Sermon – The Church : The Pillar of Truth in a World of Lies (1 Timothy 3:14 – 3:16) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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1 Timothy 2023

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Sermon 9 of 18

The Church : The Pillar of Truth in a World of Lies

Pete Woodcock, 1 Timothy 3:14 - 3:16, 19 March 2023

In the next sermon in our series, Pete preaches from 1 Timothy 3:14-16 and Acts 19:23-40. These verses show us the power of the gospel in building the church of God. What happens when the church preaches the truth is preached boldly and without compromise?

1 Timothy 3:14 - 3:16

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

  He was manifested in the flesh,
    vindicated by the Spirit,
      seen by angels,
  proclaimed among the nations,
    believed on in the world,
      taken up in glory.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Okay. We're gonna have 2 bible readings now and the first is from 1 Timothy chapter 3. And from those words that Paul was just quoting in his prayer, and we're gonna read verses 14 to 16. But then after that, we're going to be turning to the book of act. Back to the Book of Act for our second reading.

So let's go to, firstly, 1 Timothy 3, verse 14 to 16. This is the apostle Paul writing. And he says, although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing to you with these instructions so that If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the Church of the Living God the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great. He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world and was taken up in glory.

Okay? And if you'd like to turn back to acts chapter 19, and we're going to read about an extraordinary event in the in emphasis in the book of acts. So acts 19 verse 23 to the end of the chapter. About that time, there arose a great disturbance about the way A Silver Smith named Demetrius who made silver shrines of artemis brought in a lot of business for the craftsman there. He called them together along with the workers in related trades and said, you know my friends, that we were receive a good income from this business and you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Eiffes and in practically the whole province of Asia.

He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great and goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world will be robbed of her divine majesty. When they heard this, they were furious, and they began shouting. Great is artemus of the ephesians. Soon the whole city was in uproar, the people seized Gaia and Aristeguis Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together.

Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, that the disciples were not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater, The assembly was in confusion. Some were shouting 1 thing. Some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.

The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front and they shouted instructions to him. Emotioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. But when they realized that he was a Jew, They all shouted in unison for about 2 hours. Great is artemous to the Ephesians. The city clerk quietened the crowd and said fellow Ephesians.

Doesn't all the world know that city of Eiffes is the guardian of the temple of the great artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven. Therefore, since these facts, are undeniable. You ought to calm down and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here Though they have neither wrong temples nor blasphemed our goddess. If then Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, The courts are open and there are pro consuls.

They can press charges. If there is anything further you want to bring up it must be settled in a legal assembly. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case, we would not be able to account for this commotion since there's no reason for it. After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.

Welcome. My name is Pete Woodcock. I'm 1 of the pastors of the church. I I love that him. I really love that him.

It takes me right back I think it was the first time I heard properly after I was converted. I knew the tune. It's an old folk tune. And I I knew the tune very well and I loved the song that that the tune was about. So I I I actually knew that, but then I came into church and heard that tune and the words of Christ to them.

And it's always great. Let me pray. Father, help us now as we look into your word, please. Touch us, move us, please make us a people that will praise the lord Jesus Christ. Move us from a hard heart, to a soft heart, to the lord Jesus, we pray, and we pray this asking that the spirit would do this as we look at the spirit word and we ask in Jesus name, r m.

Now what I'd like you to do this morning is come back with me in time. We're going back to the first century. We're gonna go back to this great port city of Ephasis. We're gonna have a holiday there that's rather nice, isn't it? And it's a great holiday destination.

And even the sort of lonely planet of the day would say this is a 5 out of 5. You really need to go here. All of the travel guides would say you need to go to Eversus if you can. It's a port city. It has about 250000 residents, so it's a major city.

It's got all the modern amenities in this city, including underground heating, hot water, underground sewage. That's a rather nice 1 to go to. No sewage above ground. So that's that's quite good. You've got public baths You've got 1 of the greatest libraries, the library of ethicists, that's ever been in the world.

So you can go there and look at all the library books they're rich and the famous and they're super rich. They actually live there. They'll have yachts there. They have houses there. And of course, It's the home to 1 of the 7 wonders of the world.

So this is gonna be a great holiday. I'm looking forward to going out. I love going to places like this. There is so much to do. The 1 7 wonders of the world that is there is the temple of Artemis.

And it dominates the skyline. It's got a hundred and 27 pillars. To make up this amazing amazing temple. A hundred and 27 pillars that are given by world leaders and kings from a world around the world. They're made of marble.

Some of them were studied with jewels. Some of them were covered an overlaid with gold, a hundred and 27 pillars, and they're over 18 meters high, they're 60 feet high. And artemis, the goddess dominates every aspect of Ephesian Life. Her icons, statues are absolutely everywhere. They've been shop windows.

They've been on business cards. You can't even have a landlord without Artemis's face on it. It's all over the place. If you want to do well in the city, you'd be well to have a land yard with after massage on it or a little thing in the window to say that you're a legitimate person identifying with autonomous, the city's goddess. It's an amazing place.

There are Silver Smiths and they're turning out little idols and icons of artemis all the time. The the meme or the strap line over over over ephesus is great, is artemis of the Ephesians. That's the strap line. Yeah? And she's worshiped everywhere.

Devotees come from all over the world to see her. In fact, the priests are so devoted to her worldview and this goddess Artemis that men would mutilate their bodies and become Eunuchs in order to be priests and to be utterly devoted to this false God. She's a strange false God. She's a strange God. Godsess.

Mixture of things, she's a virgin, and yet she's the goddess of fertility. Which is slightly odd. You'll often see statues of her with with multiple breasts, 30, 40, a hundred breasts. Because she's the 1 that gives out the milk of life to the world. You pray to her even though she's a virgin and never had children in childbirth, which is very interesting how Paul picks this stuff up in Timothy, but that's another another thing to do.

And if you're going through pain in childbirth, you'd pray to her largely because her mother had great pain in giving birth birth to her and her twin brother Apollo. She's a huntress and has all of that going there. There's there's sort of mystery and magic all tied up in worship of her. There's a great meteorite that fell from the sky in in ephesus, that they say was the image of artemis, and that's put into this 7 1 1 7 wonders of the world temple in order to to worship her. Now, that's the scene we've walked into.

5 out of 5 lonely planet City, we're gonna have a nice time wandering around, see all these things. Yeah. But I would hope if we went back to the first century and we were getting off the boat, that we might see Paul walking in. He didn't come by boat, but he came by road walking in because I'd love to have been there in this scene because something very interesting is gonna happen. Because Paul is bringing into this city identified with Artemis and all of the things I've said.

The gospel of the lord Jesus Christ. Paul is bringing in a message about a king, a god, who hasn't fallen down to earth as a meteorite, a lump of rock. But that God became incarnate. That god became flesh and has come to save us. And so Paul has come here to say that not only is there a god in heaven that's come to earth, but you can be his temple You don't have to make a temple for him, but he will come in and make you his temple into the household of God that actually you, if you're part of the household of God, the Church of the Living God, of the universe's wonder.

You don't have to be part of the 7 wonders of the world. But you are the universe's wonder as we'll see as we go on. So Paul comes into town. He goes straight to the synagogue. So they're a sort of minority religious group.

Yep. You still have them in this town. And they're getting on with worshiping in their way even though artemis is the overall identity of this town. Paul goes to the synagogue 3 months. He preaches to them.

He gets people to see that the lord Jesus Christ is the messiah of scripture. And they follow him, but some don't like it and they throw him out of the synagogue, they're opposite we're told, and they try to stir up sort of public opinion against Paul, but they're a minority group and it doesn't really matter. Paul then hires, and I love this, the hall next door to the synagogue, the hall of Taronis. And he sets up and in their siesta time between 11 and 4 he preaches between 11 and 4. He preaches.

And he he preaches there for 2 years. And it says that it affects everyone. Jew and Greeks who lived an awe who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the lord. So now, the gospel is breaking out of the minority group and into the majority group. And now there are people hearing the truth about Jesus.

Now the problem with this, when you preach truth, you cannot help but expose error. You can't preach truth without exposing error. It doesn't work like that. You may not go out to offend people, but if you preach truth, it will offend people. It will because they're believing error most of the time.

And so Paul is preaching. And suddenly, if we were there watching, we see that this beautiful lonely planet 5 out of 5 town has got an undercurrent that is ugly. We're told there's evil deeds going on. We're told there are evil spirits that people are doing things evil that they may not even wanna do, but they're moved by a wrong philosophy and ideology. And harm is coming to people and that there are others that love power and they love the power of religion and they love the power of the strat line and they love the power of identifying with the world view that is so powerful in emphasis and using it to put people down to gain financial gain over them.

The occult is there The occult means mystery. Accult just means mystery. Secrets hidden things. And the occult was there, and you could buy the secrets. How do I live my life?

Well, there were loads of books and scrolls and spiritual mantras that you could buy so that you could go over the mantra again and again. And it was given to you and there were curses that you could get because that bloke is doing better than me and I don't like him and you could buy this Arctic stuff, a great cost to yourself. All of this was going on. An Artemis is a hungry goddess. And you give and give and she never gives back.

And so Paul comes with this Christian message. And the message has powerful change in people's lives. Evil people are changed. Those that are possessed and made to do things by evil spirits, the spirits are cast out, and the good news of Jesus, the lord, Christ comes in. And it so affects people that we're told that a whole group of people started to burn their acyclinic and sorcery and religious paraphernalia.

And they went into the city town and burned it. What they were basically saying, it's a bit in a sense like a baptism. They were saying, I do not follow that anymore. I'm following the lord Jesus Christ. I want nothing to do with that anymore.

That only ever brought evil, not liberty as it said it would, that only ever made me evil and do ridiculous things even to my body. But now I've come to know the lord Jesus Christ. And so they burnt these scrolls and those scrolls were worth and you can read all this is in acts 19. Where we're 50000 drachma. A drachma is a silver coin and it's 1 day's wages.

50000, I had to do it on my calculator, and I've probably got it wrong, but it and I'm useless at math. But I worked it out that it was a hundred and 36 years and 3 months. A hundred and 36 years and 3 months of wages for 1 person. So this was a lot of stuff Massive change. Once you were identified with artemis and her magic arts and all of the occultic things that went with her, now you're saying, I'm following the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, of course, with a conversion therapy like this, people are furious This conversion therapy should not be allowed. People can't convert from what they were born into and the identity that they've actually come up with. So Dimitri, just to service me, he's angry at this conversion stuff that's going on. So he causes mates together, and then there's that riot that we read about. And everybody's shouting out.

By the way, the the place that they go into, the amphitheaters, it was a Roman amphitheater. It took 25000 people in it. There are 25000 people in the end gathering in some way. What what we what we doing? I don't know.

Artimus, you know, great is artimus of the ephesians. Greatly thoughtimus of the Ephesians. Greatly thoughtimus of the Ephesians. How long do you want me to go on for? They went on for 2 hours great.

His artemis is the ephesian. Great. His artemis is ephesian. And Paul will say, let me go and address them. And his mates will say, don't you dare?

You'll get your head kicked in, man. And the bloke did address and got his head picked in anyway. It's extraordinary. Now, Why am I telling you all that? Because we're coming to 1 timothy.

Because this is a background of the church that Paul is saying to Timothy, I want you to elder over and show how to set up elders. There's a group of Christians that became Christians in ephesus that are now the household of the living god in ephesus. And Paul is writing to Timothy to say, I want you to set these things up, elder's deacons and tell them how to live in that situation. So we come to verse 14 of chapter 3. Listen to the words Paul uses.

I'll try and emphasize them. Verse 14 of chapter 3 of 1 Timothy, Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing to you these instructions so that if I am delayed, you will know how people or to conduct themselves in god's household, which is the Church of the Living God, listen, the pillar. Hintin Hintin? How many pillars? Anyway, and foundation of the truth.

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great. Older versions put it better Beyond all question, great is the mystery of godliness. See any Okay. Well, we'll we'll go on. He appeared in the flesh, not a lump of rock that fell down.

We don't need a lump of rock. He appeared in the flesh, which was indicated by the spirit was seen by angels who was preached among the nations what believed in the world was taken up to glory. That's the passage we're in. And that's the setting of the passage. So here's my first point.

The church the church is the pillar and foundation of truth in a world of false beliefs. That's our privilege. The church is the pillar and foundation of truth in a world of false beliefs. Look at verse 15 in the second half. God's household, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar, and foundation of truth.

The Temple of Artemis, this 1 of the 7 wonders of the world, had a hundred and 27 pillars, 60 foot high, made out of marble, but they're nothing compared to the church that is the pillar of truth. It does not matter how impressive or the illusion of of of greatness or the lie or the mirage If something isn't true, it will crumble and fall and in the end, do you know good whatsoever? It doesn't matter if the pillars are made out of marble. Marble is only compressed dust. And dust always goes to dust in the end.

In fact, do you want to know something interesting? The pillars most of the pillars from Artemus' temple, 1 of the 7 ones in the world, were moved to Istanbul and we're used for a church building. Anyway, that's it. That was fun. There's only 1 left and there's 1 who's there to tell you, ah, the others went off.

But anyway, let's move on. So here's Artemesis Temple, 1 of the 7 wonders of the world, but it's nothing compared to the wonder of the universe, God's household, the church. Verse 15, second half, God's household which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. The idea here is really just that the the church is duty is to hold up the truth in such a way that people can see it. It's a pillar of truth.

You put up famous person statue on a pillar so that they stand out and see them. People see them. The church is a pillar of truth. They're artemis. They had the pillars that were in, you know, in honor of all of the kings and rulers around the world, but we're the pillar of truth through any 1 in honor of the great king, the king of the universe.

Who is the truth? The church is the pillar and the foundation of the truth in a world that doesn't want to face truth. So there's bound to be opposition The church holds out the truth even though the world might want to destroy it. And say conversion to that. We don't want that sort of stuff.

We need to stop that ban and make a law to stop it. Our mission as a church is to be a pillar of the truth of the lord Jesus Christ to the nation. And when the church flourishes, and I don't mean numbers wise, it may be a very small church, maybe 3 or 4 gathering together in a town. But when they flourish in the sense that they love the lord and they speak of the lord and they pray to the lord when the church flourishes, then the truth will flourish The only custodian of truth on earth is the Church of God and God set that up. It receives the gospel, of course.

It doesn't make it up. But it receives the gospel. And the responsibility of the church is to support safeguard the truth And we do that by understanding it, obeying it, loving it, and living it, proclaiming it. If the church jet turns from the word of God the truth. It becomes not a church.

The pillar will fall. And we don't just know the truth like you know 2 plus 2 equals 4. That's just a sort of knowledge thing. That's much much more than that. The truth is much more than that.

We're built on the truth. We display the truth. The truth in our lives. We give our lives to the truth. We heed the truth.

We study the truth. We apply the truth. We submit to the truth. We love the truth. We delight in the truth.

It becomes part of our life and that's the witness of the Church of God to the world. I mean, we're living in a world that says that whatever you believe is true for you. It's such nonsense and such another disaster. And it's so easy to show what a little nonsense that is. Oh, there's arsenic powder.

I believe it's like sherbet and I will eat it because I believe it will do me good. Whoa, okay? Oh, I believe I can fly. I've drunk enough and I'm in in the hot country enough to stand on a balcony and believe that I can fly and get over to the swimming pool. Yes.

How utterly stupid to believe, but just because I believe something makes it true. We need true truth as old Francis Schafer used to say. And the gospel is true because it comes from God. And as soon as the church starts playing around with the word of God, then the pillar starts wobbling. It cannot hold out truth to the world.

I mean, why can't we get this? Because it's it's it's it's daft, isn't it to think, oh, no. The way to win the world is to water down our message not be a pillar, just come alongside people, be like everybody else. Why would they listen to us if we're like everybody else? Of course, if you're gonna be a pillar of truth in a world of lies, you're gonna stick out.

And there'll be people surrounding you saying, great, you're talking about every ephesians. Yeah? Why aren't you wearing the lanyard with her on it? The church is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and the apostles and and their teaching, and therefore we display the truth. That's why elders and deacons and leaders in the church are to live godly lives in every area of their life that we've been seeing because we reflect the truth.

In every area of our life. Paul says, we preach Christ crucified. To the Jews, it's a stumbling block, and to the gentiles is foolish, but we preach. For I am determined, says Paul, to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. For we do not preach ourselves, that would be daft, but Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as the blood spawn servants of Jesus Christ.

May I never boast, except in the cross of Jesus Christ. That's the message we preached in the world. Isn't it? We preached out with stand out. It's the pillar of truth.

That's my first point. Do you want the second 1? Second point. Great. Is the mystery of godliness.

Now our translation sort of messes around with the verse a bit, but it's it's okay. Verse 16, look at it. Beyond all question beyond all question. You can't question this. It's beyond all question.

Think of a question. Nope, beyond it. Yeah. Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness brings is great. But if we're thinking of greatest artemis of the Ephesians, it's better to say, great is the mystery of godliness.

Paul's playing around here. Great is the mystery of godliness. Great is artemis of the Ephesians. Greater her secrets and eclectic ways of her mysteries. No, says Paul.

Great. It's the mystery of godliness. Now, what's that all about? That's a strange expression. But it's fantastic.

If we can get it, it's brilliant. It's so great the mystery of godliness it's so great that you can't make it up. It's so great you can't discover it and nor can anybody else. It's so great. You can't go to ephesus or Jerusalem or anywhere else to find it.

It's beyond are searching our abilities and even our devotion. That's how great it is. Great is the mystery of godliness. But mystery needs to be revealed. The secret needs to be revealed.

I can't pay for that revelation. It only comes through grace and kindness and God showing it. Paul writes this, if you got a bible, you can turn to it. It's Croixin's chapter 1 and verse 25. No one's got bibles.

That's a shocker. What's up with this church? Are we a pillar of truth or not? He used to be an old Irish Pritchard called WP Nick or something. It was 1 of my favorites.

You can hear him on. I shouldn't tell these stories, but he was North North Northern Irish preacher, WP Nick with some He he led he led Ian Paisley to the Lord. So that's that's the sort of bloke he was. He was an amazing bloke. And w p Nickerson would always talk about pillars of a church.

But caterpillars. It's a not an English joke, but it's they like it. It's in Northern Ireland, obviously. The premise of the church. Oh, but catch up.

Anyway, look, Colossians chapter 1 verse 25. He says, this is Paul writing. I've become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of god in its fullness. Listen. The mystery is the word.

The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people To them, god has chosen to make known among the gentiles the glorious riches of this miss street. Which is what? What is it? What is this mystery? Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The mystery is Jesus, and he's been revealed. You don't buy him, he's come down. The mystery is Jesus. You see, what is the mystery of godliness to the god artemis? Well, it isn't a mystery.

If if I want to be like god, like godliness, if I want to be arty miss, ish, lee, whatever it is. If I want to be like the God Artemis, what do I have to do? Well, I've got to bring sacrifices. What do I have to do? It's just pretty obvious.

You have to do stuff. You need to go on pilgrimage like to the temple in ephesus. What do I have to do? Well, if, you know, I need to go to the priest and buy Arctic sequences and spend a lot of money on it. Then I might get a secret from Artemis.

What do I want to do if I want to become really Artemisously or godly? Then I'd have to chop my bits off and become a eunuch because that will make, you know, I'll find my identity in the God there by doing that. What do I have to do? I need to conform myself to the god artemis. Have her all over the place.

That's my identity. That's how I conform to artemis. There's no mystery in the godliness there, but there is great mystery when it comes to the God of the bible because none of that works. It's not to do with you. It's to do with him.

The mystery of godliness is not the mystery of goodliness. The mystery is of God liness. You need God in your life and you don't need a little God like Artemis because she'll mess you up for sure The mystery of godliness is revealed in Jesus Christ, but god who has come down to this world to do everything for you, and that's where we land in verse 16. This is the mystery of Godliness. 6 points all about the lord of Jesus Christ.

The mystery of Godness is revealed in Jesus. There's no codes employed here. There's no religious duties to perform here. There's no fees to pay. There's no secret sort of a cultic things to know.

The mystery of godliness is Jesus has come. And we enter into this song that clearly was used in ephesus and the early church 6 lines This is the mystery of godliness, is that god comes to you. It's wonderful, isn't it? It's so different. It's so different.

So let's have a look at these things. Are you ready? Let's sing this song together. If we're not singing at the end of this, I haven't done my job. I was at Preaches Class yesterday and And I was saying, well, the word ends in glory.

If I don't end there, then I fail. In fact, we were saying if I can't get so fear dancing, then I failed. So you need to be dancing at the end of this otherwise, I'm going to re retire, okay? And as you want me to retire and then we should be dancing at this. This is extraordinary.

This is great is the mystery of godliness. Where? Where? In me, no. In him, Jesus, to make me godly.

Look, here's the first 1. He appeared in the flesh. It's not a meteorite. You've got a lump of stone that you put in a temple and pretend it looks like artibas. I mean, anyway, he appeared in the slip.

This is unbelievable. Wonderful. The wonder of the eternal sun. 1 with the father. 1 with the spirit.

The architect of creation, the judge of the universe, the 1 who is without beginning, the 1 who is without end, is born of a baby. The flesh there means bodily body. An appearance there means visible. God appeared in the flesh. If we went back to the first century, you could see 1 of the 7 wonders of the world in ephesus.

If you went back a few years earlier, you would have seen the 1 the wonder of the universe. God in flesh God became a man born of Mary, continuing to be God as he always was and yet becoming what he was not. This is not subtraction. This is addition. The divine nature continues in Jesus.

Who has now human nature. They are bound together. The big word is hyperstatic union. You have to get a funny Greek word to say this is just amazing. Fully man, fully god, bound together, has 1 person, but God man too natures 1 person forever.

This is to make us wonder This is to make us praise the astonishing truth that God, the creator would be created in a womb, just in Think of that. The creator of all the stars in the universe is limited to a a nasty little dark Wet, cave, being created for 9 months. The creator of the universe being pushed out of that cave. This is extraordinary that our god so loves the world that he would send his son to do that. This is love.

This isn't just some meat, you're right, falling down. This isn't some god that I have to pay to worship. This is 1 that has paid everything. For me and you, This is praise. Great is the mystery of godliness.

Do you get it? Meet this in majesty, manhood, and deity, the man who is God. Oh, what a mystery? Bow down and worship this is your God. Sun becomes a servant humbles himself in the flesh to the point of death on a cross, a criminal's death to take the sin of the world.

That's our God. That's our God. You can't compare Artemis with that. Artemis that makes you mutilate yourself. Here's a God that was mutilated on a cross.

Out of love. Look at the second line then, was vindicated by the spirit. So Jesus died on the cross. He bore our condemnation. But how do we know that the wages of sin, which is death the wages have sinned.

How do we know those wages have been paid for? If the wages have sinned as death and death has been paid, then how would we know? By non death because death has been paid. So he rose again. In the power of the holy spirit, Jesus rose again.

Romans chapter 1 verse 4 Jesus who through the spirit of holiness was appointed the son of god in power by his resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ, our Lord. Great. Is Jesus the resurrection and the life? ARTEMIS, is a fancy. There's no reality there.

No dealing with life and death. Look at the third stance was seen by angels. That's so wonderful. I mean, when I was writing this, I thought, oh my goodness, why didn't I just have as my text because there's so much there, was seen by angels. The Greek word seen there means observed.

The angels were observing this. The angels who didn't need Jesus to die for them, the holy holy holy holy angels and god are absolutely looking over heaven through the Milky Way. Whoa. What? That's the son of a living god going down there.

What? You want me to proclaim to them? Those sinners Those people that are following arguments and people like that, you're going to become a man. You're gonna become flesh and become 1 of them. What what what's going on here?

And so they announced the angels, the birth of Christ. And they were at the birth of Christ. And they filled the sky with their angelic hosts. Rohr is a god in the highest and on Earth, peace among men, whom he is pleased. Rohr is a god.

Glory to god with what's happening here. Alright. Angel Gabriel. Yeah. I know.

Okay. You're there. Fred Angel. Angel, Fred, at the back there, come on. Have a look.

There's a baby angel, lift it up, little chair of them, have a look over the ramp parts of heaven. Look at her. Daddy, what's going on? It's amazing. After his temptation, the devil leaves him, the devil leaves him.

An angel was attentive Why were you meeting with a devil? I guess, how many? Sweatty great drops of blood see flesh and blood to save us sweating great drops of blood. An angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. An angels were at his resurrection.

And now what are angels doing? Do you know what angels are doing? We're told in Revelation 5, that a whole host of them are singing with the saints that are already there, worthy is the lamb who was slain. Worthy is the lamb who was slain. We told him 1 Peter 1 that the angels long to look into what's going on in the church here There are angels now packed into here.

