Perfect Sacrifice

Today I’m going to be doing my post on Ephesians 4:1-6 which says,

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Paul has explained to the Ephesians why he wants them to live a life pleasing to Jesus, and he is now asking them to be humble, gentle, patient, and loving. These are all things that, without Christ, are impossible for anyone to do perfectly. On our own, we may be able to be humble for a day, or loving to those who love us, but we still cannot do all of these perfectly.

Because of our imperfection, we deserve to die. God hates sin, and requires just payment for it. A perfect sacrifice was required to pay for all of our sins. We had no perfect sacrifice to give, because we were all imperfect. However, God sent us a perfect sacrifice. God salvation to all people, through His son. God sent His son to be the perfect sacrifice for all the sins of the world, because He loved us.

Now, because of the great joy we have from the salvation God has given us, we should now strive to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. Jesus’ love should flow through us to others, and His gentleness and humility should shine through our lives.  Because of what Jesus has done for us we should want to help others, and sacrifice ourselves for them. Jesus has done so much for you, doesn’t that make you want to do something for others?

Approaching God

Today I’m going to be doing my post on Ephesians 3:12 which says,

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

Paul is speaking to the Gentiles, and encouraging them not to be dismayed because he was being held captive for them. He tells them that God does have a purpose for his captivation, and that God’s intent was to spread the message of the Gospel to the rulers and authorities. Paul is comforting them that his captivation for them does have a purpose, and he is telling them not to be discouraged by it.

The Gentiles were probably used to being shunned by the priests and religious authorities of that time, because only the Jews were allowed to worship God. However, Paul is saying here that even Gentiles should be allowed to “approach God with freedom and confidence”. Paul is saying that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, even the “Gentile dogs” were allowed to worship God. What a big difference the Gospel has made! Now those who were rejected by God are accepted into His fold. God welcomes all who are hurting, or who think they’re worth nothing. Are you one of those people? If so, then just know that God, the Almighty Creator of the world, loves you. He loves you so much that He sent His own Son to die for all your wrong.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9).

God gave His only son that we might be accepted into the Kingdom of God. Now all those who were rejected by the law are accepted by Christ. Because of God’s great love for us, we can now approach God with freedom and confidence. We don’t have to be afraid anymore, for we know that Jesus has taken the punishment for our sin. Now God looks upon us and sees the righteousness of His son, instead of our sin.

Kingdom of God

Today I’m going to be posting on Ephesians 2:11-13 which says,

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Paul is telling the Ephesians to remember that they once were separate from Christ by their sin, and excluded from citizenship Israel, or the Kingdom of God. He reminds the people that they were without hope because they were without God. However, they were saved by Christ, who brought them into God’s kingdom with His own blood. They were saved by the blood of Christ when they were without hope, and when they were undeserving.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

This is a wonderful example of what God has done for you. He sent His only son, Jesus, to die on a cross with all the sin of the world on Him, for you! All the wrong you have done has been washed away by the blood of Christ. You are now a full citizen of God’s Kingdom, and you have brought into the fold of God. All you have to do is believe in what Jesus has done. Do you believe?

Mercy

Today I’m going to be doing my post on Ephesians 2:1-5 which says:

 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

In this passage, Paul is beginning to talk about sin and mercy. He starts off by saying that the people of Ephesus had been dead in their sins and tresspasses, following the ways of Satan, and the world. Paul then says that all of us lived among them once, doing sinful deeds, gratifying our flesh. We all followed our sinful nature, and deserted what was right.

However, Paul says that because of God’s great love for us, He made us alive! Because of God’s great love and mercy, He sent His son in our place. He sent Jesus to save all those lost and hurting, who have done wrong but don’t know how to make it up to God. If you have done wrong, and you don’t know what to do; if you have sinned, but you can’t be perfect, then simply look to Jesus. Look at Him, hanging on a cross, all of your sins and burdens laid upon Him. Everything you’ve done, or could imagine doing, all the punishment you deserve is gone. Jesus took it all away.

Please don’t ever forget what He has done for you. The Gospel is the most important message of all time; the message God has given us. Whenever you’re feeling down, or you feel like you can’t do anything right, remember Jesus and what He has done for you.

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:10.

