The Book of Ephesians Series
“An Incorruptible Love”
This morning we come to the final sermon in our series on the Book of Ephesians.
After clarifying main points of Christian doctrine in the first three chapters and then
challenging the Christian in their walk in Christ in the last three chapters, the
Apostle issues his closing statement to the Church at Ephesus.
Hear now the Word of God:
But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the
beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I
have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he
may comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ
with incorruptible love. (Eph. 6.21-24)
Paul had the divine letter to the Christians at Ephesus delivered by Tychicus, his
beloved brother in Christ and faithful minister in the Lord. We first meet Tychicus in
Acts.20.4 during Paul’s third missionary journey. He is mentioned as one of Paul’s
companions on the way from Corinth to Jerusalem to deliver a gift to the church. We
learn that Tychicus was a native of Asia, or what we would call Asia Minor today.
Tychicus is called a “dear brother” of Paul’s and a “faithful servant” of the Lord’s. In
Colossians, Tychicus is a “faithful minister and fellow servant” who was with Paul
during his first Roman imprisonment. He was entrusted to deliver Paul’s epistles to
the Ephesians and Colossians and to bring news about the Apostle to those
What a blessing to be considered by the Apostle Paul as a beloved brother in and
faithful minister in the Lord! This should be something that we all seek to aspire to.
Not only should we aspire to be the type of Christian with Godly Character such as
Tychicus, but we ought to look toward having our very own Tychicus type of
characters in our lives. We need Godly people whom we can lean on, and depend on,
who will be there to take care of us, comfort us, rebuke us, all in the name of and in
the love of the Lord. Who do you have in your life that resembles a Tychicus? Praise
God for those who hold that role in your life! I have had the privilege of having many
Tychicus type of men in my life. The one I would like to talk about today is Pastor
Joe Guynes. Pastor Joe dealt with me in my teenage years, gave me my first job being
employed at a church picking weeds, sweating in the sun, and walked with me as my
theological conviction changed. He has been a friend, taught me life lessons,
encouraged me in the Lord, and encouraged me to go get my education. Pastor Joe is
to me a Tychicus. Praise God for those who hold that role in your life!
Paul had sent Tychicus not only to deliver the divine letter but also to make
everything known to the Ephesians concerning his imprisonment, how he was doing
personally, and to comfort their hearts. Paul desired that the Ephesians Christians
would experience the peace and love of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
After this short yet personal words of conclusion Paul writes in verse 24, Grace be
with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love. As I prepared for
this sermon this verse struck me and I wondered: What is an incorruptible love?
What does it mean to love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love? Do I love the
Lord Jesus Christ with an incorruptible love?
What is an Incorruptible Love?
Let’s first consider what is an incorruptible love? An incorruptible love is a pure,
sincere, genuine love that has an unending existence. Incorruptible often is
translation immortal which identifies something that never is affected by the
influences of death or decay. An incorruptible love is a love that is endless,
permanent, and imperishable. It is the type of love that the Apostle Paul was
referring to when he wrote to the Christians in Rome that he was convinced that
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to
come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom.8.38-39) That
is an incorruptible love. An unfading and undying love that ushers us to immortality.
It is an enduring love that does not fade but rather burns with passion and
perseveres till the end.
What does it mean to love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love?
But what does it mean to love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love? Well, of
course it means that the Lord Jesus Christ is the object of our unending love. It
means that the Lord Jesus is our number one relationship and that we continually
fan the flame of this relationship to assure its fervor. The Psalmist describes this
incorruptible passion for the Lord when he writes, “As the deer pants for the water
brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Does this describe your relationship with the Lord Jesus? Does your soul pant for
God’s presence? Does your soul thirst? Knowing that the only thing that will quench
your parched soul is an ongoing encounter with Christ. Brothers and sisters, a causal
relationship with Christ won’t work. A nominal relationship with Christ won’t work.
A relationship build around religious obligations won’t work. Your relationship with
Christ must consume your whole being so that you love the Lord your God with all
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
(Mk.12.30) Your love for Christ guides your passions (heart), your spirituality
(soul), your thoughts (mind), and actions (strength). It leads us to conclude, “Whom
have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.” (Ps 73.25)
But herein is the problem – we tend to desire things on earth more than our
relationship with Christ and thereby corrupting our love. We are tempted to love the
world. Those things that please our eyes, make us feel good about ourselves, and
gratify our fleshly desires. (IJn.2.16) The Apostle John tells us, “Do not love the world
nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in
him.” (IJn.2.15) The Apostle James says to seek friendship with the world is enmity
(hatred) toward God and those who do so are committing spiritual adultery. You
adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
(Js.4.4) Jesus said it is impossible to have two masters for you will hate the one and
love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. (Mt.6.24)
Anything we love more than God is an idol. We need to get rid of the idols in our
When I lived in Arizona, I was absolutely infatuated with the idea of becoming
friends with popular kids my age and then having myself become popular. Now at
this point I was not saved, but even still this primary idol within my heart led me to
make wrong decisions, decisions that neither glorified God, nor from an aspect of
worldview were beneficial toward my life. As a result of this idol I had recently
acquired the new beats headphones that my dad had given me, and a friend that I
had at the time was desperately trying to borrow them. And how did He convince
me? With the promise of making me “popular”. Now like I said I know that I was not
saved during this period, but such is still similar, I was seeking popularity as an idol
before I ever knew what an idol was and it was damaging from a social everyday life
standpoint, how much more detrimental is it in our walk with our Lord Jesus Christ?
