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Jesus In Ephesians …. Our Grace …… June 24, 2018

     But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV

     This is the message… the gospel… the good news: that the God of mercy has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.  He makes us alive in Christ by his GRACE.  What is grace and how does it work?  Grace is God giving us blessings that we don’t deserve.  The greatest blessing is being made alive in Christ Jesus.  We were dead in our sins and God chose to give us the blessing of a new life in Christ.  Not because we deserved it in any fashion, but God, full of mercy and love, did and does what defines God throughout the Bible.  He acts in ways beyond our comprehension.  So how should we respond to this great blessing, privilege, and honor of being made alive in Christ and seated with him in heavenly places?

Walk In Unity:
     I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to WALK IN a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and though all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

    Unity among believers is extremely important in how one comes to Christ. In Christ we are one body made up of different responsibilities, with one not being more important than another. The emphasis must be Jesus and the grace of God. This will cause the church to come together not by rules but in the grace by which we were called. The world’s view is divided on how one comes into relationship and salvation as Christian. Those who are in Christ should not be. We are saved by the grace of God – nothing else. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Walk The Christian Life On Purpose:
    Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. Ephesians 5:1 CSB
     
It would pay you to read the rest of Ephesians chapter 5 through chapter 6:9, as well as the last few verses from chapter 4 starting with verse 17. These verses are not talking about rules to keep, but a lifestyle to be lived as a result of the new life you have in Christ. People who are alive live on purpose for God. Dead people are simply that – dead to the things of God and the lifestyle that reflects the evidence of Christ in their life.

Stand Against Satan’s Schemes:
     Finally, be strengthened by the Lord by HIS VAST STRENGTH.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 CSB

     Have you ever gotten dressed by accident?  For most every occasion, we dress on purpose.  When dressing for work, meetings, recreation, bed, etc. we generally have clothes for those purposes.  When dressing for the Christian life we have an outfit for that as well…. armor that has been designed and fashioned by God. If the Christian’s life was just a life of ease, we would dress for a a cruise ship; but instead, concerning life and living as a Christian, we dress for battle. Battle not against each other but the warfare that takes place in the heavens which we are not able to see. It’s hard enough to fight the battles we can see, but the battles we cannot are even more difficult. That is why we fight in HIS VAST STRENGTH and not our own.  Never forget that Satan is as a roaring lion.  Be sober-minded; be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8 CSB
Note… Satan is our adversary, not each other. He will pit us against each other to weaken us in the body, making it easier to be devoured by him. Lions will normally prey on the weak and hurting, for it is easier to take down this one than one that is healthy. This is why, as I began with, you walk in unity as Paul in this letter discussed. Satan has no power agains those who are united in Christ by God. He will come against them… but He will not devour them.

 

     Let me close with this thought…. sit, walk, and stand in Christ, for this is the identity you should have in Christ.  You are identified as one of his because this describes you as a Christian every day that you live.

Because of HIS Grace ~ Pastor David

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