We are going to take the next several weeks and journey through the book of Ephesians to discover who we are in Christ and what belongs to us in Christ. On monday I gave a word about 2014 being a year of victory and in order to obtain that victory we must know who we are in Christ.
During these next weeks we will discuss the topics of sonship, walking in wisdom and understanding, seeing our daily lives through the Spirit, being alive in Christ, The plan of God, how to develop, family and friend relationships, and spiritual warfare.
We are all born into this world a human being, the only difference between a four year old and a forty year old is development. Each one has the same hands, feet, and everything, but the forty year old is more skilled than the four year old because he has had the time to develop.
The letter of Ephesians was a circular letter, many manuscripts do not have “in Ephesus” I believe that is because the letter is intended to promote spiritual development.
Today we are going to look at the first two verses, Ephesians 1:1-3 NIV “Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people, the faithful in Christ Jesus: (2) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul says two things that will be key in our thinking as we learn who we are in Christ and what we have in Christ. We are called God’s holy people and the faithful.
The point of development in Christ, knowing who we are and what we have goes back to these things, being holy and faithful.
The Scripture tells us that blessing is dependent on our lifestyle and obedience, Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NIV “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. (2) All these blessings will come on you and accompany you, (overtake you, the New King James says) if you obey the LORD your God.”
As we go through Ephesians you will notice that holiness and faithfulness is a key component to spiritual development, it is important that we mark that in our thinking.
I want to establish a definition of holiness before we move forward in the series so that as holiness comes up we have a foundation to build upon.
Psalm 15 describes holiness as one who is blameless, does what is right, speaks truth, does not do wrong to his neighbor, despises a vile (cursing) person, honors those who fear God, keeps promises, and does not accept bribes.
For the sake of a concrete definition we turn to Donald Metz’s book, Studies in biblical holiness. “The word holiness may be said to refer to a state of personal spiritual life resulting from the baptism with the Holy Spirit, involving freedom from voluntary sin, purity of conscious intention and motivation, the practice of personal Christian ethics, and complete devotement to God.”
It is with this established definition we will go forward over these next weeks.
I believe this study is the most vital study for a Christian to do, if we do not know who we are in Christ and what belongs to us in Christ we cannot claim the exceeding great and precious promises of the Word of God.
It is when we know who we are in what we have that we defeat temptation when it comes.
The devil is defeated, he was defeated at calvary, he is defeated presently, he will always be defeated! The only time the enemy can snare you is when you let him, we avoid the snare by knowing and doing the word. We avoid the snare by speaking things that line up with the Word of God.
Proverbs 6:2 says we are snared by the Words of our mouth, thats how the enemy gets us, we hear a great word at church but as soon as we get out the door we say something contrary to the Word. We must speak the Word, we must walk rightly before God, for if we are willing and obedient we shall eat the good of the land.
I ask you to pray over these post in the coming weeks ask Holy Spirit to prepare your heart to learn who you are and what you have, ask for a believing spirit and a receiving heart, we are children of God and heirs with Christ Jesus, all good things belong to us!
Prepare your heart and mind to receive these next few weeks, get ready to know who you are and walk in who you are. Get ready to receive and take all the good things that belong to you.
There are two books that I believe will be beneficial in our study, The Power of Your Words by E. W. Kenyon and Re-Think Your Life by Stan Toler. The first book deals with your words and the second book deals with the mind, these two areas are essential in the discussion of who we are in Christ.