Ephesians – Amazing Grace – I am a letter from Christ.

I am a letter from Christ.  What am I saying?

Ephesians 4:25-26     25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

I am a letter from Christ.  If I choose to let this come from my heart…  what is the “letter from Christ” saying???   This = “bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, slander, malice”

Ephesians 4:29-32       29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

All Christians are commanded to “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,”  This is a good way to know if someone claiming to be a Christian really is a Christian.

Matthew 15:11   11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.

Luke 6:45   45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Acts 2:37-41   37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptised, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Mystery of growth of our wisdom, knowledge from birth to death.  Life… the gift from God.  Life is priceless – most valuable thing on earth because only God can create and sustain it.

  1. Know God & understand his big picture.  GRACE
  2. Recognize where I stand in relation to God (humble, hands of God, here for a purpose, not equipped to do it by myself, self centred self focused, want to strive for my best interest first, this conflicts with God’s plan)  GODS PURPOSE of creation:  Eph 1:3-10 (to unite all things in him) Why people?  Eph 3 (be made known the manifold wisdom of God) – FAITH – gift of God (GRACE)
  3. Repent & be baptised for the forgiveness of your sins – I accept
  4. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit  (GRACE – gift from God)
  5. Work out my sanctification under God’s plan  (per my the wisdom of God that starts with #1 and #2 above and continues to grow as I live out God’s plan.)
  6. Continue in my suffering and through my suffering and sacrifice, get to know God better.  This equips me better to understand and empathize with others.
  7. Write my legacy – plant seeds in the hearts of people I touch  (People are God’s treasured possession, people are God’s in inheritance, people are God’s legacy, God’s hands, God’s voice, God’s revealing of his plan)  I am a letter from Christ.  Corinthians 3:2-3  You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our  hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
  8. Die according to the counsel of God’s will (decisive resolve of God).
  9. Judged  (Matt 7:1 – “For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. “)
  10. Heaven

“manifold wisdom of God”  not one dimensional, not two dimensional,

man·i·fold   : many and various.  (not limited to 2 or 3 or 4 or x dimensions…)
Wisdom of God — LOVE first, greatest thing.  Love God first. Love neighbour like you love yourself as equal.

John 13:34-35   34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Not one dimensional Western Movie version of Love.  Not just erotica, Not Lust,  Not Arousal, Not Ecstasy, Not Happiness, Love is so much more.  (See below Greek words for love)
Love is NOT (Love is different):  Affection Anger Angst Anguish Annoyance Anxiety Apathy Arousal Awe Boredom Confidence Contempt Contentment Courage Curiosity Depression Desire Despair Diligence Disappointment Disgust Distrust Ecstasy Embarrassment Envy Euphoria Fear Frustration Gratitude Grief Guilt Happiness Hatred Hope Horror Hostility Humiliation Hysteria Interest Jealousy Loneliness Lust Outrage Panic Passion Pity Pleasure Pride Rage Regret Remorse Resentment Sadness Self-confidence Shame Shock Shyness Sorrow Suffering Surprise Trust Wonder Worry Zest

From WIKI – Greek words for love
The Greek language distinguishes at least four different ways as to how the word love is used. Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē.
Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) means “love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.”[2] Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse, and it was also used to refer to a love feast.[3] Agape is used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children.[4] This type of love was further explained by Thomas Aquinas as “to will the good of another.”[5]
Éros (ἔρως érōs) means “love, mostly of the sexual passion.”[6] The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love.” Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.” In the Symposium, the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal “Form” of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire – thus suggesting that even that sensually based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence.[7] Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth through the means of eros.

Philia (φιλία philía) means “affectionate regard, friendship,” usually “between equals.“[8] It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle.[9] In his best-known work on ethics, Nicomachean Ethics, philia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends (specifically, “brotherly love”), family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. Furthermore, in the same text philos denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

Storge (στοργή storgē) means “love, affection” and “especially of parents and children”[10] It’s the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring.[11] Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant. This is also used when referencing the love for ones country or a favourite sports team.

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