THURSDAY, MAY 4
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 1
I suspect some of you thought we would go right on into Mark’s Gospel. I actually thought about that. But I decided that I would skip around a bit. I have no special reason for going to Ephesians other than I really like this book and I wanted to walk through it with you.
With that said, now that we are in one of the letters, there won’t be stories to learn from like when we were reading in Matthew. But there will tons of doctrine and theology and Bible stuff to unpack. (I think I just slobbered a little bit.) There is so much of that in this letter we could spend weeks, if not months, here and never get to all of it. But we will get to some of it. So, let’s go.
In verse one, Paul identifies himself as the author of this letter and then identifies his audience. He said that he was writing to the saints who are in Ephesus. We absolutely have to talk about this a little bit because I think there is a lot of misunderstanding over this whole saint thing.
First of all, let me assure you that Paul is not writing this to a football team in New Orleans. Secondly, he is not writing this to a special class of Christians. Regardless of what some tribes might teach, a Saint is not a super Christian. Instead, Paul is writing this to all believers at Ephesus as well as here.
That’s right. All Christians are saints. Now I realize that all Christians may not appear very saintly. But by definition, all Christians are saints. The Greek word for saint means holy one. So now not only are you a saint but you are a holy one. If that has your head spinning a bit, think about it this way.
The word holy is a very difficult word to define. But at its essence holy can mean different. When we say that God is holy we are saying He is different from all the rest of creation. So when the Bible says we are holy ones or saints, it is implying that we should be different as well.
That doesn’t mean different as in weird. It means different as in different. The way we live as Christ followers should be different from those who don’t follow Christ live. We should have different goals, different priorities, different ways to evaluate life, and different eternities.
None of those differences mean we are better than anyone else. We are just different. One of the reasons we are different is we are already blessed with every spiritual blessing (look in verse 3). I want you to slow down here just a second and think about what I just wrote. We are already blessed with every spiritual blessing. Verse 3 doesn’t say Jesus will bless us. It says Jesus has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. So we should live as blessed people.
If you glance down the next few verses you will see that Jesus has blessed us with adoption into the family of God. He has blessed us with His glorious grace. He has blessed us with redemption and forgiveness. And He has “lavished” all kinds of wisdom and insight on us. The concept of lavishing here refers to a superabundance. And all of that is just in a few verses. Imagine what other blessings Jesus has already blessed us with.
This Jesus has done much for the likes of you and me. And as the rest of this chapter proves, He has much more that He wants to do for us.