Things that take up our time and energy and keep us from serving God more fully,
whether it be the pursuit of popularity, the pursuit of possessions, the pursuit of
power or prestige, or the pursuit of physical and emotional gratifications. Any of
things have the potential of corrupting our love affair with Christ.
Jesus, in His Olivet Discourse describes the characteristics and events surrounding
the last days. In the midst of this impactful chapter Jesus teaches that lawlessness
would increase, and most people’s love will grow cold. (Mt.24.12-13) In the midst of
this shocking prophetic prediction of nation rising against nation, kingdom rising
against kingdom, famines, and earthquakes it is surprising to hear that most people’s
love will grow cold. But notice that this cooling condition is something we “grow
into” – most people’s love will grow cold.
Pastor Brian used the analogy of “the frog in hot water” last Sunday. If you put a frog
in a kettle of hot water, he will immediately jump out. But if you put the frog in a
kettle of cold water and slowing turn up the heat he will eventually slip into a deep
sleep and die. So, it is with our love for Christ. Most of us today would say that we
would never forsake our love for Christ. But after slowly neglecting our relationship
with Christ over a long period of time we discover that our love for Christ has grown
cold. We have lost our passion for Christ. Our love for Christ has been corrupted.
Let’s not forget that 35 years after the church of Ephesus received this letter from
the Apostle Paul by the hands of Tychicus, the Holy Spirit would send another
message to the church of Ephesus through the Apostle John in the book of
Revelation. And in that letter the Holy Spirit says to the church at Ephesus, But I
have this against you, that you have left your first love. (Rev.2.4) Notice it was not the
case of “losing” one’s love for Christ but rather “leaving” one’s love for Christ – you
have left your first love. This “leaving” of our first love is the conscience decision to
withdraw from – to remove oneself from – to leave one lover for another – it’s the
progression that leads to spiritual adultery. We see the things of this world as
delightful and desirable, so we consume them. (Gen.3.6) We allow ourselves to be
carried away and enticed by our own lust, we consume ourselves with them and
thereby corrupting our love for Christ. (Js.1.14-15)
The cure from this deception is to remember, repent, and return. But I have this
against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you
have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you
and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. (Rev.2.4-5)
Remember the affection you enjoyed from Christ when you first believed. Repent of
your wayward heart causing you to leave the God you love. Return to the things you
know cause you to grow in love for Christ (reading His Word, prayer, fellowship
with God’s people, public and private worship, zeal for His glory, and devotion to His
service). When I was 18 years old I was attending a church that theologically went
off of the rails, and as a result of following that church I began to receive the
devastating effects of that theology. I began to grow cold; I began to get lost in a
whirlpool of doubt, lack of understanding and pain. But in the midst of this struggle
and pain and hurt, the Lord drew me unto repentance and reminded me of the joy,
the childlikeness of first coming unto faith!
Do I love the Lord Jesus Christ with an incorruptible love?
At the beginning of this sermon, I asked 3 questions. I asked, “What is an
incorruptible love?” And we discovered that an incorruptible love is a pure, sincere,
genuine love that has an unending existence. Then I asked, “What does it mean to
love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love?” And we found out that it means
that the Lord Jesus is our #1 relationship and that we continually fan the flame of
this relationship to assure its fervor. The only question left to answer is, “Do I love
the Lord Jesus Christ with an incorruptible love?”
Most Christians would be offended if you questioned their love for the Lord. But if
you recall, the Lord Jesus Himself asked Peter that question three times. “Simon, son
of John, do you love me?” And each time Peter responded “Yes, Lord; You know I love
you.” (Jn.21.15-17) And even though the Lord questioning Peter’s love caused Peter
to grieve, the Lord knew that Peter needed to have an incorruptible love if he was
going to endure the many trials in his life and eventual martyrdom. (Jn.21.18-19)
Peter would die 34 years after this encounter with Christ.
After 34 years of incorruptible love for Christ, historians record that Peter was
martyred being crucified upside down. You see, Peter felt himself to be unworthy to
be put to death in the same manner as his Lord, and was therefore, at his own
request, was crucified upside down. And if you were there that dreadful day, you
might have heard Peter say, Lord; You know I love you – Lord; You know I love you –
Lord; You know I love you.
Brothers and sisters, do you love the Lord Jesus Christ with an incorruptible love?
Do you love the Lord with a pure, sincere, genuine love that has an unending
Is your relationship with the Lord Jesus the #1 priority in your life?
Are you continually fanning the frame in your relationship with Christ to ensure its
passion and fervor?
Or do you have idols in your life that have distracted your devoted to Christ?
If so, remember, repent, and return to the Lord. Because grace is always given to
those who love the Lord Jesus Christ with an incorruptible love.
Let us this morning have a true heart of repentance and prayer. We all need to turn
unto the Lord and seek the truth of His Gospel. If you would this morning, pray with
Lord, you call us your sheep, you draw us near, and you renew our hearts. Remind
us today of the first time we knew you, the first time you showed us, called us, and
reminded us that we are saved. We have sinned against you, we have allowed our
hearts to grow cold, our love and devotion and care toward you has not been
incorruptible but has been corrupted by our sinful hearts. Renew our minds unto
your word, unto your Gospel, transform our hearts, and guide us toward repentance.
Be our first love, be our priority, be our delight, Be our Glory and the satisfaction of
Call to Prayer
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with
all your mind. (Mt.22.37)
Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.