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United in Christ


July 7, 2024|United in Christ|Ephesians 1

JD Cutler


Click here for the sermon audio


Over the next 6 weeks we are going to be taking an overview look at the book of Ephesians. The plan is to look at one chapter a week, and hopefully draw out the essence of what the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote to this beloved congregation and in doing so, hear what God’s word says to us today. Ephesians is different than some of his other Epistles in that Paul does not seem to be addressing a specific problem, but rather writing towards the end of his life, from a Roman prison, he seeks to highlight the graciousness of God towards believers as well as exhort them to faithfulness in their day to day lives as Christians. 


If we had to choose just one word to describe Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus it would have to be grace, followed closely behind with the word unity. Paul spends the first half of the letter describing what God has done by uniting us in His grace and the last half of the letter spelling out how we live out the unity God has graciously given us. 


Chapter 1 includes his greeting to the church, his introductory thoughts as well as his prayer for the church at Ephesus. 

What is unique about this particular section is that in the Greek, the language Paul would have been writing in, it appears that from verse 3 to verse 23 there are only two sentences. Verses 3-14 and verses 15-23. We are going to focus our attention this morning on that first section of verses 3-14, which although we have in our modern translations, various commas and periods and even paragraph distinctions, is in reality, one glorious overflowing stream of praise from Paul’s heart concerning the sovereignty and graciousness of God in salvation. 


God is overwhelmingly the focus of his thoughts. Understanding that this is all one sentence, one continuous thought, I want you to listen as I read these 12 verses with that in mind, listening for Paul’s emphasis. We’ll come back and look at the specific thoughts contained within, but for now, I just want you to listen. 


Ephesians 1:3-14 (ESV) 3 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, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.


One commentator compared these verses to an operatic overture, which would be helpful for someone familiar with opera and its musical composition.


Unfortunately, I am not. So having read a little about it, I understand what he is saying. An overture, is a musical piece before the opera that foreshadows what is going to unfold in the opera itself. It sets the tone and mood for what follows. In that sense, I agree that what Paul lays out in these introductory thoughts, finds their fulfillment in what follows in the next five chapters. 


There are many themes that we could highlight from these verses. 

The sovereignty of God in salvation for instance. Paul says in verse 4 that it is God who chose those who are saved, and that he did the choosing before the foundation of the world. He goes on to say that it was God who predestined us for adoption according to the purpose of His will. That the redemption we have was lavished on us by God according to his purpose. That we have been predestined according to His purpose. Over and over again Paul emphasizes that salvation is from God and from the purpose and will of God alone. The grace of God is another. All of this is to the praise of his glorious grace, according to the riches of his grace, to the praise of his glory, and again, to the praise of his glory. Salvation is of God the Father, for the purposes of God, to the praise of God. 

Also, Paul highlights that salvation comes from God the Father, but it is secured by Christ. 

He has blessed us in Christ, he adopts us as sons through Jesus Christ, he has blessed us in the Beloved, referring to Christ, in him, speaking of Christ, we have redemption, through his blood, speaking again of Christ. His purposes have been set forth in Christ, to unite all things in him, referring again to Christ, in Him, Christ, we have obtained an inheritance, we hope in Christ, in Christ we believed. Salvation is seen as from God the Father, fulfilled in God the son, and finally applied through the work of the Holy Spirit. 

You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 

God the Father elects and predestines, God the Son secures through his blood, and God the Holy Spirit seals those that the father elects and the Son secures.


Of this wonderful declaration of God’s sovereignty in salvation, I want us to focus this morning on the union we have with Christ. 

9 times Paul says In Him or through Him concerning Christ. What is obvious to even the casual reader is that this glorious salvation is only experienceable by those who have been united with Christ. So everyone who has been saved and everyone who will be saved is or will be united in Christ. In that we are unified together as well. Salvation is in no other name given under heaven, Amen?

