TRANSFORMED LIFE - Week 1
TRANSFORMED LIFE - Week 1: Brand New Ephesians 1:1-2
The Irish Band U2 had a worldwide hit with their song: “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. The song begins with these words:
“I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.
I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.”
The story it tells is one of searching for something that seems illusive. The commercial success of the song points to a deep felt need in everyone to understand three things about ourselves.
– who am I?
– where do I belong?
– what am I living for?
The writer of the letter to church in Ephesus, Paul was someone who was looking for something, but didn’t know what it was. He may have thought he discovered who he was, where he belonged and his purpose in life when he went to the High Priest to ask for letters to empower him to imprison Christians (Acts 9:1-2). Then on the road to Damascus Jesus called him to turn from the darkness to the light and commissioned him to bring the light of Christ to Gentiles and Kings and Jews. Paul was set apart by God to be made brand new, to belong to his family and to carry the light of Christ to others. He did nothing to merit being found and called by Christ.
When Paul writes to the Ephesians he calls those in the church, ‘the saints’. A saint is anyone who through faith in Jesus Christ has been forgiven and set free from their sins. (Romans 1:7). The Grace and Peace that God gives through the sacrifice of his Son means that believers are reconciled with God, no longer enemies of God, (Romans 5:8-11) instead God welcomes with wide open arms all who come back to him. Just as in Jesus parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-31), the Father welcomes the prodigal son back into the family and throws a party for him, so over every follower of Jesus, over every saint in Christ, God rejoices and celebrates the dead coming back to life and being made brand new through Christ as Lord.
Ephesians 2:19, puts it like this…
‘Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.’ (Amplified Bible)
So for all who are in Christ you are no longer an outsider – you share citizenship with God’s own people - the saints. In a sense your birth certificate just got changed! God has written on it, ‘citizen of heaven – member of my family – belonging in God’s own household!’
So listen to God’s word and know that for all followers of Jesus:
You are a saint!
You belong in God’s Family
Your purpose is follow God’s plan for your life.
The song: “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” does indicate that through following God’s purpose and will the way may be found:
“I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I'm still running.
You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it”.
To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Ephesians 1: 1–2, NIV)