Encouragement From Ephesians

These past few weeks, I’ve questioned myself a lot.

Up until recently, I’ve served and been a leader in ministry for nearly seven years, often in a vocational manner. Suddenly, I find myself serving coffee and delivering pizzas for a living (these are two different jobs for the record). In my limited view—perhaps my prideful soul may be indicted in this as well—my finite scope of life can sometimes prohibit me from viewing seasons similar to this as anything short of a step backward.

Questions like “who am I?” and “what the heck am I even doing with my life?” began flooding my thoughts. Have you ever felt or thought this way?

As I began thinking through this season of life, the Spirit made it evident that my joy in life was dependent on myself. My purpose in life was being defined by what I do rather than by what God already did through Jesus.

I decided to read through and meditate on Paul’s letter to the church in the city of Ephesus. While reading it, I sought to write down every single truth that God declares through Paul about who we are as Christians. I wrote the truths 1) in present tense to remind me that they are not foreign existential concepts but present-day realities and 2) in plural first-person to remind me that these truths are not solely about me but more importantly about we, God’s people.

Three pages of notes later, the letter was incredibly life-giving, holding over forty fantastic truths about who we are in Jesus.

If you’ve recently been confronted by a similar foe, I encourage you to read through these truths. Ask the Spirit to give you a richer understanding of what this means and a profound joy in God Who made it possible:

• We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (1:3)

• We belong to Jesus (1:3, 6, 13, 2:13, 6:1)

• We are loved by God before He made the universe (1:4)

• We are chosen by God before the universe was made to be made holy in His eyes (1:4, 11)

• We are adopted into God’s very own family through Jesus (1:5 & 5:1)

• We are a great pleasure to God in our adoption (1:5)

• We are recipients of God’s kindness (1:6 & 2:7), most notably through what He did for us in Jesus

• We are spiritually free from the power and penalty of sin through the blood of Jesus (1:7)

• We are forgiven of all our failures because of the sin-atoning blood of Jesus (1:7)

• We are recipients of all wisdom and understanding (1:8), namely God’s emptive plan through Jesus (1:9 & 10)

• We are under the rule and authority of Jesus (1:10)

• We are recipients of an inheritance from God because of Jesus (1:11 & 18)

• We are hearers of the truth (1:13)

• We are saved by God (1:13 & 2:8)

• We are bearers of the actual Spirit of God (1:13), the guarantee that God will fulfill His promises

• We are God’s own people (1:14)

• We are given a future (1:18)

• We are the body of Jesus, filling everything everywhere with His presence (1:23, 2:16, & 4:6)

• We are made alive because of God’s great mercy in raising Jesus from the dead (2:4), giving us newness of life

• We are raised to life along with Jesus (2:6)

• We are seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms (2:6)

• We are one with Jesus (2:6)

• We are God’s masterpiece (2:10)

• We are recreated in Jesus (2:10)

• We are brought near to God because of the blood of Jesus (2:13)

• We are inhabitants and bearers of God’s peace (2:14-19) spiritually, racially, socially, etc (3:6 & 10)

• We are at peace with one another of all ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds (2:14-16)

• We are citizens of God’s holy community (2:19)

• We are God’s house (2:20)

• We are joined together, carefully becoming a temple for the Lord (2:21)

• We are a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit (2:22)

• We are free to enter God’s presence without fear because of Jesus (3:12)

• We are called to be holy (4:1)

• We are one body (4:4)

• We are filled with one Spirit (4:4)

• We are all called to a glorious future (4:4)

• We are each given specific gifts to bless and build up the local church (4:7, 12)

• We are becoming more and more like Jesus (4:15)

• We are each a unique and valuable part of God’s body (4:16)

• We are a new people (4:24)

• We are given a new nature (4:24)

• We are made in God’s likeness (4:24)

• We are full of light from the Lord (5:8)

• We are being cared for by Jesus (5:29 & 30)

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