Make Disciples 2

LAST WORDS ARE
ALWAYS WORTH HEEDING

(Especially if they are from Paul)
(Note: Words in blue are active links)

The fact that the Greek word for disciple is not found after the book of Acts (Acts 21:16 = last occurrence) might suggest that after Acts there is no need for the Church to fulfill Jesus' last command to make disciples (Mt 28:19-note). Nothing could be further from the truth. While the word disciple (mathetes) or make disciples (matheteuo) is not present after Acts, the concept of discipleship is taught repeatedly, especially in the Pauline epistles. We will begin with the foremost example found in Paul's last written communication in his second letter to the young disciple name Timothy (Paul wrote "the time of my departure has come" 2Ti 4:6-note). So even as Mt 28:18-20 was Jesus' Great Commission to His disciples, Paul's issues his last commission to Timothy in 2Timothy 2:1-2...

1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able (hikanos = having attained a certain standard, fit, qualified ) to teach others also. ( 2Ti 2:1-2-note )

IMPORTANCE OF OBSERVING
"CONNECTING WORDS"

(Therefore, for, so that, etc)

What is the "therefore" there for? Terms of conclusion like therefore should always prompt a pause to prayerfully ponder what the author is saying and will usually force you to re-read the preceding context. Practice this simple discipline and it will radically transform your "Read Through the Bible in a Year" program! This will also keep you from "speed reading" the text and give your Teacher, the Spirit, an opportunity to teach you (to illuminate the text) and speak to you (e.g., to urge you to apply the truth). Another benefit of pausing to ponder is that you in effect practice the discipline of Biblical Meditation or "chewing the cud," a vanishing discipline in our fast paced, hi tech, low touch society, but a discipline God promises to bless (Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note, Joshua 1:8-note) Remember that reading the Bible without meditating on it is like eating without chewing.

So why is the therefore there? In the present context Paul has just described the fact that all in Asia have departed (2Ti 1:15 -note), so it would be tempting for Timothy to shrink back from passing on the Gospel (2Ti 1:7-note suggests he may have been a timid personality)....therefore Paul tells Timothy to be strong, be strengthened on the inside for the spiritual warfare on the outside. The last thing the Adversary wants to see is disciples who are being strengthened in the Lord and supernaturally equipped to make more disciples. If he can sidetrack the church from obeying Jesus' last, great command to make disciples (Mt 28:19-note), he has achieved a major objective to blunting the power of the Church of Jesus Christ!

IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING
BASICS OF VERB TENSE, VOICE AND MOOD

Be strong is present tense, imperative mood and passive voice. Paul is not giving a suggestion but a command and present tense calls for Timothy to continually be strengthened by grace, the clear implication being that he is going to continually need it! The passive voice indicates that the action (inner strengthening) is the result of an outside Source, the grace that is in Christ Jesus and as discussed below is "dispensed" by His Spirit. (See simple synopsis of Greek Verb Tense, Voice, Mood).

The Greek verb is endunamoo and is derived from dunamis. Dunamis (source of English words like Dynamo, Dynamic, Dynamite) describes the inherent (supernatural) power residing within someone to enable them to accomplish a task. For example, in Romans 1:16-note Paul says the Gospel has supernatural dunamis (inherent power) to save, which should take some of the pressure off of us to think we have to make a perfect presentation. In Acts 1:8-note Jesus says the Spirit will give the disciples (including us) dunamis to be His witnesses (fulfilling His promise of clothing them with supernatural power in Lk 24:49). In is interesting that the same verb endunamoo is also used by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-note (also in the form of a command = present passive imperative) and is clearly used in the context of spiritual warfare, which would support the premise that there will be major spiritual resistance when Timothy (and we) seek to obey Jesus and Paul and go and make disciples. Our enemy will do all that God allows him to do to prevent us from completing this vital task! Paul also uses endunamoo in this same letter in 2Ti 4:17-note to speak of the Lord strengthening him in the face of spiritual attack (2Ti 4:14-16-note). Paul's example of reliance on the Lord Jesus' power to stand firm would encourage his disciple to do the same when the opposition came as it surely would (see one of "God's promises" we'd rather not have! = 2Ti 3:12-note)!

