Series: Ephesians – Saints: Set Apart to God in Calling and Practice
Week One: Overview of Ephesians
- Chapters 1-3 – Position in Christ
- Chapters 4-6 – Practice in Christ
- Connected by Ephesians 4:1
- “Paul, the ambassador of King Jesus, writing to those who are set apart to God through trusting in Jesus Christ.”
- Grace in the Letter to the Ephesians
- Bookends = Some Key Themes (Ephesians 1:1-2; 6:23-24) – When we look at the beginning and end of a Bible book, we are often given a clue to some of the main themes of the book. Paul begins this letter with grace and peace; he ends this letter with peace and grace.
- God’s kindness shown to those who deserve His judgment.
- God leans down to show kindness, rescue, give aid, and enable. (“to stoop”)
- Grace – “properly, grace… is preeminently used of the Lord’s favor – freely extended to give Himself away to people (because He is “always leaning toward them”).” (HELPS Word Studies, 5485 – biblehub.com; emphasis mine)
Grace’s Greatest Expression:
- JESUS CHRIST: God has leaned into us by coming to us, living for us, and dying for us (cf. John 1:14-18).
Aspects of Grace in Ephesians:
- Grace in Position – Saved by Grace (Ephesians 2:1-10)
- Grace in Christian Living – Empowered by Grace for Life and Service (Ephesians 4:7-16)
- Grace in Forever Experience (Eph. 2:7)
Grace in Ephesians
- Greeting – Grace to you (1:2)
- Blessed With EVERY Spiritual Blessing by Grace (1:3-14)
- Saved by grace (2:1-10)
- Stewardship of Grace (3:1-13) – Paul was given a stewardship of grace as an apostle. His specific ministry was “…to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ…” (3:6)
- Grace Gifts for Service (4:7-16). Each saint, every Christian, has been given a gift of grace from Jesus Christ for the purpose of serving within the body of Christ. It is as each member does his part that the body grows in maturity, into Christlikeness. I believe this is at the beginning of the “practical” section of Ephesians to be the foundation for what follows. It is by this grace that all the commands of chapters 4-6 are to be carried out.
- Channels of Grace (4:29) – We have not only received grace, but we are instruments for God’s grace to flow to others. This is seen in what we are to say and the attitude we should have (4:29; 4:32).
- Closing Blessing of Grace (6:24) – As we grow in our understanding of Christ’s love for us we will grow in our love for Him. As we grow in our love for Christ we will certainly grow in our experience of His grace.
The Grace of God
God has leaned into us in love by Jesus coming to die for our sins. God has leaned into us to apply that salvation through faith in Jesus. God continues to lean into us with His favor to empower us to live for Him. Not only have we been rescued by grace, but we continue to live by grace. We are also channels through which God’s grace flows to others.
Grace is not just a past reality, but it is the daily power available to walk with the Lord. Grace is not only a past and current reality, but it is our standing and experience FOREVER. What a difference it makes when we realize that all our life is of grace!
What a difference it makes when we realize that we are saved by grace, by the work of Jesus alone, and not our own works! Have you realized that for yourself? Have you trusted in Jesus Christ alone to rescue you from sin? If not, this grace is available to you. God is even showing you grace now as you are reading this post. He invites you (even commands you) to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
Believer, what a difference it makes when we realize that we are saved by grace and not our own works – We no longer have to labor to earn God’s favor, there is nothing we can do for that, God has already shown us limitless favor, we live in that limitless favor, and we can rest in that right relationship with God. Resting in that grace is where the power comes, not to live to earn God’s favor, but to live in light of God’s favor and serve Him in gratitude.
Grace makes all the difference in the world.
God has lovingly leaned into us, is leaning into us, and will forever lean into us in His love.
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