Tuesday, June 27, 2017

EMA Day 1: Andy Gemmill - Ephesians introduction

Andy Gemmill - Ephesians

Acts 20:17-35; Eph 6:10-20

Going to the wrong wedding reception - hang on, have I got this right? - Sunday AM, no revival, problems, irrelevant? - have I got something wrong?

Acts 19 - magic and supernatural - Eph - supernatural powers

Pl spent best part of 3yrs in Eph - why so impersonal etc.?

Written during which imprisonment?

Purpose / why written? - why the top of Pl's busy to do list?

Reassurance: an antidote to the hang on is this right moments of ministry

Pl's Ephesian ministry climactic in Acts - programme notes p28

Acts 18-20

Written from Prison in Rm?

1 & 2 Tim written from prison in Rm to Timothy in Eph

Corinthian activity between Acts 20 and writing of Ephesians

Does Pl organise Acts 20 meeting with Eph elders after the arrival of false teachers in Corinth?

cf. coveting gold and silver and clothing - Acts 20 - cf. Pl & super-Apostles


climactic - the most powerful ministry in Acts

Pl's longest city ministry

Unusual breadth and depth of ministry, geographically and ethically, all Asia, Jews and Greeks (cf. impersonal feel of Eph - aimed at the city and the region beyond)

Extraordinary healings and exorcisms at Eph

The economics of Eph affected - Artemis second only to Caesar - tourist trade affected - riot

The gospel seriously transforming the city and region - the supremacy of JX as Lord

A ministry that underlines Pl's importance as J's authorised ambassador in the world

Extraordinary miracles (v11) - cf. Acts 5, Pt's miracles like these - the apostles as the locus of God's powerful work in the world (not temple centred worship)

Pl's ministry authenticated by J

Israel must listen to Pt; the world must listen to Pl

Pl is recognised publicly by the evil spirits - Jesus whom Pl proclaims, J I know and Pl I know!

Pl is recognised publicly by the world (v26) - This Pl has persuaded many people

The supremacy of J, J conquers - through Pl's gospel ministry outside the synagogue, superior to Judaism, for Jew and Gentile alike

J is working through Pl's ministry for Jew and Gentile


cf. Lk & Pl's description of the ministry in Eph

Conquest & Conflict - it looked v powerful but it felt v difficult to do

The plots of the Jews and how Pl dealt with them - extraordinarily hard ministry

1 Cor 15 - wild beasts in Eph

Many opponents - 1 Cor 16

Climactic ministry both in terms of fruitfulness and opposition

Conquest and conflict huge themes in Eph

Eph - the victory of the Lord Jesus emphasised - 1:10, 20, Ch. 4 - Jesus ascended, enthroned - Ch. 6 - Jesus the conquering warrior

The conflict of J's people a huge theme in Ephesians

Pl looks back and look forward - future opposition and suffering on Jerusalem journey

Future difficulties from false teachers - cf. Cor ? - savage wolves from outside and deviant teachers from within

Pl is preparing them for his future and theirs - a ministry which will look different - Pl's imprisonment not impressive looking

Life is going to change and look different from Acts 19 - coming conflict

Acts 21 - Pl arrested in the temple in an agonising and demoralising manner - Jews from Asia stir up the crowd recognising Pl and his Ephesian colleague

Why is Pl not looking victorious now?

2 Tim - the warnings of Acts 20 fulfilled - do not be ashamed about the testimony of our Lord or me his prisoner

Eph - trouble in the visible realm (weakness and conflict) but look to the unseen realm

Eph 6 - not a battle against flesh and blood - human conflict not the main / ultimate thing - spiritual enemies

Fight according to the rules of the bigger game - with the word of God and prayer - Christ-like chr, the armour J wears (Isaiah)

Cf. Eph 6 and Acts 20 - ministry of word, truth, humility etc. 

Eph 2:11 - Jewish opponents - similarly Acts 20

Conflict in 4:26 - anger - conflict - Ps 4 - horrible human hostility from outside - tempting to come out swinging and fight back

Remember the bigger battle than the one which is obviously in your face

Weakness - 1:18 - grasp your hope better as things don’t look v hopeful - it doesn't look v glorious

Remember J's resurrection power - 1:20 - your physical eyes may not reassure you. You need your heart eyes opening.

Eph 3 - Pl's digression at the heart of the letter? - God's power is found in the ministry of the prisoner of the Lord - v7 - 4:1

3v13 like Timothy - do not lose heart over my sufferings for you

Pl and his gospel look weak and powerless but he is the authentic minister of the Lord with a powerful gospel

The experiential gulf between the powerful ministry of Acts 19 and ordinary ministry

Jesus the risen Lord - cf. ordinary human life

The gospel in the UK in decline, Xianity more marginal, growing human conflict

Is revival breaking out where you are?

Is Jesus' stamp of approval publicly obvious on your ministry? Is your city being powerfully transformed by the gospel?

Do you feel powerful and conquering or frustrated and impotent?

Do you need encouragement for post Acts 19 ministry in a world of conflict?

Ministry looks ordinary and weak, but the power and freedom are there.

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