Last Sunday we looked at Paul’s introduction to the church at Ephesus. Introductions are really important; Paul wrote to them and describes them as follows:
To the saints in Ephesus, to the faithful in Christ Jesus.’ Paul, in this introductory statement describes the life of the Christian. The who we are, the what we do and the how we do it.
Who are we? We are saints. Why because we who believe and follow Jesus have been set apart, we are a called people, a chosen people. That is the meaning of this word in the New Testament. It isn’t privileged few, it is everyone who believes. I think it is wonderful that Paul uses this descriptor so early on. We don’t deserve to be called, we don’t have to learn to behave first, no, we are chosen. So often we expect people to conform to our expectations, but Paul doesn’t, you, if you believe and obey Jesus are a saint. Not perfect, not yet anyway, but chosen
What do we do? Although we aren’t perfect, there is an expectation of lifestyle. We will stick at being Christian, we wont give up. We will defend the faith and live lives as obediently as we can. We are called to live saintly lives. But Paul doesn’t suggest this happens suddenly or all at once. Salvation does, but there is a process that goes on of growth and maturity. It’s not where we are, as much as the direction we are heading.
How do we do it? By being stuck to Jesus, by being ‘in Christ’ by being so closely connected to Jesus that he is in a metaphorical sense the air that we breath. We are to live in him, to be centred in him. To not just know about him, but to know him by means of developing a relationship with him.
What about the purpose? Well if you look at Paul’s writing he talks about the beauty the power of the Church. So questions for us as church are:
Are we demonstrating the love of Jesus
Are we demonstrating the life changing power of Jesus
Are we being faithful to his calling
There is so much good stuff in this letter. Take time to read it, and be encourage. We serve and awesome God who in his mystery thinks we are ok, and has chosen us to work with him. What a privilege
Let that thought sit with you this week.