In my last post about faith, I discussed the importance of remembering that Christ is the vine and we are the branches. Without Him, we are unable to produce the fruits of the spirit, one of which is faithfulness. To put it simply, faith starts with Him, not with us. We draw faith from that which he has placed within us because he is always previous.
Something I find so essential to this walk is the Gospel, the too good to be true news, the whole point of why I chose to surrender my life to Christ in the first place. Oftentimes, we can get so caught up in commandments and doctrine that we forget to surrender our minds and souls to the whole purpose of life. Which brings me to Paul. Paul is one of my favorites in the Bible so far, I say so far because I obviously haven’t read the whole thing. I am however, rather familiar with the New Testament, most of which, Paul wrote. One thing he loves to do is begin his letters with a reminder of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, his life and death and his love for us. It’s almost like a quick, mini-renewal of your mind.
Paul: “Before I drop this revelation on you, before I come for your life in the most loving way possible and check you on all of your pompous self righteousness, let me just remind you that the whole point is Christ and what he did for you.”
Ok, so he doesn’t say it quite like that, but if he was here now, he totes would talk like that.
Bringing it back to the strengthening of my faith, I find it essential to get back to the basics, to get back to the gospel, start at the source; Christ and go from there. Here’s a quick summary of Ephesians 1.
Paul, per usual, is writing to the church at Ephesus. He begins with grace and spiritual peace (which means peace with God as well as harmony, unity, and undisturbedness.) He goes on to discuss how, out of LOVE, God handpicked you and me to be His own and adopted us into oneship with Him, to be his children. He did this out of love and for his own pleasure! He tells us that in Him we have been redeemed and are forgiven of all of our shortcomings and mistakes through the blood of Christ. Through Christ, God made His will known to us and His will is that He PURPOSEFULLY planned for EVERYTHING to come together and be finished in Christ, things in Heaven and right here on Earth. Through Christ, WE obtained a Godly inheritance. Through Christ, we learned the truth: The Gospel, our salvation, which was sealed and made permanent by the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, we have been granted wisdom and revelation and the ability to have a deep, meaningful relationship with Him. Through knowing Christ, we come to know our PURPOSE. Through Christ, there is power IN us and FOR us. Christ is on our side and seated at the Heavenly throne. He is a name above ALL other names and authorities. Christ is the SUPREME HEAD OF THE UNIVERSE. He makes everything complete and fills everything, everywhere with himself.
Whoooo. YAS! Now pin that to your mirror and say it three times in the morning, and tell me you don’t have an amazing day. This chapter is such an excellent reminder of our Savior and who we are in Him. I hope you go and study the chapter for yourself but here are a few verses that stuck out to me.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
I love this because it shows us how much God loves us, in just one little scripture. WE ARE UNITED WITH CHRIST. Let that sink in. Meditate on that. When your faith is lacking, remind yourself of this. We don’t need to worry about anything because every spiritual blessing has already been provided to us, we simply need to receive it. God loves us so much that we are blameless and faultless in His eyes even though in our eyes we may not see it that way.
7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.
Don’t ever forget this. God is so loving and kind that he purchased your freedom. We will never have to repay Him for it, it was a gift, made available to everyone. He is so amazing that he carried out this act of love simply for his pleasure.
13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.
Because you are united with Christ, you belong to Him. Just as your arm belongs to you because it is apart of you, you belong to Him. He lives in you through the Holy Spirit.
1 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.
This verse is self explanatory but how comforting to know, how much peace and confidence can come from understanding that God has the FINAL SAY in everything. He rules over all.
He rules over your faith too. So surrender it to Him, place your life in His hands and let Him guide you. Spend time in His word and ask Him to soften your heart and strengthen your faith in Jesus’ name.