Minister to One Another

Brent Aucoin June 17, 2018 Ephesians 5:18-21
Outline

1 Corinthians 3:11 - For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 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.

Ephesians 1:7-8 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

Ephesians 1:10 - …with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

Ephesians 1:18-19 - I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.

Ephesians 5:22-23 - And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

3 steps to take in order to minister well to one another

I. Recognize the Problem with Our “One Anothers”— “No Salvation,” Only Death

Dissipation:  ἀσωτία—the verb σῴζω refers to preservation, hence ἀσωτία generally denotes ‘wastefulness...then reckless abandon, debauchery, dissipation, profligacy, esp. exhibited in convivial gatherings (BDAG Greek Lexicon)

1 Peter 4:3-4 - For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you.

Dissipation—being involved in wasteful debauchery with a community of people….this is “ἀσωτία” or “not salvation / without salvation.”

II. See the Beautiful Plan for Our “One Anothers” — “Life-giving/Full of Salvation”

Ephesians 5:19-21 - …speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; and always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

1. Using your words regularly to encourage one another with the truth of God (psalms/hymns/spiritual songs)

2. Using your words regularly to praise God from a heart that has a new song (v. 19)

3. Using your words regularly to give thanks always (v. 20)

4. Placing yourself willingly under the appropriate authorities in your life (v. 21)

“It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital `H’ than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive.  Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.” – C.S. Lewis

III. Embrace the Solution for the New Community of “One Anothers”— The Gospel

“Be filled with the Spirit”—what does this mean?

Consider the entire context of Ephesians …

Ephesians 1:10 - …with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

Ephesians 5:22-23 - And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 5:20-21 - …and always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Colossians 3:15-17 - Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Being filled by the Spirit does not mean some special kind of mysterious encounter with the Spirit of God. It simply means, the ongoing communal participation in ingesting, meditating on, abiding in, living out the implications of the word of Christ (the Gospel).

Joseph Bayly was a Christian American author and publishing executive. He fathered seven children. His practice of spiritual fatherhood was a blessing to many not the least of which was influential in two of his sons becoming pastors.

However, as encouraging as it is to see a child walking with the Lord and those children actively equipping others to walk with the Lord, Joseph Bayly went was no stranger to sorrow.

Joseph experienced the death of not one, and not two, but three of his seven children.

The order of reality should be that children bury their parents—Not parents burying their children!!!!

Many of you here have had the loss of a child and no the pain of that.

I have been in ministry for 20 years now.

My most challenging ministry moment and that which is burned vividly in my mind is when I was called at 3 am in the morning to come to the hospital.

The young man I was giving pre-marriage counseling to and who I was scheduled to perform the wedding the following week had died.

I arrived on the scene before the parents of this young man. When the parents were informed of the news of their virulent, life-loving son’s death, I saw agony  and grief like I have never seen before and to this day I have not seen.

How do you get through suffering like that?

When one of Joe Bayly’s children died, Joe reflected on his comforters and wrote this in his book “The view from a Hearse.”

“I was sitting, torn by grief. Someone came and talked to me of God’s dealing, of why it happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly, he said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he’d go away. He finally did. Another came and sat beside me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour and more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed, left. I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.”

There are many great insights in that quote about how to appropriately help the grieving.

The first is the presence of a friend that just was “with him”

The second was the life-giving engagement of that “with him friend” who listened and offered brief words of truth and probably tear-laden prayers.

That was “one-another” ministry right there that helped sustain Joe in this broken world of death.

Please turn to Ephesians 5:18 that is on page 153 in the back section, the New Testament, of the bible in the chair in front of you.

Our theme this year as a church is Being Careful How We Build…Scripture teaches us that for Christians, our lives and eternal existence are based on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross…1 Corinthians 3:11 - For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

- there’s great hope and there’s great security in that powerful truth…

- but Paul also affirms…1 Corinthians 3:10 - …But each man must be careful how he builds on it.

