Three Years in Ephesians
Published January 26, 2023
This month, we came to the end of an incredible three-plus year journey through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. We began our study on October 20, 2019, and continued for 119 total sermons through this book of the Bible.
Going through Ephesians tracked a remarkable time in the life of our church family – and in the history of the world. The 229 of us in attendance that Sunday morning at 3636 West Greenway Road had no idea about the changes we would experience over the course of this study as our world profoundly changed just a few short months later.
I remember preaching the first sermon on Ephesians 1:1-2, and saying, “as we study Ephesians…this church is going to grow and mature in ways we can’t even begin to conceive right now.” When we look back, we can clearly see the hand of God in our life as a church. God used this book over the past few years to guide us through tumultuous times, monumental change, and massive growth. I think it is safe to say that, while we ended our series on Ephesians, because of what this book has been to us through these past few years and how God has led us through this letter, Ephesians will always hold a special place in our hearts.
But it’s not just the external circumstances God has used this book to lead us through that make this an incredible book of the Bible, but the very content of this book that leaves us breathless. How often I remind myself of the truth of the opening of this letter: that I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places! No matter what we are going through as believers, no matter what is happening in the world around us, we recognize and rejoice in the reality that God has blessed us with every conceivable blessing, and we have everything we need in Christ.
That blessing begins with God’s choice of us in Christ before the foundation of the world. We see that blessing extend to our adoption as sons and our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, through Christ. We have the blessing of knowing God’s purpose to bring all things to their proper place in Christ, and we are sealed with the Spirit who is the pledge of our eternal inheritance in Christ.
God’s power is at work in us who believe because even though we were dead in our sins, He loved us and raised us up with Christ, seated us in heavenly places, and intends to lavish the riches of His kindness in grace on us throughout all eternity.
We have been saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves, but as a gift of God, and God has even prepared good works for us to do as His children.
We have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ; we are God’s household; and we are being built as a holy temple in the Lord.
We are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of God’s promises to Abraham in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, and God loves us with a love that surpasses knowledge but that we can know in our experience through faith.
Therefore, we are to walk worthy of our calling, which means we pursue unity and growth; we reject living like the world, but we live out the new man; we walk in love and in light; and we walk in wisdom, being filled with the Spirit of God in our lives, in our worship, in our marriages, in our families, and in our workplaces.
And even though we have formidable foes seeking to destroy us, God has provided us His full armor to protect us and to arm us for battle so that we might stand firm.
All of this is tied together with prayer, as we pray for ourselves, for one another, for preachers of the gospel, and for all the saints.
That is where we have been in Ephesians; that’s the glorious reality Paul has revealed by the Spirit to us in this book. I’m excited to see how God continues to refine our church and our understanding of who we are and what we have in Christ based on our completed study of this letter. To Him be the glory for how He used Ephesians to grow and mature Desert Hills Bible Church in incredible ways.