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Wednesday, June 05 2019

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION: We have come to the concluding study of the Book of Ephesians. It has been a journey filled with the revelation of the mysteries of the Father’s love for and grace towards us. Today’s study will be split in two. The first part will be about Tychicus and the other the elements of Paul’s closing prayers

21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. (Ephesians 6:21–24 ESV)

PART I – TYCHICUS – BELOVED & FAITHFUL (Verses 21 & 22)

In verses 21 and 22, Paul introduces us to a man named Tychicus, who was delivering his letter to the Ephesians. He describes Tychicus as both a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord. This was not the only time he described him as such. See what Colossians 4:7 says:

"As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information." Emphasis mine

A Beloved Brother: Tychicus was not just a spiritual brother, but a beloved brother. The word beloved is a word of endearment. It is someone that you love, but it also someone that you are deeply devoted to. You don’t call everybody "beloved." Beloved means they have struck something in your heart. There is a common cord - a bond of love, and a bond of faith that draws you together.

A Faithful Minister: Not only was he a beloved brother, he was a faithful minister. The word for "faithful" used here is pistos. It is the word that means somebody who can be depended upon. When you’ve got somebody who loves God like you do, somebody who wants to see God’s work done like you want to see it and he is a beloved brother or sister, he or she becomes a faithful servant. Psalm 101:6 tells us that God takes special interest in the faithful.

“My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me.”

Psalm 18:25 tells us that To the faithful you show yourself faithful . . .”

His Mission

To bring the Ephesian church up to speed with all the goings on around Paul. His ministry, his suffering, his well-being, etc. “Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything”! Nothing hidden, nothing coded, complete transparency. Once again, see what Colossians 4:7 says:

"As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information." Emphasis mine

PART II – FOUR IMPORTANT “CARDINAL POINTS” (Verses 23 & 24)

Paul also tells the Ephesian church about four important things in his concluding remarks, that he wishes and prays, not only for the believers in Ephesus, but for all believers everywhere.

Peace: The peace we have with God and the peace we have with one another, both of which are a result of our being united with Jesus Christ. After reminding the Ephesians of their condition before placing faith in Jesus Christ—a condition that included hostility with God’s people and with God himself, Paul gives the Ephesians good news in Ephesians 2:13-15. He says,

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” Ephesians 4:2-3 says:

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Also see what Romans 8:11says:

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Emphasis mine

Love: The love God has towards us and the we have for the saints. In Ephesians 1: 4-5, Paul told us that:

[God] chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love [God] predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. (Ephesians 1:4–5 ESV)

God chose us to be His special people. Before the foundations of the world were laid, God chose us to be part of a group of people who are set apart from the rest of the world. And He didn’t do this because He knew we would be holy, He did this to make us holy. In love, God made us His children. However, God doesn’t want us to simply be beneficiaries of His love, He wants us to be distributors of His love as well. And this is particularly true within the body of Christ. Ephesians 1: 15-16, says,

“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

Faith: In Ephesians 6:23 Paul ties together love with faith. He doesn’t just pray that the Ephesians will have love; he prays that they will have “love with faith.” In Ephesians 2:8 Paul tells us that we “have been saved through faith.” And he goes on to tell us that this salvation we have received, including the faith that made it possible, is not our own doing, but is a gift from God. That is why Paul goes on to say in Ephesians 2:9 that none of us can boast over our salvation. We can’t boast over something that was freely given to us.

Grace: In verse 24, the final verse, he says,

Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

In Ephesians 2:8, Paul did not only say that we have been “saved through faith.” But he said, “by grace you have been saved through faith.” So apart from God’s grace, there is no salvation. God’s grace is the only hope any of us have. In Ephesians 1:4-8 Paul tells us that:

“In love [God] predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.”

God has lavished His grace upon us. We are the beneficiaries of many wonderful things we do not deserve. We have redemption through Jesus’s blood. We have forgiveness from our trespasses and sins. All of this is according to the riches of God’s grace. That is why Paul concludes his letter in Ephesians 6:24 by praying for grace for us because he knows we need it. Not just to be saved, but to faithfully live the Christian life.

CONCLUSION

When people have an understanding of a vision, they are able to identify with it. In verses 19-20 Paul requested that the church in Ephesus prayed for him and the next two verses he assured them that Tychicus will bring to them word about all of his affairs; telling us that Paul was transparent and accountable. There’s something powerful about clarity and the fulfilment of dreams and visions. Every vision needs “runners” but “runners” need to have a clear picture communicated to them.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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