- that’s what we’re talking about this year…

- which is why we started with Building on the Foundation of the Gospel…and we studied Tim Keller’s book – Center Church

- then we turned to the teaching of Jesus – “Building Stories from the Master Teacher”…some of His most enduring sermons recorded in the Bible used this metaphor to help us understand what it meant to live for Him…

- next we worked through the book of Nehemiah – “Becoming a Godly Leader”…and it really is amazing how many important, practical principles are contained in that marvelous book…

- well, this morning we are continuing the series that we started last week (or two weeks ago for June 17 preaching ) entitled Building One Another

- this is a study of the “one-another’s” of Scripture…it’s amazing how often that phrase appears in the NT…

Now, you are in Ephesians 5. If you are using the chair bibles look across the page to Eph 4 as we begin

Paul says…

              Eph 4:Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

              2            with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

              3            being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

              4            There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

Notice what Paul says…There is one body

In chapter 4 – 6 Paul is speaking about a new community that God is creating on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1-3 speak of that foundation of how Jesus Christ’s fullness is to permeate this new community….

For example,

God has made the fullness of Christ available to us in his salvation

In every spiritual blessing

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.

In God’s riches and lavishing

Eph 1:7–8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.

In summing up everything in Christ…

Eph 1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

Paul then prays this prayer for believers out of his exhuberance on contiplating the fullness of Christ…

Eph 1:18–19 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.

Riches, surpassing greatness, power, strength might….This new community is to be filled with the fullness of Christ….

And that is what he concludes with in verse 22—23.

Eph 5:22–23 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

The end goal of God is that this new community of God’s people be full of Christ and his work…..

On that foundation and provision, Paul starts a new section in chapter 4 and that is why he says

              Eph 4:Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

              2            with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

              3            being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

              4            There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

This new community is supposed to be different and filled up with Christ….

Chapter 5 starts in very similarly, look with me at 5:1

Eph 5:1

              1            Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

              2            and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Look at verses 3-18…Paul contrast the community that God is creating with the community that he called us out of….

              3            But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

              4            and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

              5            For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

              6            Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

              7            Therefore do not be partakers with them;

              8            for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

              9            (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

              10          atrying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

              11          Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

              12          for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

              13          But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

              14          For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,

And arise from the dead,

And Christ will shine on you.”

Notice with me for a minute the emphasis on coming out of a dead state into light and life..

The previous community we have all been a part of is characterized by death in this broken world.

Paul earlier referenced this as well.

Turn back to Eph 2 and look at verses 1-3

              1            And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

              2            in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

              3            Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Again you see a previous/former community…that people ran in and had relationships in…but it was a community of death…

Now, back to Eph 5: 15…

              15          Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,

              16          making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

              17          So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

              18          And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation,

but be filled with the Spirit

Here is the new community….ministering to One Another

- Today we are considering Ministering to One Another

              19          speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

              20          always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

              21          and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

In the time we have reaming

Let’s consider…

3 steps to take in order to minister well to one another

I. Recognize the problem with our “one anothers”— “no salvation,” only death

Eph 5:18 is the well-known and controversial verse that states be not drunk with wine but be-filled with the Holy Spirit.

What does be-filled with the Holy Spirit mean?

Is alcohol okay or not?

The verse is used by many to extol the evils of alcohol

The verse is used by many to promote some kind of special “filling of the Holy Spirit” that leads to tongue speaking or something like that.

But let’s not miss how it fits in the context of  what I have been speaking about…an old community of death and a new community that God is creating…

Certainly Paul forbids drunkenness but he tells why…

“This is dissipation”

What is that you ask.

Dissipation:  ἀσωτία—the verb σῴζω refers to preservation, hence ἀσωτία generally denotes ‘wastefulness...then reckless abandon, debauchery, dissipation, profligacy, esp. exhibited in convivial gatherings (BDAG Greek Lexicon)

I had to look up “convivial” and it means festive social gatherings for feasting and drinking.

The word “dissipation” seems to have associated with it not just a drunk who sits alone in his house….but a drunkard that participates in a gathering of people and the community of those people together are reckless and wasteful and do not point one another to life but…their actions are destructive…

This can be seen also when Peter says…

1 Peter 4:3–4 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you

Dissipation—being involved in wasteful debauchery with a community of people….this is “ἀσωτία” or “not salvation / without salvation.”

