Responsible for the wife

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one has ever hated his own body but feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. (…) Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5.28-31, 33

The two become one. Paul has much to say to the husband in these verses. As the spiritual leader, he is ultimately responsible for the spiritual and physical welfare of his family but especially his wife. He should love his wife as his own body. A man will take care of his own body, feeding it, clothing it, and in general doing what is good for it. Since the two are one after marriage, he has that same responsibility to his wife. More importantly, he is to be the spiritual head of the family who serves under the guidance of Jesus. To be able to do this, he needs to be in the Word and sharing what he has learned with her. This love is not the emotional stars in the eyes. It is a decision to do what is best for her. The wife must respect her husband. It is not a choice. Nor is it difficult if he is faithful to the Lord. With the love and respect in place in the marriage, it will not only survive, but will bring joy to both of your lives.

#risingjoy #Ephesians #marriage

Do your part

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love. Ephesians 4.15-16

Growth is important. If a newborn baby does not grow, the parents become worried and rightly so. If a plant does not grow, it indicates that there is a problem. It will not produce fruit if there is a problem. I need to grow up into Christ. As a small child grows, he learns to eat solid food, he learns to crawl, and then he learns to walk. He learns to do these things through practice. He does not one day start eating solid food. Nor does he suddenly crawl across the floor with a speed that surprises those watching. Nor does he suddenly walk as if it were the most natural thing in the world. It takes practice. Paul tells us that we will grow into Christ by practicing the truth in love. Christ is the head of the body, the church. He gives us gifts which are to be used to build up his body. We are to strive for maturity in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. When we are practicing the truth in love, the body grows strong. The church grows in love. The church grows strong. But, each one must do his part. Are you doing your part to help the body grow?

#risingjoy #Ephesians #growth

Once we understand

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! – and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2.5-7

I remember one time when one of my children had just been disciplined for something they had done wrong. They did not think very highly of me at the time. I remember them telling me that they wished I were not their mother. Now, folks, that comment made out of anger still had the power to hurt this mother’s heart even though I knew that they did not really mean it. Once the anger on their part had cooled, everything was fine again. Imagine how God must feel when in our selfishness we prefer to die in our sins rather than live in communion with him. It is mind-blowing once we understand exactly what God’s grace did on our behalf. There had to be a sacrifice. Jesus became that sacrifice. His purpose was to come here, obey God, and die for me and for you. God makes me alive again because of that sacrifice when I obey him. I have a new home in the heavenly realm! That is cause for joy!

#risingjoy #Ephesians #sacrifice-of-Christ

I must change

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. Ephesians 4.22-24

When a person is taught to obey the truth, changes have to take place. There are things that we must quit doing because it is sin. We are taught what those things are. Earlier in chapter 4, Paul talks about the life that the one who does not know God lives. They are tied to deceitful desires which corrupt us and keep us in a state separated from God. We have to pass from the old man to the new man. We must be renewed in the spirit of our mind. I cannot continue to act and think like I once did. I must change. I must tell the truth instead of the white lie. I must watch what I say that it be edifying. I must try to serve other people instead of myself. I must die to myself and live for God in Christ. I become a new creature, a new man. One that is created in God’s image. God is righteous and holy. So must I be. It is not relative to my situation. It comes from truth, God’s truth. How do I know God’s truth? By hearing and reading it. It is within my grasp. I just have to make the effort.

#risingjoy #Ephesians #change

Brought near

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2.13

Far away. That is how I often feel in regards to family and friends. Living on another continent has a tendency to increase that feeling. It can sometimes bring feelings of helplessness when you hear what is going on with loved ones and cannot be there to help. Brought near. O what joy that brings! To arrive on the scene and share the hugs and laughter. To be able to catch up on all that you have missed since the last meeting.

God is so good. I was once so very far away in my sins, feeling helpless and unable to do anything about it. You see, once fallen, it is no longer up to me to do anything about my situation. I do not have that capacity. I will say it again. God is so good! He brought me near to Him by the blood of His Son, Jesus. When there was nothing I could do except receive His condemnation, He sacrificed Jesus to bring me near to Him. Actually there is something that I have to do to be brought near. I have to accept what He offers.

Are you still far away, feeling hopeless, lost, and in despair? Do you want to be brought near to God? Have you accepted what He offers? Do you even know what He offers? Read His word, do it, and be brought near.

#risingjoy #Ephesians #reconciliation

MOST: Always humble and gentle

Meditate on this verse:

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient and accept each other with love, Eph 4.2 ICB.

Offer this prayer:

Sovereign Lord, show me the way to humility. May I learn the gentleness of Christ. Soften my hardness of impatience with situations and with others.

