I have been reading one chapter a day from the Bible. I walked through several books slowly, taking notes and praying over the words that God presented to me. Every time I read the Bible, I get something new; something that has never come to light the way it did that day. I am continually surprised by what God has to say.
Today, I wanted to explore some facts about the book of Ephesians. I LOVE Ephesians and you are going to as well. It isn’t a long book. You can get through this book with one chapter a day in less than a week, but what you walk away with is encouragement and new life.
Ephesians…written by Paul (formerly Saul – murderer of Christians). It’s important that you know this. Paul once persecuted those called Christians and now he encourages them. He gave up everything to follow Christ after his Damascus road experience. He learned all he could about the Gospel and then spent the rest of his life proclaiming it. AMAZING!
Paul wrote Ephesians somewhere around 62 AD and it was toward the end of his life. This is a letter that he was writing to the church in Ephesus. He wanted to encourage them even through his suffering and tell them that all Christians are members of the “body” of Christ. We are the church!
Paul started the church in Ephesus, which you can see in Acts 19, and through the book of Ephesians, he explains that the church members have great relation to Jesus Christ as part of his body. He did this so that they would grow.
Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Paul wanted the people to know that their new life in Christ should result in honest and pure living in the church and in the home. (Chapters 4-6)
We are reminded of our salvation in 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” As Christians, it’s easy to forget that we can’t out-give or outdo God. He forgave our sins because of his grace. We deserve death, but Jesus died so that we would not have to. His grace is what allows us to be saved and it is our faith in Him that we can give of ourselves back to him from gifts that he has given us.
In chapter 6 verse 11 it says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes.” Listen, I know we don’t live in medieval times any longer (how cool would that be?), but I do know that we still need armor to protect ourselves. We may not be fighting dragons and armies of knights, but we are fighting a demon much worse than the fiercest armies. God gave us all the armor we need in His Word.
My favorite part of Ephesians is found in 2:22 and says, “In him you too are being built together to become a swelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Yes, Paul was speaking to the people of Ephesus, but I make this personal to myself. When I read this, I feel like Paul is speaking right to my heart. I want to be built together with other believers so that God will live in me with his Spirit. Can you imagine if every Christian were to walk around with the Spirit of God living in them (we are supposed to if we have been saved). We could change the entire world as we know it with the courage and gifts given to each of us. Change the world!
I want to encourage you to take the time to read Ephesians slowly and really take notes. I am a journaler. I get more from the Word of God when I highlight and write insights given to me and then research the history from the time it was written. I love the old maps and any pictures that I can find about the time period I am reading about. I am a visual person and it helps me to really grasp the time in which all this took place. God speaks to us all differently. What do you learn from Ephesians? I want to hear from you.
Be blesses as you go about your day. Lord, my hope is that Your people will return to You and take on a refreshed and renewed spirit in Your Word. Give wisdom of Your Word so that we can all share the Gospel with everyone we come in contact with. Make us ready! Let us live transparent and raw in You. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.