Ephesians 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called… (NKJV)
In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul prepares the readers with many facts about being a Christian, truths that apply to every person who has experienced genuine salvation.
In Chapter 1, you find out that you are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. You were chosen before the world was ever created to be holy and blameless in God’s eyes, predestined to be adopted as one of God’s children and to receive a King’s inheritance. You were redeemed by Christ, bought out of your sin slavery, sealed with the guarantee of the Holy Spirit – having your spiritual eyes opened to the mysteries of God!
In Chapter 2, Paul says that you are now alive in Christ, no longer dead in sin. You enjoy the glory of Christ being seated in heavenly places with the Savior. You are the personal handiwork of God prepared to do good works. You are now at peace with God, reconciled with Him and can enjoy direct access to His Presence. You are a citizen of heaven and a full member of God’s household being part of Christ’s Body that is the dwelling place of God in Spirit.
That’s a lot to chew on in two short chapters, but remember the setting of the Book of Ephesians. Paul was writing this letter to a church that did not have the advantage of having the entire New Testament, libraries of commentaries and 2000 years of preaching and study. This letter was all they had with the possible exception of a copy or two of others.
Paul was giving them the full scoop about being a Christian. After laying this foundation, he then gives them some “why’s” and “so what’s” in the form of explanation and instruction.
Why did God do these things?
So what do we do now?
The rest of the book answers those questions, all carefully built on the foundation already laid.
The Glorification of God
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)
If you were ever forced to come up with a one sentence summary about the purpose of our entire existence, you would be accurate in saying “To display, reveal, proclaim and participate in the glory of God”.
God’s glory was fully manifested through Christ, and through Christ we have received the wonderful blessings Paul described – which we then turn right back around and use to bring glory to God.
It all started with God’s glory, it is sustained by God’s glory, it displays God’s glory and it will return to God’s glory in full. What is “it”? His household.
Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (NKJV)
To unify us
Understanding these facts about adoption into God’s family unites us in common belief and hope.
Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (NKJV)
We serve one God who has one truth for us all. Knowing this truth gives a oneness of heart and mind bringing glory to God through our unity.
To equip us for service
Understanding the blessings of salvation and the nature of being a new creation in Christ prepares us to do the will and work that Father has ordained for us.
Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (NKJV)
You are a member of God’s household. God has apportioned to you and gifted you with exactly what you need to carry out the responsibility He has prepared for you. God is glorified through the use of your gifts and the accomplishment of His will.
To empower us to live holy lives
The Apostle Paul goes on to instruct the Ephesians to put off the old sinful man (4.17-24); do not grieve the Holy Spirit through sin (4.25-32); walk in love for each other(5.2); walk in the light (5.8); walk in wisdom (5.15); love your spouse (5.22-33); honor your parents (6.2); and be obedient and merciful in all situations (6.5-9).
What gave the Ephesian church the power to comply to Paul’s instruction? It was the foundation that Paul laid in the opening of the letter, carefully explaining to them the reality of who they were, and what they were now that they had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your obedience to Paul’s instructions brings glory to the Lord because Jesus is the reason and source of your holiness. Glorifying God, through His Son, by the Spirit. Every moment of our life should be compelled by this fundamental purpose of our existence.
Holy Father, may our every breath be for the purpose of glorifying You. Help us to understand what it truly means to be a member of Your household. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Why are you a Christian? What motivates your life? Could you sum up the reason for your life if asked? Have you ever thought about why God has done things the way He has chosen to do them?
Application: The glory of God – Everything about our existence can be traced back to that. Why does God do things a certain way? Why did Jesus have to die? Why is sin punished? Why is there both a heaven and a hell? The glory of God. Everything exists to display, reveal and proclaim the glory of God.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?