It is to that common experience of being united with Christ that I want to talk about this morning. Specifically, having been united to Christ we now possess things we did not have before. This is, I think, one of the things the apostle Paul wanted the church at Ephesus to understand and one that is equally important for us to understand as we begin looking at this wonderful letter. What does our union with Christ mean for us?

What do we now have in Christ that we did not have before? We are going to look this morning at three possessions the believer has in Christ.  But as a way of introduction, let’s deal with verses 3-6. 

Ephesians 1:3-6 (ESV) 3 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, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.


Blessed be- Speaking of being united, Paul’s initial thoughts immediately unite us in purpose.

Paul calls for a blessing upon the Father. The language here speaks to celebrating with praise in the sense of recognizing His glory and honor and goodness. Paul calls all believers to praise God by recognizing that he is worthy of all glory and honor. This is one of the reasons we gather on the Lord’s Day to unite in praise of our Heavenly Father. 


Is that why you came here this morning? Has that been your purpose and focus as we have sung to the Lord, as we have heard his word read, as we have seen the word illustrated for us in the Lord’s Supper? 

There are plenty of things that can potentially divide us, but the thing that ought to unite us week after week is our understanding that God is worthy of our praise. 

This is what we communicate when we make the gathering of God’s people a priority. When we come together, even when we may not feel like it, when we say no to other things in order to gather together, we are communicating to ourselves, to our families, to our neighbors, and to one another, I believe God is worthy of my praise; so on the day he has set aside for the corporate purposes of praise and worship, I will participate. 

If you are habitually absent from the Sunday gathering, you may ask yourself as we get started this morning, what is my ongoing decision to forsake the assembly saying about what I think is worthy of my praise and attention?

Nevertheless, Paul calls all the believers in Ephesus to praise God, which leads naturally to the question, praise Him for what?


Paul says part of the reason he is worthy of our praise is because we have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. This is why we do not expect non-Christians to gather with us regularly, because they do not know what a blessing it is to be in Christ, and we expect Christians to gather with us regularly, because their reality ought to lead them to want to praise God regularly and habitually, not just on Sundays, but daily with a great crescendo or culmination of their week of praise happening together with their covenant family. Let’s take a moment and think about what Paul says here concerning our praise. 


There is a building of praise that happens here. Think about it like a pyramid looking from the top down. 

The top word is blessing- here referring to a benefit or concrete blessing, something we have or possess from God.

Not just any blessing, but spiritual blessing, as opposed to physical or temporal blessing- the old covenant had many physical blessings attached to it. Long life, land possession, protection, etc.. Paul contrasts that with the New Covenant that brings spiritual blessings, that is blessings that transcend any physical blessing. Spurgeoun had this to say about spiritual blessings. 

“Our thanks are due to God for all temporal blessings; they are more than we deserve. But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings. A new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of God is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. To have God for our portion is blessed, infinitely more blessed than to own broad acres of land. God hath blessed us with spiritual blessings. These are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value.”

But not just spiritual blessing, but every spiritual blessing- that is to say every spiritual blessing we receive, we receive in Christ. It also means that God wants to bless us with every spiritual blessing available to us. God is not stingy towards those he blesses, but abundantly blesses them with every spiritual blessing.

But not just every spiritual blessing, but every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We understand in the heavenly places here by examining how Paul uses it throughout the letter. Christ is said to be seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places, that we have been raised up and seated with him in the heavenly places, that God is making his manifold wisdom known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places, and finally that we wrestle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

What does Paul want us to understand here? That our blessings reside in and with Christ, so that where he is, in a sense is where we are. This is the already and not yet aspect of our salvation. It is as though I am already with Christ and experiencing the spiritual blessings of that union, but I also understand that the fulness of those blessings remain in the future when we will be with him face to face. 

Here we have a crescendo of praise. In Christ we possess spiritual blessings because we have been united with him, where he is our lives are. Verse 4, 5, and 6, although we do not have time to go through them this morning, form some of the most precious verses in the New Testament. Paul continues to highlight the fact that God alone deserves all the praise for the blessings of salvation. Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Predestined for adoption as sons in love according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace. 

