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Ephesians 4:1 by Robert Dean
What is the new identity of all who believe in Christ as their Savior? Listen to this lesson to understand that as believers we are given incredible wealth and assets. Hear an illustration of what it means to walk worthy of your position in life. Recognize that believers still struggle with their sin natures but can live consistent with their new identities by studying God’s Word and walking by means of the Holy Spirit.
Series:Ephesians (2018)
Duration:46 mins 8 secs

“The Called” Our Identity in Christ
Ephesians 4:1
Ephesians Lesson #109
June 13, 2021
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.

Opening Prayer

“Our Father, we thank You for Your Word. We are reminded that Your Word was in Your thinking from eternity past, that it was not something that You revealed here and there because You were responding to some circumstance or situation, but that this has always been Your plan and Your design.

“And that it was God the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets and the apostles in order to guide them in the writing of Scripture, so that Paul could accurately say that Scripture was breathed out by You, and that it is profitable, it is sufficient, it prepares us for every issue of life.

“That Your Word is going to convict us, it is going to rebuke us, it is going to teach us, and it’s going to give us instruction in the way of righteousness. It is not designed to make us feel good, but to help us to understand the truth and reality, our need for Your grace and our need to depend upon You.

“But it is Your Word that always refreshes and encourages us. So we thank You that we have it, that we can proclaim it clearly, and that we can study it. And that God the Holy Spirit who revealed it will help us to understand it and apply it in our lives. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”

Slide 3

Open your Bibles with me to Ephesians 4, continuing our study in Ephesians 4:1.

This morning, as my common practice has been for decades on Sunday morning, I get up, have my breakfast, and then I sit and drink coffee. I read through the Scriptures, and I’ll read some other things maybe. This morning I had my iPad out, how I normally read every morning.

But I was reading and looking at my LOGOS Bible software app on my iPad. I always freak these people out who are giving me instruction, “You have so many panels open!” I say, “There are so many books to read.”

As I was looking for my panel on Ephesians for the morning, I saw that next to it I had open Lewis Sperry Chafer’s commentary on Ephesians, which he wrote around 1918 or 1919. I thought, “Well, I’m going to read what he has to say about this passage,” because I like looking at these older dispensationalists because they will bring out certain factors and features that really reflect the importance of the Church.

Some of you have been in Christianity for very, very long time; others of you are new. But among dispensational Bible teachers, Ephesians has always been sort of the queen book of the Bible, and many have taught it several times.

There were some hyper-dispensationalists—folks that don’t believe the Church began in Acts 1. Some believe it was in Acts 7, some believe it was later on, some even believe it’s after the close of Acts, and I don’t agree with any of those positions.

But I have known some of those pastors who will never teach anything but Paul’s four prison epistles. Because the Church didn’t start until after the close of Acts, so they are just going to deal with those end epistles. There are others who will teach only Paul’s epistles, and there are others who will only teach the New Testament.

But we need the whole counsel of God. Scripture teaches us in 2 Timothy 3:16–17 that “all Scripture …” At the time that Paul wrote that, he is primarily talking about the Old Testament: all Scripture is breathed out by God.

We live in a world today when it’s rare to find teachers, pastors in the pulpit who are really teaching the Bible, and among those there are those who don’t teach verse by verse.

One man I know is a graduate of Dallas Seminary. His father’s very famous pastor in another city in this country, and he is at the vanguard of the modern false teacher. He says don’t study the Old Testament. You don’t need to know the Old Testament. You don’t need to read the Old Testament. You don’t even need to teach verse by verse. That’s just too easy.

But the problem when you teach by topic and subject all the time is you’re just riding your own personal hobby horses, you’re not going through the Word. When you go through the Word verse by verse, you will touch on every subject eventually—the ones you don’t really want to talk about and the ones that you do want to talk about. But people will hear the whole counsel of God.

We believe that every word is breathed out by God, and that every word is important to study. Not every word has equal significance for us today, but every word is breathed out by God and we need to study it and analyze it.

