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Living Water Community Church

Author: Living Water Community Church

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We are a spiritual hospice for redeemed sinners. We seek the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ through the balm of His word applied to our broken hearts. Join us as we drink deeply of the Living Water of Jesus Christ.
203 Episodes
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We worked through the last part of the section on the roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives. The picture the text paints is majestic in how it points us to the person and work of Jesus for the church, as the model for married couples to look to. Wives can think of their role as mirroring the role of the church in its relationship to Jesus. Men can think of their role as mirroring the role of Jesus in how He leads as a servant and lays down His life for the church. Paul even points us back to the creation of Eve for Adam as a foreshadowing or a picture of Jesus relationship to His bride. Paul goes so far as to say the mystery of marriage is it’s creation is a picture of Jesus and His bride. In other words the greater and better reality of marriage is found in Jesus and the church. One of the most beautiful pictures of this is found in how when Eve is created even her creation is a mirror of how the church will be created by God for Jesus through His work on the cross. God put Adam to sleep as if in death and took a piece of his side as if it was pierced and He fashioned from this a bride for Adam because God was thinking of the future death of Jesus and how His side would be pierced and from Jesus shed blood God planned to fashion a bride for His Son. So marriage is this amazing picture we have been entrusted with. It is important for us to see it in this light and value it as the foreshadowing it is. This just raises the bar on how important it is for husbands to love their wives like Jesus loves the church and gives Himself up for it. It also provides a clear reference for how submission and respect of the church to Jesus is a guide for the wife to submit to and respect her husband. The thing which is really clear from the passage is how both of the spousal roles are ones which they are called to take upon themselves. It is not the husbands job to force the wife to submit and it is not the wives job to demand the husbands love. Both of them are called to enter into this because of their relationship with Jesus. In fact if you look at the curse as we did two weeks ago you will see how the roles the Christian is called to in marriage are really commands to overcome as much as possible the curse against men and women in the garden after the fall. 
We began to work through the section dealing with the roles of husbands and wives in the context of marriage. What we discover in this section is a call for Christian husbands and wives to work at doing the things which are contrary to our fallen nature and the curse. We explored how the curse of God on Adam and Eve brought division and strife into their relationship. In looking at the things brought by the curse we see how the things laid out in this Ephesians passage counteract the curse. It calls women who are cursed with a desire which is contrary to their husbands to submit themselves to their husbands. It calls men who are cursed with a work oriented outlook, where they are consumed by their work, to work at overcoming this preoccupation with work by loving their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. What we essentially see here is how our marriages are restored by the work of Jesus and through our restored marriages comes transformed families, churches and ultimately the world.
We examined verses 15-20 of chapter 5. Here we see Paul calling us to build up the body of Christ to be free standing moral agents in this world. The world needs to see people who are different and make a difference. People who stand for what is right according to God’s word and live it out. The opening verse calls us to walk in wisdom. The call is to follow the will of the Lord. In order to follow God’s will we need to know what God says and we need to cultivate a love and desire for God. In the context Paul gives us the example of not being drunk with wine but by contrast being filled with the Spirit. This example is one of many we could point to which demonstrates turning to God to find what we need rather than turning to something this world has to offer. Essentially Paul is calling on his readers to fined their fulfillment in God rather than making idols out of things which ultimately will not satisfy. The last two verses we looked at really call us to center our lives on living out a life of thanksgiving to God. Verse nineteen is a call to sing praise to God and to use the gift of music to encourage each other. The goal is even to make melody in our hearts to God. Verse twenty is a call to give thanks to God always and for everything. The understanding here would be how everything ultimately comes from God and is part of His plan for His glory and our benefit. In a fallen world this simply means sometimes pain is involved in the journey. When we discipline our children it will sometimes be painful. The pain is for their benefit. It is meant to curb them from actions which are evil and draw them away from God. God brings discipline into the lives of His children for the same reason to curb us from actions which are evil and draw us away from God. When we keep this perspective we can truly thank God for everything because we know it will result in good. 
The worship of God matters to God. While all of life is worship there are certainly things which God finds unacceptable. Understanding how to worship in the right way is the duty of every Christian. We all need the ultimate and only sacrifice found in Jesus death, burial and resurrection. Jesus is our only hope and the best possible hope. Any man centered method of gaining salvation is intolerable to God. We look at 4 different intolerable forms of worship of God. May we worship God in Spirit and Truth.
