Pastor Letter: June 28, 2018
Dear Buck Run Family:
I am fascinated by the current preoccupation with ancestry. Genealogical websites, DNA tests, even a television show that answers “Who Am I?” are all wildly popular as people from every corner of the nation are intent on answering that question. Many people are shocked to discover that they are not who they thought they were, that their pedigree does not really match what they had always been told. Most folks find that they are much more mongrel than they are standardbred! In other words, they find that they do not neatly fit into one particular ethnicity, but they are comprised of a mix of DNA percentages, sometimes from opposite corners of the world.
In truth, the Bible clearly states that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27). We are all descended from a failed farmer—Adam—and a drunken sailor—Noah. And we are all in a desperate need of the God who is there.
This is why we are studying the book of Ephesians.
Perhaps no book explains and directs the entire arc of the Christian calling and life as does Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Rooted in eternity but bearing fruit in our lives today, Paul’s expansive view of salvation as God’s work in us and our response to Him is a message that every believer desperately needs. Nothing could be more opposed to a world that teaches that we are all the product of random events and descend from primordial ooze and a big bang. Paul says that we were all planned in the heart and mind of God, even before He created the world, that we are his by creation and regeneration, that God chose us in love when there was no reason to love us but His own glory. This view of salvation gives us dignity and purpose in a way that the world cannot offer.
We are now getting into the part of Ephesians that speaks very directly and plainly into the most personal aspects of our lives. Paul is going to talk about the way we live as men and women of faith, as husbands and wives, and parents and children, as employees and employers. He probes what we do and what we think. He teaches us how to use our renewed minds to wage spiritual warfare against our mortal enemy.
I waited fourteen years to preach this letter and to give it as much time and attention as I thought it warranted. This coming Sunday will by my 18th sermon in this little letter and we will study it right up into December and the Christmas season. I believe that learning and applying the truths of the book of Ephesians will change your life. I ask you to make the commitment to be faithful in attendance so that you don’t miss any of these messages, and, if you must, watch them online. Each portion of Scripture builds on the other. In the same way, you must consciously apply what you learn on Sunday throughout the remainder of the week. This is how the Holy Spirit grows us to be more like Christ. He sanctifies us with the Word of God. Let’s see how God will change us more into the image of His dear Son in 2018!
Amazed by the Word,