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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives. Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 3:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, October the 24th. I'm Mark, and you'd better buckle up for the podcast today because I have a ton of stuff for you this morning that will really help you get Monday going with a big dose of the energy from our worship yesterday and from the discussion yesterday about Ephesus and all that was happening in that city and the epistle that Paul wrote to that city, to the church in that city, and that's right to the churches around that city, all of that and coffee two, this is the best way to start your work week. Let's get started. How about some extra sermon notes from yesterday? So much about eus and so much about the Ephesian Brethren, what's going on there? Don't want to add too much for you to think about as you're working through Ephesians, but I would say this at the beginning of the year when we first kicked off the year with Paul reading schedule, I talked a little bit about how listening to these epistles could really be helpful. That's how they were initially used and understood and heard. People did not whip out their own copy of the Bible, turn over to the book of Ephesians and start reading silently to themselves. This is read in the Assembly of the Saints, and so if you listen to the epistle, you are hearing it the way your brethren in Ephesus heard it. And that is especially important as we start in Ephesians because, because it's so carefully constructed, this book is not exactly like anything else that Paul wrote. It is not specific. We talked about this yesterday to the Ephesian Church, maybe some problems going on there, calling out some false teachers in there, Mitch. No, there's none of that kind of stuff. This is a much more general epistle, and there is, as a result of that, not a structured argument and an appeal to logic or trying to prove something dealing with issues and problems. This is not Corinthians, it's not reading like Corinthians. It is very carefully written and it has a certain rhythm and sound to it. I understand from those that work in the original languages that that is particularly apparent in the New Testament Greek, but I think it's even apparent in the English. It has a feel to it almost a sing song style to it. There are eight very long sentences in the book of Ephesians. Chapter one, three to 14, Chapter one, 15 to 23. Chapter two has one, chapter three has one. Chapter three has two in chapter three verses two to 13, Chapter three verses 14 to 19, Chapter four, one to six, chapter four, 11 to 16, and then at the end chapter six, 14 to 20. There was a lot to throw at you there. The point of that is to say that this is a very oral or very audible work and it has a meter to it and a rhythm to it, and it would just as it was being read, sound right in the ears. Some scholars even wonder if part of this wouldn't become part of the worship of the New Testament church, the regular reading maybe of this blessing that begins chapter one in verse three, Bless, it'd be the godfather of the Lord Jesus Christ. That would be an amazing thing to start church with or maybe for the church to recite together, to memorize and to recite. So think a lot here about listening to the book of Ephesians. I know some of you do that already, but if you're not, see if you can find an app, esv crossway app. It has an audible section to it. Um, use that. Listen to it, read it, maybe listen to it again. See how that's working for you and see if that doesn't change a little bit how you feel about the book of Ephesians and how it comes across to you. That's our additional sermon notes. I'm gonna try that and I hope that you will too. Let's, hey, let's just dive in to daily Bible reading. Let's think about that. It is Monday and we are reading Ephesians chapter two, one to 10 here after Paul opens the epistle to the Ephesians with an amazing doxology and long sentence praising Jesus Christ. Now he begins to talk to the Ephesians about how they fit into the work of Christ. He is head of the church, but how can we be part of the church part of his body when we are sinful? In fact, two, one begins, You were dead in trespasses and sin. I think sometimes we put two fine a point on some of these definitions of the various terms the Bible uses for evil doing and for wickedness. Sometimes we just use synonyms because we don't want to say the same thing over and over again. But it is so here that trespass probably has the idea of a false step, the crossing of a known boundary or a deviation from the right path. One authority notes. Whereas sin is the idea of missing the mark and falling short of the standard. So trespasses and sins would cover everything active and passive, both sins of commission and of omission. And it is important to see here, I I never like to stop off and have to talk about false doctrine, but a huge point is made here by reformed theologians, Calvinist, reformed theologies, just Calvinists dressed up oftentimes in uh, ypi garb, you are dead. And the idea then is that we are just so dead. We can't do anything. We can't respond to the gospel. God has to do it all. And that's where you get predestination and irresistible grace and all of those ideas begin to move in from two, one, you were dead, but but dead doesn't mean you can't do anything. Two, two and once in which you once walked. So they were doing some things that's a great