In this unique and crazy time, we must remember that the world is watching us.
Many are watching how we respond to everything going on - so we have a wonderful and unique opportunity to show them what being a Christian is all about - how it changes and affects all that we do.
It’s critically important right now that we BE the church
The Book of Ephesians contains a theology of how we are to BE the church. As we navigate these unknown waters, it’s important that we:
• Hold tight to what is required
• Hold loose to traditions & preferences
Unfortunately, far too often, it’s the opposite. When we hold tightly to our traditions in one hand and our preferences in the other, we won’t have a free hand to hold tight to what the Bible calls us to.
For the next few weeks, we’ll be doing a survey of Ephesians to look at what the Lord calls us to BE as the church in these uncertain times.
Ephesians 1 has two great reminders:
1. Verses 3-14 – Remember whose you are
In the midst of trouble, difficulty, uncertainty, these truths stand rock-solid:
• verse 3 – In Christ we have EVERY spiritual blessing!
God has given us what we need to navigate life today and tomorrow
• verse 4 – He chose us to be holy and blameless
Everything happening right now is intended to bring each one of us greater sanctification.
• verse 5 – Predestined for adoption
He has made us His children.
He will protect & provide, just as we protect and provide for our own children.
• verse 7 – In Christ we have redemption
We have been rescued from the extreme selfishness that we’re seeing all around us right now. The hoarding is a product of selfishness.
We’ve also been rescued from sin, death, eternal punishment, and the need to worry.
• verse 8 – He lavished His grace on you
God has poured out His grace on us in an overwhelming and abundant way
• verse 9-11 – His unfolding plan
In these times, just like all times, we see God’s will, plan, and purpose unfolding. God is working everything for His glory and our good.
• verse 14 – The guarantee
Those that have turned from their sin and placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation are literally guaranteed heaven. (Click here to read about what it means to trust in Jesus as your Savior)
The final words of verse 14 remind us that
It’s all to the praise of His glory.
Be encouraged: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies are new every morning
2. Verses 15-23 – Faith, Love, & Thankfulness
Paul heard about their faith.
We need to be so fired up - so overjoyed - so radically changed in response to what God has done for us (verses 3-14) that people notice.
This faith results in two things:
1. Love for all the saints
John 13:34-35 – …love one another: just as I have loved you, (point 1 from verses 3-14) you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
While we’re socially distancing - we have new and different and unique opportunities every day to demonstrate that love for others. It’s an exciting time - the Lord is up to something different! How can we better love one another today? This week?
None of this is a response to external circumstances. Remember, Paul is writing from prison.
Simply put: be thankful
for your brother & sisters
for what God is doing.
At the end of the day, this passage reminds us to:
• Remember God’s love for ME
• Live it out in such a way that others notice
Verses 17-21 give us a great example of how and what to pray for our brothers & sisters in Christ. If you need a list of church members to pray for, get in touch with me and I’ll get you one.
• Verse 22-23 – The Underline
The foundation is our FAITHFUL God who is absolutely in control of everthing!
Jesus is in control
He is our Head
We are His hands and feet.
Let’s keep all this in mind as we go about life this week and the next….
Soli Deo Gloria!