I just finished the book of Ephesians today. This is one of my favourite books of the Bible. I am very, very excited about a little tidbit I discovered! But that will have to wait a bit. First let’s go through some things in the first chapters of Ephesians. We have spiritual blessings and we are alive – how many of us are not living a life that reflects this? I am alive in Christ – if He is Lord of your life, then you are, too – let’s live like it!
In chapter one, Paul says that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing – this is something I need to be reminded of often. I also need to be reminded that I am CHOSEN by Him! He picked ME! I am holy and without blame before Him!
Verse 7 says we have redemption through His blood – not a tiny bit of redemption or redemption from a few things – but FULL redemption! We have the complete forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His GRACE.
To forgive is to be set free; loosing a person from that which binds him – wouldn’t you say then that unforgiveness binds us? Knowing this truth, wouldn’t want to choose forgiveness?
I do think it is amazing that Paul is writing all of this while in prison!
We Are Alive
In chapter 2, Paul reminds us that we are ALIVE! We are no longer dead in trespasses and sin. We are saved by GRACE – this is a message Paul preaches over and over again. And just as was back then, there are those who continue to believe that we are saved by works in present day. And that’s likely why Paul felt it necessary to talk about grace over and over!
Obviously, ‘we’ aren’t ‘getting it’.
Verse 14 talks about how Jesus “broke down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances…” I just love that!
I also love the picture Paul paints of Christ being the chief cornerstone in whom the whole building fits into – that’s us!!
We grow into a holy temple!!
We must be confident in what God’s word says. I recently heard a teacher say that the temple of God was only in Jerusalem…I don’t think so! WE are the temple of God!! And the building that is on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a Muslim mosque – NOT a temple of God! We must be very careful to whom we listen to.
Grace and Love
Chapter 3 is about grace and love – grace again! I don’t think I can ever hear enough about grace!
Here is my prayer “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you; being ROOTED and GROUNDED in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Remember that He is able to do EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY above all that we ask or think (sometimes we are afraid to ask out loud so we just think it).
Do you believe Jesus would do this for you??
Bear With One Another In Love
Chapter 4 is about how we should treat each other – bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – my little note says we should be ‘quick to mend fences’. Are you holding a grudge against someone? Are you choosing to not forgive?
Verse 11 talks about the spiritual gifts (I know some say that these gifts were for that time – Paul’s time – but the verse continues on to say …for the equipping of the saints (that is US) for the work of ministry (we are still in ministry!) for the edifying of the body of Christ (we are to still edify one another!) TILL we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man…this hasn’t happened yet…so let’s keep on!
I like how Paul pleads with us to be “kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you“. Is your prayer for God to make you more tender-hearted to the family of God? So many times we bash each other and wound each other. Some of the worst treatment comes from the family of God instead of outside it.
Imitators of Christ
Ch 5 is about how we as Christians should act. This chapter is directly connected to ch 4 (hence the ‘therefore’). We are to be imitators of Christ – be Christ-like! We are to walk in love.
We are to have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. But rather expose them – I can go into a lot here! There are so many unfruitful works of darkness – false religions (even delving into parts of false religions), keeping destructive secrets, sinful behaviours, etc.
Paul encourages us to walk ‘circumspectly’ – or walk looking around us, always alert and aware of what’s going on. He also encourages us to be continuously filled with the Spirit – this isn’t just a one time deal. We need to be filled all the time – keep being filled.
I love the marriage advice. The Ephesian men had their wives simply for reproducing and visited prostitutes for the ‘fun’. Do you notice Paul spends just a bit of time on telling wives to be submissive and he spends more than twice the amount of time admonishing the husbands! He was edifying the wives, they were already submissive. But the men were the ones the real message was for!
Love your wives as Christ loved the church – and how much did Christ love the church? He gave His life for the church! Keep reading and you’ll notice the huge responsibility of the husband. I am concerned for the husband who does not take his role seriously and does not treat his wife this way. I am even more concerned for the husband who misuses this passage as a way to force his wife to do as he commands. One day, he will answer for his behaviour and misuse of scripture.
Obey your Parents!
Ch 6 has great parenting advice – most parents like the verse that tells children to obey their parents, but how many tend to overlook the verse that says fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Are you reminding your children of verse one but neglecting verse 4 yourself? Are you finding that you have been discouraging your children with your words? Have you caused them to lose heart? We must be so careful in this area. Let’s remember that we are reflecting the gospel to our children.
An Amazing Discovery!
OK, now for my exciting discovery!!! The armour of God – I always thought the description was AMAZING!
This is how I picture my armour:
I LOVE that it is pink. She is just missing her helmet of salvation and her shield of faith – important components for sure, but you get the idea.
I love learning about the armour of God. I don’t know when, but at some point in the past, I wrote a cross reference by the passage about armour – the reference is Isaiah 59:17. I copied it here just in case you don’t have your Bible handy – verses 16-18:
And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and his righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompence to His enemies; to the islands He will repay recompence.
The armour we wear wasn’t made just for us to wear – it is the very armour Jesus wears when He returns and wages war!! We wear the same armour that Jesus will wear!!!! I find this so amazing – it makes me realize just how powerful my armour is. Doesn’t this make you excited??? Are you beginning to realize how strong your armour is and how much you need it?
We have the very same armour as Jesus!
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