Summary: This is a summary of the entire book of Ephesians focusing on living a significant life.
Good AM. At the gate of FEBIAS College of Bible, you would see these words: “This life will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” It is my prayer for each one of us that we would live our lives in such a way that it would last for Christ.
This morning we will wrap up our verse-by-verse study on the book of Ephesians, which we started last January. Throughout our series we sought to establish how we can live a significant life.
Allow me to summarize our series with the acronym P-U-R-S-U-E.
“P” stands for PURSUE your calling. We saw that chapter 4 verse 1 is the key verse of Ephesians. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” From chapters 1 to 3, Paul showed the calling we received from God. Make no mistake. He called all of us. Then from chapters 4 to 6, he showed how to live the life worthy of that calling. We are to pursue our call to live a life that matters. My role is to equip you to do just that. Your role is to be equipped “for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Where do we start? That brings us to our next point.
“U” stands for UNDERSTAND your position in Christ. Pursuing a significant life starts with knowing our position in Christ. How God sees us is far more important than how we see ourselves or how others see us. We can live significant lives because God made us significant.
In chapter 1, we saw that God “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (1:3). The Father selected us from eternity, the Son saved us through His death on the cross and the Spirit sealed us when we accepted the Lord Jesus as Savior. That is why Paul prayed that we may understand the blessings we received in Christ, that “[our] eyes [would be] focused and clear, so that [we] can see exactly what it is he is calling [us] to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians”. Here we see that God meant for us to live a life that counts.
In chapter 2, Paul showed the way we were. We were spiritually dead in our sins. But the merciful and loving God “embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!” When we trusted Jesus, He assured us of heaven: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Yes, good works does not save us. It is faith in Christ that saves us. Yet the faith that saves is the faith that works. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are to do good works now that God saved us. I like how The Message translated this verse: “No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
The Word in Life Study Bible reminds us, “Is your significance tied too closely to achievements—building buildings, reaching business goals, acquiring material possessions, climbing career ladders? If your sense of worth depends on them, what happens when you reach the top of the ladder, only to discover that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall? The problem is that our world has a system of values that is upside down from the way God determines value. God calls us to a far more stable basis for significance. He wants us to establish our identity in the fact that we are His children, created by Him to carry out good works as responsible people in His kingdom. This is our calling from God.”
But we can’t do it on our own. That’s why we must RECOGNIZE the value of the church. Now, if you are regularly attending our church, we challenge you to level up and commit as a member. We can grow spiritually on our own to a certain extent. But we can never achieve our full growth potential if we are not involved in a local church. Dr. Rick Warren wrote, “The difference between attenders and members can be summed up in one word: commitment! It’s like the difference between couples who just ‘live together’ and those who get married. While becoming a Christian means to commit yourself to Christ, becoming a church member means to commit yourself to other Christians.”