In just a moment I will be sharing this sermon, word for word, through a translator to a congregation in Pakistan. May God bless His Word and may the Church be edified.
Good morning, everyone! I am very happy to be able to worship with you again!
First, I would like to say that you are always in our prayers.
Second, I would like to thank you so much for your prayers and your friendship.
I would also like to tell you that our church here in the United States, in the state of Georgia, will pray for you in our services later today.
And one more thing before we look at this morning’s Scripture. The Church in America may need a Revival, but it is not dead. We are strong and will continue to encourage the Church in the rest of the world.
Please allow me to pray…
Last night I spoke with your pastor about the subject of this sermon.
He told me that last year he preached from 1 John 4:19.
Well, that’s the passage I want to start with this morning.
Please read 1 John 4:19.
Today is Valentine’s Day in America. It is a day when many, many men spend a lot of money on flowers and chocolate candy.
Valentine’s Day is the day when we celebrate love, especially the love men and women have for each other.
In many cultures marriages are arranged, but that rarely happens here in America.
In our culture, marriage comes after a man and a woman fall in love with each other and want to spend their lives together.
Of course, as you can imagine, the love of people grow cold, because the love they felt was not real love, only affection, maybe only lust.
Regardless, Valentine’s Day is a day when women are treated very, very special. Because they ARE!
Now, you may be wondering how 1 John 4:19 relates to how special women are.
It is because when the Bible says we love Jesus because he first loved us, we are reminded of the marriage relationship.
All throughout the New Testament the Church is pictured as the Bride of Christ.
The Apostle Paul spends most of Ephesians chapter 5 talking about how Christian marriage is to be a picture of Jesus and the Church.
And one thing should be obvious when we read Paul’s letter – men are to treat their wives with honor, respect, and unconditional love.
In Ephesians 5:25 Paul tells men, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it.”
What does that mean?
For one thing, it means that women are valuable! It means that they are to be loved! It means that wives are not slaves!
How did Jesus love his Bride, the Church? What did he do for her?
Yes, he “GAVE HIMSELF.” What does that mean? He gave his own life for the Church.
And do you realise that Jesus loved us before we were even lovable? He loved us while we were even sinners!
Romans 5:8 says, “While we were yet sinners, Christ DIED for us!”
Jesus had pity on us. Jesus knew we needed true love, not just emotion or lust.
Let me give you 5 reasons the Love of Jesus is better than the love of any human.
- It doesn’t matter what we look like.
- It doesn’t matter how old we are.
- It doesn’t matter if we know how to talk to each other.
- It doesn’t matter if we have money or land.
- It doesn’t matter about our past.
The Book of Isaiah, Chapter 64, says that our righteousness is like filthy rags. There is nothing righteous or holy about us without Christ.
But Jesus doesn’t care what we look like – He still loves us.
So, men, you should love your wives as Christ loves the Church! If she isn’t more beautiful now than she was when you married her, don’t blame her – blame yourself!
Jesus loves us no matter how old we are. In other words, He loves us even when we cannot do anything to contribute.
Even the old, the wounded, the crippled…. Jesus loves you!
And what about our communication skills? What if we don’t know how to say the right things?
According to the Bible, that’s what the Holy Spirit is for! He speaks for us when we don’t know what to say! Isn’t the love of God wonderful?
What about money? What about property? Did Jesus demand a dowery to love us? Of course not! He paid it all with His blood!
And do you think your past is too bad for Jesus to love you? It’s not!
Do you realize that Jesus knew you before you were born, for as David said, “He knit me in my mother’s womb.”
Yet, even then, He could see your whole life in front of you. He could see all the sin you would commit. And yet he still said, “Come unto me!”
Ladies, Christian men should treat you as Jesus treats the Church. Like the woman of Proverbs 31, if you fear the Lord, you should be praised!
God never intended the Church, the Bride of Jesus, to be a door mat for men to wipe their feet on.
Jesus never beat us or whipped the Church when she sinned. No! He took the beating and the stripes for us! He bore our shame on the Cross!
So, isn’t the love of Jesus wonderful?
We love him, not because we wanted to, but because we can’t help it!
And men, husbands, the Bible tells you to LOVE YOUR WIVES. If you love them like Jesus loved the Church, they will love you, too!
