May 28, 2023
Sermon Series: Spirit-Filled Living Is Essential For Christians
Book of Ephesians
Sermon # 12: FINAL GREETINGS – THE EXAMPLES OF FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS
Today we shall conclude our sermon series on “Spirit-Filled Living Is Essential
for Christians, Book of Ephesians. I would like to conclude with Paul’s final greetings to the Christian believers in his letter to the Ephesians 6:21-24.
The great American General Douglas MacArthur said at the end of his illustrious career: “Old soldiers never die. They just fade away.” He was speaking of mortal soldiers who would eventually die. But Christian soldiers are not like mortal soldiers who die; Christian soldiers have the promise of eternal life which will never fade away.
This passage presents two Christian soldiers who were faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. They are a dynamic example for every person who has enlisted in the great army of the Lord.
Let’s look at two movements as I teach and preach “THE EXAMPLES OF FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS”
I. THERE WAS THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER TYCHICUS v. 21-22
Tychicus, a Christian of the province of Asia (Acts 20:4). Tychicus was a faithful friend, fellow worker, and messenger of the apostle Paul. Also, Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus to deliver and perhaps read his epistle to the Christians.
A. Tychicus was loved v. 21
The first fact we learn is that Tychicus was loved.
Paul called Tychicus “the beloved brother”. Tychicus was greatly loved by Paul and also by the believers in the church in Rome, the city from which Paul was writing. Tychicus had been through thick and thin with Paul, and Paul loved him dearly for his constancy and companionship.
B. Tychicus was a man of character v. 21
The second fact we learn is that Tychicus was a man of character.
He was a faithful minister, a man called and gifted by Christ to preach the gospel and to mister to the needs of God’s dear people. He was a man who had a worldwide vision: he gave his life to reach the people of the world with the glorious news that living forever was now possible. And note: he was faithful. There was no slack or slumber, no routine or slothfulness, no complacency, or neglect, no questioning or weakening; he did not fail in his ministry. He was a faithful minister in the Lord. He knew where his strength came from.
C. Tychicus was an encourager v. 22b
The third fact we learn is that Tychicus was an encourager.
Tychicus had the ability to encourage people, and Paul wanted him to do so with the Ephesian believers.
It Is a wonderful blessing to be encouraged by someone, isn’t it? You know when you were down and despondent, and someone comes alongside and is able to encourage you. What a blessing that is! Someone who has been able to put courage into you, to encourage you! Oh, what a great God we serve, who would raise up an army of such people to bless his saints!
II. THERE WAS THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER PAUL v. 23-24
A glimpse into Paul’s heart can be gleaned from these two verses.
A. Paul was a spiritual brother to other believers. Note that his concern was for the spiritual welfare of others.
1. He wished for them to have peace: security, harmony freedom from disturbance.
2. He wished for them to have love: tenderness, a close attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.
3. He wished for them to have faith: belief and trust, loyalty.
B. Paul was a prayer warrior for other believers. He prayed that God’s grace would rest upon them.
When God’s grace rets upon us, it helps put everything we experience here on earth in a better perspective. Listen to this vivid illustration from the pen of Ray Stedman and his book, Talking to My father.
An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years, and they were returning to New York City to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.
No one paid attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man.
As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”
“Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.
“I can’t help it; it doesn’t seem right.”
When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.
That night the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.”
His wife replied, “Why don’t you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”
A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”
“The Lord settled it with me, “he said, “I told Him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and simply said, ‘But you’re not home yet!”
As a Christian soldier, your mission may be long, hard, and unnoticed. But at all times the grace of God is there to see you through. As you serve day by day, you are, above all else, to be concerned about the spiritual welfare of others and be a prayer warrior for other believer. Remember, ‘But you’re not home yet!”
Responsive Reading: Ephesians 6:10-24