I am loving reading Ephesians this week, what a powerful letter this is. Just felt the desire to write a summary of this letter:
EPHESIANS MY WAY!
Let’s face it this may sound crazy but you were chosen before the world was created to be holy and blameless. God himself chose you to be above reproach, unblemished, in the clear, you see you were so dear to God he predestined you for adoption into his family, he really wanted you, he chose to offer you redemption and forgiveness and the thing is that’s kind of special, you have the credentials, fully accredited child of a Saviour, God’s possession and when you heard the message of truth you were marked with a seal, authentic, confirmed like a sticker on your lapel, labelled for God, his obsession for you revealed, sealed with a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance and it’s essential you understand the relevance of the Trinity, Holy Spirit living in you with the same amazing power that saw Jesus rise from the dead, yes, that same power living in you, just think of all the things you can do, harnessing the power of the living Christ moving from darkness into the light for you were dead, a follower of the world, gratifying your cravings for sinful living, by your very nature you deserved God’s anger but because of God’s very nature rich in mercy and in love, he made you alive with Christ even though you were dead, enough said?
By grace you have been saved, raised up with Christ and seated with him in heavenly realms, yes seated with him in heaven, he opened up the gates and beckoned you in and by grace you are saved, yes through your faith but never forget that this is a gift, you don’t earn it through good works, you can’t boast of all you’ve done, saved only because of the death of God’s son, you are God’s handiwork created to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do. Once separated from God at birth, without hope, but now brought close by the blood of Jesus who destroyed all the barriers, Jew or Gentile, what does it matter, Jesus bought us access to one God through the Spirit and we are no longer strangers or foreigners to each other but fellow citizens in God’s household, built on foundations of apostles and prophets, and to top it all Jesus himself is the cornerstone, through him you too are being built to become a dwelling in which God lives actively through his Spirit.
The manifold wisdom of God will be made known, approach him with confidence, with freedom, do not be discouraged cos God strengthens you out of his glorious riches with power through his Spirit, you are rooted and established in love and it’s sort of hard to grasp how wide, how long, how high and deep is the love of Jesus, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that works within us, so live a life worthy of your calling, be humble, gentle, patient and kind, bear with each other in love for united we stand and divided we fall, one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all and he has called us to his service to build up the body until we reach a place of unity and we need no longer be like children tossed back and forth like the waves, blown here and there by every teaching, deceived by cunning craftiness and scheming, for we are maturing.
Get rid of your old self, change your attitude, don’t lie, have no rage, no bitterness, don’t slander and never let the sun go down on your anger, do not give the enemy a foothold don’t let him get under your skin, speak only good, be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other, be pure without even a hint of sexual immorality, no obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, but rather fill your hearts with thanksgiving, and in this world of hypocrisy and trickery let no one deceive you with empty words think only about what pleases the Lord, live wisely and give thanks to God for everything, obey your parents for that is right and believe in the Lord and his mighty power, put on the armour which God has provided as he has guided us to do for we have a battle to fight, we are bearers of the light for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The full armour of God protects us from harm and equips us to deal with all the enemy throws at us, might sound like something out of a medieval film set, but this is what we need to protect us. So the first is truth and as you know from the saying the truth will set you free, then righteousness, like respectability, being fair, good and showing decency to all, the gospel of peace well that’s like remembering the words that Jesus teaches us that nothing can snatch us from his hands we stand in the knowledge that we are truly children of God so it’s important to hold fast to his words of love and above all hold on to our faith, shielding us from the enemy’s attack, confidence in what we hope for and an assurance of that not yet seen, when Satan accuses, faith chooses to believe that we are redeemed, no condemnation, no damnation and then there’s the helmet of salvation, an impenetrable defence against the lies of the enemy and now I am ready to pick up the sword of the spirit, offensive and defensive weapon of power, God’s word will never let you down, a double edged sword penetrating the heart, now you are prepared for God’s work be alert, pray in the Spirit on all occasions and that my friends is a summary of Ephesians.