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Christianity Enters Ephesus

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2021 9:00 am

Christianity Enters Ephesus

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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June 25, 2021 9:00 am

When we first give our lives to Christ, most of us are excited for this new adventure. Then, the excitement fades, and it all becomes routine. But it’s not supposed to be that way!


Today life with Jeannie Greer. The early church made such a significant impact on the city of Ephesus that the entire economic order was disruptive from the entire city on its head support idolatrous business moral business out of business. Imagine if a move of God's what do LA point teams turn life.

The Bible author in theologian Jeannie Greer. As always, I'm your host Molly would avenge this was your experience okay when we first give our lives to Christ. Most of us are for this new adventure with God, we soon learn more.

We do more and we want to grow more, but then the excitement fades and reading our Bible and going to church just becomes part of the routine. We might even feel a little bored with our faith. After a while, but that's not how it's supposed to be today. Pastor Jenny describes the radical life that God wants for his children. Your joining us today as we kick out a new teaching series called mystery. Let's hear from Pastor Jamie Bible teaching theory that is that you can only understand the book of the Bible. If you understand why it was written see a lot of people try to study Ephesians as if it was simply a deep explanation of Christian doctrine, and it certainly is deep and there is a lot doctrine and but Ephesians is primarily a survival manual that is written to a struggling new church in a very hostile environment you study it only as a doctrinal treaties or as a list of instructions about how to live this out a lot of what is going on in the book of Ephesians CGH Wright explained in his book the mission of God, that every passage in the Bible must be read in the context of the mission that God is on in the world and that is that God is demonstrating to all peoples in the world but he is the only God that is worthy of worship and he is the only God could say that if you take any passage of the Bible out of that initial context you misinterpreted and that's what people do a lot with Ephesians they turn it into just about the doctrine rather than as a missionary manual so the way working to begin our study of Ephesians is to look first at how the book of Ephesians fits into the story of what God is doing in the world is a will start our study, not in Ephesians, but in the book of acts chapter 18, specifically verse 24 where you're gonna find the story of Christianity first entering the city of Ephesus.

These stories were to look at today or about the city there about the people in there about the situations into which Paul wrote the book of Ephesians case of Yegor Bible and I certainly hope you do open it to acts chapter 18 really good at 1819 and 21st little bit about Ephesus.

Ephesus was the leading city in the richest region in the Roman Empire was a port city and so it was a hub in the region were boats with.and the products will be distributed from Ephesus in all parts of Asia minor and because of that it was cosmopolitan and multiethnic people from all over the world came there to live, which created, of course, a lot of racial and religious tension. As these people live beside each other and on top of each other and are just chaos. Ephesus was also economically stratified historians tell us that you have the really rich and the really poor living in close proximity to see that as we study the book of Ephesians. It was also an extremely spiritual city. There are over 50 different guides who had temples represented in Ephesus know to stop your draw corollary to you about where we live, we live in a very multiethnic place with little place for people all over the world, you know this.

One of the largest temples, Mormon Temple South DC is right here in Raleigh-Durham. In addition, without the largest Muslim mosques they've announced plans to build both a Hindu and Buddhist temple. I will be one of the largest on the East Coast know why is that because this is, as I told you before the educational hub of America is the place where people come from all over the world to do research.

So print them. They bring their other different religions and so you got a place that in many ways is just like Ephesus. They come here as a hub to go out the biggest temple in and Ephesus was dedicated to the goddess Artemis.

This temple was four times bigger than the Parthenon and wrote it was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The statue of Artemis which was the centerpiece of the temple was carved out of a meteorite which had fallen from the sky and so Artemis was seen as the protector of the city are the one who gave prosperity to the city. There was a lot of spiritualism with a lot of occult activity in Ephesus. They thought good and evil spirits were involved in just about every aspect of life. So they had all kinds of tricks to keep the spirits and karma on your side no crystals aware of rituals and things Robin thinks smoking, etc. I made you to try to harness the power of the spirit world. Ephesus had also one of the largest libraries in the ancient world that's the city of Ephesus. Verse 24 chapter 18 first Christian ruling in the Ephesus was a guy named Apollo's Apollo's was a pretty interesting guy that Scripture says he was eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures.

It was a great teacher trinkets to Ephesus and he starts preaching Jesus verse 25 but he doesn't know the full story of Jesus. So a couple that had been in Paul's other church named Quil and Priscilla are listening to him like some sort of know because if you watch a Muslim convert to Christianity on Larry King and guys like you know Jesus is the son of God. One day he's coming back on a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. No no no no no no no, so they get a mental home group Bible study and teach the word of God more accurately to him. Then Paul shows up in acts 19 and Paul starts teaching a while. Paul's teaching somebody raised her hands like no you keep referring to this holy spirit who exactly is that Paul says you will know that is there, like now, we never really hurt him right so there's still a few holes in their theology, to say the least today.

