Listen to the weekly sermons from Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton, MI.
In this final sermon on the Book of Ephesians, we look at the final greetings that the Apostle Paul sends to the people in Ephesus. He mentions a man (who is not too well known) named Tychicus that is mentioned also in the Book of Colossians, Acts, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus. Both here in Ephesians and also in Colossians, Paul says that he is sending Tychicus for the purpose of "encouraging their hearts."
Tychicus was an encourager.
This final message on Ephesians from Pastor Aaron is meant to be an encouragement for all who hear it. It's no doubt that 2020 has been a rough year and we need to be encouraged to stand firm in Christ until life everlasting.
Watch until the end - there's even homework to do!
Not many people pay much attention to what's going on behind the scenes of the chaos in this world. And that's exactly how Satan would like to keep it. He wants to convince you that he is not real, that there's no spiritual warfare going on, and that ultimately God himself is not real.
As Christians, we must be aware and attentive to these crafty schemes of the devil. And then - most importantly to stand firm in Christ. Putting on the full armor of God, we will withstand all the schemes of the devil. Christ has already risen and is victorious over the devil.
The Apostle Paul warned the Ephesians of the "waves" of this world (4:14). In Chapter 5, he goes into detail about some of those "waves." Cultural influences that the Ephesians would walk into each day.
We walk into our own world that is shaped by ungodly influences. Like the Ephesians, we must not be "tossed to and fro" (4:14), but instead BE LIGHT to the world. Thankfully, this is our identity in Christ. He has made us light (5:8) to the world by the gift of faith. We live in this world as reflections of the One True Light - Jesus Christ - who has enlightened us with His gifts.
On this All Saints Day, Pastor Aaron encouraged people to take a step back from what is right in front of us to gain a greater perspective of what the full story of the Scripture is. All Saints Day points us to the resurrection from the dead and imagine that in eternal life there will be people from every tribe, tongue, and language united in crying out, "Salvation belongs to God!"
As Christians, we have been called to live as one body with Jesus Christ as our head. With the right perspective, we will desire to bear with one another in love, eager to maintain unity in the bond of peace.
In Ephesians 3, the Apostle Paul prays for the Christians gathered in Ephesus that they might "comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love" (v. 18).
In Christ, we are united to all the saints. We have a history. Our faith spans over thousands of years. Just as God's love preserved HIs Church and His people over centuries of hardship, He preserves His Church and His people today.
In Ephesians 2, Paul is addressing the "wall of hostility" that the Jews and Gentiles still kept building between themselves over issues such as circumcision. Paul reminds them that in Christ, they are one. Not two. One.
In a contentious world that we live in, we are so quick to build walls of hostility. We are quick to judge. We are quick to assassinate people's character. When in actuality, we should really just be looking to the cross.
It's at the cross of Jesus where there is No More Hostility.