And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)
Read: Ephesians 1:1-14
Consider: There is some discussion about Paul’s letter and whether or not it was written to the Ephesians. This is because some early manuscripts do not contain the words ‘… in Ephesus …’ (Ephesians 1:1). Does it matter? Probably not, as the letter is clearly written to ‘… God’s holy people … the faithful in Christ Jesus’ (1:1).
Paul’s letter has much to teach us as individual Christians and as churches. The letter sets out to give the readers confidence in their faith. In Ephesians 1:4-5 we read: For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
Today’s passage from Ephesians 1 uses many different words and phrases to convey the special relationship we have with God through Jesus:
- Chosen (v4, v11);
- Holy (v4);
- Blameless (v4);
- Predestined (v5, v11);
- Adopted (v5);
- Redeemed (v7);
- Forgiven (v7);
- Marked in him with a seal (v13);
- God’s possession (v14).
Lay these things on your heart, allowing God to reveal to you just how special you are in his sight. Pray each day that God will reveal to you the richness of meaning encapsulated in each of these words and phrases.
Notice also how Paul describes the gospel as the ‘… message of truth …’ (1:13). It is important that when sharing the good news of the gospel with others, we do not try to make the message palatable by watering it down, so as to be more acceptable to society at large. People need to hear the truth and only the truth. It is also important that we do not embellish the truth in any way. What I mean is that while our mindset and attitudes to problems will change after we commit to Christ, life’s problems will not disappear. What we do have is the knowledge that we will not face problems alone and that our faith will have a positive effect on how we deal with them.
Pray: Father, may we come to understand the nature of the special relationship we have with you when we accept Jesus as our Saviour. Help us to share the good news of the gospel, by sticking to the truth as contained in your Word. Amen