Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 12:12
Bible Book: Ephesians / Efesiers
Verse: 3 – 14
We live in a world where personal autonomy and “freedom of choice” are often viewed as virtues that many of us aspire to. The result of this is an attitude of “wanting to be in charge”. It sounds good to be able to say, “Now I am in control of my situation”. However, the reverse of this is that we are constantly challenged to “take care of yourself” and reminded that “only the fittest (richest) will survive”!
We find this strong emphasis on the individual even in many of our churches. We are challenged to make personal choices, to take up our own Christian (church) responsibilities, to be strong in our faith and to take responsibility in persevering in a Christian lifestyle.
The result may be heavily-burdened individuals (Christians) – struggling to carry all their problems on their own shoulders.
To these overloaded Christians the first Chapter of the letter to the Ephesians is like a wonderful stream of life-giving water. What a relief to hear: God has done what is necessary to be done! And: you are the beneficiary of His deeds.
Read through verses 3 to 8 and consider who acts and who is acted upon, who gives and who receives. God “has blessed us” (v 3), “God loved us and chose us” (v 4), “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family” (v 5), God poured out “the glorious grace … on us” (v 6), “he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (v 7), “He has showered his kindness on us” (v 8 – NLT).
To read that God has already accomplished our salvation in and through Jesus Christ and will complete his work in us through the Holy Spirit (v 13-14), is indeed good news.
No wonder Paul seems so excited – praises and thanksgiving interrupt his thoughts again and again.
It reminded me of what Martin Luther once said, “The law says, ‘Do this,’ and it is never done. Grace says, ‘Believe this,” and everything is already done.”
To think about or discuss: What encouragement do you find in Eph 1:1-14 for people who have become tired in their struggle of living with HIV or who have become tired in their struggle of serving in the context of HIV and Aids?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)