About a year and a half ago, I participated in a “Bible Study on Ephesians for Women” by Keri Folmar. In all honesty, it was my first women’s group bible study ever.
But I think God designed the timing for me to do this study during a time that my identity and who I am made to be in Christ was slowly being discovered. I was beginning to understand and know the God who practices love, compassion, faithfulness and righteousness.
Many people paint pictures of God in their minds, how He looks and acts. They want God to fit into their lives as it seems fit to their ideologies and rhythms of life.
The only way to truly know God is for Him to reveal himself to us. He initiates the relationship and continues to pursue even in the darkest of sin. God wants us to know him!
If you want to know the one true God worthy of our praise, it must be through His Word. God is ready and waiting to speak to you at every moment of the day so that your foundation may be firm in who He is and who He says you are.
We need to know who God is truly so we can guard ourselves against the ways of the evil one. God has spoken to us and continues to speak to us through His Word, our life- sustaining truth.
The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to change our hearts. This Bible Study on Ephesians did just that!
The Book of Ephesians
The apostle Paul was God’s chosen instrument. He was commissioned to take the message of the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15). Ephesus was a worship center for the goddess Diana (Acts 19:23-41), whose pagan temple was one of the seven wonders of the world. After Paul planted a church, Ephesus became a lighthouse for the gospel in Asia Minor (Acts 18:18-20:1).
Paul taught that Jewish and Gentile believers are one in Christ. This oneness was to be demonstrated by their love for one another. Love is illustrated at the beginning and end of the Book of Ephesians (1:4-6, 6:23-24). Additional themes include grace, redemption, predestination, reconciliation, and unity with Christ.
God Chose Us in Him
This is where it all starts. God chooses us in Him to accomplish His will. God is the initiator and brings us to faith in Christ, resulting in a special relationship with Him.
“For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us within the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:4-6.
God chose us before He laid the foundation of the world because He loves us. This is the ultimate purpose for His plan. Through God’s purposeful love, believers are adopted into His family.
God is the Source of our Security
The world will never provide a solid source of security. The only true source of security is found in believing wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ.
As believers we do not continue in faith by our own strength, rather God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit work together to preserve it. Our salvation is not dependent on ourselves but of the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
“But God in His rich mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” Ephesians 2:4-5.
Furthermore, over our sinful, human rejection of God, we are made new because of God’s gracious acceptance of sinners through Jesus Christ on the cross. While we might try to wander, God pursues and continually calls us back into His family.
Your Foundation in Christ
This is sometimes a hard thing to accept. We don’t think we are good enough to accept grace and mercy from God. How could a God like our God choose someone as lowly as me?
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift – not from works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8.
Well, both grace and peace are unmerited gifts from God. Meaning we may not deserve them and there are no “works” we can do. But through faith in Jesus Christ, He lovingly gives them to us anyways. Through faith in Jesus, we have assurance of God’s spiritual blessings because they flow from His unending grace and eternal purpose. His ultimate purpose for this is to bring everything together in Christ.
Unity in Christ
According to God’s plan, our redemption was predestined to bring everything together in the Messiah and create a new order with Christ as the head of the church. We are united with Christ and have been raised to a new life.
“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope at your calling – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6.
As the church, we have the responsibility to keep the unity of Christ. In order to do so, God has granted a measure of grace to each believer as a gift from Christ (Ephesians 4:7). Our God-given gifts are intended to move us towards unity in faith and build each other up in truth and love.
These biblical truths are what give us our foundation in Christ: that we were saved not because of anything we did but in Christ, God redeemed us to himself. Now, we have confident access to the Father through faith in Him.
The prayer I leave you with:
“I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses all knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19.
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