A friend of mine asked why I chose to focus on this book of the Bible. Since we are at the halfway point of the book, it seems like a good time to answer.
Ephesians is a book I'm drawn to because it not only reminds us of our identity in Christ and salvation found through Christ alone, but gives us practical reminders of how to live out our faith in this broken world.
This book reminds us that not only are we in a spiritual war but God has fully equipped the believer. The Armor of God is provided for the believer to wear. Soldiers don’t wear armor and loaf off. We are in the battle and it is not with flesh and blood. Salvation, righteousness, and truth are some of the protective elements we wear, Ephesians 6 explains.
Paul begins the book explaining the gospel and the identity of the believer. Ephesians 1:7 (ESV) states, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” We were all separated from God because of our own sin. In Christ we have redemption through His blood. Jesus chose do die on the cross for our sins. He is the holy Son of God and death had no hold on Him. Jesus Christ rose again on the third day. Now we also have life. We did not and could not earn it. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) Our only boast is Christ Jesus.
The Gospel is for all people! The whole Bible and Ephesians make this clear. “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things,” Ephesians 3:7-9 ESV
There is purpose in what God does and, through Him, Paul knows the purpose of his own life. That confidence is compelling. Like Paul, all of us have a God given purpose. We are made to glorify God. The gospel brings God glory. Loving obedience to God brings Him glory. There is right confidence when we know our calling. “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,” Ephesians 4:1-2 states. This statement is particularly remarkable when we remember that Paul is in prison in Rome.
Our world is divided and aches. The Church has the unity of the Spirit. “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6) There is so much comfort in these words.
We are made to imitate God, walking in love (Ephesians 5:1-2). The believer is to live wisely and in thankfulness (Ephesians 5:15-21). Ephesians 5 and 6 offer practical advice for family life and work relationships all centered on the Gospel, and they also remind that our battle is spiritual and God has provided.
Why Ephesians? Its words bring hope in eternity and help right now.
Thank you for covering us with your grace and preparing us for spiritual battle. Thank you for the confidence you give us in You. I’m so glad that all people are called to one hope – You! Please help me confidently share Your Gospel. I’m sorry for when I am distracted from the calling. Help me. In Your Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
How does Paul’s confidence, even in prison, bring you confidence?
Why does the Gospel bring God glory?
What book of the Bible do you enjoy most? Why?
Click here for the audio devotional.