As I read that one Chafer paragraph this morning, it triggered a line of thinking, the conclusion of which I’m going to be focusing on today. But it seems it has actually nothing to do with what I originally read in Chafer; it just triggered a line of thinking.

We will start by going back to Ephesians 4:1, which focuses on where I ended last time identifying the meaning of “the called.” I said this is commonly understood—and I think I’ve taught it this way in the past in referring to Christians as those who have been invited to salvation.

But once you study the uses of this phrase, there are certain things that are commonalities to all of them. One is that it always has the article in front of it in the Greek, which indicates that the writer is using this as more of a technical term. Second thing is that this is a term that, at least in one very clear passage in 1 Corinthians, it describes a person’s vocation, which is their life’s work.

When we look at this idea of “the called,” it is really a reference to all that we are, our identity, all that we are in Christ, all that we have been given in Christ. What I begin to look at is something I sort of flew past last time, but I think has great significance for reinforcing the idea Paul was emphasizing throughout this part.

Which is that we must understand that we have been given a new identity in Christ, we’ve been given a new position in Christ, and that with that new identity and that new position in Christ, there comes a responsibility and an obligation to live a certain way.

Many people get the idea that, “Well, I don’t really need to study the Bible that much. I don’t really need to do all of these things because I’m complete in Christ. That’s my identity. So I’m going to go about living my life doing the things that I want to do because I am saved, and I am complete in Christ.”

That is a completely false statement because the Scriptures again and again say, because of who we are we have a certain responsibility to live a certain way. It comes from our identity.

I want to start by going back to Ephesians 4:1, reminding us of this passage and the context before I look at a little more detail at one phrase here. Ephesians 4:1,

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called …”

That’s only the first part of the sentence, but we’re looking at some of these details. Paul begins, “I, the prisoner of the Lord …” In English we put “therefore” at the beginning, so we would read it, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord.”

Slide 4

Paul’s use of “therefore,” is pointing us back to all that was said in Ephesians 1–3, as well as what’s coming ahead. But he does this in reverse order.

Slide 5

In Ephesians 4:1–3 he is talking about the Christian walk, that we are to live a certain way. That word “walk” in Scripture has two meanings. What you see a lot of in the Gospels is just physically walking.

But in the epistles, as well as in the Old Testament, the concept of walking before God is a way of talking about how a person lives, how they conduct their lives, the traits that they have in the way they live.

Paul is drawing a conclusion from what he said in Ephesians 1–3, but now he’s introducing “walking,” which is a dominant word used five or six times in the next three chapters.

Ephesians 4:1–3 is giving us a summary of what he will talk about in Ephesians 4:5–6:9, which is how the believer is supposed to live, how we are to conduct ourselves as members of the family of God, as members of the body of Christ.

When he gets to Ephesians 4:4–6 and all of the staccato lines that are related to the fact that there is one faith, one hope, one baptism, one God who is Lord over all, that is reminding us of all that we have in the unity of the body of Christ in terms of our position in Christ.

Slide 6

Next, and this is what caught my attention this morning, is Paul saying, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord.”

That line looks like a throwaway line, doesn’t it? Well, let’s get on to the really good stuff that he’s getting ready to tell us on how to live. We know he was a prisoner let’s go forward, but let’s think about this a little bit. Why does he feel that it’s necessary to use this phrase? It’s different, as we’ll see, from the phrase that he used in Ephesians 3:1.

We believe that the Scriptures are inspired by God and inerrant. Jesus said no jot or tittle will pass until all have come to pass. “Jot” is really the Hebrew word yod, which looks like an apostrophe, the letter Y. The tittle is the little bitty part of a letter that will distinguish it from another letter.

For example, in English the capital letter P is distinguished from a capital letter R by just that little stroke, that leg that goes on to the P, and it becomes an R. The difference between an O and a Q is that little line that just breaks the lower right-hand side of the circle. You see O and you see Q: there’s a difference. They will have different meanings, different words just by changing a stroke.