Today we turn our attention to how Paul is calling us here to be agents who call people out of the world of sin.We see a foreshadowing of God’s plan of salvation being heralded in the opening verses of Genesis.  This passage we are in contrast again and again light and darkness.  Philippians 4:8 teaches us to set our minds on, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”We should remember how we dwelt in darkness and where we came from.
We worked through the beginning of chapter 5. The chapter really began the time before last as Paul laid out the reasons to be motivated to be imitators of God. Namely, the great love God has shown us in Jesus and His work on the cross for us, which brings us into His family as beloved children. This foundation is the basis for Paul to address how the people he is writing to, face enormous temptations to all kinds of sexual sins. He lays out first how sexual immorality, impurity or covetousness shouldn’t be found anywhere in their community. He goes on to point out how even crude joking, foolish talk and filthiness should be replaced with thanksgiving. He also lays out how being made new in Jesus makes being connected to these things a contradiction. Meaning you cannot live a life devoted to intentionally sinning in these ways and expect to gain eternity with Jesus in heaven. Being devoted to these things is fundamentally idolatry and you are declaring by participating in these things where your heart really is committed. Paul then warns how people will come along teaching how these things are acceptable but all they have to offer is really empty words. There is no truth in them and those who follow them will face God’s wrath. The big idea here is how everything we are should be rooted in gratitude to God for all He has done. A heart driven by love to focus on our heavenly Father is the best remedy to the world calling us to sin. 
We explored the end of chapter four and the first two verses of chapter five. Keep in mind Paul is addressing the city of Ephesus and probably the cities in the region. We know by the time John wrote Revelation the Ephesians were diligent about their faith and defending it in the midst of a perverse culture. But the one problem they had was a loss of their first love for the Lord. These things Paul is writing about in the last half of this book are really relevant for this issue. If we consider the first half of this epistle we will see it is very focused on the work of God in and through Jesus and the impact of salvation in saving and transforming us. The last half is laser focused on what we should expect this transformation to look like. One of the things we have seen and will continue to see is how the way we should be living in relationship with each other is tied to the relationship God has established with us. The reason we bridged the chapter last time was because of this very thing. Paul wraps chapter four by pointing out a laundry list of sinful actions rooted generically in forms of anger or envy and calls us to be a people who are set apart by kindness and forgiveness of one another. Why? Because God in Christ has forgiven us. And the beginning of chapter five really continues the emphasis because he starts verse one with therefore and points out how we should be imitators of God. Paul points out how our desire to imitate God should be very much like the desire of deeply loved children to imitate the one who loves them. Then Paul points out in verse two how our love should be measured against the love of Jesus who gave Himself up for us. Then Paul describes the sacrifice of Jesus as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. When we consider what Paul is suggesting here it is truly shocking. Jesus death by Roman crucifixion was a horrific thing for anyone to see. Yet Paul describes it here as fragrant to God. How can the death of God’s only begotten son be fragrant in the Father’s eyes? Because Jesus is atoning for the sins of all those who God has set His love on. Jesus is making it possible for God to demonstrate His love for us. The love God has for us as rebellious sinful people is so intense that Jesus death to make this loves demonstration possible makes Jesus death a fragrant offering to God. Jesus death is a fragrant offering in God’s eyes because it enables His love to be demonstrated. This is why as imitators of God as dearly loved children we are to be a kind, forgiving, tenderhearted, loving people. 
For some time the subject of worship has been recurring in my life and study. It has been increasingly grabbing my attention and has come up in multiple conversations with different people. It seems like this is a good time to explore this topic and see what the word of God has to say about it. Today I want to try and lay out from scripture what it tells us worship is. Since our main point of gathering as a community of believers is worship it would appear we should understand what this word means. Yet I find myself over and over combating what I believe to be bad ideas about worship. For many worship is so narrowly defined it often ends up being identified with music. Certainly music is powerful and it is a means of worship but it is not the only way we are called to worship by the word of God. Because we are exploring this topic over the coming months on the first Sunday of the month we will certainly look in depth at the role music plays and consider what scripture tells us about it but today I want to take a broader look at what the Bible has to tell us about this topic. First of all it is important to realize the word worship appears in the Bible in the ESV 110 times. It appears in both the old and new testaments. It is translated into the word worship from 19 different greek and Hebrew words. The Bible calls us to engage in worship. 
We are called as Christians to fight for each other. This is where we turn our attention. We are not called to do work on being transformed in isolation but rather in community. We seek to build each other up and turn the focus of one another toward Christ (Who alone brings lasting transformation). 