So Paul gets to work teaching this church. This continues on burst him for two years so that all the residents of Asia heard the word Lord, both Jews and Greeks. Verse 11 says that God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul and one of those extraordinary things was casting out evil demons well versus local Ghostbusters squad called the seven sons of Skiba and they think this is great. So they start going up to the demons and saying I command you to come out by the name of Jesus.

Paul preaches told one of the greatest scenes and stories in the book of acts.

One of the demons response to them. Verse 15 as I Jesus I know, and Paula recognize, but who are you, I love that they've heard of Paul.

I love that you little insight into the spiritual realm newsletter has gone out about Paul so today was like yeah I know Jesus that I heard about the All you know so much, so verse 16 says the evil spirit left on them and mastered them literally what it says a great master there so they fled out both naked and wounded naked and wounded if you're in a fight when you get the close below. If you are not just wounded physically and emotionally, spiritually, psychologically every possible way somebody beats the pants off you. That's a soul I know the biblical phrase did you beat the pants off right there in the Scripture so clearly the demon wins that rails by the way, this is why Paul put so much emphasis in Ephesians on spiritual warfare. This stuff is going on all around them and the people are like me, did you hear about the demon open up that cat on the side of Skiba will want to be like that.

So Paul gives them that famous passage in Ephesians 6 and if you been in church probably learned in Sunday school called the spiritual armor and weapons of spiritual warfare that he tried to equip them to do battle in those realms. Verse 17 the whole deal about Stephen's boys get the pantry off of them became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks and fear came upon them all in the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also, many of those who were now believers came confessing and divulging their occult practices in a number of those who practice magic arts brought their books together and burn them in the sight of all the Harry Potter books in the twilight books and an understanding account of the value of them and found that it came to 50,000 pieces of silver.

This is a big deal.

Historians say that this would be somewhere between six and $8 million fleet. Hopefully these were library books. They checked out from that library there in Ephesus was a big deal is a big old nasty porch flame of all these occult practices are try to get rid of her 20 syllable word of the Lord continue to increase and prevail vitally well. Evidently a lot of people coming to Christ because it gets the attention of a guy named Demetrius and you'll see history beginning of verse 24 now Demetrius is this big businessman Ephesus.

He owns these little shops where they make these little silver statues of Artemis.

He starts getting boring because people are turning to God and are not binders will statues anymore.

So we get together all the businessmen from the city and he says verse 25 men you know that from this business. We have our wealth. You see, in addition to all the little statues they made.

It was all tourism industry. So you have been the hotel owners, the taxi drivers. The restaurant owners the people who made the little T-shirts and the bumper stickers and Artemis is my copilot picture Artemis Eaton named Darwin this kind of things you got that whole industry is so verse 26 and you see and hear that, not only in Ephesus, but almost all of Asia. This all not only the demons were Paul and the business community attorney Paul this Paul has persuaded and turned away.

A great many people saying that the Dodge made with hands or not dots you get the logic you love the logic there is. Paul says the God we make in our shops. A real like everybody your thoughts, but it would be like you might have a point that out there. Here's the deal, the worship of Artemis was central to the economy of Ephesus.

In fact, the Temple of Artemis house the central banking system of Ephesus.

Demetrius goes on verse 27 there is danger. Not only that this trait of ours may come into disrepute, but also the Temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing and she may be even depose from her meteorite magnificence. What I love the early church made such a significant impact on the city of Ephesus that the entire economic order was disrupted to turn the entire city on its head and threatened to put idolatrous business moral business out of business. Imagine the move of God in Hollywood were every producer decide there only to make movies that glorify God, or Las Vegas of casino owners got touched by God and decided they were not going to offer gambling anymore.

They say that 90% of the porn industry is shot in Los Angeles and it brings in more money than the NFL, NBA and major league baseball by imagine if a move of God swept through LA and the porn kings turn in the making.

Jesus else Demetrius was everybody at the local golf club up into a frenzy and they stayed to big tea party and the apathy Ater. Now this apathy. Ater is another feature of Ephesus this thing held 25,000 people in it says that when they got us. Apathy Ater for two hours they cried out great is Diana of the Ephesians 9 is another name for Artemis is like her nickname. I guess what her friends called her to run the names of the like that right thing about this. Imagine a crowd larger than the one at the Dean Dome and imagine they are at about the tone that if you watch the UNC game yesterday that the crowd was out about the last 30 seconds of that gate that had a fever pitch as their down and they look like they might be able to score just that kind of out of your mind sorta yelling and screaming right for two hours. These people are in that state of mind yelling at the top of their lungs. Great is Diana of the Ephesians are the moments are made a call that on the middle of auditory hugging people I don't know to some people in thestage dies up the upper balcony of their two hours and finally somebody like you say Mr. Leno hello big deal when I came and joined him. And so it quiets down and Paul and his friends lived to see another day and somehow they make it out of chapter 19 alive. The rest of the book of acts goes artichoke.

This was Ephesus, and this was the book that Ephesians was written into. So here I want to make our first two points for us here is number one axiom at first three number one.