We believe that in inerrancy, the inspiration of God extends down not only to the words or the ideas, but it extends to the specific grammatical phrases, because the difference between a word here and a word there can just be the difference between the present tense and past tense. Everything is important to pay attention to.

God the Holy Spirit, as the One who oversees the giving of Scripture, has a very economical way of communicating. He’s not verbose. A lot of times there are little things that don’t appear to us at first glance to have been all that significant. Then on further reflection, we realize that if there’s a difference, we need to ask, “why is there a difference?”

Slide 7

I pointed out that in the beginning of Ephesians 3—remember, that’s the last chapter in the first part of the book—Paul is also drawing an inference based on what he said in Ephesians 2, “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles …”

Notice that he says he is the prisoner OF Christ Jesus. Grammatically, that’s a genitive of possession. We will get into some more details on that. But in Ephesians 4:1 he says he’s the prisoner IN the Lord, not OF the Lord as it’s translated in the King James.

Slide 8

“I, Paul, a prisoner …” The Greek is EN KURIO. The Greek preposition EN is a lot like our preposition “in.” It means location in a number of places, also indicates means or instrument.

In Ephesians 3:1 he doesn’t say “in the Lord,” he uses Christ Jesus. And it’s in the genitive, so it’s “of Christ Jesus.” We should at least explore the question, what’s the difference and why is this important?

I pointed out that Paul is a literal prisoner. One question that you have to answer is, is he talking about him being a literal prisoner, or is he talking about the fact that he is a prisoner in relation to his spiritual devotion to Christ, or is it something of both?

Because he is Christ’s prisoner, he is a prisoner in reality in Rome. I think that is the third option. Each of these options then deteriorates in about four different ways in which to take these prepositions.

Aren’t you glad I’m not going to go through all of them? You can end up with at least as many as 14 or 15 different interpretations, just simply based on how you take each one of these prepositions.

That’s what I was spending my time working through this morning, which is important for just understanding what the simple sense of this is.

I was talking with a former professor, not one with whom I would agree on a lot of things because I’ve read an article he had written in the Dallas Seminary Journal dealing with the Day of the Lord, which is coming up in our Thursday night class.

He used a phrase, (and I didn’t say, “That really describes your writing,”) but I love the phrase, “the complification of the simple.” You like that? I’m not trying to “complificate” anything. But it’s interesting how even these little things are important as we focus on what Paul is saying here in terms of our identity in Christ.

Looking at this, we recognize that we may have three different ways in understanding “prisoner,” but the fact is he is a prisoner. To remind you of Paul’s life at this point, he had been on three missionary journeys going through Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey and Greece, and he had made the circle three times.

At the end of the third one he wanted to go back to Jerusalem to be there in time to observe Passover, so he was in a hurry to get home. He had made a vow, and he went to the temple to fulfill this vow. None of that has any problems with his Christianity or his theology, as I pointed out when we studied Acts.

Because there were a lot of things that you would do as a national ethnic Jew that had nothing to do with dealing with sacrificing when Christ had already been sacrificed or things of that nature.

But when Paul shows up in the temple he is recognized, and the rumor starts flying that Paul has brought a Gentile into the temple, which was forbidden. He was the cause of a riot that started inside the Temple precinct.

From the Antonia Fortress on the northwest corner, they saw this riot. The soldiers went down and rescued Paul, and put him under arrest. They wanted to get him out of Jerusalem because his presence was such a contentious thing for the Jews. So, they got him out: they took him to Caesarea by the Sea.

He was kept there for two years because the Roman governor didn’t know what to do with him. There were a couple of different governors and different people coming through, and he would bring Paul out to talk, to impress everybody with his knowledge. The governors were all impressed, but they didn’t know what to do with him.

Finally, Paul said, “I’m going to appeal my case to Rome.” Because he was a Roman citizen, he could appeal his case to Rome and to Caesar to make the decision regarding his guilt or innocence. On a ship going to Rome, it shipwrecked. Eventually he made it to Rome, and he was under basically house arrest for two years.

