Sunday, March 07, 2010

Jesus in the Life of a Christian

What follows is Paul’s teaching Jesus in Ephesians. Every direct reference (excluding pronouns) is included.

Jesus did not merely secure salvation and then leave us alone; he continues to be the center of life. Paul is an apostle of Jesus and the recipients are faithful in Jesus (1:1). It is from Jesus and the Father that we receive grace, peace, and blessings (1:2-3). We have been adopted through Jesus (1:5) according to the plan made beforehand in Jesus (1:9). It is in Jesus that we put our hope and faith (1:12, 15). From Jesus’ Father we receive wisdom and revelation (1:17), whose power also raised Jesus from the dead (1:20) as it also raised us up with Christ (2:5). Our union with Jesus places us in heaven (2:6), and it is through Jesus that God expressed his kindness toward us (2:7). Though we are now created in Jesus (2:10) we were once separate from him (2:12), but because of his blood we have been brought near (2:13). Jesus is the cornerstone, the master of us all (2:20; 3:1). What we know of Jesus now was once a mystery (3:4), but we now know that in Jesus the promises of God are for Jews and Gentiles (3:6). This mystery of Jesus revealed is beyond comprehension (3:8), but nevertheless is manifested in the person of Jesus (3:11). Jesus not only dwells in heaven as our advocate, he dwells in our hearts (3:17). We must know Jesus’ love which surpasses knowledge (3:19) and give his glory for it (3:21). Jesus gave gifts to the church (4:7) for the building up of the body (4:12) to the end that the body would measure up to Jesus himself (4:13, 15). We must live in accordance with what we have learned about Jesus knowing that in him is truth (4:20, 21). We must live lives of forgiveness and love because Jesus has forgiven us and loved us (4:32; 5:2). The sinner has no inheritance in Jesus’ kingdom (5:5), and those who are made alive will have the light of Christ shone on them (5:14). Our thanksgiving ought to be in the name of Jesus (5:20) and our submission to one another out of reverence for Jesus (5:21). Husbands must model Jesus in their headship (5:23), and wives must likewise submit in the same manner as the church does to Jesus (5:24). Husbands must love their wives as Christ does the church (5:25), likewise nourishing and cherishing them (5:29). Marriage is a reflection of Jesus and the church (5:32). Slaves must work for their masters as they would for Jesus (6:5) knowing that they are indeed slaves of Jesus (5:6). Jesus and the Father give peace and love to those who love him (6:23-24).

In light of all this that Paul has said in Ephesians, it is no wonder that in Colossians 3:4 he also says, “When Christ who is your life…” and likewise in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”