Savor this thought:

God’s patience with me frees me to be patient with others.

Take this action:

Recall the ways Christ showed himself to be humble.

#most #humility #Ephesians

We are all members of the same body, Ephesians 4.25

“So then, get rid of lies. Speak the truth to each other, because we are all members of the same body.”

Ephesians 4.25 GW

Lies do harm. Honesty blesses others. Why then do harm to yourself by lying, since Christians all belong to the body of Christ?

Some people disfigure parts of their bodies. We wonder why they would do this. But many Christians harm Christ’s body with dishonesty and hypocrisy.

#votd #Ephesians #truth

The fullness of him: Ephesians 1.23

“Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 1.23

The theme of the letter is the magnificent universal church. This is Paul’s first mention of the word and he ties it to Christ and his fullness.

The first chapter is all about prayer and praise for God’s work, which is focused in uniting people in the church. Am I united to Christ and to his people? This is central to his will.

#votd #Ephesians #church

God’s wrath: Ephesians 5.6-7

“Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them, …”

Ephesians 5.6-7

Empty words are enticement to sin. Disobedience brings down punishment. Obedience avoids God’s wrath. Saints must avoid participation in sin.

Am I swayed by the world’s persuasive words? Do I diminish the reality of God’s wrath? Do I attempt to reconcile sin with holiness?

#votd #Ephesians #wrath

One Lord! One faith! One baptism!

What does Ephesians 4:5 mean?

*One Lord! One faith! One baptism!*

Lessons on this passage in English and Dutch, in text and audio, have been added to the Old Paths Archive:

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/068-OneLord.html

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/068-EenHeer.html

Please pray with me that this preaching of the word will help lead souls to Christ throughout the world.

You can help by placing links to this article on your own web site or that of your congregation. Not only will this lead people to the material directly, but the more links there are to a certain article, the higher it ranks on search engines.

You might also want to link to the lectures: “Can we be the church of the New Testament?” at http://www.canwebethechurchofthenewtestament.com

Such links can also be helpful to people you are studying with.

May the Lord bless you.
Roy Davison

#unity #Ephesians

Take up the shield of faith

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” Eph 6.16 NIV.

A shield provides protection. We need protection from the evil one. He is the devil, the father of lies and a highly successful warrior against the sons of man. He always takes aim in order to bring us down spiritually. Our protection from the evil one is faith. This faith must be taken up. It must be used. We must put our faith into play in order for it to protect us. Faith is useless to us if not taken up.

How do we take up the shield of faith? By practicing the word of God. By obeying the commandment of God. By believing the promises of God. By proclaiming the salvation of God. By putting first the kingdom of God.

Faith is active. It bids us to take hold of its power. Without it we cannot be successful against the evil one. Without it we cannot be successful in the victory of God.

#action, #ephesians, #faith

The kind of love God has toward us

What kind of love does God have toward us?

On one occasion, Paul described God’s love like this:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,” (Ephesians 2:4)

According to the context, even before we were saved God had (and by default still does) a great love for us – a love too large to express in words alone.

Read Ephesians 2 and you will see that this great love, expressed through Jesus, was great enough to cover the multitude of our sins against God, to cover the vast distance between us and a right relationship with God, and to cover us all in the same household and family of God.

And that’s why Paul considered the love of God to be huge news for the world!

#description, #ephesians, #love-of-god

Thought # 3 – In Him We Have Redemption Through His Blood

Text: Ephesians 1:7-10

There are many reasons why Christians should praise God. One of the reasons is for the work of the Son of God in redemption. In Eph. 1:7-10, Paul expresses his praise for the great redemption through the Lord Jesus.

We all need the forgiveness of our sins! All of us are in spiritual bondage and imprisonment, whether we know it or not. Paul wrote in Col. 1:13-14, “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.”

Most of us, I’m quite sure, prefer light to darkness. Without Jesus, all of us were in darkness, members, although we may not have known it, in the kingdom of Satan. Our heavenly Father desired that we all come to a saving knowledge and has provided the means through His Son, the Lord Jesus. We are glad that we can share in the inheritance He has for us (Col. 1:12).

The Word of God describes this transformation as changing kingdoms. We have been brought out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel. The terminology used here by Paul is a military illustration. It pictures Rome going into a free country and as a result of waging war and winning they subdue that nation and take them into captivity. But in the spiritual realm, we are the ones in bondage and when we accept The Lord Jesus and obey the Gospel, we are “transferred” (NASV) or “translated” (KJV) or are “conveyed” (NKJV) out of that bondage into the light of the Gospel. But it does not end there.

