September 10, 2017
Letter to the Saints in Ephesus
Ephesians tells us who God is, who we are and our relationship with Him and with those around us.
God’s Ultimate Purpose:
Ephesians 1: 9-10 “…to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. “
Ephesians 3: 10-11 “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”
We have a hope, an inheritance and a power to equip us:
Ephesians 1: 17-19 “…in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe… “
Paul Starts His Letter with God
Ephesians 1: 1-2 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.“
Paul was originally a persecutor of the church (Acts 9), but God miraculously saved him as he says in his letter to Timothy.
1 Timothy 1: 13-16 “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.“
Paul says my testimony shows that no one is beyond the Love of God.
To the Saints Who are at Ephesus
Ephesians 1: 1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus “
Saint means Holy One or Set Apart for God.
How should we view ourselves?
As believers in Christ, the Bible defines our constant identity as saints, but we occasionally sin. (1 John 1: 8).
Justification – Just as if I’d never sinned – a saint in Christ: our position.
Sanctification – in the process of being changed to be more like Christ.
Romans 8: 1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus “
How do we respond to conviction?
Conviction is from God; condemnation is from the devil.
Ephesians 1: 2 “ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.“
This verse is the way, in which people would begin a letter in those days (“Grace to you”), but also a blessing to Christians that they may know the peace of God.