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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

With the new year comes new beginnings. For our family it means a new semester. Alan is teaching new classes this semester. The older kids are taking semester assessments in school. I am starting a new Bible study beginning in February on the book of Ephesians.

I was looking through my Bible and found this from another time I studied this book. It is a list of what God does for us (from the first chapter) and what we have in Christ. If you have never studied the “in Christ” motif I encourage you to do so. Paul often wrote about who/what we are in Christ. When Christ appeared to him on the Damascus road it completely changed the course of his life, and really, it shook the entire world. Why? Because Christ revealed to him that the persecutions he was doing to the believers he was actually doing to Jesus who identifies with believers as one. I’m getting all excited because I have much more to say about this and another theme I noticed about Paul’s writings in comparison to his conversion but I will save that for another post.

What God does:

1:3 blessed us with every spiritual blessing through Christ

:4 chooses us to be blameless and holy

:5 predestined us to be His children

:6 freely gave us His grace

:8 lavishes grace on us

:22 placed Christ at the head of all things

What we have “in Christ”:

1:3 every spiritual blessing

1:4 holiness and blameless before God

1:6 God’s grace

1:7  redemption

1:11 we are chosen

1:13 a sealed salvation

2:6 a heavenly ranking

2:7 an expression of God’s kindness

2:10 meaning (or created) to do good

2:13 citizenship

3:16 Promise of salvation

3:12 we can approach God without fear i.e. God is accessible

4:21 truth

4:32 complete forgiveness

*Update* I was looking through my notes. I found where I had also marked from the book of Ephesians what the Holy Spirit does. All three parts of God doing the same work of perfecting me. What an awesome thing. (Goes to show how pitiful we are in sin that it takes the full Godhead to make us a new creation.)

The role of the Holy Spirit

1:13ff seals our salvation

1:17 helps us to know God more through His wisdom and revelation

2:18 Works through Jesus to give us access to God

2:22 Makes us a dwelling place of God

3:5 Reveals God and his mysteries (of salvation) to his people

3:16 gives us power (strength) and faith and then helps us to walk in faith

If you ask me, those are some pretty amazing promises and gifts. By identifying with Jesus we have not only a purpose, but are given an opportunity to truly live. My prayer is that this year I reflect whose I really am.

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