Written By: Crystal Cyr
Based on: Ephesians 1
As we begin this walk through the book of Ephesians let me begin by saying that I am not a scholar on the bible, nor do I pretend to be; in fact, if anything I feel completely under qualified, which as far as history has indicated for me thus far on my journey, is a good thing because it means that Christ can be strong in my weakness. 🙂 What I will offer though is personal revelation of what the Lord has shown me in His Word and how it has applied to me and can apply to you today!
Recently I’ve been in a season of the Lord revealing to me lies that I had been believing from unhealed circumstances in my past; those lies had formed foundations for patterns of behavior that were keeping me from moving forward. Many of those lies had to do with my worth and value. As we take a look at Ephesians 1 today, my prayer is that the Word of God will be a double sided sword that will cut through every lie you are believing about your worth and value, and that as His sword separates those lies from your identity, His truth will bring healing into every area where the lie has caused brokenness.
Ephesians 1:4 says that “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” This comes as an incredible encouragement to me because it tells me that we weren’t a mistake and that He is not looking at us with eyes of judgment. So many times we think that God is up there ticking off all of our faults and judging us according to them as unfit or unworthy of His call. This couldn’t be farther from the truth; in fact, He is cheering us on and sticking with His original plan for us to be holy and without fault; we may not be manifesting that truth today, but when we set our eyes on that truth that is what we will believe and live up to.
The next verse goes on to say that “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Whoa, did you just hear that?! Not only did God choose us before the creation of the world to be holy and without fault, but He also chose long ago to adopt us into His family. He didn’t “have” to do it, and it wasn’t because it was the “right thing to do”; He chose us because He wanted to, and not only that, but it gave Him great pleasure. I don’t know about you, but that makes my heart leap. Every lie that screams, “God doesn’t have a big plan for you”, “God doesn’t think you’re worth the fight”, “You don’t belong”, “God’s disappointed in/sick of/mad at you” is silenced with those few words, “He Chose”, and it “Gave him great pleasure”.
In verses 7 – 9 Paul explains how God adopted us by purchasing our freedom with the blood of His Son Jesus, and forgave our sins with His kindness and grace. Just as He chose us in advance to be holy and without fault, and to adopt us into His family He also chose to pay the price for our sins before we even committed them; before we could earn or deserve it, meaning that our salvation had nothing to do with how good we were or how good we weren’t – it was a free gift. This is so amazing because if we couldn’t do enough good deeds to receive it, we also can’t do enough bad deeds to lose it. He trusts us and loves us enough to give it freely, which is why Paul’s response was to praise God for this grace in verse 6. When we truly understand this grace it should cause us to want to move closer to God.
Next Paul goes on to explain God’s purpose in all of this, which was to bring His family together in unity as one family with Christ as the head, both the Jews who were the first to hear and trust in Christ, and then the Gentiles (the rest of us) who were adopted in.
In verses 11, 13, and 14 we also see that as adopted-in family we were also given an inheritance and the Holy Spirit is Christ’s guarantee that we will receive this inheritance. If you think of it in terms of a contract, the Holy Spirit would be like the down payment or validating signature that guarantees our inheritance. What that means is that we can know that we belong to Him now as we allow His Spirit in us to transform our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions. This transforming power of the Holy Spirit is the down payment, giving us just a taste of what we will experience in eternity in complete fullness, when we are not at war with our sinful flesh. What an incredible inheritance, and what an amazing thought – that because we now belong to Christ and have His Spirit in us we don’t have to wait for eternity to begin to experience His likeness or to receive our inheritance.
The end of this chapter from verses 15 – 23 is a prayer that our “hearts would be flooded with light so that we can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called” (v 18), and in verse 19, that we would understand the “greatness of God’s power for us who believe him” (v 19). What this tells me is that we must mix with our knowledge with both faith and an experiential relationship with Christ in order for it to have any affect on our lives at all. We can know all of this as fact, but if we don’t chose to believe it, to really embrace it with every faculty of our being, than these promises will remain on the pages of our bibles rather than lived out and engrained on our hearts and lives.
My prayer for you is the same as that of Paul; that today you would reach out and grasp these promises with every fiber of your being. These verses are life and truth, and today you may be feeling like these words couldn’t be further from what you’ve experienced thus far or are experiencing now in your life, your thoughts, your emotions. In fact, chances are, everything within you is screaming, “yes, BUT…”, just as it was for me as I was fighting those lies about my worth. However, I challenge you today to step out, to grab onto these truths, to CHOSE to believe them today, just as Christ deliberately chose you. That is what faith is; choosing to believe when everything in your life looks opposite to what God says. Think of the power in choice; Christ chose you, He chose to adopted you, He chose to give you His Spirit as an inheritance; now the ball is in your court, will you chose to believe Him, because if you do, it will transform your life.
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Until Next Time,