by Philip Layton
Paul gives thanks to God for the Ephesian believers
In verse 13 Paul says we have the Holy Spirit and in verse 17 he is praying for the Spirit to be given. How would you reconcile these verses?
In what sense is the Church the ‘Body’ of Christ (vv 22, 23)?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
William Barclay, the Bible commentator, claims that Ephesians is Paul’s supreme letter. It’s often referred to as the ‘queen of epistles’, ranking high in devotional thought and theological literature. Ephesians is different from Paul’s other letters.
The apostle had spent three years in the city to which he was writing, and because of this he had a large circle of friends there. The dominant theme in the letter is unity, oneness. And a distinctive feature is its teaching on the doctrine of the Church, portraying the Church as the Body of Christ:
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way (vv 22, 23).
Although Paul wrote this letter from prison, he never referred to himself as a prisoner of the Roman Empire; rather, a prisoner of Christ – for every situation he had to face and every experience he had to endure was for his Lord. Paul’s attitude was a mark of his discipleship.
What are the marks of our discipleship? Some of us have had to forsake family in order to follow Christ. Others may have had to endure persecution.
Perhaps we have given up lucrative careers or certain freedoms that others enjoy. Whatever it is, we can always do even more, considering all Christ has done for us.
The benefits? Spiritual blessings – which include the sealing of God’s Holy Spirit upon our lives:
Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (v 13).
Father, help me bear the marks of discipleship. And I can never thank you enough for your bountiful blessings upon my life.
Beverly IvanyTags: Ephesians