illustration of pushing the metaphor too far. They were capable of doing some things. They weren't dead in in their inability to do anything. No, they were following the ways of the devil. How about that? And carrying out the passions of our flesh. We wanna be careful with this term flesh again, Calvinist will have a field day here trying to decide that somehow our flesh is incapable of doing what's right. I I don't understand that line of thinking at all. If we are incapable of doing right, why is God unhappy with us? I am not mad at Carson because he can't read. My Scotty dog is incapable of reading. It would be folly then for me to be angry with him for his inability to read. One writer said it's a gross overstatement that mankind not only displeases God, but also is in fact incapable of pleasing God. No, Paul isn't saying that at all. Paul does mean here that all men have participated in the rebellion against God, but that's not by accident of birth into the family of Adam. It is by what we ourselves have done. That's what we need to think about. It's not that we are incapable of doing, right, It is that we have chosen to do wrong and we want to be careful with that passions of our flesh or the idea. Two, three were by nature, probably nature there is better translated the idea of by habit children of wrath. Again, if we can't do right, why is God punishing us for doing wrong? No, God is rich in mercy. Two, four because we need that mercy we have chosen to do wrong. But now God, by the same power which God used to raise Jesus from the dead, verse five, He has made us alive together with Christ and fundamental to the idea of becoming a Christian, becoming a disciple is the union of God's people with Jesus. Salvation is much more than just having your record wiped clean. It's more than just forgiveness. It's deliverance from death and slavery and wrath. All the things that are described in verses one, two, and three, by by grace two eight, you have been saved through faith and this is the gift of God. Faith is not given to us by God. It is something that we exercise. We talked about that in Romans chapter 10, but salvation is of God and we never wanna back away from that. And we never wanna say otherwise. It, it's, it's discouraging to me when someone says to me, I, I, I, I'm afraid to die. Sometimes I get this in elderly people, I they can see that they're coming to the end of their life and they're scared to death. And they, brother, why are you so afraid? Because I just don't think I've done enough. Well, the reason you think you haven't done enough is because you haven't done enough. And the reason that you are afraid is because you're trained to make salvation be about you and about earning it and about meriting it. And you know that isn't gonna play and it isn't gonna work. How about you do what the New Testament teaches you be saved by grace. We're never gonna do enough. God has saved us by grace. It's unfortunate that the need to talk about how to accept grace, how to unwrap the amazing gift of salvation has caused us to focus so much on our unwrapping skills. If, if it's appropriate to use that metaphor that we get lost and the next thing we know is all we're about is how did I unwrap the package? Did I unwrap the package correctly? Did I start on the right end of the package? Maybe I should have taken the bow offer first. Maybe I should have read the card first. In, in our family, you have to read the card before you open your birthday gift. And if you don't, everybody calls foul. Oh my, I didn't unwrap the package. Right? Stop, stop with that. Certainly we have to unwrap the package correctly, but that's not complicated. Peter was able to help folks in Acts chapter two with one sermon, figure out how to receive God's grace. That's what we wanna do. That's what this is about. God's grace for by grace, you've been save through faith. It's not the result of works. Verse nine, that would cause boasting, oh my, I'm afraid I've seen some of that in my life. Somebody who really does think they're saving themselves know we are created in Christ Jesus to do those good works and we wanna walk in them. And a huge part of Ephesians, of course, is about walking worthy of our calling. But in these early sections of Ephesians, Paul's talking about how to be in Christ, how to be in Christ, receive the gift of God, receive the gift of salvation. More on this tomorrow as we continue in chapter two, I'll see you on Tuesday. Welcome to Tuesday. Today we complete Ephesians chapter two. We're going to read verses 11 to 22. These verses will sound like something that were written yesterday to deal with the problems of racism and all that goes with that in our country. But of course they were not written yesterday. They just are extraordinarily relevant. There's always going to be problems. Anytime you have sinful men and women with racism and discrimination, one group's gonna choose up and say, Because we look like this or because we have this or because we were born here, we're better than that bunch over there. And then they look down their nose at them. In the New Testament world, that was a reality. Jews looked down on Gentiles, they had all kinds of terms denigrating them. The uncircumcised, for example, called them dogs. Interestingly, the Gentiles looked down on the Jews and were just as hateful and just as mean. So to try to put all of these people together in a local church must have been quite the challenge, which is why Paul writes what he writes in chapter two in verses 