For the next seven weeks, I will be sharing lessons learned from the Bible Study, Chosen: A Study on the book of Ephesians, by The Daily Grace Co. Click on the title to see more about it – I am not an affiliate – just sharing for the sake of ease.
We began with reading the entire book of Ephesians several times. God’s Word is amazing as it lands on us so differently every time we read it. I quickly realized the coming weeks are going to help me personally to navigate some issues; and I cannot wait!
The question up for discussion is: What are you hoping to glean or learn in the coming weeks?
- I want to learn how to live like a “saint” because that is what He has called me; and how to live faithfully.
- I want to learn how to live according to His will, not mine, or how others tell me how to live.
- I want to learn how to walk through the challenging times we all are facing in our country, in our neighborhoods, in our churches.
- And I want to learn how to wage these spiritual battles that come against us.
After reading the entire book of Ephesians, I am discovering I have much to learn from Paul and this letter. The study says it best:
“His identity changes our identity … We live differently because we are in Him.”
We then read 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.” (NASB)
Let the words of those two verses sink in. “Saints” -Â the note in my Bible made me pause for bit:
Saints = “not a sinless person but a saved person.”
(from The Scofield Study Bible)
The definition was a powerful one to see in print. I will never be sinless but I am saved, and that makes me a saint. You as well.
This is the good news of the Gospel and Paul reminds us of this. Jesus changes people.
He changes people and He places us right where we need to be for purposes beyond our comprehension. He wants to use us right where we are and in the circumstances we find ourselves.
“We are His chosen people, set apart to love and serve Him, and it is in Him that we have everything that we need because He is our everything.”
That one sentence brought to mind this Scripture:
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:2-3, NASB)
Paul was called to be an apostle by the will of God. God has called us as well and placed us right where He wants us to be. What role does God have you in right now? How can you serve God right where you are?
Come share. We may be in similar places, different places, or maybe even unsure of where we are. We can all learn from one another.
We closed out this first week with reading Ephesians 1:7-10.
In reading the entire book of Ephesians the beginning of the week, I had begun to take notice of verb tenses. What was in the past tense, present tense, and yet to come or future tense. My thoughts had mostly settled on what Christ had done (the past) and then what it meant for now (present tense).
Today’s reading shifts us to the future – what is yet to come.
Even in Paul’s time, God’s plan was not fully understood. We still don’t have full understanding. The plan is described as “a mystery” and what we do know and understand is that one day, God will bring it all together.
We have redemption (presently) because Christ finished the work at the Cross (past). We have salvation and forgiveness given to us each day because of the accomplished work of Jesus.
The study asks: If you have trusted in His grace, you have been redeemed. You are no longer a slave to sin but are now a child of God. What would your life be like without redemption?
I cannot imagine my life without Christ’s redemption. My life would be hopeless, empty, broken, and without purpose. Truly.
And yet, there is much to come. As we read these verses, we see Paul looking forward, anticipating what will come in the fullness of time – both in heaven and on earth.
As we hold onto this perspective, the study reminds us “theology leads us to doxology.” As we keep in mind all that is yet to come and all we will experience, we will find our souls overwhelmed with praise.
May this doxology bless you today and fill you with praise!
We live differently,
not as sinless persons but as saved persons,
because of the completed work of Christ on the Cross.