Lesson 22


Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

6:17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 6:18 with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 6:19 On my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 6:21 But that you also may know my affairs, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make known to you all things; 6:22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts.

6:23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.


 

Today's Lesson

Paul concludes this epistle on a personal note. He asks for the prayers of the people of God. He does not ask that they pray that he might be released from his chains. He asks that they pray that he might be bold to speak the mystery of the gospel. He asks that they might pray by the power of the Spirit for the perseverance of the saints, that God's people remain strong and true to God's purpose.

 

Paul also is doing something in this final section that he frequently does in his letters. Paul is preparing the way for one of his assistants to help these people. Tychicus was an associate of Paul about which little is known. It is known that Tychicus was entrusted to discuss doctrinal matters with the Colossian assembly. He is shown being dispatched on various matters in II Timothy and Titus. Other than these brief references we have little information as to his role in the developing church.

 

Though we do not know much about Tychicus, he does fit into to pattern that we see first in Christ and then in the Apostle Paul. They worked at developing the people around them and entrusting themselves with others. Christianity is not an "insider" religion where access is denied to those who are willing to work. Christian leaders will entrust the mission of God to others because they first trust God Himself to spread His word. That does mean that occasionally their trust will be violated. But, in such cases, the offender is primarily violating the trust of God, not that of the leader. A leader that has a strong sense of the presence of God in their lives realizes that God works through the least of us. There is none that is not worthy of carrying the mantle of Christ, for Christ will make them worthy. Our God is a God that makes the least of His children capable of great achievements.

 

This epistle has taught us many things. Christ is the head of the church. He is in control of it just as the head is in control of the body. The purpose of the church is to reveal the grace and mercy of God to His creation. All things are coming together and will be revealed one day to be created and controlled by the Lord Jesus Christ. We are adopted into His family and become heirs of all creation through Him. As adopted children of God, we are to strive to live lives worthy of His acceptance. We become capable of achieving this goal because God has given gifts to His children, the greatest of which is His very presence in their lives. Our faith resides solely on His capacity to achieve what God Himself has declared to be His goal, the redemption of His people.

 

I will place my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His power to save. I trust in His mercy and grace to forgive me of all sin and to redeem me. I will live confident of His willingness and power to direct my life toward His goals. I will strive to live a life worthy of His faith in me. And, by God's help, I will do it.

 

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