The Book Of Ephesians – Part XVI

by The Doctor

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV) .

This passage has so many important things to say that The Doctor gave it a study of it’s own and you can check it out right here.

So now that we’ve reached the end of the Book Of Ephesians, let’s take one last look at some of the key topics that are covered within this important Biblical book.

In Ephesians 1:4-5 we’re told that God had you in mind before the universe began. God chose you and had a specific blueprint designed to produce you before anything existed. Later on in chapter one, we find that the presence of the Holy Spirit in every Christian is like a down-payment or guarantee that God will make good on all His promises (Ephesians 1:13-14).

In Ephesians chapter two we read this:

“But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead-only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved- and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms-all because of what Christ Jesus did. And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich his kindness is, as shown in all he has done for us through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-7).

Unlike human “love” which is often based on things like money, success, or physical attractiveness alone, God loves us because it’s His nature to love. Even though we did nothing to deserve it, God showed His love for humanity through what Jesus did on the cross.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

This word workmanship refers to a “work of art” and it’s the same word that gives us our modern day word “poem.” This tells us that the lives of God’s people are like His work of art and every day is like another line that God is writing in the poetry of your life. Ephesians chapter three then goes on to tell us that the church is the means by which God desires to display His knowledge, understanding and good judgment to everyone (see Ephesians 3:10-11).

Following this, Ephesians chapter four begins with this important reminder…

“…live and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen for such wonderful blessings as these” (Ephesians 4:1).

Chapter four tells us that we should always seek to live and act in a way that honors God. A genuine Christian doesn’t seek to live a God-honoring lifestyle to try to get on God’s “good side,” earn “points” with God or try to get God to do something that they want Him to do. A God-honoring lifestyle flows from an attitude of gratefulness to God for what He has done.

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14 NIV).

A Christian who doesn’t know the Bible makes an easy target for the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. These words paint a word-picture that originally carried the idea of a gambler that took advantage of others through cheating and deception. In a similar way, it’s also possible for “religious” people to make something sound like a Biblical teaching when it really isn’t. This is why it’s important for every Christian to really know what the Bible says and means!

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1 NIV).

The Bible encourages Christians to watch how God interacts with people and imitate His good example in their own lives. The best way to accomplish this is to get to know God through His Word where we find the greatest example of all…

“Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him” (Ephesians 5:2).

“…each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband… Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother… Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord… Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ” (Ephesians 5:33 NIV, Ephesians 6:1-3, Ephesians 6:4 NIV, Ephesians 6:5 NIV).

There is one common principle that unites the Bible’s teaching on relationships. That basic idea is simply this: we should seek to honor God in all our relationships whether those relationships are at home or on the job. When it comes to putting this principle into practice, it’s impossible to improve on Jesus’ advice from Matthew 7:12…

“Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about” (CEV).