A Great and Effectual Door Opened
1 Corinthians 16:5-9
Now I will come to you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.…

Consider —


1. A few years back and Ephesus was "a door" not open to Christ. The temple of Diana was open, and thronged with worshippers from "all Asia and the world." The theatre was open, nourishing the worst passions of our fallen nature. Craftsmen had their open shops for the sale of models of the temple and images of the goddess. And yet Ephesus was a most important place, teeming with population, the capital of Proconsular Asia. How sad to see it a closed "door"! And is there no closed "door" in the present day? I speak not now of many a heathen city, but of those closed "doors" in the densely populated parishes of Christian England, where mammon has her open shops, licentiousness her open hells, infidelity her open halls. How distressing to see the "door" of "the broad way" wide open, and the many crowding through it, while "the strait gate" is, to numbers, virtually the closed "door"!

2. But see the "great and effectual door opened!" The apostle came and laboured there for the space of three years. It was in the course of this period that he saw "a great door and effectual opened." In his opportunity of making known the gospel, and in its ready admission to the hearts of many. Some so ignorant that they had not so much as heard "whether there were any Holy Ghost," became well-instructed Christians. "Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them. So mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed." And the gospel and the grace of God is still the same. Wherever faithful men labour in the spirit of the apostle, using the same instrument, and depending on the same grace, they commonly soon see, with delight and thankfulness, a "great and effectual door" opening before them.

II. THE MANY ADVERSARIES. When we engage in any work for God we are taught to expect difficulties. In seeking our own salvation we are exhorted to count the cost; in co-operating to save souls we must calculate on opposition. The adversaries are — General. Satan, the adversary of God and man, always in every place opposing the work of God, and man's natural corruption renders him an easy prey to the enemy seeking his destruction. See how the apostle reminded the Ephesians of both these in his Epistle.

2. Special.

(1) The Jews the embodiment of that self-righteousness which is one of our most potent adversaries to-day. Have not we often had to contend, not only with open ungodliness, but also with this subtle adversary, working in the hearts of the more decent yet formal professors of religion?

(2) The exorcists. So we must not be surprised if, when the true gospel is preached, there be counterfeits of the gospel circulated from corrupt motives by ungodly men.

(3) Demetrius and the craftsmen. These, seeing the open "door," endeavoured to close it by violence And is there no such storm fast gathering around us in the present day?


1. To acknowledge the hand of God. Who but He, with His Divine hand, opened that "great door and effectual" in Ephesus? And the Fountain-head continues the same — inexhaustible and Divine. Hence all our hopes and consolations.

2. To press forward.

3. Where we see the "great door and effectual opened, "although" there are many adversaries." "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." It is not by an indolent wish, an occasional impulse of feeling, but by faithful perseverance, even "unto death," that we shall have "an entrance ministered to us abundantly," etc.

(J. Hambleton, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.

WEB: But I will come to you when I have passed through Macedonia, for I am passing through Macedonia.

The Relations of Gentile to Jewish Churches
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