“Christ’s Living Gifts”
Paul writes the first verse encouraging us to live a life proving God’s hand in it. Before I continue, to answer the question you may have, no this does not mean earning your inheritance! God’s hand over Paul the Apostles life exudes the Lord’s favor. Favor is not earned, it is freely given! If not favor–how on earth would Paul have done what he did? Bridging the gaps between regions, he was the Marco Polo before his time. He ended up trading his life for the mass conversion of a civilization. How could Paul’s life had been built without the Lord’s hand upon him? We know that the impossible is made possible through Christ Jesus. We know that God’s grace was sufficient for him.
This is especially true since Paul wrote from prison to the Ephesians. He was writing out this massive alter call through his letters. Ushering believers into deep faith regardless of circumstance (to which of course he knew his own stance), his gift was on his tongue and through his pen. From the prison gates into the outward temple of a believer’s heart, he poured himself out! This apostle was on an eternal mission! THIS is the power of the Lord’s kindness that Paul spoke about. And He writes to the church of Ephesus who was surrounded by a culture built on a false goddess.
As we discussed in the previous blog, Apostles have a gift in building. The reality is that the church in Ephesus was surrounded by a culture that was built on the wrong thing. The thing ones and the thing twos were not aligned with the main enchilada: which Is the grand creator.
There three themes AND five main points of reference for Ephesians 4:
The three themes are:
The five main points of reference are:
- Unity and Its Fruit (2-3)
- God’s Favor Through Christ (v.7-10)
- Maturity In Faith (13)
- Christ as the Standard (15)
- Live the New Life (19-24)
Now these are best three F’s for a Christian to hold onto. Fruit, Favor, and Fervor!
“Be humble and gentle in every way. Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other. Through the peace that ties you together, do your best to maintain the unity that the Spirit gives.”- (Eph. 4:2-3).
In Sunday school you may have heard of the fruits of the Spirit. The apples being humility, the oranges being gentleness, the grapes being patience, etc. The fruit that’s being described here is in the context of how to walk when the culture around you is not walking. Let me break it down a bit further so it’s easier to digest. The Ephesians faced the peril of being surrounded by falseness and Paul tells them to walk in the fruit that only Christ can give. He shows the Ephesians that the main platter of pleasure is found in unity and exhortation. Paul dives deeper into this message when he explains how Christ tightly weaves His body (we are His body) together. This is a beautiful portrayal of what we are able to walk in regardless of cultural set standards. In fact, later in this chapter Paul says that Christ IS the standard. (v13). If He is the standard, that means that there are endless possibilities in our own impossibilities. What we deem impossible, the Lord is saying “I’m going to make that possible.” And the true joy is found in walking in these fruits in our true calling. Whatever walk you are on, you are called to walk the deep and the narrow.
“God’s favor has been given to each of us. It was measured out to us by Christ who gave it.” – (Eph.4:7).
My bible shows that the interchangeable word for favor, is grace in the footnotes. What is beautiful about the favor of God is that it is freely given! The picture that comes to mind, or the scene, is of a great Olympian running with his torch in bated accomplishment. I’m not sure why this picture comes to mind, but it does. In Greek, the word favor is charis and I find this to be extraordinary because of one word: charisma.
Charisma in the English language is an ability to win the populous over. Now charisma in its original definition is the explosion of miracles through the Holy Spirit. It’s the miraculous unfolding of charisma, in and through the lives of others. Through prayer and petition this charisma unfolds naturally and stitches again perfectly. What does this mean? When Jesus said that we would be doing even greater works than He (John14:12), He knew that He was giving us the helper.
The helper is the guide, and the guide is the Holy Spirit. Pray and it will be given to you. Ask and It will be poured out. Knock and the door will be opened. This is beautiful because the door is through the Father and the Father is readily available to all through Christ! He bore sin so that we could enjoy His favor and ALL His splendor. And to say it lightly, His splendor is His throne room.
“You have certainly heard his message and have been taught his ways. The truth is in Jesus.” (Eph. 4:21).
To guide the ship of your life, its with fervor in Christ! Fervor is pursuing Jesus with all you have. It means following His call regardless of the tide. Pursuing Kingdom Citizenship and true identity in the one who made it all possible through His sacrifice on the cross. Paul understands this well since he writes from prison, so he continues to bestow that blessing to the church of Ephesus in this chapter.
Ferver in the English language is an ‘intense warmth’ of emotion. Now fervor is what John Wesley experienced on the Moravian ships on his way to America. As he heard them worshipping, he said that he felt a warmth in his heart. The warming of his heart turned into a blazing fire—all sparked by the Holy Spirit!
As you go about your day, I encourage you to start walking in the charisma of the Holy Spirit! Challenge yourself to pray for the impossible. I also encourage you to start running in His fruit, favor, AND fervor for your life! All by reading His word and praying from the heart.
Destiny Rose Nielsen.