Unity

Hi everyone, today I’m actually going to be posting on John 10:7-21. This is because my family and I read it today and we got some wonderful things out of it.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?””

In this passage, Jesus is telling the Jews about The Good Shepherd. He begins by saying that He is the gate for the sheep, and all who enter through Him will be saved. He then goes on to say that there were some before him who were thieves and robbers that tried to hurt the sheep. The thieves and robbers Jesus was referring to were the Pharisees. The Pharisees stole the chance of eternal life away from the people by telling them that they must follow six hundred laws in order to be saved. They divided the people, telling them that Jesus is not the right way.
Next Jesus goes on to talk about the thief. The one thief who is father to all the other thieves. Satan, according to verse 10, has come to steal, kill, and destroy. He only wants to hurt the sheep by enticing them out of the pasture, and separating them from each other and the Shepherd. But Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gives the sheep eternal life to the full. He unites the sheep by laying down His own life for them.
Jesus continues on to talk about the hired hand. He says that the hired hand cares nothing for the sheep, and therefore abandons the sheep in their time of need, letting the wolves scatter the flock. But Jesus loves the sheep so much that He laid down His life for them. He was mangled by the wolves of all the sheep’s sin, so that they wouldn’t have to be. He united the sheep by laying down His own life for them.
Lastly Jesus says that He knows the sheep. He knows and loves them even as God the Father knows and loves Him. Jesus is saying that He loves the sheep with the same love that His Father gives Him. How amazing it must be to be a sheep in that flock. But we are sheep in that flock! We have been loved and nurtured by our Good Shepherd, who loves us as much as the Father loves Him. Jesus has united us under one Shepherd, in one Flock. He says in verse 16 that there are other sheep He will soon collect. Jesus was referring to the Gentiles. Jesus united the Jews and the Gentiles in one flock, under one Shepherd, who laid down His own life for them. Isn’t it amazing to be loved by the Good Shepherd? Isn’t it great to be united under Jesus?

Next week I will (hopefully) be posting on Ephesians 2:1-10.

Power of God

First of all, I would like to apologize for the delay in this post. It has been a very busy week for me in many ways. But, I’m back at it now, and I’m going to do my post on Ephesians 1:15-23 which says:

“15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Paul starts off this section by telling the people that he was praying for them. He wants to let them know that he is praying for them, so that they may be encouraged. He starts his letter much in the same a modern believer might. He encourages them by telling them that they are in his prayers. He transitions from this to his point: the Gospel. It seems that everything Paul writes seems to point to the Gospel. He points them to the Cross by talking about the great power God exerted when He rose His son from the dead to sit at His right hand. That is also how he wraps up his letter; he tells them of the power that Jesus used to triumph of death.

This power is the same power that can save you from sin! This is the power that has the ability to raise someone from the dead; the power that can make a blind man see, a lame man walk. Where was this power displayed most clearly? In the Gospel. On the Cross, Jesus not only laid down His life as a sacrifice for you and me, but also atoned for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future. Three days later, Jesus rose again, triumphing over death and sin.

Jesus loves you very much. He loves you so much that He died for you on the cross, and rose again to be a sacrifice for your sins. I hope that you are encouraged greatly by the Gospel, and by how much Jesus loves you.

Next week I will be posting on Ephesians 2:1-10.

 

Ephesians 1: 3-14,

Today I’m doing my post on Ephesians 1:3-14 which says,

“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

Paul is starting off the next part of his letter by praising God, and he continues the letter by reminding the Ephesians of the Gospel. Paul has such a wonderful greeting: Praising God, and then reminding the people he is writing to about the main message of the Bible which is the Gospel. Before addressing any of their wrongs, he tells them that Jesus paid for them. Then Paul continues to elaborate on the Cross, reveling in what God has done. Because this is still the introductory part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he has not moved on to gentle correction of their issues.

Let us do as Paul has done in his letter, and just revel in the Gospel. God has forgiven our sins by offering His very own son as a sacrifice for us. He loved us that much. Will you love others that much? Will you die to yourself to help others? My challenge for you this week is to die to yourself more. Sacrifice yourself for others, just as Christ has done for us!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Next week I will be posting on Ephesians 1:15-23. Until then, think of Christ, and how much He loves you. Let your love overflow into others.