Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Keeping the End in Sight

I've had the blessing of having the opportunity to teach through Ephesians 1-3 to the high school kids in Awana.  Ephesians is one of my favorite books which makes it an extra special blessing.  One thing that has been continually on my mind as I have been teaching it is that we must live with the end in sight.  Much of this is due to the fact that God has given me a passion for seeing believers press on to know and obey the Lord, but I am also encouraged in this manner because of the great blessings of Christ specifically in these three chapters. 

In Ephesians 1, we are reminded that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, that He chose us, adopted us, His intentions toward us are kind, He loves us, He redeemed us with His blood, we have an inheritance in Christ, we have hope in Christ, we are sealed and secure in Christ, we are God's own possession, that God is far above all rule and authority, etc.

In Ephesians 2, we are reminded that we once were completely spiritually dead because of our sin, we once lived to please ourselves, indulging the evil desires of the flesh and deserved the wrath of God, but because of God's great mercy, He made us alive with Christ and saved us by His grace.  Because of this salvation, we get to see the surpassing riches of His grace both here and for all eternity.  We are reminded that we are saved not by our works, but by faith alone and by the grace of God and that we are created to do good works.  This reminds me of the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control... we will see these fruits in our lives if we are living as He would have us live.  This doesn't earn us any more favor with God, but it is our joy to obey Him and serve Him.  We are also reminded in this chapter that we have peace with God through Christ, that we are no longer strangers to God, but we are in His family.  We have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  We are not only part of His family, but we are part of His body and the dwelling place of God.

In Ephesians 3, we are reminded of the amazing truth that we as Gentiles can be saved!  I take this for granted so much... but to think that it was twelve normal Jewish men spreading the gospel... and that God allowed me to hear the gospel, understand it, and He put in me a heart to respond to... it is just incredible!  We are reminded that God has revealed Himself to us so that we could know His eternal purposes and that because of His purpose in drawing near to us, we can have boldness in coming before Him because of Christ.  We are also reminded that He is able to do far more abundantly beyond all we ask or think.

Because of these truths, how can we not keep the end in sight?  How can we not hope for the glory that is to be revealed when we see Him face to face?  How can we live for ourselves now?  How can we who have been saved from sin choose to remain in it? 

Let us, by the grace of God, live no longer for ourselves, but for Christ who died and rose again on our behalf.  He is worthy of all we have to offer and infinitely more.  Let's offer the joyful sacrifice of everything we have so that He might be glorified in us.

1 comment:

Sophie said...

Hello! I found your blog and your words and testimony are truly inspiring. Christ's sacrifice is the greatest gift. Thank you for your example of following the Savior.