“Not salvation”

“Not preservation”

But destruction

Death…

Do you remember that great Billy Joel song called the “Piano Man”

Personally, I think it is probably the catch’iest Billy Joel tune….

As a child of the 1980’s listening to secular music, I really had no concept of what it means…

As I get older and reminiscent about my child and teenage years…certain songs and memories come back…

And I love the melody of that song…

But there is no life in it…It is describes a community of people who are sitting around drinking and talking…

Wishing to have done this or that…

But as lively as the tune is it betrays a gathering without life….

Without “salvation”

And thus they are finding their song and their life in the melody of the piano man….to drown out their hard and hopeless lives…

When I studied this passage I thought of this song…the old community….

Listen to 2 minutes of the conclusion of the song.

Now Paul is a real estate novelist Who never had time for a wife And he's talkin' with Davy, who's still in the Navy And probably will be for life

And the waitress is practicing politics As the businessmen slowly get stoned Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness But it's better than drinkin' alone

Sing us a song you're the piano man Sing us a song tonight Well we're all in the mood for a melody And you got us feeling alright

It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday And the manager gives me a smile 'Cause he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see To forget about life for a while And the piano, it sounds like a carnival And the microphone smells like a beer And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar And say, "Man, what are you doin' here?"

Oh, la la la, di da da La la, di da da da dum

Sing us a song you're the piano man Sing us a song tonight Well we're all in the mood for a melody And you got us feeling alright

The song is like the community it describes…outwardly lively but inwardly dead and without hope/salvation—dissipation

Now, let me ask you my friends to consider the nature of the communities you find your identities in….

Do you participate in communities/groups of death?

You say, “Pastor Aucoin, I don’t go to Cheers or Bars and engage in that”

Do you know there are communities of death/without salvation that do not involve alcohol

Fathers is your home a community of death because of your anger?

Proverbs26:21 Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife.

Friends, in your groups that you run with…what is the nature of your melody?

What melody are you singing?

A melody of gossip….

A melody of complaining…

A melody of criticalness… about your spouse, a friend, the church, the government…

Do you come away from your social interactions with the groups you run with as more like Christ or

More angry

More bitter?

More entitled?

More agitated or having the peace of God?

ABF’s and Small groups my wife and I have noticed a trend among the younger generation which is good and possibly concerning. Every generation has both good and problematic issues.

If you look at the characterisitics of the Millennials…they are all about transparency and vulnerability…they want to “get together and be real and authentic…raw…and say…here are all my struggles …

Positively…being transparent is a good thing…it takes off the mask of superficiality and hypocrisy….

However, in the gathering of raw/transparent/authentic problem discussion….let me ask you a question…if that never moves from  from raw regurgitating of problems…you are still in a death community….

Believer’s think about your small groups/associations…are they death communities…or do you really …

II. See the beautiful plan for our “one anothers” — “Life-giving/full of salvation”

Col 3:19–21 give the vision of God’s community that he is creating..

And this is the only community that can persevere in this broken world of suffering…

Suffering and hardship are inevitable in this world…

Your community in which you run will either help you persevere through suffering and hardship or you will be destroyed in the midst of suffering and hardship…

This community recognizes that this present earth is not their home.

This community recognizes that the suffering of this present time is nothing compared to the joy that follows

This community then ministers to one another now as they away the fullness of the future community..

And because this community of people is so different than other communities which in the face of suffering go into despair or cynicism, this community is a light to others….

This is the picture….of a community with “salvation” not a community “with out salvation”

This is the picture of a community of life and not death

As I read this again…can you really imagine being a part of this kind of community and what if everyone who names the name of Christ is doing this…

19          speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20and always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Can you imagine if this was really true of your relationship with your spouse…in your relationship with your family…in your relationship with your church….and to the degree possible your relationship with the community….

But quickly let’s put in other words what this community of salvation is like…

  • Using your words regularly to encourage one another with the truth of God (psalms/hymns/spiritual songs)
  • Using your words regularly to praise God from a heart that has a new song (v. 19)
  • Using your words regularly to give thanks always (v. 20)
  • Placing yourself willingly under the appropriate authorities in your life (v. 21)

What does this look like my friends?

