The Riches of God’s Grace in Christ Jesus

God's Order in Ephesians - Sitting And Walking

 

By I Gordon

 

In another study, or possibly studies knowing me, I have made mention of the fact that it would be useful for you to go and study the layout of the book of Ephesians. This book shows clearly how our entire Christian walk comes from the perfect and complete position God has granted us ‘in Christ.’

 

So I told you to go away and do your own study... but I couldn’t help myself and have gone and done it anyway! What brought this little study on was something I read from an old Christian writer named C.H.M. Commenting on Colossians 2:10 which says ‘You are complete in Him’ C.H.M wrote

 

“The very weakest saint is included in the apostolic ‘you’. All the people of God ‘are complete in Christ.’ The apostle does not say, ‘you will be’, ‘you may be’, ‘hope that you may be’, or ‘pray that you may be’. No – he, by the Holy Spirit, states in the most absolute and unqualified manner, that ‘you are complete’. This is the true Christian starting-post, and for man to make a goal of what God makes a starting-post, is to upset everything.

 

Now I so fully agree with this! Christianity is packed with people who are making it their utmost goal to obtain what God has already freely given them!  So have a look at Ephesians, laid out below in the two columns, and see for yourself how before God asks any requirement of you in your Christian life, He first invites you to sit and listen, and be amazed at His grace towards you! 

 

 

Verse

What God Does… Has done

What We Do… Did

 

 

 

1:3

Fully Blessed! God HAS blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ (already!)

We praise God!

1:4

Spotless! God chose us before the foundation of the world and made us holy and blameless in His sight!

 

1:5

God predestined and adopted us as His own son! (In His family!)

 

1:6

God freely gave His grace to us

We praise His glorious grace!

1:7

God redeemed us (brought us back to himself by paying the price – his death!) and forgave us ALL our sins.

 

1:8

God lavished grace, wisdom and understanding upon us.

 

1:9

Showed us the mystery of His will which He purposed in Christ

 

1:10

God will submit everything to Christ

 

1:11

God has given us an inheritance in Christ, and as He predestined us, He works everything out for us according to His own will and purpose!

 

1:12

God gave us awesome hope in Christ

We hope in Christ and praise His glory in doing this!

1:13

God has sealed us with the Holy Spirit

We believed the good news!

1:14

God has given us a guarantee of our inheritance by the Holy Spirit He has given us. He has made us His own possession!

We give praise to His glory!

 

Look at the things above… look at all the things that God has done for us ‘in Christ’ already. They are as true for the weakest believer as they are for the strongest. Now look at the things we do – Praise God for His amazing grace and believe!

 

Paul’s Prayer For You!

 

The Apostle Paul didn’t want his readers to skip lightly over these things so he now pauses and even prays for them in verses 15-23 so that they could comprehend these things. Here is what He prays:

 

·                     That God would grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation (to truly know HIM!)

·                     That our eyes would be enlightened so that we would see the following things:

§         The hope we have through His calling of us (vs18)

§         The riches of God’s own inheritance (which is us!) (vs 18)

§         The surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. (vs 19)

 

But the Apostle Paul hasn’t finished talking about what God has done! Oh, no… He is just warning up!

 

Verse

What God Does… Has done

What We Do… Did

 

 

 

2:1-4

We were dead in sins, manipulated by an evil spirit, and a child of wrath… but God was rich in mercy towards us and had an immense love for us.

 

2:5

God made us spiritually alive with Christ and saved us by grace from the things mentioned in verses 1-4 above.

 

2:6

God raised us up and seated us in the Heavenly places with Christ.

 

2:7

God has made us a living testimony to His grace and kindness, even in the ages to come!

 

2:8

God has saved us!

We placed our faith (which was given to us by God) in Christ

2:9

God salvation is by grace, and works don’t come into it

 

2:10

God works in us for good works that He has prepared long before our salvation

 

2:11-13

We were without Christ, without God, without hope or promise… but now we have been brought as near to God as Christ himself!

 

2:14

God has given Jesus as our very peace!

 

2:15

God abolished the law and made a new man in Christ Jesus

 

2:16

We have been reconciled to God through the cross

 

2:17

God has given us peace

 

2:18

Through Jesus, God has given us access to Himself!

 

2:19

God has made us saints, and members of His own household!

 

2:22

God has made us to be a dwelling in which He lives.

 

 

Do you like a good mystery?