Dear sisters in Christ, you are so special in the eyes of God!
Jesus loves you and died for you the same as He did for any man.
You are daughters of the King of the Universe! You are also co-heirs with Christ, adopted into the Royal family of Heaven! You are princesses!
Do you realize that the Bible never puts women down? It never says they are less valuable than men. It never, not once, says that men are better than women.
Who carried Jesus in her womb? A young woman. Mary.
God didn’t send Jesus in a chariot of gold, but he trusted a young girl to carry Jesus when he was tiny and weak. He didn’t trust the baby Jesus to a general in an army, but a simple, young woman!
Who was the first Christian in the Western world? It was a woman, Lydia?
Who did the Apostle Paul trust to deliver the letter to the Romans? A woman, Phebe! That’s in Romans 16 verse 1 and 2.
Who helped fund the ministry of the Disciples and even Jesus when he was on earth? Women of means, women with wealth. In other words, there were business women in the Bible, like Lydia, the seller of purple, who helped the Church.
Dear sisters in Christ, you are loved by God. You are valuable. You are special. Don’t ever let the world tell you different.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you!
End of sermon.
A Mini-Commentary, Pt 5 (Ephesians 4:4)
I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend (here in America), because I sure did! Beside having a wonderful service Sunday morning, my family and I came together in Atlanta, GA, to attend a major-league baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins…and the Braves WON!…Twice in the same game!
Today, let us look at verse 4 in Ephesians 4. Keep in mind that the Body of Christ (the Church) may be one, but it contains individual parts, each part of an overall design, and each part performing a prescribed function. We will go deeper into that aspect a little later.
4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.
[There is] one body,
Here the Apostle Paul, speaking of the Church as the unified Body of Christ, begins the first point in “Seven Particulars”, the culmination of the last making up three different triads. The first triad is that of “one body…one Spirit…one hope of your calling.” See also 1 Corinthians 12:13.
The second triad is formed from “one Lord…one faith…one baptism.” The third triad is found in verse six where, when describing God the Father, the seventh “particular,” he declares that He is “above all…through all…in you all.”
Paul continues to use the analogy of the body to describe the importance of healthy unity. Unity in the body, especially peaceful unity (v.3) is critical for effectiveness. Although a human body be unified, all individual members working together for the common life of the body, if one member be sickly or “angry,” the rest of the body, however healthy, will ultimately be affected and the work of the body will be hindered. There are a great many truths associated with the Church being the Body of Christ on the earth, and here is no exception. But what Paul does in the next few verses is take both a wide-angle view and one that is microscopic: he speaks of the common unity we have as the Body, but he also stresses the importance of the individual member (v.7).
and one Spirit,
What is a body without life? What is a body without a spirit that animates it? Similarly, what is the Body of Christ without the life-giving, resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit? Not only are believers part of one body, but they are also empowered by the indwelling Pneuma (the Holy Spirit; the breath of God). “For by one Spirit (Pneumati) are we all baptized into one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
It must be understood that without the presence of the Spirit, the Church would not be the living Body, Jesus Christ being the Head. Therefore, as the Body is united, and as it works, individual members will have different responsibilities, such as feet help the body to stand while the fingers grip the hilt and the arm swings the sword. Yet, all will receive their strength from the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that flows through one part of the Body is the same that flows through another whose Head is Jesus Christ. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9 KJV). See also 1 Corinthians 12:13.
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
The unified, universal Church is one Body, has only one life-giving and empowering Spirit and only one hope: “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13 KJV). Those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ have a calling – a “vocation” – for which they have been called. Therefore, in everything we do, at home or at work or school, each believer has been issued a vocation in the Kingdom, and that is to point people to the only Hope of the World.
It must be noted, however, that a careful reading of this part of verse four shows that “even as ye are called in one hope of your calling” is a phrase which helps modify the previous “There is one body, and one Spirit.” Notice how that Paul says that there is one body and one Spirit, “even as…” Therefore, a comparison is being made between the two phrases, which could even lend to the argument that there is not really a triad in this section, only a couplet modified by a couplet.
So, what is really being said? How do we make the comparison between the two? The body needs a spirit to animate it, to make it alive; the “vocation” has only one “hope.”
 H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Ephesians, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 147.
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