Living your best life
Living alive – Gracefilled
George Methodist Church
3rd August 2019
8am and 10am
- Introduction to Ephesians
Author, Date, and Recipients
The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the churches in Ephesus and the surrounding region c. a.d. 62 while imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28). During this time he also wrote Colossians and Philemon. All three letters were sent with Tychicus and Onesimus.
There are three main themes of Ephesians:
Christ has reconciled all creation to Himself and to God;
Christ has united people from all nations to Himself and to one another in His church; and
Christians must live as new people.
Ephesians offers general instruction in the truths of God’s redemptive work in Christ; the unity of the church among diverse peoples; and proper conduct in the church, the home, and the world.
- Living your best life is living alive grace-filled.
Ephesians 2: 1-7 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
It is so critical for us to live alive in Christ. When Paul talks about living alive he describes the things that kill our joy – and that is to have it all about us. When we are following the way of everyone else rather than the Way of the Lord. This doesn’t make our lives miserable but rather more joy-filled than ever before. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have any fun but rather that we know how to have fun without hurting others or ourselves.
I often think that some Christian teaching is so determined to take the fun factor out of life that it looks like the living dead club. We are called to be alive in Christ, adding value wherever we go.
- By Grace that we are saved through faith not works – this is also so critical to living our best life authentically. We are not saved by what we do but by what we are in Christ. Works was a big thing at one stage and people thought that the more they did for God or the church, the more points they would have for heaven. It is obviously important to be active in the kingdom of God and James reminds us that faith without works is dead, but the motivation for why we do what we do is key. We do it simply because we are servants of the most high God and for no other reason. It also does a whole lot for ones psyche when we do something for someone else rather than always trying to do things for ourselves.
- Living your best life is being aware of how valuable you are as God’s handiwork. He has put you together and formed and shaped you and He wants us to honour this. So many folk are not living their best lives because they want to be somebody else or look like somebody else or be somewhere else, but God has made you and created and put you together as His handiwork for such a time as this. His design is so that we can do good works which He has prepared in advance for us to do. Living your best life is making sure that you don’t miss the exciting things He has planned for you to do.