Stone's Hill Community Church
Letters from Prison - Ephesians
Our series is called "Letters from Prison" - which is a study of Paul's prison epistles or letters. We've covered Philippians and Philemon. Now, we look at Ephesians! Even though Paul is chained up in prison (Ephesians 6:20), he feels incredibly blessed—and he wants his Christian readers, then and now, to realize how incredibly privileged we are as well. This letter to the Ephesians is really nothing more than a description of the riches that we have in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul emphasized these riches a great deal: Ephesians 1:7 talks about the riches of His grace, at the end of the verse. Chapter 3:8 talks about the unsearchable riches of Christ. Chapter 3:16—the riches of His glory. So you have the riches of His grace, the riches of His glory and the riches of His Son. In other words, God is unloading all of His riches in the book of Ephesians. The vault is open! The word grace is used 12 times in this book. There are enough resources in heaven to… cover all past debts, present liabilities and future needs and still not diminish your account. That’s God’s plan. This letter is about that... and it's about us...Welcome to "Ephesians". And welcome to Stones Hill Community Church and Online Notes!
Locations & Times
  • Stone's Hill Community Church - Ligonier Main Campus
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 3:02 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has music (feel free to sing out); some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of); a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word); and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 4:25-5:4
Each of the following exhortations in our passage about a believer’s conduct has three parts: (1) a negative command, (2) a positive command, and (3) the reason for the positive command. Note: "the course of action (consisting of both a negative and positive command) is followed by a motivating clause" or reason for the positive command.

The "motivating clauses" have to do with community life. And in all this, Paul will occasionally drop a couple of hard-hitting lines that really could fit anywhere in the list. Today, we’ll just look at a couple of these and we’ll deal with the entire list in an upcoming message.

Ephesians 4:27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

What is a foothold?
It isa ledge, hollow, or other place affording a secure grip for the foot, as you might need if you were climbing. But let’s keep it where most of us live. A foothold can be best understood by most of us non-climbers by imagining yourself being chased by a person. You run up to your room and try to close the door, but the person sticks his shoe at the bottom end of the door so you can't close it. That part of his foot that prevents you from closing the door effectively is called a "foothold."

The Devil has many “foothold” techniques that He likes to use to keep you from being intentional in your obedience. Later in Ephesians 6 we’ll talk about the devil’s schemes. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

What are the devil's "footholds" and "schemes"?
So, what are these "schemes", these "footholds"? (with help from *Deb Koster) All of the things in our passage create...

Distraction – all of this drama in our passage created distraction.

Delay – all of this drama takes so much of our energy and time that we put-off important things.

Discouragement – all of this drama has a discouraging affect on the whole group.

Distortion – all of this drama in our passage distorts our perspective.

Doubt – all of this drama creates doubts, especially when we pray and seek God’s face in the face of all the falsehood in the world.

These tools of the devil are devious, but as we recognize them, we discover that Christ has overcome. John 16:33 Jesus tells us, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." Christ has conquered evil, and as the Spirit empowers us, we go forward well-equipped to handle the devil's snares.

On D-Day, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was critical that they establish a beachhead — that is, a foothold on the beach that would allow them to set up a staging area to bring in more men and equipment for the battle. From that tiny foothold, the Allied forces were able to push inland in an effort to liberate France.

Let God have a foothold in your life. Paul contends that all the old-life things in this Ephesians list gives the devil a beachhead from which to organize further attacks. Well, because of our new life in Christ, we can also give God a beachhead to operate from.

Who has the best foothold in your life? God or the devil. Why don't you yield to the Lord Jesus today?

*5 Ways You Give the Devil a Foothold in Your Life | FamilyFire

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