Don’t Survive - Thrive (A Study in Ephesians) – Part 1
“How To Live the Good Life”
“This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God's holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” Ephesians 1:1-2 (NLT)
The theme of the letter is: The nature of the church – the body of Christ. You in Christ.
Fun facts About Ephesus:
- It was the second largest city in the world in the first century.
- 250,000 people called it home.
- It was very sophisticated. Alexander the great conquered it and Hellenized it.
- It had an amphitheater that seated 25,000 people, and it was built so that you could overlook the city.
- It had a magnificent shopping center called the “Agora.” You could buy anything there including slaves.
- It was home to the temple of the goddess Artimis (Diana). This temple was one of the seven wonders of the world.
- Ephesus was also the slave capital of the world. t and thus this created even more slavery.
Four Lessons Ephesians Teaches Us:
- How to live a truly rich life.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ…He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:3; 7-8 (NLT)
- We have been adopted and chosen by God.
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)
- That we are saved by grace.
“So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son…But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)…God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 1:6; 2:4-5; 8-9 (NLT)
- We have the transforming power of God in us that enables us to thrive!
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms…May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 1:19-20; 3:19-20 (NLT)
“The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 (NLT)