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One Church - Many Locations

Many manuscripts discovered, omit the words ‘in Ephesus’ (Ephesians Ch 1:1), therefore it has led many to believe that this letter of Paul’s was not one addressed to the Church in one city, but an open circular letter addressed to Christian believers in the whole of Asia Minor. Many believe this to be true because this letter carries no specific details referring to any particular city or local situation. Paul’s letter is a discourse on the core eternal truths and the lifestyle that flows from the truth, that will work for all believers, everywhere, at all times and in all situations. The truth it contains is clearly relevant for us today!

In writing this I have prayed, just as Paul has prayed for all that read his letter, asking the Holy Spirit to give you “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” as you read, study and ponder upon the depth of Paul’s statements, contained in his letter. It is not enough to simply read it and mentally acknowledge the words as some sort of doctrinal statement. This letter, along with the whole Gospel, is;

“the power of God unto salvation, for everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16)

Salvation is deliverance from the power of sin and death. The word Paul uses here that was translated ‘salvation,’ is the Greek word ‘sozo,’ and it means to be ‘saved from destruction, delivered, set free, healed, protected and provided for.’

In studying this teaching, you will see that salvation is not what you receive in Heaven, but what you received on earth the day you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Therefore, you are given the opportunity to have on earth what you will have in Heaven. Isn’t this what Jesus meant when He prayed;

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matt 6:10)

The Letter to the Ephesians is basically written in two sections;

Chapters 1-3 The very first verses of Paul’s letter begin with an astounding statement;

Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

Every spiritual blessing in Jesus Christ, has already been given to us, when we received Him into our lives. We are not going to get it in heaven one day after we die, but we have it all now, here, whilst alive on Earth.

Jesus Christ is God. His words created all things and are held together by His Words (Gen 1:3; John 1:1-14; Heb 1:3). He has all power and authority in heaven and earth (Matt 28:18). Jesus has been raised from the dead, seated at the right-hand of the Father, is identical in every way to God the Father. All things created were made through Him and for Him. The fullness of God dwells in Him and He rules and reigns over all things supremely, and dwells within the spirit of every born again believer. (Col 1:15-22; John 14:20)

The early chapters of Paul’s letter, deal with our need to comprehends, not by knowledge but by revelation, the absolutely unfathomable work achieved by God, through Christ, and the accompanying work of the Spirit in us who received His free gift of salvation. Through this letter, we see the Holy Spirit inspiring the apostle to reveal to all believers in Jesus Christ, that this unfathomable work is only unfathomable to the natural mind. He prays for all believers everywhere, that the Holy Spirit will cause us to grasp that all of this has already been accomplished within our spirit, and the moment we ‘see’ it and believe it, the grace begins to release it into our life. Father wants you to enjoy all He has given you in Christ, right now on earth.

Q. Why has the Father given us all “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ch 3:8) ?

A. For all the unsearchable riches of Christ to manifest in and through the lives of everyone in Christ, today!

Chapters 4-6 deal with our walking in the Spirit by applying the truths of this revelation, to our lives. Becoming a born again believer in Christ does not mean that we automatically walk in the Spirit. Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth, shows clearly this truth when he writes;

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as carnal, as to babes in Christ…” (1 Cor 3:1)

Calling the Christians in Corinth ‘babes’ he is showing that we are not meant to remain as babes, but rather, that we grow up in Christ to become ‘spiritual,’ meaning mature in our understanding and living out the things of the Spirit. The Corinthian Church had all the gifts and miracles manifesting amongst them (read Chapters 12 - 14). But they were handling them immaturely through spiritual ignorance ( 1 Cor 12:1). Paul expands upon this insight of growing up in Christ, and what it refers to, in Romans Ch 8:1-8;

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Here in these verses, Paul describes how Carnal or Spiritual has to do with our mindset and knowing our true new identity in Christ.

On the day you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you received a miracle. You received a new ide

ntity, accompanied by a new kind of life. You became a ‘new creation.” (2 Cor 5:17) You received the same identity and life as the risen, ascended, glorified Son of God;

‘For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Gal Ch 3:26 - Ch 4: 7)

Many have been Christians for decades and have never truly understood or grasped this revelation that brings the transformation the New Testament repeatedly and clearly states is ours through Christ. Only when we make this transforming step, do we walk in the Spirit not the flesh.

Most believers know early on in their new life in Christ, the verse at the end of Paul’s letter, when he writes;

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…” (Ch 6:10).

Paul’s letter describes that every follower of Christ is in a spiritual war and needs to be dressed in the full armour of God to be protected and victorious. But most forget this section begins with the words ‘Finally, my brethren…” The word “Finally,” means Paul is stating that the revelation of putting on the armour of God, can only happen successfully because we have grasped the revelation that he shares in the five chapters that he wrote before he concluded with this last piece of insight and instruction, regarding the armour. So, let us discover the truths laid out for us, step by step, chapter by chapter in this astounding and beautiful letter.

Paul’s letter is written to the whole Church, not a section of it. Each Chapter of this letter he uses six different analogies to convey one truth - corporateness. His message is to all believers to establish in

their understanding that there is only one Spirit, Lord, Faith, God, Father, Hope, Calling, Baptism, Church, Household, Family, Body, Bride and Army;

Eph 4:3 “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

For most of my life in full-time leadership ministry, the Lord has used me to share this understanding across the entire Church and urge leaders to come together in order to operate as one Church, in many locations, under one oversight. But many leaders have shunned my message as impossible to achieve because the Church is so divided. I always remind them that Paul’s letter does not teach us to get unity, but rather, to strive to keep the unity we have in Christ. In Christ we are one, whether we are black, white, young, old, Baptist, Pentecostal or Lutheran. There are not two Jesus Christs. Therefore in Him we have a corporate identity we need to strive to operate in.

I have a family. Each individual in the family can have differing opinions on subjects and preferences on lifestyle. Sometimes individuals have quarrelled over those opinions and preferences. But we are still family. Sometimes those arguments and quarrels actually change one of our family’s opinions and preferences so that they come into agreement with the other person. Sometimes not. The issue is not whether we have complete agreement in all opinions or preferences, but whether we remain in agreement that the family remains the family and that we protect to keep the loving relationships and atmosphere of our family. Forgiveness, loving kindness and the fruit of the Spirit towards each other, is of greater importance than these ‘other’ things we disagree on.

Whether the Church congregation or cell has a Pentecostal, Lutheran, Word of Faith style or emphasis, whether we sing hymns or choruses, use organs or guitars, is not what destroys unity and the corporate expression of God’s people. It is our attitude to each other that prevents this corporateness from manifesting in the region. We must endeavour to pray and challenge the Church to be realigned to the New Testament model and mode of operation.

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Brilliant post Wynne. Thank you.

Amen to your final sentence - “We must endeavour to pray and challenge the Church to be realigned to the New Testament model and mode of operation.”

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