Remember that there are over 1600 commands (imperatives) in the New Testament and we cannot keep even ONE of them in our natural strength. So even for Timothy to experience inner strengthening which Paul commands, he had to first surrender or yield his rights and to rely on the Holy Spirit in him to give him the dunamis he needed to accomplish the task Paul would call him to in verse 2, the task of making disciples. The ESV Study Bible says this section describes Paul's "resumes the call to Spirit-empowered boldness" which began in 2Ti 1:6ff-note. And the same spiritual dynamic (our need, the Spirit's sufficient supply) applies to us as we seek to obey Paul's command to be strong. We cannot just "grit our teeth" and be strong (the world's way), but we must continually renounce reliance on our natural ability and rely wholly on the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of grace (Heb 10:29b). He is the Lord's "C.E.O." if you will, the Lord's administrator or executive, Who makes the grace that is in Christ Jesus available to His disciples.

The great Puritan writer John Owen explains how grace is in Jesus and yet the effecting Agent of that grace is the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7, Phil 1:19-note, Ro 8:9-note). Owen writes

"Everything God does He does as the triune God. Each Person of the Trinity is involved in every action of God. Yet at the same time each Person has a special role to fulfill in that work....There is no good that we receive from God but it is brought to us and wrought in us by the Holy Spirit. Nor is there in us any good towards God, any faith, love, obedience to His will, but what we are enabled (Ed: Note not "helped" which implies we have some ability and just need a little "push"!) to do so by the Holy Spirit. (Pneumatologia, Or, A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit)

J Vernon McGee comments on Paul's command to be strong -

"I love this—be strong in grace. My friend, if you think that you can grit your teeth and go out and live the Christian life on your own, you’re in for a great disappointment. If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism. Paul gives no rules, and the Word of God has no rules to tell the child of God how to live the Christian life. We are saved by grace, and now we are to live by the grace of God and be strong in that grace....When I hear Christians say, “I don’t do this, and I don’t do that, and I am following a set of rules,” I immediately recognize that they know very little about the grace of God. They are trying to live the Christian life in their own strength. Paul says, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." This begs the question dear disciples of Christ, in whose strength are you living the supernatural life, yours or His?

What is the source of the power the Spirit dispenses? In context, it is the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The most common answer to the question what is the meaning of grace is "God's unmerited favor." Or some mention the great acrostic G.R.A.C.E, God's Riches At Christ's Expense. While these answers are not wrong, they fall short of the important truth that grace means so much more that unmerited favor. In the present context we see that grace connotes power, especially supernatural enablement to accomplish what God commands. You can mark it down -- God's commandment ALWAYS includes His enablement! We see this same pattern in Second Corinthians where Paul gives us insight into an event which I personally think is the "secret" of his incredible ministry for the Lord. So let's take a quick look at that passage.

THE "SECRET" OF
PAUL'S POWERFUL MINISTRY

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul describes an event that occurred 14 years earlier, an event in which he was "raptured" (same verb [harpazo - Latin Vulgate translates it "rapturo"] used in 1Thes 4:17-note) into the Third Heaven (2Cor 12:2), to Paradise (2Cor 12:4), and because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, he was given "a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet" him (no one knows exactly how this was manifest) to keep Paul from exalting himself. (2Cor 12:7). And after praying three times for the Lord to take away the thorn (2Cor 12:8), Jesus responded by teaching us a truly life changing truth...

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for (My) power (dunamis) is perfected (made to reach its intended goal) in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Cor 12:9-10-note)

