Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our Walk In Ephesians - Part One

In the book of Ephesians, we see seven passages where our walk is referred to. The order of each of these passages is interesting and worth meditating upon.

1) Our Walk Without Christ

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

When we did not know the Saviour and had not trusted Him for salvation, we walked according to the course of this world - we walked like the lost world walked, following the world's philosophies, pursuing the world's pleasures. We followed Satan, who was working through us - as he works through all the children of disobedience. The word for disobedience here means "disbelief (obstinate and rebellious)." When we did not know the Lord, we "willfully and perversely" went our own way, sought our own will, pursued our own rebellious course in life!

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The word conversation in the King James Bible means our "manner of life." In our lost state, we lived to fulfill the lusts of our flesh and the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Not only were we children of disobedience, we were by nature the children of wrath. Because of our sin and rebellion, because of our unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ, God's wrath was upon us all.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

The word for believeth not in John 3:36 means "to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely)."

Praise the Lord, the story did not end there!

Sitting Together With Christ:

Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

This passage describes the change that took place when we trusted in the Lord to save us from our sins and the punishment that we are guilty of: eternity in Hell, separated from God forever.

If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you, then consider these wonderful facts:

We are no longer dead in sins, but alive in Christ Jesus - quickened together with Him! The Holy Spirit took each one of us children of wrath that had placed our faith in Jesus, transformed us, made us partakers of the divine nature (see 2 Peter 1:3-4) and new creatures in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), and raised us up together with Christ - we are now in Christ. Because of our faith in His finished work upon the cross of Christ, the Holy Spirit has united us with Him in the Heavenly places.

I find it interesting that before God tells us how to walk, He first shows us where we are sitting!

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

We are sitting in Heavenly places in Christ, with Christ - where He is sitting at the right hand of the Father.

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Our Victory In Christ:

We are seated above this world, given victory over it, victory in and through Jesus Christ - a victory that we must learn to live out and apply in our daily lives. See Paul's prayer in chapter 1:15-23.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Habakkuk 3:19a The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places...

Who We Are And What We Have In Jesus:

Part of that victory will include knowing what we have now in Jesus:

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

What our Heavenly Father is doing for all those who are in Jesus:

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Who we are in Jesus - ie. adopted as children of God:

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

What He has already done for us - made us accepted and forgiven us:

Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

What He has laid up for us in Heaven/eternity:

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

The absolute assurance we have in Christ that He will keep His promises and finish what He has begun in us (see also 4:32):

Ephesians 1:12-14 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

And the power that is available to us through the Holy Spirit - the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead:

Ephesians 1:19-20 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Oh, The Riches That Are Ours In Christ!

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

The Contrast Between The Lost And The Saved:

Acts 14:15-16 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Are you walking in darkness or in the light of God's Word? Are you walking according to the course of this world, or walking in newness of life?

October 17th/07
Jerry Bouey

Studies in this series of Our Walk In Ephesians:

Part One - Our Walk Without Christ
Part Two - Walking In Good Works
Part Three - Walking Worthy Of Our Calling
Part Four - Walking In Newness Of Life (Coming Soon)
Part Five - Walking In Love (Coming Soon)