The Epic Poem that Opens Ephesians

Andrew Fountain
Sun, 2023-03-26

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  • Ephesians opens with a single sentence, 12 verses long—an epic poem.
  • We explore the art, beauty and thoughts that build our joy.
  • We see the big picture which builds our interest.
  • The hint of mystery motivates us to read on and find out where this is going!
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Sermon Slides - The Epic Poem that Opens Ephesians

Goal: To hear what God is saying to each one of us through these words he wrote to us

The Epic Poem that Opens Ephesians

  1. The Passage—Understanding and Enjoying it
  2. The Purpose for this Presentation
  3. The Practical implications for you and me today


  • Two truths:
  1. Humans are responsible, accountable, and wrong choices can bring penalties.
  2. God is sovereign (the highest authority) and does not just predict the future but destines it.
  • These seem to be in contradiction, because our minds are finite, and God is outside time
  • We need to hold both A and B in tension. If we let go of one, we’ll be in error

Three Positions

  1. Hyper-Calvinist (no human choice)
    • Don’t need to preach the gospel because all the elect will get saved anyway.
  2. Arminian (no predestination)
    • God did his part and hopes the elect will choose him (he peeked into the future and they did)
    • You can constantly flip between being Christian and not
  3. Augustinian (African theologian) also called Calvinism
    • You have to hold both truths because the Bible teaches them.
    • Our finite minds can’t resolve the tension, we just trust!

Augustinian (balanced Calvinism)

  • Preach the Gospel assuming humans can and must make a choice, and we do our best to persuade them
  • Rest in the joy and security that you were loved and chosen before the foundation of the world and it does not depend on your constant faithfulness.
  • look at the bottom of the handout page

Three blocks

  • 1. Past, 2. Present and 3. Future
  • Each of them follows the same pattern
    • God’s Choice on an Issue
      • His Plan for accomplishing this
        according to his pleasure/will
        to the praise of his glory
        • How as a Result, in Christ, this works out in practice
  • First let us compare 1 and 3


  • Blessing and Praise to God
  • Art, beauty and thoughts build our joy
  • We see the big picture better and so can focus on the in-between
  • “Mystery” captures our attention
  • Builds interest and focus on the in-between
  • We are motivated to read on and find out where this is going

Updated on 2023-03-26 by Andrew Fountain