..........Myspace Codes An Extraordinary Life: Ephesians 2:1-10 ~ The Meaning of Life

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ephesians 2:1-10 ~ The Meaning of Life

The starting point of Ecclesiastes says that all is vanity yet towards the end, we find there is meaning in life for God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14). We know there is judgment because when Jesus died, He didn't remain dead but rose to life - it doesn't all stop at just death. Acts 17:30-31 reminds us that when Jesus rose from the dead, we don't just know that judgment has begun but also that He is the one appointed to judge. Daniel 12:1-3 points out that while the Book of Life exists, not everyone's name will be listed. Some will be judged and raised to life, to everlasting life. The question that should then be asked is what Jesus will think of us. This is all the more so when John 5:21-22 and John 5:26-27 tell us that God the Father has given the Son the authority to decide who gets to enter heaven and who goes to hell.

In line with this, we need to correct our view of sin, heaven and works and this is where the first half of Ephesians 2 comes into the picture. The first 3 verses reveal our identity as being dead, followers of Satan, and children of wrath. It is not whether we sin more or less or how much good we do, it is a matter of who we belong to. If we belong to Jesus, we're on the winning team. The "good" that some may do are not for Jesus, so it is not a matter of how good a player we are but whose team we're playing for. When we belong to Jesus' team, no matter how poorly we play, we're still on Jesus' side. Even if we cannot score or perform up to expectations, we're still on victory's side because Jesus scores and wins. Jesus has victory even over death itself. The questions to then ask ourselves are: Are we followers of Jesus? Which team are we playing for? Are we making decisions that will make our team captain happy?

Verses 4-7 seek to correct our view on heaven. Some people may not want to follow Jesus just yet. They may even see Christianity as an insurance policy for the unforeseeable future where they'll cash in when they start to think they need it. Often, our view of heaven is shaped by our greed and sinful desires. Romans 1:24-32 tells us that it is a judgment from God to allow us to indulge in lusts. Hell is here now and it happens when God gives people over to their sins. We need God's mercy now as a salvation from our slavery to sin, which is hell. The correct view of heaven is to be free from our slavery to sin and to see that the best way to live now is by following Jesus. In heaven, we approach God now as Father for we are fellow heirs with Christ. I Corinthians 15:55-57 assures us that there is certain victory through our Lord Jesus Christ that even death cannot snatch away from ourselves. Our struggle with sin as Christians is an indication that we're alive. We can look forward to a final day judgment that we need not fear but will have life fully instead.

Last but not least, we also need to correct our view of works. Verses 8-10 serve to remind us that salvation has nothing to do with the tally of our good works but it is the gift of God. It is God's grace that saves so we should never boast. Heaven is God's Kingdom, not ours - Jesus is at the centre and at the top of it all. We should avoid reverting back to being slaves of sin when we have been saved from sin. It is instead good to be slaves of God (Romans 6:20-23) because our heavenly Master actually cares for us. It is this Master who has qualified us to be co-heirs with Christ who redeems us from sin (Colossians 1:11-14). God raises Jesus back to life so that we can have a life that worships Him (Philippians 2:8-11). Matthew 7:21 advises us that it is the one who does God's will who will enter heaven. Indeed, passages like Titus 2:11-14 provide us with great encouragement to leave hell and be in heaven now as we renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.

Do you find your meaning of life in Christ?

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