11 to 22. As we read this today, look at the list of alienation, the things that are going on here that Paul talks about with the gentiles, Gentiles by birth called the UNC circumcision separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship, foreigner to the covenant without hope without God. Wow, being a gentile really puts you on the outside looking in Israel. Verse 13 was near Gentiles were far. And I wonder if Paul is remembering here that he was commissioned to go to those who are far off. Acts chapter 22 and verse 21, Jesus at the end has brought peace. Verse 14, This is peace not just between God and man, that's the beginning point. We just talked about that in chapter two, verses one to 10, yesterday's reading. But now that peace between God and man brings peace between man and man. If you are right with God and I am right with God, then we have to be right with each other. And what Jesus has done is broken down the wall between Jew and Gentile. The barrier here, there's a considerable amount of debate and writing about that. But the barrier here probably is the law because the law of Moses, God's own law prevented Jews from example, from eating with Gentiles or marrying their sons and daughters, and particularly of course worshiping their idols and going to their temples. So the barrier here, probably the dividing wall of hostility, at least in Paul's writing, here is the law of Moses. And that's been abolished. Verse 15, the law of commandments that's been abolished and taken out of, out of the way. There is no racial distinctions in Christ. Any time someone starts running out, any kind of fill in the blank supremacy, you need to know that is not of Christ. That is not true. Christianity, white supremacy, purple supremacy, black supremacy, it does not matter. None of that works. None of that works. We are reconciled to God. Verse 16 in one body through the cross. And all of that comes because of Jesus' unique role. It's through him verse 18, that we are able to have access in one spirit to the Father, that we are no longer verse 19, Look how verse 19 answers all of the alienation words that we started with in verse 11 and 12. It's through Jesus that we are able to be in the Father, that we are no longer strangers and aliens, that we are fellow citizens and members of the household of God. That's a wonderful picture of the new Gentile Jew community. It's God's kingdom. It's God's family. It's God's temple. And this passage is one of the strongest passages in all of the New Testament to tell us there is no place for racism among God's people. If you are right with God and God accepts you, what business do I have? Not accepting you, particularly on some poultry and thin and lame distinction like what color your hair is or where you were born or what color your skin is. None of that works in God's with God's people. We are one, one body. Verse 16 through the cross, let's kill the hostility and be one in Christ. That's what Paul says to Jews and Gentiles. That's a tall order. It's a tall order still today. If Paul expected them to be able to do it, we can do it as well. Let's let Ephesians chapter two affect our lives, work those questions and think about question four. Think about question five. Great application for us there as we're reading in Ephesians chapter two. Tomorrow we'll start chapter three, See you on Wednesday. It is Wednesday. We're halfway through the week and we are in Ephesians the third chapter. This is Ephesians three, one to 13 for our reading today. And I love this reading today because our effort this year is to come to know Paul better. And there's really some self-reflection here and some revelation of who Paul is and what he's doing. And think about verse seven of this gospel. I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. I'm the very least of all of the saints. You really get some insight into what Paul thinks of his work and what he's done. And Paul sees himself as the one that is, is breaking down that dividing wall of hostility that we talked about in yesterday's reading by the preaching of the gospel. So look at our reading three one for this reason, that actually connects to chapter one in verse 15. For this reason, because I've heard of your faith, Paul kind of went on a tangent there for a little while. Paul is that preacher that can be preaching in this particular direction and then step aside from that for a good little bit and go in a different direction. And then about the time maybe you thought he was gonna wind the sermon up, we're gonna sing the invitation song. He says, Now, back to my main point. And you're like, Whoa, how about that? For this reason, I Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of the Gentiles three, one, assuming you've heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you. So now he begins to talk about those gentiles, and it's the Gentiles that got Paul into trouble, or more than anything, Paul's preaching that Gentiles could have full fellowship in the kingdom of God, that they were to be fully received into the kingdom of God. That's what got Paul into so much trouble. And I think our reading and acts this year has helped us to see that's the sticking point. That's what gives him, that's where he gets so much grief. And that's why the Jews are so hateful and so angry and so determined to get him. And so he talks about then this mystery, verse three mysteries, of course, are the things that we cannot know without the revelation of God. And specifically Paul says, when