And so we see that the Lord Jesus clearly equates the grace that is in Him (Jn 1:14-note, Jn 1:16-17-note) with the power to live a supernatural life (cp Jn 10:10). And what is the key that unlocks the door to that abundant life? Our weaknesses (plural)! This is one of the great truths of Scripture and as with most of the profound teachings of the Bible, it is totally antithetical to the way the world thinks. The world says "up" is the way to power, but Jesus says "No, down is the way to My power!" Grace flows down, as we humbly bow at the foot of the Cross (cp James 4:6). And so why did I make the presumptive statement that this passage unlocks the secret for Paul's dynamic ministry (and for us who are called to imitate Paul - 1Cor 11:1)? The answer requires some comparison with the chronology of the major events in Paul's life. Recall that Second Corinthians was written about 56AD, but Paul's being caught up to the third heaven and Paradise occurred 14 years earlier (2Cor 12:2-3), roughly 42AD, which would have been after his conversion (Acts 9:1-9) but before his 3 great missionary journeys. I will submit that Paul never shed that thorn in his side and that in a continual state of weakness he was continually in a state of supernatural strength (power) wrought by the grace with is in Christ Jesus (2Ti 2:1). Paul knew about grace and power and he knew Timothy and all disciples that would follow would need to depend on the same power source! The highly respected commentator Warren Wiersbe makes a similar statement declaring that 1Cor 15:10 was "the secret of Paul's great ministry," and while I totally agree (read that verse and note the repeated word!), the event which led to Paul's utter dependence on God's grace for ministry occurred in Second Corinthians 12. As always I encourage you to be a Berean (Acts 17:11-note). I could be wrong, but I can't wait to ask Paul in the future if this was the pivotal event (after his conversion of course) that fueled his dynamic distribution of the Gospel of Jesus throughout most of the Roman Empire. Below is an overview of the approximate chronology (Bible does not give specific dates) of Paul's life...

32AD - Stephen's stoning Acts 7:58, 8:1

33AD - Persecution of church (Acts 8:1-3; Phil 3:6)

34AD - Paul born again on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9) Goes to Damascus (Acts 9:10-19) Acts 9:22 says "Saul kept increasing (endunamoo in the imperfect tense) in strength."

35AD - Travels to Arabia where he spends 3 years (Gal 1:17 - most authorities say this event occurred between Acts 9:22 and Acts 9:23 - note phrase "when many days had elapsed")

46AD - Barrnabas travels to Tarsus in order to seek Saul (Acts 11:25)

56AD - Second Corinthians Written

Respected teacher Jerry Bridges has some excellent summary comments on the relationship of power and grace in 2Timothy 2:1 writing that...

The grace in 2 Timothy 2:1 is the blessing of power. It’s the same category of grace we see in 2 Corinthians 12:9 as the Lord tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” and Paul responds, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Here God equates his grace with his power; power that can be experienced only through human weakness. So when Paul wanted Timothy to be strengthened by the same divine power he had experienced, he urged Timothy to be strengthened by grace. How is Timothy to respond to this command? By faith he’s to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit instead of his own resolutions, self-effort, or willpower. He’s to acknowledge that without Christ he can do nothing (John 15:5). Just as he must look outside himself to Christ’s righteousness for his standing before God, he must also look outside himself to the power of the Holy Spirit for his strength to live the Christian life. And the same is true for us. (Amen!) (The Bookends of the Christian Life- Jerry Bridges, Bob Bevington)

GRACE IN
THREE TENSES

Since grace is so amazing, let's dwell just a few more minutes on God's great grace. It is fascinating to observe that God's grace is used in at least 3 ways in the New Testament - I like to think of grace in "three tenses"...

PAST TENSE GRACE = God's unmerited favor in our salvation - Eph 2:8-9-note. This tense corresponds to the grace that brought about our justification.

PRESENT TENSE GRACE = God's power to produce inner transformation and which is available to us now enabling us to grow in our supernatural life in Christ. Read 1Cor 15:10-note, noting the key word and also noting Paul's responsibility and God's provision! (Cp 2Cor 1:12). This tense corresponds to the grace necessary for our progressive sanctification.

It follows that grace does not merely accept us (justification), but it transforms us (sanctification - cp Titus 2:11-note and Titus 2:12-note), and we need to be careful that we do "not receive the grace of God in vain." (2Cor 6:1) To dismiss grace in the sanctification process will lead to frustration in our spiritual lives and even to spiritual disaster!

 

Ray Ortlund adds that "if all we want out of God is acceptance without transformation, we are receiving His grace in vain and our Christianity is worthless. The power of grace is not automatic. Each of us lives out of an inner world with its own moral and conceptual and emotional topography. The obstacles to God there are formidable. Our intuitive ways of thinking, the tilt of our very desires—these powerful internal structures can hinder the advance of God." (Preaching the Word - Isaiah)

FUTURE TENSE GRACE = God's grace that will change us "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (1Cor 15:52) into eternal bearers of Christ-like glory at our Lord's return (1Jn 3:2-note). Read 1Pe 1:13-note. This tense corresponds to the grace that will bring about our future glorification.

