What is this series about?
Through this series we will be studying the book of Ephesians and learning about our position in Christ, our life in the world, and our attitude toward the enemy.
Big Idea: We need to grow in our knowledge of what we have in Christ!
Scripture Reference: Acts 19
- When Paul arrived in Ephesus there was no light.
- When he left there was no darkness.
- He writes this letter (Ephesians) to the believers, years later while imprisoned in Rome.
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 1:16-19
– Paul prays that the Ephesians would know
1. The HOPE to which they were called
2. The RICHES of his glorious inheritance
3. The immeasurably great POWER toward believers
What does this mean for us?
– What about the story of Paul in Ephesus surprised you?
– Why are we tempted to talk about Jesus in past tense and to ignore or be ignorant of the present tense implications of His resurrection?
– Hope, Riches, and Power are available to the children of God. Are these words that describe you?
– What is the source and the result of these three realities in the life of a believer?
– How does the description of Christ’s current position in Ephesians 1:20-23 impact you?
Considering the Truths
by Scott Sutton
The first two chapters of Ephesians are a couple of my favorites throughout all of Scripture. They are vast, deep, dynamic. You can read them so many different ways and still get so much out of them. Want encouragement? You will find it here. Want theology? You will find it here. Want a challenging call to action? You will find it here. As we consider the truths of chapter 1 upon which we can “Sit” and rest, two things stand out most to me.
The first is that none of this was accidental or spontaneous. Adam and Eve weren’t “Plan A”. Their sin didn’t cause God to unexpectedly have to figure out a “Plan B”. When the world became so full of violence that God cleansed it with a flood, it didn’t mean he now had to suddenly figure out a “Plan C”. Israel’s rebellion wasn’t “Plan D”. Jesus’ life wasn’t “Plan E”. When religion and empire murdered Jesus, it didn’t require a “Plan F” resurrection. No. This was all known (more than known…predestined) before God uttered the creation phrase, “Let there be light.” Which begs the question: if God knew it would go down like this, why did he even bother in the first place? What would lead a God who is utterly perfect and complete in his existence to create a world that he knew would reject him, that would tear itself apart trying to replace him, and that would ultimately cost him his son? The answer, in a word, is love. His love for us – his love for you – outweighs all of that. Even if you despise or deny him. It’s a love that we can’t comprehend; not completely, at least. But we can grasp it just enough to respond with a profound, “I love you, too.”
Which leads to the second: that God has us firmly in his grip forever. Paul describes the Holy Spirit as a “seal” (not the animal, the other kind) in these verses – permanently securing us forever in our salvation. He also describes the Holy Spirit as a deposit – a down payment with the assured guarantee of future full payment. These metaphors are intentional. They aren’t hyperbole. They should give us rest. When we’ve received the Holy Spirit, we don’t need to question our position in him. We don’t need to earn it. There’s no balancing scale of good and bad deeds. We aren’t merely as secure as our last “I’m sorry I screwed up” prayer. We are sealed by the Spirit forever.
So, what does “Sitting” in these two truths do for us? Why do they matter?
If Jesus is the Plan A, then we should read the Bible in its entirety from that perspective. Even the confusing parts. Even the parts that seem completely unrelated or contradictory to that. The broad narrative of the Bible is that God created us in love, that we reject his love, but that his love overcomes in the end. When we read the entire Bible this way, our understanding of God’s love deepens and transforms our hearts in increasing measure.
And if we are irrevocably sealed by the Holy Spirit from the moment we say, “I love you, too” for all eternity to come, then we must realize that the work of heaven begins in us now, too. Today. We are called to begin the work of transforming the broken world around us into a place that more closely resembles the heaven that’s to come. To shine light in dark places. To prepare hearts to love and to be loved eternally. Look at yourself, your neighborhood, your city, your workplace, your friends, and every other sphere of your life. Look for the darkness and brokenness in those places and pray for God to equip you to bring light and healing to them. Yes, we are awaiting a future full payment, but the deposit has already been made. So let’s get to it.