Ephesians is a letter written by a man named Paul, who is likely to have written this as he was sitting in prison. Paul had previously been a missionary to the city of Ephesus, a huge city that was the popular place for Greek and Roman gods to be worshiped. As Paul lived on mission in Ephesus, he saw many people come to know Jesus as their friend and Savior. Paul wrote this to the people he knew were Christ-followers living in a broken culture. Paul sent this letter encouraging them all to stay rooted in their life as Christians and to remind them of who they are.
Before we dive into some of the themes from Ephesians, I want to point out something that we can glean from this already. Paul lived on mission for Jesus and as a result, people’s lives were changed. His life was all about sharing Jesus with people where he was. But we don’t have to move to Ephesus to be living on mission for Jesus. Think about all the people you come in contact with every day and how you can share Jesus in your normal moments of life.
Through the beginning of Ephesians, we see that we have all the spiritual blessings we need. Because of Christ, we have redemption, forgiveness, grace, wisdom, understanding, and unity. Within Ephesians 1:18-23 is a prayer in which Paul prays for their hearts to understand the hope that Christ calls them to, as well as to the riches of His inheritance. We see that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power we have inside of us as believers. How encouraging! Try praying Ephesians 1:18-23 for yourself, for your family, and those you know who are seeking.
Chapter 2 addresses many ways that we used to live in darkness, followed by one of my favorite verses that shows the result of transformation in Christ:
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
~ Ephesians 2:4-5
We were made alive in Christ, and it is only because of God’s grace! Later in Chapter 2, we see that Christ brings those near who were once far off, and that Christ is the peace and unity for all of God’s people.
Through Chapter 3, Paul is explaining that though he is not a special person, even so, God gave him immense grace. He explains also that through faith in God, we can approach Him with freedom and confidence. Paul prays that people would deeply understand God’s love. Ephesians 3:14-21 is another section of Scripture from which we can pray over ourselves, our families, and those we know.
Chapter 4 and chapter 5 of Ephesians are full of practical ways that a believer’s life should function. We see the importance of living a life of marked by love, unity, peace, truth, and reflecting Christ in every area of our lives, as individuals and in our relationships with others.
If someone were to go to battle and leave all their armor and preparation at home, we would think they were crazy! We should recognize that this is similar to us spiritually—we so often leave our armor of God somewhere else! We can see in chapter 6 that God gives us these tools to use to live our life and stand our ground spiritually. God’s way is always the best, and we can truly learn more about what that looks like from the book of Ephesians! There are so many perspectives in it from which we can learn about the Lord, as well as practical things that we can implement in our lives as Christ-followers.
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” ~ Ephesians 4:1
How can you live your life in a way that is worthy of the calling you have received? Reading Ephesians is a good place to start.