You and I are saved because God chose us before you and I had ever even been born, that at the right time, according to his will, we would be united in Christ and be adopted as sons and daughters of God and experience every spiritual blessing in Christ.


Which leads us to ask. 

What are our spiritual blessings? 


I believe, while not an exhaustive list, this is what Paul goes on to tell us in verse 7-14 which we are going to talk about as our possessions in Christ. These are things that we possess, secure for us in Christ, where we are kept until he takes full possession of us and us of them. 


The first is, 

In Christ, we have redemption. 

Ephesians 1:7-10 (ESV) 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

This is the first of three thoughts that Paul begins with in him. Paul says ‘In Him we have redemption.’

The word redemption carries the idea of being released or freed after a ransom payment has been made. What was the price? Through his blood. Now, how are we to view this payment?


Some, take a view that the physical blood of Jesus as in a mystical or superstitious way what saves us, which is why they make the observance of the Lord’s Supper more than a memorial and claim that the fruit of the vine is transformed into the actual blood of Christ either in substance or spiritually depending on the view. The reality is that his real and total payment for the sins of man in His whole person on the cross is the means by which we are saved. This is what the New Testament means when it talks about ‘the blood’. Not his physical blood but the act in which it was spilt on our behalf. 

Christ, in his death, paid the penalty for our trespasses, which is why Paul says the forgiveness of our trespasses. 


The Bible teaches that all have sinned, violated God’s perfect and righteous law and therefore stand condemned for their trespasses. Furthermore, the payment for those violations is death, our very life. 

This reminds us that God’s salvation comes not only from his eternal decree, not only from his abundant grace, but from his righteousness and holiness. He does not overlook the sins of his elect, but rather Christ pays the price for their sins. 

God cannot bless those that stand in opposition to his righteousness, and so in the riches of his grace, he provided Christ as the atoning propitiation, or payment for our sins. 

This, Paul says, is the mystery of God’s will, that he has now made known to us in Christ, that his plan to unite all things to himself, both things in heaven and things on earth, all things, in Christ. 

This is why we say that apart from Christ there is no salvation, because there is no redemption. 

It doesn’t matter how good a person is, how religious a person is, how moral a person is, all stand universally condemned before God’s perfect and just standard, no one deserves salvation, and yet, because of the riches of his grace, he chooses to provide his only son to be the ransom for sin.


Paul will build on this in the later themes of this letter to explain that this is God’s plan for Jew and Gentile alike. That all believers are members of the same body and partakers of the same promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.  

This is how we are all unified in Christ so that he can later say ‘4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.’ Ephesians 4:4-6 (ESV) 

As I said in the beginning, one of the major themes of this letter is unity. Paul begins this theme by reminding us that if we are in Christ, we share that experience with every other brother or sister. This is God’s purpose, this is God’s plan, and this is for God’s glory. This is the unity God created when he redeemed and reconciled sinners to himself, and this is the unity we will see later that we must strive to reflect, maintain, and protect. 


Before we move on, I just want to highlight what Paul says here so that you don’t miss it. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. The word is plural and can be understood as failures. The root word is to fall. Listen, everytime we fail to live according to God’s perfect standard, we fall short. Everytime we choose sin, we fail to love God with all our heart, mind and soul. Everytime we sin against another, we fail to love our neighbor as ourselves. All sin is failure. And yet, Paul does not say that God forgives some of our failures, but that in Christ we have, as in a current possession, forgiveness of our trespasses. That means, despite what you have done, how far you have fallen, and how often you have fallen, in Christ there is forgiveness of sins. This is the good news of the gospel. God doesn’t merely show grace to fallen humanity, he lavishes his grace on us through Christ. If you are a Christian, you have forgiveness of sins, and if you are not a Christian, hear me when I say, that forgiveness if possible. At the conclusion of our service we are going to sing a familiar hymn, in which we find these glorious words. 

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul!


