Summary: Part 1 in our Ephesians series: How to Walk God’s Trail. Realizing who we are and what we have in Christ.
Series: Ephesians: How To Walk God’s Trail
Text: Ephesians 1:1-6
Title: “Our Spiritual Position”
• There are many terms used to describe our Christian lives and how we are to carry it out: it is called our walk, our purpose, being in God’s will; however they all have the idea of doing what is pleasing to God.
• Jim Elliot led a group of 5 missionaries into the jungle of Ecuador in 1955 and they were all killed by the tribe they were trying to reach, the Waodani.
o Years later the wives of some of the men went back to the same tribe that killed their husbands to continue the work that their husbands had started.
o After years of living with them the tribe turned to faith in Christ.
o Even the son of one of the 5 men killed, Steve Saint, was later adopted into the family of the man who had killed his father.
• The reason I tell this is because the Waodani use the phrase “Walking God’s Trail” meaning following the will of God in your life. We either find ourselves walking God’s trail or walking our own.
• So the first step as we take this journey is realizing our spiritual position in Christ.
I. Example Of Paul (1)
• “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ”
o This may seem like Paul is just merely writing his title, but it goes much deeper than that.
o He is also claiming the responsibility that goes along with it.
o Apostle means “sent one,” apostles were sent out to establish, build up and guard the church of Jesus Christ.
o So while titles are nice and all we also have to recognize that they come with an inherent responsibility.
• “by the will of God”
o While we can go out and lay claim to various titles it doesn’t mean we will be successful, our success is directly related to whether or not it is God’s will for us. (Paul recognized this)
o This is true for every aspect of our lives, we will only find meaningful success when we are in the will of God, but we can only find His will once we have submitted our will to Him.
o So often we want to have it both ways, but that is an insult to God.
• So how do we go about finding God’s will?
Romans 12:1-2 -- 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
• “To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.”
o Paul’s letter is addressed not only to those believers in Ephesus, but to all the faithful in Christ.
II. Encouragement From God (2)
• Grace and Peace
• Grace is the unmerited favor of God.
o It is quite different from mercy mercy is not getting what we deserve.
o Grace is getting what we don’t deserve.
o When we deserved to be eternally separated from God because of our sin, He gave us His Son Jesus Christ.
John 1:14 -- 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
• It is out of this fountain of grace from which the blessing of peace flows.
o 2 kinds of peace: 1. Freedom from conflict or war (outer peace). 2. State of tranquility or quiet (inner peace).
o Because we have received grace we also now have peace with God and peace of God.
• Peace with God
o This is that outer peace.
o Whether you realize it or not we are all at war with God apart from Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:10-18 -- 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 13 “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Romans 6:23 -- 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.