The Ekklesia: Are You In?
A Study Through Ephesians
Text: Ephesians 1:6–10; 1:15–23; 2:11–22
Eph 2:12–22 — 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
The Ekklesia - the called out, the assembled
Why study the Ekklesia from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians?
Letter written to the saints at Ephesus. The church here is a prominent church (Rev 2:1-7) in a culturally significant region. Planted by Paul (Acts 19-20), and pastored for several years. Priscilla & Aquila traveled with Paul here and remained to support the young church. Paul’s protege, Timothy, was entrusted as overseer. Theologians also place the Apostle John at Ephesus where he presides over the church, Mary the mother of Jesus is counted amongst their members.
Ephesians is Paul’s richest text concerning the doctrine of the church, the Ekklesia. Paul presents a fuller concept of the church, especially as a local and global body, the hope of the community, and the expression of Christ on earth to fulfill his purpose.
Every person, every man, every woman, every child needs, deserves a strong healthy church
That’s why we must build a diverse and healthy A.R.C. (Apostolic Revival Community)
Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Three powerful thoughts on the EKKLESIA.
1) The Ekklesia is “In Him”
Vs 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Ephesians references IN HIM (IN CHRIST, WITH HIM, THROUGH HIM) over 20 times in the first two chapters
IN HIM = Living your life fully, completely IN CHRIST… it is the purest form of worship, and Christianity in its healthiest expression
“In Him” is the plan of God
(Ac 17:26–28) And he 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, 27 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, 28 for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’
“In Him” is where Christian UNITY is found!
True Christian Unity is not you and I walking together in harmony, True Unity is you walking IN Perfect harmony with CHRIST, while I walk IN perfect harmony with CHRIST… Christian Unity is thus the consequence of being TUNED to the same source.
This is the plan of God… the GOSPEL STORY… HIS STORY
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
“In Him” is life in all its fullest!
Eph 1:3 God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
The benefits of being "In Him" listed in the first two chapters of Ephesians
Adoption as His sons and daughters
Redemption through His Blood
Forgiveness of all our sins
His Holy Spirit as a seal and guarantee of the inheritance
Teaches us Wisdom
Reveals… revelation knowledge of Him
Enlightened eyes (towards the Hope and the riches, and his immeasurable great power)
Reconciliation between GOD & Man / Jew & Gentile / One another
Access to His Presence
Citizenship in theKingdom
Life in all its fullness is only found in the One who is full of all LIFE
Let’s build a church that not only offers LIFE IN HIM to it’s congregation, but is passionate about seeing it come to our community
2) The Ekklesia is being “Built Together”
Vs 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Note the keyword: TOGETHER
Just as a single brick does not make a wall, a single individual does not make the ekklesia. Likewise, just as a single brick simply laid within a wall, but not properly joined weakens the entire structure, so also an individual not properly joined to the church weakens the house as well as themselves.
When we use the phrase, Apostolic Revival Community, what do we mean by Apostolic?
A house properly joined together. A house that has a clear, healthy expression of all the five fold ministry gifts. Eph 4:11-16
The Apostolic - foundation, government, structure, identity, culture, vision
The Prophetic - the revelatory message to the body
The Evangelistic - the outreach to the community and world around us
The Pastoral - the connection, care and comfort of the body
The Teaching - the teaching, instruction and discipleship of the body
That means an apostolic church provides a healthy spiritual body that reaches the lost, connects them to Christ and Church, teaches and trains them up to maturity so that they may be sent into their ministry with a clear direction and call
Sounds like Col 1:28
The Passion Translation (TPT)
28–29 Christ is our message! We preach to awaken hearts and bring every person into the full understanding of truth. It has become my inspiration and passion in ministry to labor with a tireless intensity, with his power flowing through me, to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ.
Sounds like the church of ACTS!
(A)quire (C)onnect (T)rain (S)end
(A)quire - Christ is our message!
(C)onnect - We preach to awaken hearts
(T)rain - and bring every person into the full understanding of truth.
(S)end - to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ.
This is a key reason why our small groups ministry at Grace World is so important to us! We want to get you out of rows and into circles. We believe that LIFE is #BetterTOGETHER
This fall you have two different types of small groups, grace groups to choose from
Grace Connect Groups - these are small groups centered on organic, authentic relationships that reach up, reach in, and reach out. These groups meet at various times, on various days, in various locations.
Grace Equip Groups - these are discipleship groups that are curriculum, calendar, and campus based. These groups will be offered on campus on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm and Sundays at 8:30 am. There will be 4 quarters a year, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.
Easiest way to find and connect within a grace group is online https://www.graceworldag.org/gracegroups
3) The Ekklesia is a “A Dwelling Place For God”
22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Paul opens his letter with a powerful prayer that captures the Lord’s heart for His body, the Ekklesia
1:15-23 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
He Fills All in All!
Life in all its fullness, requires you to come together, to be part of what He is building for Him self and when you are joined together with ALL, He fills ALL with his Spirit!
Are You IN?
Take It Further....
Read Acts 19-20, also read daily Ephesians Chapters 1&2
1) Read this text with the church in mind.
2) Take note of the references to phrases like “In Him, With Him, Through Him”.
3) Make your own list of the benefits He blesses those who are IN HIM
4) Close each day praying Ephesians 1:15-23 over yourself and the church