The hymn writer ends where Apostle Paul begins. Praise the Lord, o my soul for the great spiritual blessing of redemption in Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of my sins, not in part, but the whole. This is the reality for those who are in Christ. 


The second possession or spiritual blessing we have is, 

In Christ, we have an inheritance.

Ephesians 1:11-12 (ESV) 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.


Paul begins his next thought again with the words in Him. In him we have obtained an inheritance. 

Inheritance is something that becomes yours at a specific time. Most often in the death of a family member. 

The idea here is that we have not only been forgiven, not only have we been objectively justified and forgiven, but through Christ, we have been adopted as sons. The word ‘sons’ here is important. In this culture, the sons would receive the inheritance, with the larger portion going to the oldest son. 

What is equally important for us to understand in this culture is the issue of adoption. 

According to Barklay, In Roman law, “When the adoption was complete it was complete indeed. The person who had been adopted had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family and completely lost all rights in his old family. In the eyes of the law he was a new person. So new was he that even all debts and obligations connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed.” 

Being adopted is as though you were born into the family who adopted you. The New Testament talks about salvation as being born again. Part of how we can understand that language is in fact represented here, you were born naturally into the bondage of sin resulting from the fall of Adam. 

The Baptist Faith and Message says it this way in Article III. ‘Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.’ We inherit both, a nature and an environment, corrupted by sin. 

In Christ, in which we are born again, the old inheritance or in reality, debt of sin, has been wiped away and we have obtained a new inheritance, both in nature and in the end environmentally with the new heavens and the new earth. 

Paul sums all of this up when he uses the word predestined, that is God foreordained a different destiny for those who are his. One that does not end in just eternal punishment for their sins, but in gracious everlasting life.


Paul gives three aspects of God’s plan working together for our salvation. It begins with God’s purpose, then the counsel of his will, and finally results in His work. 

God made his plan according to his eternal purpose, taking counsel within the Godhead, and then works out his plan to the praise of his glory. 

What then do we have to boast about? Nothing. 

Paul again fleshes out this theme in his letter where we find these wonderfully encouraging words. Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.


The biggest take away for me is that you do not earn an inheritance. It is yours, by definition, because of who you belong to, who your parents are. Listen to the way Paul explains this to the church in Galatia. 

Galatians 3:25-29 (ESV) 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. 

He goes on to say. 

Galatians 4:4-7 (ESV) 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Apart from Christ our only inheritance is sin and death, but united to Christ we share in his inheritance as the only begotten son, whether we are Jew or Greek, male or female, having put on Christ, we are one in Christ, who is the heir. 

Not to belabor the point, put Paul emphasizes the same thing in his letter to the church in Rome. 

Romans 8:16-17 (ESV) 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.


Fellow heir with Christ. Think about that for a moment.

He is the one deserving of receiving all things. He, having been perfectly obedient in submitting himself to the Father, in humbling himself to the point of death, having accomplished all that he had been sent to do, sat down at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places and received the promised inheritance. 

We, by no merit or rights of our own, get to participate in that inheritance because of God’s abundant grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and his atoning work. 


Again, no wonder Paul calls us to celebrate with praise God by recognizing His glory, his honor, and goodness! 

First, we have the spiritual blessing of being forgiven our trespasses, second we have the spiritual blessing of an inheritance, lastly this morning…


In Christ, we have security. 

Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV) 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.


This final thought he begins with In him, is related to the last because it deals with our inheritance, but is important enough that I want to treat it separately. 

Paul moves from the direct and obvious things that God has done, he blessed us in Christ, he chose us in him, he predestined us for adoption, he lavished on us, making known his will, to the less obvious things that God has done. Let us first deal with the ‘in him you also’. Where does ‘also’ fit?