ETERNAL GRACE = There is one other "chronological" aspect of grace, which we might term "eternal grace," for Paul writes that "in the ages to come He might show (present tense = continually, forever and ever and ever) the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Eph 2:7-note). God's amazing grace transcends time!

In summary we begin our Christian race by grace (are justified), run daily by grace (are sanctified) and finish by grace (are glorified), all provided by the Spirit of grace (Heb 10:29)

See Related Discussion = Three Tenses of Salvation

What is Paul's command in 2Ti 2:2? Timothy was commanded to entrust what he had learned from Paul in the presence of many witnesses (cp synonymous terms in 2Ti 1:13-note = "sound words" ; 2Ti 1:14 = "the treasure" of the Gospel). Entrust is the verb paratithemi, which literally means to set before and described setting food before someone (Mk 6:41). I love this picture, for when we entrust the Word of the Gospel to others, we in effect set the "Bread of life" before them! In secular Greek paratithemi was a common banking term meaning to deposit something valuable (what is more valuable than the Gospel?) as a trust, for protection and safe keeping.

Who are the men Timothy was and we was to seek in order to entrust the treasure of the Gospel? Not just any men but men who are faithful, who are trustworthy, who will keep their promise to pass the treasure to the next runner. The point is clear -- we are to seek men to disciple who are serious about the Gospel and unwilling to commit to passing it on to other men when they have finished their time of disciple training.

As someone has said we should seek "F.A.T. men" = Faithful, Available (will make time to be discipled a priority - men willing to set the alarm at 5AM and gather at 6AM!), Teachable (Men "who tremble at" God's Word, Isa 66:2, who put out the "welcome mat" [verb = dechomai] welcoming the Word - 1Th 2:13-note; cp James 1:21-note )

Disciple-Makers International - In these days of heightened sensitivity, never refer to someone as "fat". The "politically correct" term is "horizontally gifted". But when it comes to deciding who to invest your time in as a disciple maker, forget protocol and look for FAT people; that is, Faithful, Available and Teachable. (Discipling "FAT" People)

As an aside how many "runners" do you observe in 2Timothy 2:2? Four, just like the 400 meter relay race! What happens in a relay race when the baton is dropped or runner disqualified? Did you see what happened to the US team in he men's 400 meter relay at the 2015 world championships? (Go to 8 minutes to watch 2015 Men's 4x100m Relay Final - IAAF World Championships in Beijing)

How important is the passing of the spiritual baton of the Gospel to faithful runners? It goes without saying that it is critical to pass the baton. Where would we be if Timothy had failed to obey the command to make disciples? How valuable is the process of spiritual multiplication? See the following illustrations...

Illustration of the Value of Spiritual Multiplication - Suppose that two boys had a very rich father. He made them an offer: they could choose to receive either $100,000 per day for 31 days, or one penny the first day, doubled each day for 31 days. If one boy chose the $100,000 per day, at the end of 31 days he would have $3,100,000. But the boy who chose the penny doubled each day would come out with $2,147,483,648!

See the power of discipleship groups for multiplying disciples - Compares the spiritual fruit of the Evangelist versus a Disciple maker versus a group of four. (If one man discipled 3 other men for one year and they in turn discipled 3 men for a year, etc, etc, by year 16 the number of disciples would be over 43 million (US population = 320 million)!

THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT
VERSES IN THE BIBLE

Recall that one of the marks of a true disciple of Jesus is that he abides in His Word and then he adds that the truth of His Word will set the disciple free (Jn 8:31-32). The verb Jesus used for "shall make you free" (eleutheroo) was used literally to describe the emancipation of slaves from bondage. Jesus came to set us free from the power of sin, the fallen world and Satan. But the prerequisite is that we allow His Word to continually penetrate and permeate our heart and mind. With that in mind over the next sessions we will focus on some passages that are vital for every true disciple of Jesus to fully comprehend so that they might live out the abundant life in the freedom that His grace and His Spirit provides. Of course all Scripture is important because it is a word from God Himself (2Ti 3:16), but for our purposes we will focus on five passages which I feel are especially important in regard to growing disciples in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18).

BE FILLED

1) Ephesians 5:18: BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT

Testimonials Regarding the Importance of Ephesians 5:18...

