A BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF
A CHURCH AND ITS GROWING STRUGGLES
THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS
The Church at Ephesus went
through struggles such as the idol worship of the goddess Diana in Acts
19, and many other struggles that we will learn from. We have an
advantage over those in the first century Church, because we can look back
at their mistakes and learn before we make the same ones.
KJV Acts 18:19-21
19. And he came
to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue,
and reasoned with the Jews.
20. When they
desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
21. But bade
them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh
in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed
APOLLOS COMES TO EPHESUS
KJV Acts 18:24-28
24. And a certain
Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the
scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25. This man
was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit,
he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the
baptism of John.
26. And he began
to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard,
they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
27. And when
he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the
disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which
had believed through grace:
28. For he mightily
convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that
Jesus was Christ.
THE BAPTISM OF JOHN IS CORRECTED
KJV Acts 19:1-9
1. And it came to
pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the
upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2. He said unto
them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said
unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3. And he said
unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's
4. Then said
Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto
the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him,
that is, on Christ Jesus.
5. When they
heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6. And when
Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they
spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7. And all the
men were about twelve.
8. And he went
into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing
and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
9. But when
divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before
the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing
daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
PAUL TEACHES REPENTANCE,
FAITH, AND WARNING
KJV Acts 20:16-38
16. For Paul
had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time
in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem
the day of Pentecost.
17. And from
Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
18. And when
they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that
I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations,
which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
20. And how
I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you,
and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
22. And now,
behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things
that shall befall me there:
23. Save that
the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions
24. But none
of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that
I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received
of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
25. And now,
behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom
of God, shall see my face no more.
I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27. For I have
not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28. Take heed
therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy
Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath
purchased with his own blood.
29. For I know
this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,
not sparing the flock.
30. Also of
your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away
disciples after them.
watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn
every one night and day with tears.
32. And now,
brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is
able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which
33. I have coveted
no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
34. Yea, ye
yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities,
and to them that were with me.
35. I have shewed
you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and
to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed
to give than to receive.
36. And when
he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
37. And they
all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face
no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
A REMINDER TO BE THANKFUL
KJV Ephesians 1:13-23
13. In whom ye also
trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:
in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit
14. Which is
the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,
unto the praise of his glory.
I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all
16. Cease not
to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17. That the
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the
spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18. The eyes
of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope
of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in
19. And what
is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according
to the working of his mighty power,
20. Which he
wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his
own right hand in the heavenly places,
21. Far above
all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that
is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22. And hath
put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things
to the church,
23. Which is
his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
A REMINDER OF THE BLESSINGS
THEY HAVE IN THE NEW LAW
KJV Ephesians 2:11-20
remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called
Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made
12. That at
that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of
Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and
without God in the world:
13. But now
in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood
14. For he is
our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall
of partition between us;
15. Having abolished
in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances;
for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16. And that
he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain
the enmity thereby:
17. And came
and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18. For through
him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19. Now therefore
ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints,
and of the household of God;
20. And are
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself
being the chief corner stone;
PAUL BESEECHES THEM TO WALK
KJV Ephesians 4:1-3
1. I Therefore,
the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called,
2. With all
lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
PUAL INSTRUCTS THEM TO NOT
BE TOSSED TO AND FRO SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE
KJV Ephesians 4:13-21
13. Till we
all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness
14. That we
henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with
every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15. But speaking
the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head,
16. From whom
the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every
joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every
part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
17. This I say
therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other
Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18. Having the
understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the
ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19. Who being
past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all
uncleanness with greediness.
20. But ye have
not so learned Christ;
21. If so be
that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in
PAUL INSTRUCTS THEM TO STAY
AWAY FROM DARKNESS
KJV Ephesians 5:8-11
8. For ye were
sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children
9. (For the
fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11. And have
no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove
PAUL INSTRUCTS TO PUT ON
THE ARMOUR OF GOD
KJV Ephesians 6:11-17
11. Put on the
whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of
12. For we wrestle
not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness
in high places.
take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand
in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14. Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate
15. And your
feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16. Above all,
taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the
fiery darts of the wicked.
17. And take
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word
PAUL CORRECTS THEM FOR LEAVING
THEIR FIRST LOVE
KJV Revelation 2:1-5
1. Unto the
angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth
the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven
2. I know thy
works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them
which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and
are not, and hast found them liars:
3. And hast
borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast
I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick
out of his place, except thou repent.
Let us see what occurred
at Ephesus and assure that we do not those things here. Let us see
what God wants from us in what Paul by inspiration taught the Ephesians.
Copyright 2000 by Brian
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