Key Verse: Ephesians 4:13
“Until we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
In the first three chapters of Ephesians, we are taught that God “has made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). We’ve been enjoying “the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-9): “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.”
In the last three chapters, we make a rapid descent back down to earth. Like the astronauts, there is danger in re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere and danger in the landing. Here on earth, (1) we must learn to get along in unity with each other, (2) pay attention to those to whom God has given leadership responsibilities, (3) grow up and be “no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive.” (4) we must “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man, which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” (5) we must “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away.” (6) we must learn to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” This list of what to do and what not to do goes on and on throughout the rest of the book. Let us remember that while we seek to behave in a godly way, failure to be perfect does not change in any way the message of the first three chapters. Our position “in Christ” is secure forever. Don’t get it backwards. We do our best to obey because we are “in Christ,” not in order to get the favour of God by our good deeds.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, here on earth it’s sometimes hard to always do what is right. Forgive me for the wrong I have done and will probably do again. According to Your Word, I pray for constant cleansing from sin. I thank You for Your promise in 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I remember clearly my father preaching from 1st John, chapter one. He focused on verse 7b, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” As a Greek language teacher, my father pointed out that the Greek verb translated “cleanses” denotes something that has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen all the time. Isn’t that comforting to know this fact, that God always sees us as clean because He sees us under the blood of Jesus! Hallelujah! Note that John, the Apostle who was most often the closest of all the disciples to Jesus, included himself when he used the word “we,” as I quoted in my prayer for today. We can never say, “We have no sin.” So I’ve learned to relax, sitting in heavenly places, with my feet placed firmly here on earth. I do not live only here on earth, but with Christ in heavenly places as well. Like my muscles which have a ligament on both ends, there is a healthy tension here that keeps me moving forward.
Yours for our “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:5-6),
Today’s photos feature the two impressive ancient theatres in Ephesus. The one pictured above is the Odeon (Bouleuterion) – This building has the shape of a small theatre. It had a double function in use. First, it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or the Senate. The second function was the Odeum – a concert hall for performances. It was constructed in the 2nd century A.D by the order of Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana, two wealthy citizens in Ephesus. It had a capacity of 1,500 spectators. It had three doors opening from the stage to the podium. The podium was narrow and one metre higher than the orchestra section. The stage building was two-storied and embellished with columns. The podium in front of the stage building and some parts of the seating were restored. The Odeon used to be enclosed with a wooden roof.