Chuck Swindoll - I don’t know of a more important verse in the New Testament for the Christian than Ephesians 5:18—honest, no exaggeration. This verse tells the believer how to live an authentic, empowered life.... I cannot be filled with the Spirit while I have unconfessed sin within me. I cannot be filled with the Spirit while at the same time conducting my life in the energy of the flesh. I cannot be filled with the Spirit while I am resisting God’s will and relying only on myself. I need to be sure that I have taken care of the sins that have emerged in my life, that I have not ignored the wrong that I have done before God and to others. I need to walk in conscious dependence on the Lord on a daily basis. Many a morning I begin my day by sitting on the side of the bed, saying:

This is your day, Lord. I want to be at Your disposal. I have no idea what these next twenty-four hours will contain. But before I sip my first cup of coffee, and even before I get dressed, I want You to know that from this moment on throughout this day, I’m Yours, Lord. Help me to lean on You, to draw strength from You, and to have You fill my mind and my thoughts. Take control of my senses so that I am literally filled with Your presence and empowered with Your energy. I want to be Your tool, Your vessel today. I can’t make it happen. And so I’m saying, Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today. (Embraced by the Spirit)

Ray Pritchard wrote that "the filling of the Spirit is the most important doctrine of the spiritual life....three common misconceptions. (1) It is an emotional experience...(2) It is reserved for special Christians....(3) It is controversial and therefore better off ignored.... (Pritchard ends his sermon declaring that) "the filling of the Spirit is the most important doctrine of the spiritual life. It is foundational to everything else. There is nothing we need more. Here is my definition of the filling of the Spirit: It is that state in which the Holy Spirit is free to do all that He came into my life to do. In a sense being filled with the Spirit is an impossibility-at least as far as it depends on us. Only God's Spirit can fill us. We need two things-emptiness and openness. You can't fill a jar that's already full, and you can't fill a jar that is not open. There must be a sense of need-"Lord, I'm empty and I need to be filled by Your Spirit." There must be a willingness-"Lord, I'm open to You..." The filling of the Spirit is really as simple as that. As long as we are conscious of our need and as long as we are willing to yield to the Lord, we can be filled with the Lord all day long. This power is available to us all day long. (What Does it Mean to be Filled With the Spirit?)

Dr. J. Vernon McGee preached a commencement address at Dallas Theological Seminary and was then in his early 80s, near the end of a long and fruitful ministry. Ray Pritchard writes "I’ve forgotten almost everything else he said that night, but one comment has stayed with me. He said that if he were starting his ministry over again, he would give much more attention to the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. He would preach on the Spirit more frequently and attempt to lead people to depend on his power every day. The greatest preacher of the 19th century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, said, “The grand thing the church wants in this time is God’s Holy Spirit.” More than anything else, we need to rediscover the Holy Spirit and learn anew to depend on him. " (Ibid)

John MacArthur - If we do not obey this command (be filled with the Spirit), we cannot obey any other—simply because we cannot do any of God’s will apart from God’s Spirit. Outside of the command for unbelievers to trust in Christ for salvation, there is no more practical and necessary command in Scripture than the one for believers to be filled with the Spirit. (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)

Ray Stedman writes being filled with the Spirit is "the great secret of real Christianity." (Watch How You Walk - Ephesians 5:15-20)

Ephesians 5:18 - And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.

The original (not the revised version of the NLT of Eph 5:18 read “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.”

Remember that every believer receives all of the Holy Spirit he will ever receive at the moment of regeneration. If one does not have the Spirit, Paul says they are not a believer. Ro 8:9 = "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."

OBSERVATIONS AND QUESTIONS
ON EPHESIANS 5:18:

What is the contrast? Wine versus the Spirit. Drunk with wine or "drunk" with the Spirit.

What does the contrast emphasize? It points out that what fills a person will influence or control the person, especially what comes out of their mouth

What happens to the behavior of one under the influence of wine? Clearly their behavior or conduct is altered, causing one to say or do things they would not normally do.

What about filling with the Spirit? The first word in Eph 5:19 is "speaking" indicating that filling will have a direct impact on what comes out of our mouth as with Peter in Acts 4:8.

How does Peter's action in Acts 4:8 contrast with his behavior in Mt 26:70-75?