 

Right about now, if you lived in Ephesus, you’d be thinking – ‘How does Paul know all this? The Apostle explains himself in chapter 3:1-10. God supernaturally revealed these mysteries to Paul! They were mysteries hidden in the Old Testament… mysteries concerning Christ, the Church, and our position in Him. But now, through the Apostle Paul, these mysteries have been revealed so that all can comprehend the love and incredible grace of God! And it continues…

 

Verse

What God Does… Has done

What We Do… Did

 

 

 

3:11

God carried out His eternal purpose in Christ, for us.

 

3:12

We have been given bold and confident access to God

We do this through faith in Jesus.

3:16

God strengthens us with power through His Spirit

 

3:17

Christ has been given to us and lives in our hearts

We believed and received Him through faith

3:18-19

God progressively shows us the breadth, length, height, and depth of Jesus’ love for us! This leads to us being filled with God.

 

3:20

God’s power works within us and He is able to do far more than we can even think!

 

3:21

 

We give God, and God alone, the glory for all that He has done! And this is forever!

 

The unbalanced God - Grace doesn’t need help!

 

Now, we’ve looked at three whole Chapters of this wonderful letter to the Ephesians. Please, look down the columns… seem a little bit unbalanced to you? Look at the side which shows what ‘we do / did’. Not a lot there? We believed the message and applied faith (which He gave us!), and we are to give Him the praise and glory for all that He has done!

 

This is the order for the Christian life! Everything is based and comes out of, what God has done for you. Don’t allow your Christian life be an endless struggle to become what you already are! Apply faith and believe what God has said!

 

Now, having laid this fantastic foundation, the Apostle Paul moves on to the practical aspects of how we should walk and conduct our lives in view of everything that he has been saying. Chapter 4:1 marks a key change in this letter – and shows how our position in Christ should then lead on to a practical outworking in our lives.

 

Verse

What God Does… Has done

What We Do… Did

 

 

 

4:1

 

Walk in a manner worthy of our calling in God

4:2

 

Show humility, gentleness, patience and love.

4:3

 

Preserve the unity of the Spirit, and be in peace

4:4-6

Called by God to one hope, one faith, one Lord and Father

 

4:7-11

To each one grace and gifts have been given

 

4:12

 

We use whatever gift has been given us for works of service to build up the body of Christ.

4:13

 

We press on to maturity through unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God.

4:14

 

Through knowledge of Christ, we prevent the deceitfulness and trickery of men from blowing us around in every direction.

4:15-16

 

We speak the truth in love and keep growing in all aspects of who Christ is for us.

4:17-19

 

We don’t continue to walk like we once did when we were separated from the life of God and in darkness.

4:20-22

 

According to the truth we have received in Jesus, we lay aside the old self.

4:23

 

We renew our minds, through the Spirits enabling.

4:24

The new self has been created by God (a new creation!) and is righteous and holy. This ‘new self’ is the product of the Holy Spirit who is in you.

Put on the new self (through renewing our minds with the truth of Eph chapters 1-3) that is in the likeness of God.

4:25

 

We lay aside falsehood and speak the truth

4:26

 

We don’t allow our anger to result in sin or carry on being angry the next day.

4:27

 

We don’t give the devil an opportunity
(by disobeying vs 25-26)

4:28

 

Don’t steal but work so that you can share with others

4:29

 

Don’t let unwholesome words come out of our mouth… but we speak words of grace to those around us.

4:30

God has sealed us with His Spirit until the day of redemption when Christ returns.

We don’t grieve the Holy Spirit by continuing to do the things mentioned not to do in verses 25-32

4:31

 

We let go of all bitterness, wrath, anger and malice

4:32

God has fully forgiven us

We forgive other in the same way God has fully forgiven us.

 

 

Chapter 5 of Ephesians carries on in the same manner of chapter 4. That is, by declaring what our outward walk should be like. But I’m sure you get the message so I won’t keep on. We should always have an outward life which reflects that which has happened within. But we have to do this through God’s design and order, not our own. God’s order is shown here in Ephesians – and it begins with seeing grace in all its fullness! God always begins by not demanding one thing of the believer but to sit, listen and believe in all that He has done for them. And once we see our position in Christ and give Him the praise for it, this frees the Holy Spirit in combination with our own desire to please Him, to work the instruction and commands listed in chapters 4 and 5 into reality in our lives.

 

‘For man to make a goal of what God makes a starting-post is to upset everything.’ C.H.M

 

May you start your Christian life where God starts, and may you not spend needless energy trying to obtain what you already have!

 

 

Other Bible Studies in the Riches of Grace Series