We learned from Paul how we must have a different walk from the world. Meaning our lives need to look different from the world. But this difference in our lives needs to be rooted in the life of God and not in simply following a set of rules for living. Paul’s main contention is if we have come to know Jesus we have received the light which comes along with knowing Him. This illumination comes along with a heart of flesh which has replaced the hard heart we once had. The light of God and the heart of flesh come together to create in us a new man shaped by the work of God in us. As a new creation in Christ we are called to put off the deceitful desires and corruption which was part of our former manner of life. The idea is to stop doing the things which we used to do and to replace those former things with things which renew the spirit of our minds. Clearly Paul is talking about what we think about and dwell on. The goal should be a focus on God and His true righteousness and holiness. As people who are coming to know God and who have learned Christ we are called to embrace the relationships God has given us.
Chapter 4 began with a call to walk in a manner which is worthy of the calling we have received. Part of this calling is to bear with one another and to seek unity and peace. After giving this call to unity in Christ and rooting it in the unity found in God Himself Paul moves on to talk about how this unity plays out in the church. The church is one body. To begin with each of the members of the body has been uniquely gifted by God. The reason we have been gifted and set apart is firmly rooted in the person and work of Jesus. We explored how when Paul talks about Jesus descending to the lower regions of the earth he is really talking about the role Jesus plays as the new Adam. His descent is linked in the passage to His ascent which should point us to His death and resurrection. These are pivotal to Jesus role as the messiah and the new Adam. It is in this role He fulfills God’s command to Adam to subdue and to rule. He currently rules at God’s right hand and God is bringing everything into subjection to Him. One of the key ways He is doing this is through the church. The church has many members and each of those members has an important role to play in the body. It is as the body the work of ministry is accomplished. We are called to build each other up. To equip each other. All of this is achieved through our unity in faith in Christ. We come to maturity through our knowledge of the Son of God and our conformity to His image. The goal then is for us to each point one another to Christ and help each other to be conformed to His image. The whole idea here is to push beyond head knowledge or passive knowledge to relationally knowing Jesus and becoming more like Him.
Chapter 4 began with a call to walk in a manner which is worthy of the calling we have received. Part of this calling is to bear with one another and to seek unity and peace. After giving this call to unity in Christ and rooting it in the unity found in God Himself Paul moves on to talk about how this unity plays out in the church. The church is one body. To begin with each of the members of the body has been uniquely gifted by God. The reason we have been gifted and set apart is firmly rooted in the person and work of Jesus. We explored how when Paul talks about Jesus descending to the lower regions of the earth he is really talking about the role Jesus plays as the new Adam. His descent is linked in the passage to His ascent which should point us to His death and resurrection. These are pivotal to Jesus role as the messiah and the new Adam. It is in this role He fulfills God’s command to Adam to subdue and to rule. He currently rules at God’s right hand and God is bringing everything into subjection to Him. One of the key ways He is doing this is through the church. The church has many members and each of those members has an important role to play in the body. It is as the body the work of ministry is accomplished. We are called to build each other up. To equip each other. All of this is achieved through our unity in faith in Christ. We come to maturity through our knowledge of the Son of God and our conformity to His image. The goal then is for us to each point one another to Christ and help each other to be conformed to His image. The whole idea here is to push beyond head knowledge or passive knowledge to relationally knowing Jesus and becoming more like Him. 
Today we celebrate explicitly the great work of Jesus in overcoming sin, and death by sin, in completing the work of paying for our sin, and rising from the dead. He lived a perfect life and He who new no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We call this transfer of our sin to Jesus propitiation. We became righteous because His righteousness was given to us. We call this transfer of His righteousness to us expiation. Today I want to focus on something which has fallen out of popularity in our world but we must not forget. The fact that we were under the curse of sin and Jesus became a curse for us. This may be most explicitly laid out in our main passage today.
We just finished summarizing how the prayer is a petition for Paul’s readers to be strengthened by the riches of God’s glory through the Holy Spirit. That Jesus may dwell in our hearts through faith. That we would be strengthened to comprehend the immeasurable nature of His love for us. That we would know this love not just in our heads but we would experience it. God calls us to "put up with one another" especially when it is difficult. We strive for unity in the body of Christ. Christ should be first in our hearts and pervasive to us throughout our lives. The Church needs to set her heart on Christ.
