I’m writing my “Reading” posts to help you understand books of the Bible. Today it is Reading Ephesians.
After today’s post, I hope that you get an actual paper Bible and read aloud the entire Book of Ephesians. When Paul wrote this book, he meant it to be read out loud in one session. The Living Word heals your soul as you read Ephesians. You feel better because Paul is talking to you.
Let’s get started.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
I find peace in this verse. The entire book of Ephesians, in fact, the entire Bible, focuses on a simple message – by grace you have been saved. You don’t have to work at it, and it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The reason that Paul writes Ephesians is found in chapter two. Paul goes beyond the teaching of God’s grace to instruct how it impacts your life.
Paul wants to tell you something… that from the beginning of time, God planned a masterpiece or workmanship to demonstrate His grace in heaven.
That work of art is you! Yes, you are the workmanship of His grace.
In Ephesians chapter one, Paul describes this masterpiece (in case you forgot – that’s you!) – blessed with every spiritual blessing, chosen before the foundation of the world, adopted as children of God, and having an amazing inheritance.
Ephesians 1:15-23 and Ephesians 3:14-21 are the best of Paul’s prayers. With the “masterpiece of you” being revealed in Ephesians two, Paul knew you needed prayer for understanding and help.
Paul prays: May God give you His Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17).
Remember, God can do far more abundantly beyond what you think about yourself or even ask in your prayers, through His Spirit that works within you (Ephesians 3:20 OGV).
After the Apostle Paul reveals you as God’s workmanship, God choosing you as adopted children, and then Paul praying for your wisdom and power, he writes this exhortation:
Ephesians 4:1: As a prisoner of the Lord, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of your calling.
Your calling is to be God’s masterpiece. In chapter four, Paul teaches how to guard God’s calling in your life and how to keep His workmanship (you) from being marred.
Ephesians 4:3: Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:24: Putting on the new self, created after the likeness of God.
Ephesians 4:32: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Grace is righteousness, not legalism.
Being a Pharisee, the Apostle Paul knew that holiness can be thinly disguised as legalistic works. The opposite of religion is a loving relationship.
Ephesians 5:1-2: Be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us.
Paul concludes Ephesians 6 describing spiritual warfare – our real enemy is not the flesh but principalities and powers.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).
You are God’s masterpiece. The weakness of your flesh and the attacks of the enemy have already been overcome by grace.