Epistle to the Ephesians

I am adopted into God’s family

 There is an old fable that goes like this: “From the poor house to king’s house”. That is kind of what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “You are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir” Galatians 4:7).  

Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God’s eternal plan has always been to adopt us into His family. He does this by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that He finds immense pleasure doing this, (Read Ephesians 1:5). That is the reason He sent Jesus to break the Yoke that binds us.

I thank God that I am not desperate, alone, insecure, unwanted and without an identity. I am an heir of God and co-heir with Christ. God has adopted me into His family because He wants me to be a part of His own. He wants me to have the same rights and privileges that belong to a son who has come into His inheritance.

I am not the outsider, the world thinks I am. I am a child of a King who owns everything. I have His love, attention, presence, acceptance, and His name. I own what He owns. His riches are mine, His other children are my brothers and sisters and His home is where I belong.

Love Triumphs and Grace Prevails

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a ser...

Jesus helped by Simon of Cyrene, part of a series depicting the stations of the Cross. Chapel Nosso Senhor dos Passos, Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Oil on canvas, XIXth century, unknown author. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

One of the most significant events that had ever occurred in the history of the world was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary. It was a horrible and despicable act, which had been preordained and deemed necessary for the atonement of sin. Those who saw this historic event saw love triumph over evil. The proverbial captives who were bound and blindfolded were set free–not because they were innocent. But because of the grace of God. Here, is how the apostle Paul puts it: “For by grace, you have been granted a stay of execution through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, and not a result of works, so no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Admittedly, the keeper of the flame thought he had the condemned (You and I) in his grasps forever, but Jesus armed with instructions from His father stepped up to the execution stake and paid the ransom with His life. It was not His will but that of His father, the righteous Judge who had handed down the death sentence many years earlier.

Still, we are not free from blame yet. We are on probation. Therefore, if we do not break up our folly grounds and turned from our wicked ways, we could still end up in the enemy’s clutches once again. Many will argue, and I have in the past that Jesus died for sins once and for all. However, after reading Matthew 7: 21-23 I realized that Jesus’ death on the cross saved humanity from imminent destruction but most assuredly not forever.

Here, is what Jesus told His disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!

Jesus is the only Mediator you’ll need

“There is one God, and one mediator, between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus“(1 Timothy 2:5).

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

A mediator takes the hand of one party and places it into the hand of another party. A mediator is someone who has one primary aim, and that is to bring peace to a broken relationship.

Most of us are aware of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, between Israel and Palestine. We also know that over the years the United States have delegated several peace mediators to sit down with both parties to try to work out a compromise; but to date no one has been able to take the hand of one party and place it into the hand of the other.

Jesus Christ is your representative to God, and He is God’s representative to you. He does not have any hidden agenda—He has your best interest at heart, and He is a genuine mediator. As your mediator He presents your need of mercy to God, and as God’s mediator He extends God’s grace to you. “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Jesus Christ is the only mediator that you will ever need, for He is the One whose sacrifice on the cross at Calvary for sin completely satisfied the demands of God’s justice and holiness. The only one that you should allow to come between you and God is His Son, Jesus Christ. “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Walk in the Spirit and not in the Flesh

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I find it necessary to remind myself daily that it is important that I walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. The flesh adopts the old sinful Adamic nature, but the Spirit adopts the nature, and characteristics of Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:17 states: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”

Walking in the Spirit may sound like a fairy tale or a fantasy, but it is an important characteristic every believer needs to adopt and practice in his or her daily life. The Christian life cannot be manifested through the workings of the flesh. The old Adamic nature– the flesh, failed in the Garden of Eden— rendering itself unreliable.

But there is hope in Jesus. The God I serve designed the perfect escape route—which was activated the moment I had confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord Savior. “And you hath He quickened, (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1). “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

So, I am a believer who is made

alive by the Spirit of God. Therefore, I should allow the Spirit to take over my life and direct my footsteps.

Still, walking in the spirit is not an easy task. It does not matter whether I am a Christian for one week or fifty years. The Apostle Paul, himself, a stalwart and role model of the early church struggled with the flesh. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, he said: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

In a letter to the church in Galatia, Paul admonishes its members to walk in the Spirit: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). He was responding to disturbing news he had received that the disciples in Galatia had returned to their old Adamic ways. In Galatians 1:6 , he writes: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” Paul knew from experience that the Christian life is impossible without  the Holy Spirit‘s guidance.

Like the Apostle Paul, I am aware that the ways of the flesh are sinful.  And I cannot rely on my knowledge of the Word of God to live the Christian life. I need the Spirit of God to indwell me and be with me every day.  Without the Spirit of God I am apt to fall back to my old ways. Hence the reason I remind myself daily that I should walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. I protest by your boasting which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31):

Words Have Consequences: Life Or Death

Have you ever observed a friend or relative who is all talk and no action? There are some folks who spend more time bragging about what they are going to do than actually doing it. They typically never get anywhere. “For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words” (Ecclesiastes 5;3). Dreams do not come true when more time is spent talking about them than praying and working toward achieving them.

Have you been around a person who is angry, crass or ungodly in his or her speech? Their bad language gives listeners a sick and uncomfortable feeling and they don’t want to be around such a person. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). The good things of life seem to overlook those who have nothing good coming from their mouths.

Have you known any one who complains all the time? No matter what is happening, this person finds something to grumble about. “Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crocked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as light in the world” (Philippians 2:15, 15). Negative words bring negative results and thing seldom turn out right for a person who continually uses them.

Are you acquainted with anyone who is quick to speak yet do not seriously consider what he or she is saying? Blurts words without weighing the effect of them. “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil” (Proverbs 15:28). Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20) Much grief is in the future of anyone who does not consider the consequences of his or her spoken words.

Have you seen anyone speak discouragement and pain into someone, a spouse, a child, a friend, a coworker? “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). That person will bring destruction into their own life because of it.

Our words can justify us or condemn us (Matthew 12:37). They can bring us joy. (Proverbs 15:23), or corrupt and dishonor (Matthew 15 :11). What we say can either build up or break down the soul of whomever we are speaking to (Proverbs 15:4). The consequences of what we speak are so great that our words can leads us to ruin or save our lives (Proverbs 13:13)

Everyone has a choice about what he or she says, and there are rewards for making the right one. “Whoever guard his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23). “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).