Paul just said, Ephesians 1:12 (ESV) 2 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

Remember his audience, made up of mostly gentiles in a church where his own ministry to the gentiles resulted in the church, he says, we who were the first to hope in Christ. Here he is speaking of the Jewish believers who composed the early church up until its expansion to include gentile believers. Again, Paul does not distinguish between Jewish and Gentile believers in terms of salvation, but highlights that God’s plan involved the saving of his distinct covenant people before spreading to include men and women from every tongue, nation, and tribe. So he says, in him you also. 

Also what? When you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him. 


This is why I say Paul has moved to the less obvious things God has done in saving them. 

In his providence, he appointed Paul to come to them and proclaim the truth of the gospel and since faith comes from hearing, they would have never heard if God had not sent. Is this not Paul’s point in Romans 10?

Romans 10:14-17 (ESV) 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


Here we get to an individual's response to all of the gracious outworking of salvation. 

They are said to have, when they heard the word of truth, believed in him. 

That is the response to the good news of the gospel. The word believed finds its root in the word normally translated ‘faith’ in the New Testament. This particular word has the idea of exercising trust in something. 


Here we are presented with two seemingly difficult things to reconcile. In this one glorious sentence, Paul clearly lays our salvation wholly at the feet of God’s sovereign choice and purposes and yet attributes his own, as well as their salvation, to the exercising of hope or trust in the gospel message. 

There are a few things I want to note. One, we need not worry about the reconciliation of these twin biblical doctrines because we know that they are already reconciled in the mind of God, there is no division in him. Spurgeoun is helpful when dealing with these two doctrines, God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.

He says, That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other. These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.


We will see more of what Paul says about these twin doctrines as we move through the rest of his letter, but setting that aside for the more direct purposes of our time this morning, what I want us to see is the result of their salvation. 

Paul says they were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 

The word ‘sealed’ carries the idea of setting a mark upon by the impress of a seal. The imagery most familiar to us is when a portion of melted wax is applied to a letter and then a signet ring is pressed into the wax signifying who the letter is coming from.

Paul explains the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers as serving as an identifying mark who signifies that we belong to the Lord. But more than that, as a guarantee, or a down payment of our inheritance. Here is where our security comes from. 

God, in ‘whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.’, the same God who chose, who predestined, who provided his son, that gives his Holy Spirit as a down payment, is the same God who in his word gives us assurance that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. We can trust that He will, in essence, honor his downpayment as Paul says, until we acquire full possession of it. If you are a believer and God’s spirit indwells you, Paul says you possess a security in Christ that is absolute and unchanging. This is what we call the Perseverance of the Saints. 


Praise God that who he seals, he will fully save. Amen?


Conclusion-

Three possessions we have in Christ. We have redemption, we have an inheritance, and we have security. Three possessions that whenever we think about them ought to drive us to praise and worship God as the one worthy of all praise and glory. 


Here’s where I want to land this morning. If these are already ours, as Paul states that they are, then what is Paul’s application, that is to say, what is his reason for laying these out?


Listen to his immediately following prayer. 

Ephesians 1:16-19 (ESV) remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,


As believers, we cannot be anymore ‘In Christ’, every Spiritual blessing is already ours, but Paul says we can better know the realities it brings. He prays that God will give us a greater understanding so that we can greater experience the hope we have, the inheritance we possess, and the greatness of his power towards us. 


He also expresses the primary means in which we see, feel, and understand these realities, as we experience life in the body, the church, of which Christ is the head. Speaking of Christ he says, Ephesians 1:22-23 (ESV) 2 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

As we continue through the book of Ephesians we will repeatedly see Paul encouraging the believers to rest in Christ and engage with his body, the church in meaningful ways. 

He calls us the household of God, he calls us a holy temple in the Lord, he calls us together a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. He calls us to live out our position in Christ with evidence of love, humility, and patience towards one another, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Why is this so important to Paul?

Because he wants the Christians who are in Ephesus to understand that these spiritual blessings they have are not unique to them,they may be experienced individually, but they are a corporate reality, because they are the reality for every person who has been united to Christ. 

In short, he wants us to understand our unity with one another as those who have been united with Christ. 


Let us pray. 




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