Walking through Ephesians 1 has been life changing for me. The content of that chapter is so deep, it is difficult to comprehend all that Paul is saying. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is there to help make God’s word come to life for us. As I walk through these verses with the students in our ministry at Brookhaven Church, my goal is to explain the verses to them as well as I can as well showing them how it applies to their lives today.
One of the recurring themes throughout Ephesians 1 is the fact that we are chosen by God. That’s the main thing we concentrated on last week, but Paul continues that thought in verses 12-14. God wanted all people to know Him, and those that are in the family of God (both Jews and Gentiles) are a part of His family. The proof that we are in the family is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guarantees to us that God will be true to His word. What we briefly touched on in our student ministry is the presence of the Spirit in our lives. We asked them if they had ever sensed His movement within their lives. As Christians, learning how to listen to the Spirit and His voice takes much discipline and practice. Without Him, there’s no way we determine the will of God for our lives.
Paul moves in a little different direction starting in verse 15. He mentions his love and passion for the people of Corinth. He prays for them constantly and wants them to understand the hope and call of God for their lives. Paul wants them to know and experience these spiritual blessing he’s been talking about earlier in the chapter. He asks God to give them wisdom so that they might grow to know Him [God] better. The thing we wanted to emphasize from verse 17 is that our relationship with God needs to be constantly growing. No relationship can be healthy and vibrant without growth. How do we grow closer to God? Well that requires spending time with Him… through prayer, scripture, worship, and friendships that encourage us to seek after God are just a few ways.
Paul explains that as we grow in our knowledge of God, we then begin to understand the “hope” God has given to those He called. We have a rich inheritance because we are united with Christ. We can only just begin to comprehend all of what awaits those who belong to the family of God!
One of the final points we made on Sunday night was from verses 21 through 23. Jesus has been made SUPREME over everything. That includes my life. It includes your life. So what we hoped to challenge our students with was the fact that Jesus [in order for Him to be our “Lord”] needs ALL of us. Not just part. It is a challenging thing to evaluate the status of your heart. Where is your allegiance? It’s a disconnect to proclaim Christ as your “Lord” if He doesn’t have all of you. In addition to this… As the church, we are the representatives of Jesus on earth. As His body [verse 23], the world should look at us and see Jesus. They should see the church treating people the way He did. They should see us caring about the things He cared about…
We will continue the study in Ephesians 2 on July 1st. We head to BigStuf Camp in Daytona Beach this next week. Pray for the trip that our students will encounter God in a way that they will never forget.