We’re all under authority.
Whether we admit it or not, or think we are the ones in control, the truth is, we are all under authority of God and God is in complete control. One day this reality will be evident to all. But now, while we wait, how are we to speak into a world that is not under God’s authority?
Very carefully. With grace and truth.
Paul was such a beautiful example of speaking into a culture void of God’s authority. We see this in the book of Ephesians that we are starting today.
We’re all under authority whether we know it or not.
The world around us tells us to have unity but there is no unity in a world without Christ and when everyone is not under the authority of Jesus Christ. We are still called to speak truth with grace to a hurting world. We don’t have the authority to condone what God hasn’t and we are called to impact the culture rather than the culture impacting us. May we do so with grace and truth.
The book of Ephesians speaks to us today.
The apostle Paul wrote this letter when he was in a prison in Rome. He wrote it to people in the town called Ephesus. This was about 61 years after the birth of Christ. Ephesus was a place of significant conflict when this letter was written.
The letter is in two parts. First is the teaching part. It mainly teaches us about God’s plan for the world. This plan is for all time. It is about the gathering together of all things to Jesus Christ as head. God created men and women. He created them to be his friends. But now they are apart from him. They are his enemies.
We’re all under authority—But there is no unity in a world without Christ.
Their whole culture was wrapped around this idolatry and false religion. It is hard to reach people with truth who are steeped in lies. We live in troubled times right now, friends, but during this time period in Ephesus, oh, there were troubled times then, too. There were Jewish versus Christian struggles. Christians were persecuted. Jews were persecuted. But God. He steps into history and redeems mankind and Paul starts the book of Ephesians with a reminder of just what God has done for us.
“3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. 5 He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
Scripture of the Day: Ephesians 1:9-11
“9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.”
Friends, this is part of the problem we see today. Man is in open rebellion with God and man accuses man for believing in God. One conversation I had with someone who was angry with me for being grateful for righteous legislation being passed this past week that agreed with the Bible . . . so we took the conversation off-line and the end of the matter is she said that she did not believe the Bible. This is the problem we have today, friends.
The church has let the culture impact it instead of it impacting the culture.
We individually have done the same. People are not under the authority of Jesus Christ now. Oh, but we all will be. It does not matter how many times people can repeat falsehood. They might even deceive many, but one day, everything will be made right. And for now, friends, we need to share truth with grace and take self out of the equation. One of my daughters messaged me this morning about this truth. she reminded me to not take it personally. Take self out of the equation. Keep speaking the truth.
When it gets hard to speak truth, we need to remember who we are and whose we are.
We need to remember the blessings and promises of God concerning us.
Let’s circle back to some promises we have in Him that are in Ephesians 1
V7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.
We have been saved by His blood, not by our own merit!
11 In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory.
We have an inheritance!
13 In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. 14 The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.
We have redemption – forgiveness and an inheritance that no one can take away! And we have the Holy Spirit! God in us! The world has none of this. They are lost!
Prayer still works.
But we can pray, friends, and we can speak truth. God has us to speak truth!
“17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength.”
Friends, now is the time for us to live what we say we believe. We have been given everything we need to be able to share God’s word. We can’t be asleep right now. Rise up and speak truth to a hurting world!
We’re all under authority—Everyone will be accountable.
Everyone will be held accountable everyone is under authority of Jesus whether they know it or not. And as it says in 22 And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
In Ephesians 2, Paul reminds us to be united in Christ.
I think one of the hardest things this past week was being attacked by some who profess Christ. They have bought into the culture’s lies and think Christians should accept it.
We are all the same – all in need of grace.
all went from death to life, but we will be deceived if we have a different authority than Jesus and His precious word.
Paul encourages us toward unity:
“11 So, then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands. 12 At that time you were without Christ, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In his flesh.”
Pray to the One in complete control and authority
Paul closes with a prayer in Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father[c] 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
So, friends, persevere and pray through! God is with you!
Keep speaking truth with grace. Don’t shrink back because people are mean or come against you.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan Day #168: Ephesians 1-3
Scripture of the Day: Ephesians 1:9-11
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