from? They come from people who do not know God's Word, or choose not to obey God's Word, or from a few who would corrupt God's Word. Most out of ignorance, or disobedience, but every once in a while some out of a desire to willing corrupt God's Word. This was the problem at Galatia. Gal. 1;7 "some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ"; Gal. 3:1 "who hath bewitched you,"; Gal. 5:7 "Ye did run well; who did hinder you.."; Gal. 5:10 "but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be."; Gal. 5:12 "I would they were even cut off which trouble you." Notice: "some", "Who", "he", "his", "they" It is always a PERSON who Satan works through to bring disharmony and corruption into the church. Remember in Proverbs... six things God hates, yea seven.... Seventh is: "He that soweth discord among the brethern."
3) SIT, WALK, STAND. This is a simple outline for the book of Ephesians given in a book by Watchman Nee many years ago. Here it is:
SIT- (The Position of the Believer) Eph. 2:6- "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" This section of scripture tells us our position in Christ. Eph. 2:13 "made nigh by the blood of Christ"; Eph. 2:14 "He is our peace"; Eph. 2:22 "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." ; Eph. 3:17 "rooted and grounded in love"
WALK- (The Life of the Believer) Eph. 4:1 "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called"; Eph. 4:17 "walk not as other Gentiles walk"; Eph. 5:2 "walk in love"; Eph. 5:8 "walk as children of light". This section tells us how we are to walk (live) as a believer.
STAND- (The Battle of the Believer) Eph. 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."; Eph. 6:13 "that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."; Eph. 6:14 "Stand therefore, ...".
This sections tells us we are in a battle and our job is to STAND for Christ and not be defeated!!
4) Phil. 3:12 "I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." Paul says: I want to apprehend (grasp, achieve, complete) the mission for which Jesus Christ apprehended me. He wanted to fulfill God's purpose for his life... that should be our goal as a believer!!
5) Col. 3:23 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;" We are to give it all we have, with all of our heart, whatever we do.... we do for Jesus!!! This is our goal, this is our life, this is what we are all about... pleasing Christ in all we do!!
Well, so little for such great chapters, but just skimming the surface of scripture.... See you tomorrow.
Can you believe it? I'm just getting my first Cup of Coffee today. I've been at the office doing the typing today and so I left home earlier. My wife is speaking in southern California and so the coffee was not on automatic. So I came to the church and someone just made some coffee. Yea!! You have a blessed day today and enjoy your time in the Word, and with others you love! Pastor Mike Mutchler
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