you read, you can understand my knowledge or my insight into the mystery of Christ, which is what verse six that Gentiles are in, that Gentiles are in. You can use three, three to five to say that when we read the Bible, we can understand the Bible. I think that plays, I think that works. I think that's an application of well made of the principle here. But specifically what you can understand when you read Paul's writing is that Gentiles are in, Gentiles are to be allowed into the kingdom of God. And then, as I said, there's some very warm reflection on Paul's own work and how he fits and who he is and what he's trying to do and what he wants the church to do. Verse 10, the church is about helping people understand the wisdom of God. That's what the church does. By the way. I think that probably does a pretty good job of excluding the church, getting into the fun and games business that just, that's just not what the church is about. It. It's great, It's wonderful. I love to shoot the hoops. I'm all about Taco Tuesday and everything I, you know, I love coffee. That's not the point. That's not what the church was set up to do. The church is about making known the manifold wisdom of God. And of course there's a question then verse 10, the church is making that known to rulers and authorities in heavenly places. Why do rulers and authorities in heavenly places need to know about this? And I, I think what Paul is helping us see, Peter talks about this a little bit. Angels longing to look that, that the angels and rulers, authorities in heavenly places don't understand everything about the work of God and how God was gonna get those gentiles over there in the body of Christ. How that was going to work and how that was going to be accomplished. By the way, somewhat rulers and authorities here to be government and that puts the church in a political role. No, no, no. That is absolutely without merit. The church has no business in the kingdoms of men. That's not the church's work. That's not what Paul's talking about. I've not known any politicians in the heavenly places and you haven't either. There's no place for the church in politics. Instead, we're about something far more important than that. We're about Jews and Gentiles coming into the kingdom of God, the household of God, the temple of God by the work of Jesus Christ so that we can be saved and be right with God. More on that in this amazing doxology, which we'll read tomorrow, concluding chapter three. I'll see you on Thursday. Get ready for Paul to get very excited about what God has done. Welcome to Thursday, as we finish chapter three in the book of Ephesians, chapter three, verses 14 to 21, as our reading for today. And as I read over this, what I am reminded of is when my dad would pull into the gas station back in the days before self-service gas and the gas station attendant would come out, Dad would roll down his window and he would say, Feller up. And that's what Paul says in our reading today. Feller up, be filled with the spirit, be filled with Christ, be filled with God. Everything here is about being filled in the inner being. Verse 16, that you be strengthened in your inner being, be filled up with God and the Son and the spirit in all that you are doing. It's a wonderful doxology. Notice verse 14 begins for this reason that connects to three, one, which connects to one 15. Paul's been trying to get to this point for quite some time. And now verses 14 to 19 are just one big long sentence in the original Greek. And here Paul prays to the glory of God and praise particularly for the Ephesians and the other congregations that'll be reading and receiving this, that they may be strengthened with power through his spirit. Verse 16, so the Holy Spirit is going to strengthen them. Verse 17, So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Notice if the Spirit is dwelling within you, then Christ is dwelling within you. What is the spirit doing? The spirit is helping us to have the indwelling Christ. Those things are, are going together here. And I've kind of pledged and I've tried as best I can to not stop in every time I read something about the indwelling spirit and have a long discussion of everything that's wrong about that, that's taught and all the charismatic practices and and Pentecostal ideas that are, that are imported into that, that are just simply outside of the New Testament. I, and I'm, I'm gonna try to hold to my pledge here and, and and, and not say all the things this doesn't mean, but I, I, I wanna say this, it does mean something. And I think Joel chapter two and and other passages in the Old Testament that talk about in the new covenant, there's going to be the possibility of a different relationship with God based on the indwelling spirit. I think those passages help us see Ephesians chapter three in the new covenant, being a Christian, whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, you just have access to a new and better relationship with God. And part of that is the spirit indwells us. And we may never understand everything about that. And I think sometimes, mostly what I'm concerned about is tracking out all the things. That doesn't mean because I don't want the Holy Spirit to do something that's uncomfortable and I need to stop doing that. I need to stop doing that because God is able to do far more abundantly Verse 20 than all that we ask or think. I I need to quit trying to put God in a box. Notice if you have the indwelling spirit, then Christ will dwell in you. And