Paul tells the Galatians that we were bought with a price (Gal. 3:13). Our freedom cost Jesus His life. What should be our response to His redemptive work? We should pour out our hearts in praise. We should love Him greatly because of what He did for us. The Psalmist said in Psalm 1:30:3-4, “Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness.” (NLT)

Jesus lavished grace on us. “O, the love that drew salvations’s plan, O the grace that brought it down to man. O the mighty gulf that god did span—at Calvary” ! It is truly amazing grace. We do not have the words to express His grace.

Since we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Col. 1:14) we must put our new found faith to the test. We have been called out of that dark kingdom, changed by the light of the Gospel and now have the privilege to go back into that kingdom, now empowered by the Holy Spirit and utilizing the Whole Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) to help others find their way out. We can never work our way to heaven, but upon salvation, we are to be the best workers the Lord has. Let’s be found letting our light shine for Jesus (1 Peter 2:10)!

-Larry Miles, April 18, 2015

#bible, #ephesians, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-form-ephesians, #word-of-god

Thought #2: We Have Been Blessed With Every Spiritual Blessing

Text: Eph. 1:3

The Apostle Paul is writing this epistle to the Christians in the city of Ephesus. He has talked about grace and peace in Eph. 1:2. We know that the “grace of God” was manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus. That grace was also an action, whereby God showed forth His love for lost mankind and the Lord Jesus was the Redeemer who came down to Earth to die for the sins of man­kind. Since we are now “in Christ,” we can claim the blessings in the letter also.

In Eph 1:3, Paul stresses first of all that we need to praising the Heavenly Father above all things. God wants to bestow, yea, even lavish his love and blessings on His children. He is not up there in Heaven blessing us sparingly. Jesus said that He came that we might have an abundant life in Him. We must desire all that He has for us. We must want to live the Christian life to the fullest, learning more about Jesus every day. We strive for this because we want to “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus,” as well as encouraging our fellow believers in their walk and reaching the lost with the message of salvation.

He has blessed us “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST.” The same Greek words rendered here “heavenly places” are translated heavenly things” in James 3:12. Since we are “citizens of Heaven,” (Phil. 3:20) we must look to the things above and not things on the earth. Our spiritual mindset must be honed in on Jesus at all times. We are but pilgrims and strangers here on earth. We sing “this world is not my home…,” and rightly so. But we are as John says in I John 2:15-17 “in the world but not of the world,” we have to have a heavenly perspective in life. That perspective comes from believing the words of Paul here in Eph. 1:3.

Larry Miles lives in Louisville, KY and worships with the Cherry St Church of Christ in New Albany, IN

#bible, #ephesians, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-from-ephesians, #word-of-god

Thoughts From The Book of Ephesians (Thought #1)

I have  been  working on  a  new series of   articles based on the  book of Ephesians– I have  12 “Thoughts”  done so far.  These  will take the  reader  through Eph. 2:10

 

Thought # 1: The Writer and the Recipients

Text: Eph. 1:1
When people wrote letters back in Biblical times they put their name at the beginning of the letter. We do just the opposite. This is called the “salutation.” The Apostle Paul, at the beginning of this epistle, lets his readers know who he is, what his credentials are for writing the letter and to whom he is writing the letter.

All of this is included in Eph. 1:1. Verse 2 is his greeting. Paul was not one of the original 12 Apostles. His Apostleship is by special appointment from the Lord Jesus. He received this as­signment to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Thank the Lord that he took this privilege and honor seri­ously. If he and others whom he reached with the Gospel had not, then we would not be here today en­joying the blessings of salvation.

“…By the will of God.” It was and is God’s will that all mankind be saved and He has provided a way through His Son that all may be saved. But we all know that the majority of mankind, both past, present and future will not accept that way of salvation. Paul was faithful in his ministry (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

Those whom Paul is writing to are named in the latter part of Eph. 1:1. The primary audi­ence of the writers of the Word of God was locally those in the first century, but we can share in these titles that Paul used for the Ephesian Christians on the basis of our faith and obedience to the Gospel.

The recipients of Paul’s letter were the Christians in Ephesus. Ephesus was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Paul gives at least 2 names, perhaps 3, for Christians in verse 1. He calls them (1) “Saints; (2) faithful, and (3) in Christ Jesus.”

A “saint” in the New Testament, is not a sinless person, but a saved sinner. Faithfulness to the Lord is required if one wants to enjoy all that God has for him or her. Paul stresses that Christians are “in Christ.” As I said earlier in this devotion: Christians are saved by grace, through faith, in bap­tism, for good works. Let all of us strive to dedicate our lives to the Lord and His Church and help others find their way out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel.

-Larry Miles

Louisville, KY

http://larryslines.com

#articles-by-larry-miles, #bible, #ephesians, #faithfulness, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-from-ephesians, #word-of-god