The mission of the people of God is to expose the powerlessness of the false gods in their societies. The mission of the people of God is to expose the powerlessness of the false gods in their societies publishing preachers in a way that you begin to see that the gods their trusty men are not real.

In fact, the downright foolish like you worship a rock that fell from the sky. That's what we have to do we have to expose the gods that our society trust in and show that they're not real God not worthy of worship.

Now you say well I was easy for Paul. They worship the rock review lived in a foreign contacts you think would be a lot easier. I met a church planter in India who talked about seeing a woman bow down, prostrate in the middle of the street before pile of cow dung misusing sheet-metal shrine out of it, put flowers in it.

There she was in the middle the road, prostrate before this all of cow doggies that will be easy to confront her. God told her the duty was, not worthy of worship. We don't worship God's around here in the United States like that.

If we do you think about it because worship here are every bit as insane a frat guy who wakes up each weekend in his own vomit because he worships alcohol as seems to me to be rather silly to say we are, but he's not worshiping alcohol curious as whole college career to engaging in it because he thinks that's where happiness is so it goes away his career, his morals, his health, his future and his faith party have sex.

That's worship you watch the guy in Vegas who loses his house of his retirement account because of his gambling addiction. I think downright silly to me to see a businessman who alienates his family influences health so we can get ahead, Russia one. Rosalie, her family and her children so she can engage in an affair because you worship the God of romance. She feels like she's gotta have a new and exciting romance so badly that she is willing to sacrifice anything for that seems silly to me is bowing down will probably do.

Here's what we the people of God do or should do. We expose these guides as false gods and we proclaim Jesus is the only way to salvation. Notice in verse 23 it says in the first Christians were called the way Paul taught in that day, I looked at it the way the way to the definite article the way it always is the only way it's a reference back to what Jesus himself said in John 14 six when he said I am the way the truth and the life. Nobody comes to God except through me. I'm not a way to God but the way the only way we tell them that the God that they are worshiping is not worthy of worship cannot say and not something to give their lives to Paul did that all it got to listen to this. When we challenge the gods listen that people worship here. When we threaten to undo their whole way of living. You can expect the same kind of reaction that Paul got when you tell somebody their god is not real.

Things get ugly right dry beer newscaster who tells golf star that he can't find redemption as well. In his religion and can only find in Jesus give you a few examples.

A lot of people in this area. Worship knowledge and science. I hear scientists making pronouncements about the world and science is great. What I hear is the extreme confidence that scientists have in themselves and their intelligence and their morality and their ability to figure it all out. Listen. Science is a gift from God and we need to use it to the fullest extent. But the Bible would say that science is not something to trust your whole soul to because scientists are fallible human beings and can be wrong. I read an article in the day in the national review and the guy said trust science but don't trust scientist about how science is done by scientist excited to start fallible humans who not only can be wrong, but sometimes distort evidence to fit their agenda. Science is good and useful, but it's nothing to make an absolute authority in your life and base your whole life on. Furthermore, science is been unable to really provide answers for souls deepest questions cutting-edge technology, perfect health, things are great but they can't answer our deepest questions like who we are where we are going with the point of all of it all is what we can find happiness now when I say stuff like that people in this area often say back to me he's just anti-intellectual no. I'm just saying that Jesus is a more sure basis of knowledge about God in eternity and that he is able save us in ways that science cannot there's one many people in our world make an idol out of government read a book right now on the communist revolution of China in the 1950s. What is striking to me is how people look to the government to make everything perfect. Chairman Mao is our Savior and if you spoke against him you were blaspheming and could be killed many conservatives. I hear talk like it. We just had capitalism and free business and individual rights and everything would be dandy was that I love freedom, but freedom is not my Savior. I was totally free in the garden of Eden, and that's when I really screwed things up. Freedom is not my Savior. Individual freedoms are not my Savior. Jesus is the Savior. Many people trust money when I tell people they should trust money and that they should trust God instead that one of the ways that God tells us to show that we trust him is to tie and to give some of our money away, people roll their eyes and he's talking about money again as if my main concern was the author of this church. You say I like it when he talks about money. You don't like it because I'm attaching your eye. That's what you like.

I am concerned about your soul not your wallet. Some of you live for money at your security and your joy and that's why you're so stingy with you get my drift. Preach against idols and Jesus is the only Savior and people get pilots always have and always will. But that is our sacred mission. Number two, God demonstrates his power over false gods.

By doing extraordinary things through us see in verse 11. I would describe Paul's ministry is doing extraordinary things. Specifically there, it's talking about Paul's powers to heal and cast out demons. People were wiping our hankies on regular headaches go away not exaggeration a look at verse 11. But there are three things throughout the book of acts that are presented about the first Christians that were extraordinary. The first one is that right there extraordinary miracle.

There were to be evidences of the supernatural in our lives that were just unexplainable. Many away.

When Paul summarizes his message to the Ephesians in chapter 20. He says them. I proclaim to you the kingdom of God Jeannie Greer on Senate life and inner new series, mystery and to hear today's program again or to download the free message transmitted is in us

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