then verse 19, you'll have the fullness of God being filled here with God goes along with what Paul said about being filled with the spirit and being filled with Christ. And none of that makes you charismatic or makes you Pentecostal. It's what being a Christian is all about. As we're under the influence of God, we're walking with God. We're walking worthily of our calling because we're in Christ Jesus. That's the theme of Ephesians. And Paul now will begin to talk more about what the worthy walk looks like in our reading tomorrow. See you on Friday. We'll be reading in Ephesians chapter four. It is Friday. You made it. You made it. You made it. We're at the end of the week. Hope that you have some amazing plans for this weekend and I hope those plans will include being at West side and worshiping with God's people there in a spirit of unity because that's what our reading is about today. Ephesians chapter four, verses one to eight. We're in Christ chapters one, two, and three of the book of Ephesians. And now this is how Christians act. They walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called Ephesians four verse one. That includes humility, which was not considered. Verse two, A virtue in Paul's day at all. Loneliness one scholar said was much despised in the ancient world. The Greeks never used this word for humility in a context of approval or admiration. Instead by it, they saw this as the crouching submissiveness of a slave. Paul stands that on its head and says, This is how Christians live, walk and act that we count others as being better than ourselves. Then there is meekness or gentleness I would add here, meekness is not just strength under control. Meekness here is strength under control because we know God will act. We're waiting on God to take care of the problem. We're waiting on God to get that person that is acting in such a sinful and terrible way. Vengeance is mine. I will replace as the Lord. We we never have to get in the vengeance game. No, the Christian people are meek people. We are the people who can yield. Not because we're so weak we can't do anything. We can yield because we are so strong we can control ourselves. And again, we are willing to let God act. We're waiting to see what God is going to do. He'll take care of the problem. We have patience. We bear with one another. We are eager to be unified. If there was more eagerness among the people of God, there would be more, more eagerness for unity. There'd just be more unity. I have said before, I'm gonna say again, I grew up and it seems to me that most of the preaching and teaching that I heard about unity was disparaging unity. Now that may be, that may reflect more on me than the kind of preaching and teaching that was going on. I maybe not maybe wasn't paying very good of attention, but it just seems like lots of time. So there was a calling out and a rebuke and an admonition about false unity and and how wrong that was. And there is no question we want no part of false unity, but I just don't think there was enough emphasis on right unity and how important it is that we be eager to maintain the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace. I want this to work. I'll bear with you. I'll put up with you. Even when we disagree, I am willing to listen and change humility. I understand that I could be wrong. Where is that? Sometimes that's missing among the people of God and that will result in the local congregation fracturing and dividing as, as we all impose our own will on each other in a self-centered kind of way that won't last, that can't last. And the next thing you know, the local church is broken into pieces. Instead, we need to be united in one body because there is one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who's overall and through all and in all this great unity statement here, calling us to oneness. And though even though we are one, we are not clones of one another, we have differing gifts and ability in the body. And Paul begins that conversation. Then in verse seven and eight, Jesus has ascended on high and he gave gifts to men. And that passage may puzzle you a little bit. I'll tell you what, I'm gonna put a little bit of that off until Monday's podcast because Paul develops that further beginning in verse nine. Let's talk about that more on Monday. What does it mean that Jesus gave gifts? Where did he go? Where did he descend? On and on and on. We'll work with all of that on Monday. For now, let's just walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we've been called by striving for unity. That's the beginning place for Paul when he starts talking about what it means to walk as a Christian. Because you're in Christ Christians, do everything they can to be united. Hope that helps you in your daily Bible reading today. Well, thank you for listening. If you love the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, we would certainly appreciate it if you would follow, subscribe, and especially rate and give a review on iTunes or whatever app you are listening on. Best thing for you to do is to tell somebody else about the podcast. So then until next week, may your coffee be delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and that the Lord will be with you today all day. I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark. For more information about west side, you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.is that's upbeat with two P'S UPP, B E A T, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday,