Refocusing Our Ministry at Immanuel with the Example of the Apostle Paul

Aug 19, 2001
Pastor Wayne C Eichstadt
Topic(s): Ministry
Hymns: 26(1-3,6); 757; 374; I Love to Tell the Story; 451
Pre-Service Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I confess that my focus on You is oftentimes blurred by many things. I don’t always keep You as the center of my life, at times I act as if my salvation is a small gift (or even something I expect instead of a gift), and I frequently fail to testify to Your name as well or as often as I could and ought. Forgive my sins. Lead me to an ever greater appreciation of Your grace. Oh, bless us all in worship today! Amen.

Pre-Service Devotion: 

Psalm 40

HE GRACE OF GOD AS TESTIFIED BY THE APOSTLE PAUL

The sermon text today is Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders. In his farewell, Paul summarizes his ministry while exhorting the Ephesians to continue faithfully in the same ministry. In the Scripture readings, we hear Paul’s own words testify to the Grace of God—the substance of His ministry.

God’s Grace in Paul’s Life: Acts 22:3-4; Acts 26:10-11; Acts 22:6-16

While defending himself in Jerusalem and also before King Agrippa, Paul recounted the story of his conversion. How could a known persecutor of the church and enemy of Christ become an apostle of the very Lord whom he persecuted? There is no answer other than GRACE! The same grace changes us from lost sinners to beloved heirs of God.

God’s Grace in Paul’s Message: Romans 5:1-11, Romans 5:18-19

The substance of Paul’s preaching was always Christ crucified. The salvation which Jesus brings changes our perspective so that we can even find glory in tribulation.

God’s Grace in Paul’s Ministry: 1 Corinthians 15:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:12-17

The former persecutor knew that to be called as an apostle was a gift from God, and he never forgot it. Paul did not become lethargic or careless in the ministry of the Gospel because he always remembered the gift that it truly was. The joy of proclaiming the Gospel belongs also to us!