From Theology to Life
Sunday - February 27th
Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 3:14-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
At Calvary, as we began our series of sermons from Ephesians in early January, I mentioned the distinct clarity of the book's first half from the second. Chapters one through three focus on theology or doctrinal beliefs. Chapters four through six focus on how that doctrine looks when lived out in real life.
Who we are without Christ and who we are once we come to Christ as Savior is a significant theme of the first half of Ephesians. We get a great picture of our position before God in Christ. We learned that grace saved us through faith. We learned that God planned for us to be His children before the foundation of the world. Chapters 1-3 emphasize our standing before God IN CHRIST. These opening chapters paint a beautiful and amazing portrait of God's grace shown to us in and through our Savior!
As we move into the month of March, our weekend messages at Calvary will focus on the second half of Ephesians. These final three chapters will address everything from being filled with the Holy Spirit to not giving any place to the devil. We will discover what God expects from us in our everyday relationships and how to put on the whole armor of God to engage in spiritual warfare. Chapters four through six will tackle topics such as marriage, the workplace, forgiving others, using foul language, being patient, and so much more.
At the end of Ephesians chapter three, just before we enter the book's second half, the Apostle Paul provides the hinge or link from the first half of his book to the second half. He concludes in a summary fashion the first three chapters' doctrinal content. How he summarizes the first half of his letter in Ephesians 3:14-21 sets up the critical theological threads that will shape the practical life content of the final chapters.
Key themes linking the book's two halves emerge in these eight verses that conclude chapter three. In Ephesians 3:16, Paul reminds us of the strength and confidence that comes from the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives as followers of Christ. He prayed that God would "strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being."
Then, in verses 18 and 19, Paul prayed that they would be able to "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Finally, in the last two verses of the first half of the book, the apostle gives glory to God, whom he describes as the one "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine."
When you theologically understand God's presence in you, God's love for you, and God's vast ability to meet your every need, you have the foundation of walking with and living for God in your everyday life. What a great hinge to move us from Christ-centered theology to practical living for Christ!
When we grasp the unthinkable presence, uncontainable love, and unimaginable power of God, we flourish in life!