Happy Easter! I pray you had a great Resurrection Sunday. We are in a series studying the letter to the Ephesians. Our key verse for Easter was Ephesians 4:10: “He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.” The death and resurrection of Jesus provides us special, spiritual, and specific gifts. What does the resurrection of Jesus mean to you today?
In Ephesians 3:13-14, Paul says, “I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father.” We can learn from Paul! Don’t let troubles get you down. God is working your troubles and trials for your good and His glory. Difficulties are to be expected, but they should drive us to prayer. Even our problems are gifts. They are strengthening us. Paul goes on to pray that the Ephesian Christians would be strengthened in the “inner man” and that Christ would dwell in them. “Dwell” means to settle down and be at home. When your heart is Christ’s home, you have strength, stability and security.
In verses 18-19, Paul prays that they would know the width, length, depth, and height of Christ’s love. Width- enough to reach His arms around the globe. Length- to extend from eternity past to eternity future. Depth- to meet the deepest needs of your heart. Height- reaching to the very throne of God. God’s love, which was ultimately demonstrated on the cross, surpasses knowledge!
Paul closes his prayer saying, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (v. 20-21). There is power when the church prays and when the church believes. Whatever your boldest prayer or greatest dream, it is far less than what God is able and prepared to do in your life! God is able to do the impossible. I don’t know what your hurt, need, or impossibility is, but I know a God who rose from the dead who can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think in your life, health, finances, relationships, marriage, kids, and work!
At the beginning of chapter 4, Paul encourages the believers to walk worthy of their calling, bearing with one another in love, and keeping the unity of the Spirit. He then goes on to tell of the gifts that are ours in Christ. “When he ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men… He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things” (v. 8, 10). This section is the hinge to the whole book of Ephesians. It connects the first three chapters with the last three. Unity is the first sign of maturity. The body, the church, has a variety and diversity of members, but they must work in unity.
Like a king in the Old Testament would give gifts after a victory, King Jesus won the victory over sin, death, and Satan when He rose from the dead. The One who founded the church, loved and gave Himself for her, gave to the church gifted leaders and gifted members. The leaders lead, feed, and protect. Every member has a ministry. God’s plan is for every one of His children to use their gift in His service. When they do, it “causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (v. 16).
When we understand these resurrection gifts, believers are equipped, the ministry is enhanced, the church is edified, new believers are established, the church is effective, the congregation is enlarged, and everyone is encouraged! Easter is a time when everything is alive and growing. Are you spiritually alive? Are you growing?