Look also at the believers in Acts 4:31 = "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness (parrhesia)."

Now let's look at the verb "be filled"...

The present tense, imperative mood is not a suggestion but is a command (it is absolute necessity) to be continuously filled a day–by–day, moment–by–moment submitting or yielding our "rights" to the Spirit. Filling is not optional.

The passive voice indicates that the filling is not something we do but that we allow to be done to us. Our responsibility is to allow God's Spirit to fill us, to yield, to surrender to Him (See Pastor Swindoll's prayer above). To recognize and acknowledge our emptiness.

The verb is plural signifying every believer, not a elite group. No one is excepted!

The filling is entirely the work of the Spirit Himself, but He works only through our willing submission. The present aspect of the command indicates that we cannot rely on a past filling nor live in expectation of future filling. We can rejoice in past fillings and hope for future fillings, but we can live only in present filling.

Pleroo (word study ) connotes more than filling something up, as when someone pours water in a glass up the rim.

(1) Pleroo was used of the wind filling a sail and carrying the ship along. (Compare 2Peter 1:21 = "men moved (being borne along) by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.") We need to "put up our sails" so to speak and allow Him to move us along throughout the day!

(2) Pleroo carries the idea of permeation, and was used of salt permeating meat to flavor and preserve. God wants His Holy Spirit to so permeate the lives of His children that everything they think, say, and do will reflect His divine presence.

(3) Pleroo conveys idea of total control. The person who is filled with anger is controlled by that emotion = Luke 6:11 (context = Lk 6:6-11 = Jesus restored a man's withered hand on the Sabbath. Religious leaders "themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus." What (Who) fills you will control you!

NOTE: Being filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean we have more of the Spirit, but that the Spirit has more of us.

As discussed above, the first word in the next Greek sentence (Eph 5:19) is SPEAKING. One of the ways I know when I am not submitted to the Spirit's control and power is by noting what comes out of my mouth! (cp Jesus' in Mt 12:34 = "For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.")

Notice that in the following context (from Ephesians 5:19-33 and Ephesians 6:1-20) how Ephesians 5:18 depicts the Holy Spirit as the Source or the Headwaters of a mighty spiritual river coming out of our innermost being (cp Jn 7:37-39- note, Pr 4:23-note ) flowing (with supernatural enabling power) into every area of our life....

Eph 5:19-note = Worship = "with your heart to the Lord" (God is not interested in our voice or the emotion with which we sing, but the condition of our hearts - cp Ps 24:4-5)

Eph 5:20 -note = Thanksgiving = Always giving thanks for all things - no exceptions! This is another good marker in my life of whether I am filled with the Spirit or filled with self!

Eph 5:21-33 -note = Marriage = "be subject (imperative sense) to one another" = (Eph 5:21), wives to your own husbands = (Eph 5:22, 24 -note ), "Husbands, love (present imperative) your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" = (Eph 5:25 -note ), "husbands ought (verb describes a sense of indebtedness = to owe something to someone - present tense) also to love their own wives as their own bodies" = (Eph 5:28 -note ), "love (present imperative) his own wife even as himself" = (Eph 5:33 -note )

Eph 6:1-3 -note = Children = obey (present imperative) your parents...honor (present imperative) your father and mother

Eph 6:4 -note = Fathers = Fathers, do not provoke (present imperative) your children to anger, but bring them up (present imperative) in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Eph 6:5-8 -note = Employees = "Slaves, be obedient (present imperative)...doing (present tense) the will of God from the heart, With good will render service (present tense);

Eph 6:9 -note = Employers = do (present imperative) the same things to them, and give up (present tense) threatening,

Eph 6:10-17 -note = Spiritual warfare = be strong (present imperative) in the Lord = (Eph 6:10 -note ); Put on (present imperative) the full armor of God, so that you will be able (dunamai in present tense = continually have the inner power) to stand firm against the schemes (methodeia) of the devil = Eph 6:11 -note , take up (present imperative) the full armor of God (Eph 6:13 -note ); stand firm (aorist imperative);

Eph 6:18 -note = Prayer = "With all prayer and petition pray (present tense) at all times in the Spirit"

Eph 6:19-20 -note = Evangelism/boldness = "to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."

Make Disciples - Session 2
Make Disciples - Session 3
Make Disciples - Session 4