As a Believer, we all need to know what God expects from us. The Word of God tells us just that. But if you want to start off with the basics, you will see in Ephesians that Paul writes a letter to the Ephesians to establish what it means to be a Christian and how we should behave in our walk with Christ. He wrote this letter while he was imprisoned in Rome for the first time (which was one of many for him).
The Bible is a manual for the Believer. And in the book of Ephesians you will find a great precursor that sets the precedence of the faith and walk of the Believer. I’m going to cover most verses, but please do allow yourself to gather what you feel the Holy Spirit is speaking to you regarding this book. Start with prayer asking the Lord to reveal to you what He wants to reveal to you specifically. Let’s pray…
Dear Holy Father, we ask you to open our hearts and minds to Your expectations for us as Your humble servants and children as we read through Your book of Ephesians. So we may glorify You through our lives. Bring Your Word to life. Use the Holy Spirit to align us with Your glorious will. We ask this in Jesus name… Amen.
Alrighty! Please open your Bible and let’s start….
Read Ephesians 1-2…. (take your time I’ll wait)
We see in Ephesians chapters 1- 2: 4-14 which speaks of where we began and where our Salvation stems from. Not to mention, ” we are saved by grace through faith”. Salvation is a gift, there are no works that can be done to get you into Heaven. None. Only through the blood shed by Jesus Christ are we able to receive Salvation. As long as this is established and understood we can continue.
Ephesians 2: 18 says: “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (KJV)
We have direct access to the Father in Heaven through one Spirit because of Jesus Christ! Wow! What a blessing and privilege. If you look back before Christ, (BC) you’ll notice that God the Father chose certain person’s (Prophets, Apostles, Disciples, etc.) to deliver messages, signs, and wonders to deliver to the general public. As well as repentance of sin’s; it was required to bring a sacrifice offering to synagogues for the priests to offer as a burnt offering for one’s sin’s.
No more! Christ removed the line in the sand. The boundary in which we were not worthy of crossing.
What a blessing indeed!
In verse 20 most importantly we also need to have an understanding that Jesus is the “Chief Cornerstone”. This is crucial, because, how can we stand upon anything we say or act if we don’t have a strong foundation. All we say and do will falter. Therefore, Jesus must be and IS our Chief Cornerstone. All He said, how He lived, and walked is solid. Or if you will, “credible” to say the least.
Read Ephesians 3….
We read Paul proclaiming that Jews and Gentiles (any other person not a Jew), are made equally through Christ. Jesus has brought us together guys! Isn’t that sweet! Not only is He our foundation that we stand upon, but He is the glue that keeps us together in one Spirit, one body. He is our one stop shop. Our hope above all hope. The joy above all joy’s.
Just thinking of that fills me with warmth, comfort, and peace.
I am honored to call Him my God, My Savior, Redeemer. Elohim, the Creator. El Elyon, The God Most High. El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient one.
In verse 17 through 19 of chapter 3, There needs to be an understanding of Christ’s love so we can love other’s. Believer or not. Verse 18 says, ” May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height…” this is speaking of the cross. His love. So much love for us, to pay a debt of ours by way of His death on the cross. That’s the love we need to understand. The kind of love which gives grace, understanding of faults, forgiveness, and an unconditional love. Under any circumstance.
Judgemental, He was not, but loving, caring and understanding. The ultimate sacrifice- Himself. So in turn we should not be judgemental, we don’t have that right to be. It’s pretty hypocritical to say the least….
Let’s move on to chapter 4….
We need to walk worthy of our salvation. The characteristics we need to have are below and I will give you the definitions for each: (definitions taken from Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
- Lowliness– freedom from pride; humility; humbleness of mind.
- Meekness– softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations.
- Long-Suffering– long endurance; patience of offense.
- Forbearing– a ceasing or restraining from action; patience; long-suffering.
All done in love. Keeping the Spirit in peace.
This is all done so in One Spirit.
Let’s read Ephesians 4
Ephesians 4:3-7 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”
We are now in/of one body and Christ is the head. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God the Father. We are given grace by Christ through His blood shed.
Ephesians 4: 12-16: These verses speak of gathering in the church for the perfecting of the body to edify each other in Christ. We are not to fall into the things of this world. For the enemy tries to be sly and sneaky in attempt to cause us to stumble. Speaking love always. We all have our own functions to help operate the body of Christ.
Take a stroll on over to Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 where it says, ” Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
Basically, King Solomon who wrote Ecclesiastes had an understanding of an individual needing a companion to keep him or her accountable. We all need that one person we can be completely honest with and trust whether they encourage or correct. Accountability is vital, as the enemy tries to make you think you can’t tell anyone your struggles because you’ll be judged. Wrong! The Lord has that one or more people/person who will be there when you fall to lift you up without a judgmental heart.
Ephesians 4: 22-25: As new creations in Christ we are not to continue in the same acts as our “old man”, but as the “new man”, or “new creation” in Christ. By being a new creation we speak of God and His almighty holiness, therefore we being ambassadors for Christ must emulate this to those who have Him not. Otherwise, we are no different, and there is no new creature. So this means not speaking as we use to such as; cursing, swearing, lewd talk, lying, etc..
Again, how can we be set apart from the rest if we act the same as everyone else does who does not have Christ?
