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Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 1’

ChurchPeople

  1. “The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. – Ephesians 1:22-23
  2. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.” – Jesus (John 15:5)
  3. “…Whoever loves a father loves his child also.” – 1 John 5:1

What we call church, one on every street corner, is a gathering of fellow believers in Christ for strength and encouragement; nothing more or less. What the Bible calls Church is the living Christ, Jesus, acting through men and women who are connected to him like a branch to a vine, not a pyramid.

When we fall in love with God we will want to be with his children and church is a good place to do so. But which one? Probably the one that gives the most comfort and encouragement to one’s personal walk with Christ.

— fritz

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Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” — Romans 8:8-9a

Being “in the Spirit” is not based on how close God feels but on the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. The two are not the same.

Believers don’t always agree on exactly when the Holy Spirit is received but they do agree he is found in Christ, a promised Gift for assurance and comfort.

“You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit because you believed in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance” — Ephesians 1:13 (CEB)

In Christ the Holy Spirit no longer comes and goes but remains even as our feelings change.

It’s time for us to stop asking, singing, pleading for him to come and time start thanking him for being here, moving on to what he wants us to do now that he is.

— fritz

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A Prayer Exercise

PersistentPrayerHere’s a prayer exercise I’ve discovered to be a blessing:

Turn the Message version’s paraphrase of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians into a personal, individual prayer (replacing the “us” with “me”, the “we” with “I”, the “His” with “Your”, and “He” with “You”).

Here’s an example to get started:

3-6 How blessed you are God! And what a blessing you are! You’re the Father of my Master, Jesus Christ, and you take me to the high places of blessing in him. Long before you laid down earth’s foundations, you had me in mind, had settled on me as the focus of your love, to be made whole and holy by your love. Long, long ago you decided to adopt me into your family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure you took in planning this!) You wanted me to enter into the celebration of your lavish gift-giving by the hand of your beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, I’m a free person —free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all my misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! You thought of everything, provided for everything I could possibly need, letting me in on the plans You took such delight in making. You set it all out before me in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

11-12 It’s in Christ that I find out who I am and what I am living for. Long before I first heard of Christ and got my hopes up, you had your eye on me, had designs on me for glorious living, part of the overall purpose you are working out in everything and everyone.

13-14 It’s in Christ that I, once I heard the truth and believed it (this Message of my salvation), found myself home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from you is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that I’ll get everything you planned for me, a praising and glorious life.

Ephesians 1:3-14 Message Bible (italics mine)

Wow! What a prayer!

-fritz

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