Who Are You and Who Do You Belong To?
Ephesians 1:1-3 NKJV 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Paul knew who he was in Christ and he knew what God called him to do.
It is important to know who we are in Christ, what we have been given, and know what we have been given is by God's grace alone.
Who are the Believers
In Ephesians 1:1 we are called saints. What does God mean by that?
saint-40-hagios- properly, different (unlike), other ("otherness"), holy; likeness of nature with the Lord because "different from the world." (HELPS Word-studies)
When salvation is received we are given the nature of Christ. That is, we are made holy through Christ Jesus and we are to live exhibiting God's holiness. Salvation sets believers apart from the world therefore our priorities, values, and attitudes are to be different from the worlds. This is not a suggestion, this is the proof of salvation.
John 15:1 NET “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. 2 He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. 3 You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me—and I in him—bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing
The believer is in Christ and Christ is in them produce fruit that is consistent with the new heart, and new nature given by grace.
What is grace?
grace-5485-charis (a) grace as a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ (Strong's Concordance)
Cognate-5485-xaris (another feminine noun from rar-, "favor, disposed to inclined, favorable towards, leaning towards to share benefits")- properly, grace 5485( Xaris is preeminently used of the Lord's favor- freely extended to give Himself away to people (because He is "always leaning toward them"). (HELPS Word-studies)
Grace is God through Jesus Christ willingly offering Himself to others. What does this mean;
1. Christ is a gift and blessing
2. Christ can not be earned, He must be received
3. Christ is called to the unsaved by His Father
4. Christ is full of grace and truth (John 1:14)
which He gives freely to others by the giving of Himself
5. Christ is the seen grace of God
God's word is grace and truth, we will look at Titus 2 for instruction.
In Titus 2, we find teaching that is "consistent with sound teaching" that is, Christian doctrine. This chapter instructs believers in godly conduct.
This instruction is for everyone;
1. Older men
2. Older women
3. Younger women
4. Younger men
Along with godly instruction we are told how God sees ungodly behavior.
Titus 2:5, Ungodly living is the same as blaspheming the message of God.
blaspheme-987- I speak evil against, (Strong's Concordance)
Yes, actions speak and they speak louder than words (Matthew 21:28-32).
The purpose of Godly conduct
Titus 2:10, Believers will live being transformed into the image of their Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so we "adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything."
Adorn- I put into order, adorn (Strong's Concordance)
Cognate-2885 Kosmeo (from 2889/Kosmos, "world")- properly, to beautify, having the right arrangement (sequence) by ordering; to adorn, make compellingly attractive, very appeasing (inviting, awesomely gorgeous) (HELPS Word-studies)
A godly life and attitude brings order to life. When someone witnesses you living according to what God commands out of love, they are drawn to the beauty of the order and the absence of chaos.
How do believers live this out
Titus 2:11 NET For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. 12 It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good
Grace supplies all the believer needs to reject ungodly ways and worldly lusts to live in obedience to God.
Grace delivers people from their ungodlessness and trains them to live godly. At the time of salvation every believer is sealed and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is where the believer receives godly self-discipline (Galatians 5:22-23).
God does not change in order to fit in with the culture of the time. The darker the culture the brighter the believer shines.
Long term purpose
Life lived from grace to grace or truth to truth keeps our priorities right. Our eyes now look for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (v13).
What grace gives us
1. Unearned favor with God
2. Belonging to Christ cleanses us from unrighteousness
3. We become Christ's prized treasure
4. We will be eager to do the good works of God
What is our response to grace
Titus 2:13, We praise God because in Christ we have been given "every spiritual blessing in the heavens."
Grace changes everything in a person and those changes bear fruit for the world to witness.
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