God knows you intimately and loves you infinitely. But how well do others know you? What is your reputation like? As we look at our passage today we will see the apostle Paul writing a letter to the church in Ephesus praising God for their faith and love in the name of Jesus.
The end of the old year and the start of a new year is a good time for personal self-reflection regarding our level of spiritual maturity. Maturity is an important theme in the New Testament’s view of the Christian life, and in the final sermon for 2019, we will look at Paul’s connection between personal spiritual maturity and stability in one’s life and doctrine.
Among the arsenal of spiritual weapons at our disposal through the blood of Christ, Paul saves the most powerful for last: prayer to our Father in heaven. With clarity and simplicity, he shows us how to pray, how to ask for prayer, and how to follow-up on prayer requests in a way that strengthens the Church and brings glory to our Savior.
The onslaught of our spiritual battle is fierce and never-ending. Attacks come from many directions and the fog of war often leaves us disoriented and seemingly alone. But God has provided us with impenetrable spiritual armor through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In our Savior, we may resist every evil attack and stand firm through the strength of the One who first stood firm for us.
The end of Ephesians tells us we’re in the fight of our lives; a fight so fierce that no unaided Christian can prevail. But God has provided a sure defense through the shielding blood of Christ. Against such divine armor no attack can succeed. We take our battle stations by faith, resting in the strength of the One who forever triumphed on the cross.
How can you serve the Lord in a miserable situation? Whether in bondage to a slave master, an overbearing boss, or a difficult home circumstance, we find true freedom only in the One who forsook His freedom for us. Becoming Christ’s slave is actually the most liberating thing there is as we discover the hope, purpose, and power of serving the Master who set us free.
Parents and children have experienced tension since the very first parents and children! Sin disrupts all of our relationships, especially among those with whom we share close quarters. Thankfully, our perfectly wise Father is in the process of redeeming family relations through the grace of His perfectly obedient Son, Jesus Christ.
For many people, the command for wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord seems highly problematic. Many wives view it as demeaning. Many husbands view it as excuse to be demeaning. Many single people view it as irrelevant to them. Many others are unsure of what it looks like in practice or why it’s so important. But God shows us in His word how all of our earthly relationships offer an excellent opportunity to reflect the glory of our selfless Savior as we grow together in His grace. In addition to offering practical teaching on marriage, Ephesians 5 gives us deeper insight into the love of Christ for His Church.
Life is a minefield of bad decisions waiting to happen. Even staying where we are offers no protection but only a different set of dangers. Our only hope for life and godliness is to follow the Savior who has gone before us in perfect wisdom and who guides our steps as we look to Him for grace.