We worked through the prayer Paul prays for his readers. He wants them to know the immeasurable riches of God. God gives us these riches for His glory, He does this because He has given us His Son and He sees us in Jesus. All of this is bound up in God’s love for us. This love of God is immeasurable. God has given us all of this so that we can manifest the greatness of God’s glory to all generations. He has called us to be a people who walk by faith. A people who trust in God in all areas. 
We worked through the beginning section of chapter 3. It is a section where Paul takes a short excursion into his role as the apostle sent to the gentiles. He does this immediately after highlighting the new great mystery of how the Jews and gentiles are now one new body of Christ because of Jesus work on the cross. Paul is a minister of the gospel to the gentiles. The church is now the physical manifestation of God’s people on earth. It is through the church that the wisdom of God is being made known not just to men but to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This is all part of God’s eternal purpose realized through the person and work of Jesus. Since Paul sees all of this including his imprisonment as part of God’s plan, he calls on the people he is writing to not lose heart over it. Paul affirms how part of the reason he is in prison is because of their faith. But rather then looking at the situation and losing heart because of it, they should look at how they were counted as being so effecting as followers of Jesus, Paul had to be imprisoned because of them. Instead of losing heart they should see Paul’s imprisonment as their glory. It was a testimony to their effectiveness in promoting the gospel. But the sad truth is the people in Ephesus and the surrounding areas were losing heart and it is probably connected to the problem laid out in the letter to the Ephesians in Revelation. There John writing on behalf of Christ says they had lost their first love for Jesus. Here in Ephesians Paul is encouraging them to look to Jesus and the work He is doing and not be discouraged. Again the calling for christians today is the same as it was to those who received this letter first. We are called to be the witnesses of Jesus in a world which is lost in darkness. 
We wrapped up the majestic ten verse declaration of why we need salvation, how that salvation is brought to us through grace and how that grace alone is what saves us and protects us from having anything we could potentially boast about. The ten verses start by showing us we are completely corrupt and children of wrath. Because of God being rich in mercy and having great love for us He has made us alive together with Jesus through His substitutionary death on the cross. We have been saved by grace through faith, and this is not our own doing but a gift from God and not a result of works so that no one may boast. This is the God’s means of safeguarding us from potential pride for all of eternity because we will always know our salvation and hope for eternity is all from Him and through Him and draws us back to Him. Even the works we accomplish are from God and for His glory. This again draws us to rest in what He has accomplished for us and is accomplishing through us. He has done and is doing the work of bringing us to heavenly glory and to glorying in Him. This should cause us to be brought to worship of our Lord Jesus in great adoration and praise for all He has done and is doing. 
We worked through the end of chapter 2 and looked at how the world has really been changed by the person and work of Jesus. After Jesus became our substitutional sacrifice He caused a radical change in the world. The people of God were no longer simply identified as the Jews. Now the people of God were identified by faith in Jesus. The idea of national identity in God’s economy is done away with. Identity is now are you a follower of God through faith in Jesus or are you following a man centered worldly system. One of the things this does is call the church to be intentionally welcoming to people of all nationalities. We should be the most racially integrated meeting place in the world. If someone is in Jesus we should see them as our family. Jesus Himself when told about His mother and brothers wanting to talk to Him He replied that those He was with were His mother and brothers and sisters. The church should be the one place everyone who is a Christian feels welcomed and embraced. As members of the church body universal our own individual focus should be our identity as members of the body of Christ. This should be our primary identity. Anything else which defines us should pale in comparison to this one primary defining relationship, which is ours in Jesus. This idea of the new humanity which was brought about by Jesus work on the cross was the focus of the end of chapter 2. 
We worked through verses 4-7 as we dealt with the magnificent work of God done on our behalf to save us from the state of corruption we were in. We began by looking at the rich mercy and love of God for us. A love which was poured out on us even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins. He made us alive together with Christ. He saved us by His grace and seated us with God in the heavenly places in Christ. The reason for this is to show us the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Jesus. Verses 1-3 show us our state and verse 4-7 show us the great reversal God has brought about on our behalf. 
We worked through the beginning of chapter 2. These first 10 verses are really a continuous flow of thought culminating in verse 10. We are taking the verses in 3 sections. The first section dealt with the radical corruption which plagues mankind because of the fall. This corruption is rooted in the fall of Adam. In Adam we became dead in our trespasses and sins. Our spiritual death makes all men pursuers of the passions of the flesh. This complete corruption means we will not desire God but only follow the desires of the flesh. 
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