4 Lessons from Ephesians 

4 Lessons from Ephesians 

Learning to survive and thrive in a fallen world 

Have you ever felt that the world is against you? You strive to be truthful but have frequently experienced dishonesty from others. You try to speak truth and uplift your children but social media leaves them insecure and wounded. You give of your time and resources to support noble causes but turn on the news to see endless egregious acts. 

What if I told you this is a good thing? Hear me out. As Christians, we’re not meant to feel comfortable in this fallen world. If you feel like you’re swimming upstream on some days, it’s because we weren’t created for this world. I love the song by Building 429 called, “Where I Belong”. The chorus includes these lyrics, 


“All I know is I'm not home yet

This is not where I belong

Take this world and give me Jesus

This is not where I belong”


In heaven, we know there will be no pain, suffering or evil of any kind. But this is not the case for our time here. In fact, Jesus tells us in John 16:33, that we will face trouble in this world. God makes it VERY clear that it’s difficult to be a Christian! 

Numerous examples in Scripture show how tough it can be to follow the Lord. Noah was likely seen as crazy for building a boat in the middle of the desert. John the Baptist (along with countless other disciples of Jesus) was killed for preaching the gospel. 

Believers in Ephesus also faced troubles, which is what I want to focus on and discuss today. The city of Ephesus was NOT an easy place to be a Christian. It was a multi-ethnic, port city with over 50 temples to false gods, meaning it was overcome with sin and idolatry. In the book of Ephesians, Paul offers insight and encouragement to these Christians on how to survive and thrive - even through difficult circumstances. His words of guidance are still relevant today for those of us following Jesus! 


1. You are chosen by God 


“Even before the world was made, God chose us for Himself because of His love.”

Ephesians 1:4 (NLV)


In difficult moments, what greater encouragement is there then to be reminded of God’s immense love for you? There was never a time that He did not love and cherish you - Let that sink in for a moment! 

In this verse specifically, I feel there is something that we as Christians can fail to fully grasp: GOD CHOSE YOU! Before you were even born, our all-knowing, all-powerful God chose YOU to do His work here on earth. If that’s not a privilege and honor, I don’t know what is! 


2. Jesus is the cornerstone 


“Jesus Christ Himself is the cornerstone, which is the most important part of the building. Christ keeps this building together and it is growing into a holy building for the Lord. You are also being put together as a part of this building because God lives in you by His Spirit.”

Ephesians 2: 20-22 (NLV) 


In ancient times, a strong cornerstone was essential in order to build a solid structure. It was the most foundational stone, and all other stones within the structure relied on it for support. In this verse, Paul explains how we, as followers of Christ, can fully trust and rely on Jesus. We can place everything - every burden, every sorrow, every part of our lives - upon Him! 

Jesus is the stone that enables us to carry on with joy and love despite the circumstances we face. He holds our life together, and enables us to live in unity with fellow followers of Christ. God doesn’t expect us to carry burdens alone. He has blessed us with a community of believers to reinforce us. And this structure of support will NEVER fail, for it’s built with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. 


3. We each have unique spiritual gifts


“Christ gave gifts to men. He gave to some the gift to be missionaries, some to be preachers, others to be preachers who go from town to town. He gave others the gift to be church leaders and teachers. These gifts help His people work well for Him. And then the church which is the body of Christ will be made strong.”

Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV)


As we’ve discussed, God made it clear we would face troubles in this life. But - solely because of His great love for us - He has given us spiritual gifts that help us share His love and truth. Spiritual gifts are unique abilities that God gives each of us to help advance His Kingdom. You may already know (or have a strong feeling about) what your gift is. But, if you’d like a starting place, this Spiritual Gift Assessment from Lifeway can offer some insight. Please keep in mind though, this is just a tool to get you thinking about your gift. Also, understanding and growing in your gift goes far beyond taking an assessment. 

When you’re neglecting your spiritual gift or operating outside of it, you will miss the joy and abundant life that Jesus promises. Time and again, we doubt our own gifts. We doubt we can do what we feel called to do. We doubt that we can truly make a difference in this world. But God believes in us. He longs to see us realize and use our gifts to share His love and truth. It is through YOU, using your spiritual gifts to serve others, that God’s Kingdom is advanced here on earth. 


4. Put on the Armor of God 


“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:13 (NIV) 


Paul ends the final chapter of Ephesians with a mic drop. He reminds us that we have access to God’s armor, and when we’re fully geared up in God’s armor, the enemy flees in terror. I don’t know about you, but I never want to take it off! 

You may be wondering what it means to put on God’s armor. In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul writes of the powerful resources that God has given us to fight back against the lies of satan. As followers of Jesus, God gives us access to all we need to stand firm in this life! He also reminds us that our true battle is not an earthly one, but a spiritual one…which requires spiritual pieces of armor. 

When we look at how Jesus fought the devil in Matthew 4:1-11, His greatest weapon was that he knew the truth of God’s Word. This is why it is SO important for us to read our Bibles - if we don’t know what the Trust is, we won’t be able to recognize, let alone combat, the enemy’s lies. 

If you are not sure where to start, I suggest you try out the Faithful Workouts 40 Day Bible Reading Plan. In this free resource, we go through one chapter of the Bible each day. My hope and prayer is that these Scriptures will become a weapon for you when the enemy attacks, as they have for me. 

If you find yourself feeling depleted or downcast, I recommend reading through the book of Ephesians. I believe you’ll walk away with a renewed strength, able to walk through this life as a warrior of God! 

How would your day change if put on God’s armor today? Do you think your life would change if you put it on daily? 

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