Now in this next verse (Ephesians 4:26) I have always misunderstood, until I experienced over and over trying to do what I thought this verse meant but instead I made matters worse.
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26)
This is where I went wrong… if ever I got into an argument with my husband, and we were upset with one another into the evening when the day was coming to a close. This verse came to thought… and I’d ask the Lord, “ok, I don’t want to go to sleep tonight being upset with him so I’ve got to ease the tension and apologize or make amends. But the Devil’s helper, it’s one sneaky creep. It knows I don’t like backing down to an argument. It becomes a really bad itch I’ve got to scratch. So stupidly, I’d go to my husband and try to douse the flame, but my husband is much different than I. When he is upset he needs his space, time to cool down for a while and not talk about the issue. Like just leave it be and pretend it’s not there for now. Well… I am not like that at all. I’ve got to talk about it, work it out and mend the issue. Otherwise, if I hold it in I hold a heavy bitterness… not good. So to avoid that I talk it through. So as I try to apologize or talk, my husband may say something snarky and I’d get offended that he wasn’t taking to the reconciliation I was attempting. Then I’d get mad and there goes another arguement, Nearly everytime, it’d happen just like that. And instead of actually accomplishing that verse I just made it worse.
So here’s what I learned, and you may think well… duh! It’s totally clear. I just didn’t quite get it. Through trial and error I now understand that what it means is, within yourself you must come to a state of forgiveness without, the other person apologizing. Or come to an agreement of reconciliation. It all starts with YOU. You need to come to a point where you forgive or can forget what was said or done whether its your fault or not. The Lord is sufficient, He gives us peace. Not the apology or the accepted apology. The Lord gives us contentment, not the resolved matter with the other person or people. Again, if you understand the love on that cross with Jesus, you’ll understand this.
It says not to grieve the Holy Spirit. And by this it means to do anything that concerns the “old man”.
Ephesians 4: 31-32 says, ” Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Wow! Jesus is pleading our case, He’s requesting our forgiveness to the Father.
Please read Ephesians 5
Our obedience is like a sweet aroma to God.
Ephesians 5: 3-5 says “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolaters, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
This verse explains itself….
Let’s take a look at verses 9-11, which says, “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Providing what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
We should not flirt with the things of this world it can lead us stray. Leading to moments in life for us of difficulty getting ourselves back into fellowship with the Lord. Remember, the Lord doesn’t move from us, we move away from Him.
And although the Lord has an endless forgiveness, we should never take advantage. The love of our Father is immense, far greater than we can imagine. So like the prodigal son, the Lord will always greet us with open arms when we return. And no one, no thing, can take our salvation away. It is given, it is a promise, a seal, that is given to us once we submit our love and devotion to Christ when becoming a believer. It’s permanent. I like the way Greg Laurie, a pastor of a church in Riverside, CA, who says, “there is no ‘oops’ in Gods vocabulary.”. If God is omniscient, meaning all-knowing, then logically speaking all of His divine appointments such as your salvation and rebirth, are no “oops”. To the point where He will say He’s going to take your salvation from you because of what you have done. The moment He chose you from the beginning of time He knew all your faults, all your sin’s before you were created. His love is fool-proof. Free of error, and regrets. So you can rest assure that you are no mistake, and He loves you unconditionally. Isn’t that great!? To know that no matter to what degree we elevate sin, that our Creator see’s it all the same and will never bat an eye in surprise at what we have done, that as long as we are remorseful and repent and turn from our sin He understands. He hates sin but allows repentance. And repentance may be short it may be long but since He is so patient He waits. What a perfect gentleman!
Now don’t get me wrong, this is most definitely not a means to fall into sin with the expectation that because God is a forgiving God that we can take advantage. Love should never take advantage, and if you do, then I think it’s safe to say you need to question the salvation you believe you possess.
Ephesians 5: 22-33 speaks of Marriage; we are to submit to one another husbands and wives. Not pertaining only to one spouse but both in one body with God whom we made vows/ covenants to in front of God’s presence. Just as we care for ourselves should we do the same for our spouse. This is a whole other discussion….
Let’s read Ephesians 6
Here we see in verses 1-9 Paul speaking of a leadership role whether as a parent or master (such as employer, or a managorial position ruling over others). Ruling in the way of the Lord always in all things.
And most importantly verses 10-24 speak of the armor of God. As believers we are under scrutiny, attack. We must arm ourselves with armor for the battle. What soilder goes into battle without armor? So here is the armor we should put on in order to withstand the attacks of the enemy:
Belt of Truth (verse 14) – Speaking only truth from your core.
Breastplate of Righteousness (verse 14)- Our hearts guarded with righteousness.
Feet Shod with Gospel of Peace (verse 15)- Walk in peace.
Shield of Faith (verse 16)- Faith shields us.
Helmet of Salvation (verse 17)- Salvation that starts from the head which is Christ the head.
Sword of the Spirit (verse 17)- The Spirit equips us as our weapon to fight the good fight.
Armor of God
I found this pretty cool image from thetruthunderfire.com to give a visual on what we are talking about regarding armor.
I pray you will take the time to read the book of Ephesians to get a better in-depth look into the basic that a Believer should know about being a follower of Jesus Christ. It’s important to say the least to seek the Lord daily to fight the good battle we battle each and every day, small or big. Thank you for taking the time to read along with me. May the Lord richly bless you!