And Ephesians 3 seems to say this. Packed in hundreds of them. Packed in looking at you and say, my goodness. You saved him. Jesus.

You saved him glory to God in the highest. Great is Jesus. The worthy lamb of God. Okay. The fourth thing was preached among the nations before he ascended Christ commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations be my witnesses in the remotest parts of the earth.

See, God is preached among the nations. You don't have to go to ephesus to see the God. You don't have to go to Jerusalem. You don't have to be baptized in the river Jordan to get an expir God to everywhere. And that is our task.

To hold that up before this world, look at the fifth stanza was believed in the world was believed in the world, people from all around the world know that Jesus' lord, they've been set free liberated from religions and false ideologies and atheism and all kinds of stuff that man has invented to to put other men down and get money out of them and power over them and all of the evil spirits, people from all over the world, men, women, boys, and girls. Units. People have been saved and liberated and brought into the family of god, the household of god, It's the marvelous thing in in in ephesus, in the first century, in Kingston, in the 20 first century, people are saved to the glory of God. Great is Jesus the Savior of the world. And then the last 1, you ready to dance Sofia.

Was taken up to glory. Was taken up to glory exalted. Where is Jesus now in glory? Waiting to come back? Psalm 24 tells us what happened when he came into glory.

Listen to it. Psalm 24, lift up your heads, you gates. Be lifted up, you ancient doors. The king of glory, that the king of glory may come in. Who's the king of glory?

Lord, strong and mighty. The Lord mighty in battle. He's just come back from battle. He's just come back from being a king. That's died for his people and risen again for his people.

Who is the king of glory? The lord, strong and mighty. The lord mighty and battle. Lift up your heads and heads. You gates.

Lift them up, you ancient doors, that the king of glory may come in. Who is the king of glory? The Lord, almighty, he's the king of glory? Jesus has done that which the king does for the people and died and risen again and now has made a way to glory for us. We are on the way to glory land.

This however good this world is, is nothing compared to the glory land that will be. But Jesus has brought in, opened the gates so that we may follow him. It's an extraordinary message this. You can go into the very place of god forever Glory land. Glory means white substance where everything is better and bigger and grander like the song we were singing.

This is the wonderful salvation that Jesus the King has made for us. New bodies a new world to inhabit with King Jesus there. And this is the church's job. To display the mystery of godliness that it's all to do with Jesus. So let's go through those points.

Let's do something on English. Yeah? Great feedbacks are too much of the of the Ephesians? What do you think? Grace is Artemis of the Ephesians.

Is anyone awake? Nathan Hughes. Grace is Artemis of the Ephesians. I think they win. Might as well pack up, Artemis wins.

Right. Let's get this right then. So he appeared in the flesh, I'll say every phrase, and you say great is the lord Jesus Christ. He appeared in the flesh. He appeared in the flesh.

Was vindicated by the spirit was seen by angels. Don't don't let it slip louder. Was preached among the nations. Jesus Christ. Was believed on in the world Big 1 now, the angels are here.

They're ready. They're reliant. They're ready to stew it with us. So it's gonna be a crack. Right?

What's taken up in glory? That's our message to the world. Let's hold it out as the pillar and foundation of truth. Further, we do thank you that the lord Jesus Christ is great and he is our savior. We thank you that he appeared in the flesh, that he came to this world, that he gave up the riches and the glories of heaven, and he became a servant.

That he came to live for us, he came to die for us, and we thank you that you raised him from the dead, that he was vindicated by the spirit that he was seen to be, the son of God and the lord of all. We thank you, lord Jesus, that you have entrusted us with the truth. That you have made us to be custodians of the truth. You have called us to go into the nations and to preach the name of the lord Jesus. And we thank you that he will be believed on in the nations.

We thank you, lord Jesus, that you were taken up in glory, that you went back to your glorious home. And your great triumph over sin and death and Satan is being celebrated by legions of angels even now, and we thank you that we can join in that praise. We pray, please, that you would help us not to look to substitute forms of Godliness. Not to pursue a goodliness, something outward, something fake, something unreal, but that we would look to Christ as our savior and as all of our godliness. And we pray these things in his name.


Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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