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Paul begins the letter to the Ephesians with one, very long sentence showing us what it really means to be blessed.  It is the golden chain of redemption, a panorama of God's purposes in Christ Jesus, from the past, to the present, to the future.  

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Greetings and Salutations are sometimes more than just a fancy "hello."  Sometimes, like here in Ephesians 1:1-2, they can teach us about God, about ourselves, and about the world around us.  

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In many ways, our ministry, our message, and our motive are all about the gospel of Jesus Christ to the glory of God.  

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As we seek to send out those we love and thsoe who love us to plant another church, we look to the Church in Antioch who sent those they loved and loved them.

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Last week we answered, "why are we doing what we're doing with church planting" from Philippians 1.  Today, we answer from Philippians 2, "how are we going to do what we're doing?"  The answer may surprise you...and encourage you!

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We are partners in prayer, because we have been made partners in grace, that we may also be partners in love.  

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When we see God for who He is, and ourselves for who we are, we see more clearly our need for Jesus.

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We’ve been reminded of the futility and vanity of chasing after things apart from the Lord. Yet, at the same time, we’ve been reminded of the wonder of the Gospel and the beauty of life in the Lord. For those who know Jesus, your work has already been approved by God, because it’s Jesus’ work for you. Because if that, rejoice! And live!

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It’s a fool’s errand to seek to live life (and die) apart from the Lord Jesus. Even seeking to live according to biblical principles apart from Jesus leaves one lost and without hope - because we can’t live up to that perfect standard and we have failed, fail presently, and will fail again. We need Jesus.

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Even under the sun, wisdom is better than strength.  But if we were left simply with advice for better living, even with biblical advice, apart from the Lord Jesus, the Wisdom of God, we are to be pitied.  

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