January 6, 2008pm:   “The Point of Grace”    Ephesians 3:1-12

By Ronald E. George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

At the beginning of the New Year is a great time to reexamine what is our purpose as a church.  What are we supposed to be about?  Then when we go into the new year we will be going in the right direction.  This is the point of the church.   
Most churches have a steeple.  The steeple shows the point of the church.  What is the point?  Why do we gather together?  What is our purpose? I know of a church that has a platform for a steeple but there is no point on the top of it.  I wonder if that church has a point?  I know of another church that has a steeple and a point on it, but the aluminum cover has slid over until the point now has two sides to it.  It looks like a forked tongue.  Who is going to climb up there and get the point fixed.  On the top of our steeple is a cross.  The cross is our point.  Here is the purpose of our church as stated in our constitution. 

From Article II of our church constitution we read about our Purpose:

“The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the kingdom of God according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It shall seek to attain this end through public worship of God; proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ; consistent Christian living by its members; Christian education; personal and public evangelism; and, individual, community, national, and international missions.”

Introduction:  Background commentary from the Life Application Bible.
Paul was under house arrest in Rome for preaching about Christ. The religious leaders in Jerusalem, who felt threatened by Christ’s teachings and didn’t believe he was the Messiah, pressured the Romans to arrest Paul and bring him to trial for treason and for causing rebellion among the Jews. Paul had appealed for his case to be heard by the emperor, and he was awaiting trial (see Acts 28:16-31). Even though he was under arrest, Paul maintained his firm belief that God was in control of all that happened to him. Do circumstances make you wonder if God has lost control of this world? Like Paul, remember that no matter what happens, God directs the world’s affairs.
Paul’s “special ministry” refers to the special stewardship, trust, or commitment that Paul had been given. He had been assigned the special work of preaching the Good News to the Gentiles, God’s great plan shown to Paul in a revelation.

 Ephesians 3     For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

What is the point of Grace? 

  1. God’s Grace is from me to you.  The free gift of God is His grace.  This is his unmerited favor. 

 

  1. God’s Grace was from God through Christ to us.  He gave his life and made the sacrifice for our sins. 
  1. God’s Grace was given to Paul to give to the Ephesians.  God’s grace was given to us to give to those who need it or don’t have it. 

 

  1. God’s Grace is the mystery that was revealed to Paul.  The mystery was that God wants everyone to know Him and be in his family.
  1. God’s Grace has a point/purpose.  The point of Grace is to bring all people into the family.  Out of the darkness and into the light of God’s grace. 

 

  1. God’s Grace has a point man.  The point man goes first.  His name was Jesus.  He was the captain of our salvation.  He fought the first battle and won the victory for us. 
  1. God’s Grace has a point man or woman or boy or girl.  Paul was God’s point man to the ephesians and to the rest of the then known world.  How is God’s grace given to Paul for the Ephesians?  Can you receive another’s grace from God?  The point man is the one to go first. 

 

  1. God’s Grace has a body now.  That body is called the church.  We have been given the responsibility of sharing the grace of God with the world.  How are we sharing the grace of God with our world today?  How will we?  What is the point in 2008? 
  1. God’s Grace is God’s invitation to come to know Him and to share Him.  Everyone is invited.  The Invitation.  The Invitation is Grace and God.  The Invitation is to be given by me.  Share God’s grace with your family, friends, neighbors, community, county, country, and the world.  You have been chosen.  This church has been chosen.  Will we go? 

 

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Eph 3:1-13.