12/08/16 In Christ Jesus

READING: Ephesians 1-3

This year, we’ve been studying spiritual warfare in the Scriptures, and today’s reading takes us to the New Testament book that is often most associated with this topic. Because the book of Ephesians ends with the “armor of God” passage in chapter 6, we sometimes assume the whole book has this focus. That’s not the case, however — not about the book of Ephesians, nor about the whole Bible, for that matter. 

The book of Ephesians begins with God, ends with God, and focuses on God in the middle. Take a look at how the book opens, and you’ll see that God, particularly Jesus Christ, is the focus of this book: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places . . .” (Eph 1:1-3). 

This Jesus is greater than any other power; in fact, He reigns “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Eph 1:21). Our problem is that on our own, however, we follow "the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Eph 2:2). As unbelievers, we reject God, live for ourselves, and follow the enemy. That’s not a popular truth, but it’s a biblical one: apart from the grace of God, we are desperately caught in the enemy’s kingdom. We’re simply in eternal trouble without Christ. 

But — and that’s a huge word in Ephesians 2:4 — God reversed the story and made it possible for people “deserving of wrath” (Eph 2:3) to become the children of God. Today’s reading, in fact, echoes with what God does for us in Jesus. In Him we have been blessed, chosen, predestined, adopted, loved, redeemed, forgiven, included, sealed, made alive, saved, and brought near  (Eph 1:1-14, 2:4-13). And, Christ now works in us to make us one Body, Jew and Gentile alike (Eph 2:11-14). So great is that miracle that the church itself reveals God’s wisdom to “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” (Eph 3:10). The church is a reminder to the angels of God’s plan and a warning to the demons of their coming demise.  

Put all of these truths together, and it’s no wonder Paul ended this reading with this praise: “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph 3:21).  

Amen, indeed.  


  • If you’re a Christian, thank God for His grace that made you His child. If you’re not a Christian, turn to Him and ask His forgiveness.  
  • Thank God for your church today. Praise Him for the miracle of the church family He gives us.        

PRAYER: “God, I praise You for Your grace. I thank You for Your church. To You be the glory forever!”   

 TOMORROW’S READING: Ephesians 4-6


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