  • First let me say this….you can not be part of this new community if, obviously, you are not a part of this community..All of this is “one another” if there is not “another” and it is just me…by definition you are not a part of God’s new community…
    • So, let me say, friends if there is not a time in your life where you have recognized that you are a part of the community of death and you are participating in it, and Christ came to make you a part of His new community by faith, then today you can take the first step in become a part of the new community that God is creating
    • If you have trusted Christ, but you have no place for the church, very simply, you will not stand when trials comes…because he designed you to persevere in the midst of the community where this “one another” is happening.

How else does this look?

  • The individual who came alongside of Joe Bayly and was just with him in the loss of his child and prayed when appropriate.
  • This looks like writing a note of encouragement or rememberance to those who have lost loved ones 1-2-6 months after the funeral when the true loss of the love one is being felt most acutely
  • This looks like Fathers coming home thankful and sharing with the spouse and children how God work in their life through the good and hard things at work
  • This looks like Church members expressing any concerns they have to leadership in a spirit of thanksgiving for all the good and offering to help bring solutions to those things that need to be improved.
  • This means in those transparent small groups full of millennials who desire raw/transparency that you move from the problems to a “salvation group” where the word of God and prayer is specifically address to the lives of people..
  • This looks like coming together on Sunday and participating with all your enthusiasm in singing praises….you don’t know what sorrow that person who is sitting next to you might be facing….that is if you are actually sitting next to one another…
  • This looks like…individual investment….last week I love this quote that P. Rob channeling P. Viars.. brought out from C.S. Lewis
  • “It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital `H’ than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive.  Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.”
  • This looks like…(other examples that come to mind)

The more this vision is true of our church…the more this salvation community will be a light to others….

You may say Brent how is this possible…The text answers it…

III. Embrace the solution for the new community of “one anothers”— The Gospel

“Be filled with the Spirit”—what does this mean?

Friends, we can figure this out by the context and we can figure this out logically…

If you want a “salvation community” instead of a “without salvation community” what must it be filled with?  The only thing that motivates and brings salvation…

Consider the entire context of Ephesians …

Remember this..

Eph 1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

Eph 5:22–23 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Eph 5:20and always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

And finally, consider one more parallel passage by Paul which is nearly identical to Eph 5:18-21

Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Instead of saying “Be filled with the Spirit” at the exact same location in place of that vocabulary, Paul says, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell in you.”

Being filled by the Spirit does not me some special kind of mysterious encounter with the Spirit of God. It simply means, the ongoing communal participation in ingesting, meditating on, abiding in, living out the implications of the word of Christ (the Gospel).

A salvation community that has salvation in it is continually abiding in that Good news.

A death community, your small groups, your relationships, your family will not have the Gospel in it..

Friends you understand the Gospel don’t you?

This entire world was a world of dissipation…a death community….

And Jesus Christ left the presence of His Father where there was life

So that He could enter our death community and take the consequences of our dissipation…

So that you could have a “life community”

Verse 14…Awake of sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you….

We can have melody’s in our hearts unlike Piano man…

Melody’s that are lively and full of life not lively masking death….

And as we suffer the brokenness of this world we can stimulate one another to remember the salvation of our God and encourage someone like the Joe Bayly’s or the Joe Blakes who just lost his brother..or the one trapped in the community of death….

The Gospel changes everything and our communities…

Friends are your communities with or without salvation?

Do you contribute to a death or a living community?

Let’s pray.

 

Brent Aucoin

B.S. - Mechanical Engineering, Oklahoma State University
M.S. - Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Central Seminary
Th.M. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D. - Baptist Bible Seminary (Clarks Summit, PA)

Pastor Brent Aucoin and his wife, Janet, came on staff in July of 1998. Brent is the President of Faith Bible Seminary, Pastor of Seminary and Soul Care at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); ACBC certified; instructor and counselor at FBCM; retreat and conference speaker.

View Pastor Aucoin's Salvation Testmony Video