It is no surprise that Coastal is moving to a new address at 101 Village Ave. In the process of this transition, the passage of Scripture Ephesians 3:20-21 has surfaced multiple times. In the passage Paul states, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen.” Let’s stop for a moment and think about what the Apostle Paul is actually saying, lest we miss the meaning entirely. Paul is writing to a church in the midst of a very superstitious, worldly culture. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world resided there: the temple of the goddess Diana (also known as the Temple of Artemis). The Ephesians were extremely superstitious and protective over the goddess, Diana and held festivals of worship for her. It was an important part of their culture and the Christian church of Ephesus was in direct opposition to it and possibly even influenced by it at times.
Think about our passage of Scripture in light of that context. The goddess Diana and all her power and influence pales in comparison to “him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen.” Paul is reminding the Ephesians that there is only one true God and He is more powerful than the puny, empty, pagan gods men worship. Not only that, but Paul is saying that God in Christ is powerful to save his people in the midst of that kind of culture.
Why is this relevant to Coastal Community Church? Christians live in the midst of idol worshippers today just like the church of Ephesus. Even the most hostile atheist is trading the worship of God for the worship of “independence” from God. The Lord in His sovereignty is elevating Coastal’s influence in a hostile culture. We must remember that the same God who saved pagan worshippers in Ephesus is the same God who saves pagan worshippers in Hampton Roads. He is inviting us to declare “… the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).
Order of Service
Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28)
Welcome and Announcements
Selective Reading: Psalm 148:1-4
All Creatures of our God and King (Psalm 148)
Grace and Peace (2nd Peter 1:2)
Hosanna (Matthew 21:9)
Sermon: Accomplishing More Together (Beyond Update)
Offertory & Closing Song: Everlasting God