12 October 2015

Those using Don Carson’s For the Love of God, to assist them with their daily Bible Readings, will have just read Ephesians. This use has prompted me to re-read the letter a few times. While reading my favourite part of Scripture, I have asked the Apostle these three very basic questions.

What is the primary reason for my being a Christian?

My answers were that God “chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world that I should be holy and blameless before him”, or, to put it another way, I should live “to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:4, 14).

My next question was that if God’s will for me is holiness…

What should I do about being holy?

The answers I came up with were, “ I should put off the old humanity, be renewed in the spirit of my mind and put on the new humanity” or “ I should imitate God, our Father, and live in love, as Christ loved us ” (Eph. 4:22-24, 5:1). Practically this means at least; I should put away falsehood and speak the truth; keep my anger righteous and short; not steal but work honestly so I am able to give to the needy; not speak evil but edify others; rid myself of bitterness, slander and malice and be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving; and to give no hint of impurity or covetousness but always be thankful (Eph. 4:25-5:4).

My last question was…

How can I be empowered to live this holy life?

The answers I came up with were, “Pray earnestly to understand the love of the Father toward us in Christ Jesus”. Understanding his love means understanding at least that God chose us before the world was made; he has adopted us as his children; he has forgiven us our trespasses; he has redeemed us by Christ’s death; he has given us his wisdom; he has raised and seated us with Christ; he has given us his Holy Spirit; and he has given us a glorious inheritance. The more we can understand these blessings we have in Christ, the more we will be amazed at the powerful work God will do among us, more than we could ever ask or think. (Eph. 3:14-19, 1:3-14, 2:4-7, 3:20-21)

So my exercise in Ephesians has motivated me again to pray for our further understanding of the love of God toward us in Christ, so that we will keep on putting off the old humanity and putting on the new in very practical ways, and so fulfill our God-ordained calling.

I wish you every blessing in Christ

Reg Piper