I talked about this in Ephesians 3; when Paul started this, he’s reminding them he’s a prisoner of Christ. That indicates possession, but it also indicates cause. A genitive can have all these kinds of little nuances. He is saying he’s “the prisoner of Christ,” because he is serving Christ; that’s the nuance; that was why he was under arrest, because as serving Christ, he’s teaching.

Ephesians 3:2–13 was all about him proclaiming that there is now no more distinction between Jew and Gentile because we’re all one in Christ. That upset the Jews in the temple, it is that for which he was arrested, and that is why he was on trial in Rome.

He is saying, “I am the prisoner of Christ. I am His; He possesses me, He owns me.” It’s partially genitive of relationship, but also “I’m here because of Christ.” That’s important to understand, but that’s not the meaning that when he says, “I’m a prisoner in Christ.”

There when he uses the phrase “in Christ,” which is used numerous times in Ephesians, it takes us to understand that at the instant of salvation, we were each identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Romans 6:3–6, we died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, and we were raised together with Him. That is our new position in Christ, it is the work of God the Holy Spirit, called the baptism by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t perform it. Remember what John the Baptist said about Jesus when He came down and He was about to baptize Him? John said, “I baptize with water, but the One who comes after me will baptize by means of the Spirit and by means of fire; HE will baptize …” Christ uses the Holy Spirit to identify believers with His death, burial, and resurrection.

Because we’re placed into Christ, into the body of Christ, then we all have that same identity. We are a new creature in Christ. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore all things are new.” We are in Christ, so when Paul says that he is a prisoner in Christ, he is emphasizing something different from what he emphasized in Ephesians 3:1.

Both of these have to do with his position. This position we have in Christ is described with different metaphors in the Bible: the body of Christ, the bride of Christ. In Ephesians 2, we are a new man and new body, a new household and a new temple.

These are metaphors to help us understand that everything is different. We have this whole new identity. As being in Christ, we have all this wealth that is put at our disposal spiritually, all of the spiritual assets, and that’s who we are.

When Paul says, “I am the prisoner of Christ Jesus,” he is speaking about the fact that he’s a prisoner because of the message and the mission that Christ gave him as an apostle.

He described that as “the mystery” that had not been revealed to anyone prior to God revealing it to the apostles and prophets after the Day of Pentecost—that there would be this new entity, the church, and Jew and Gentile would be equal in the body of Christ. That’s our new identity.

I will make up a story to show the importance of understanding this. It may have some appearance of being connected to something in reality, but like you read on the shows, it’s not based on any real situation. Actually, I can think of two or three times when it’s happened in history; so in case you think it’s about today, it’s just a generic example.

You have a mother and a father, and as they have children, their responsibility is to train those children to be able to live life as an adult. Whether you know it or not, your job as a parent isn’t to give your children all the childhood experiences. Everything has to be directed to the fact you’re preparing them to be able to leave home independent of you, and function as a productive responsible adult.

They have several children, but we’re going to focus on one, sort of like the parable of the Prodigal Son. Of the two sons, one is going to take to his training, and he will do well. The other one will not take to his training quite so well, and he’s going to end up being quite irresponsible.

Now we’re going to up the ante just a little bit and discover that mom and dad have a very high position. They happen to be the king and queen of a country and have two sons. One son has been trained to take the position as king, the firstborn.

He is taught how to live; he is taught all of the rules of protocol. He is taught all of the ways in which he needs to dress, the ways in which he needs to comport himself, so that he will be successful as a ruling monarch.

The other son is sort of the backup in case something happens to the first son. This happened with Henry VIII. His older brother Arthur was supposed to be the king, and he got all of the training and all of the benefits of being the firstborn son.

But he died when he was 17 before his father Henry VII died. Suddenly, the second son, who didn’t have all of the training, was the one who became king, known as Henry VIII.

There have been other examples of this in history. These two sons have a position. They’re members of royalty. As the firstborn and also as a second born, who is a member of royalty, they are expected to live up to a certain example. They are expected to follow protocol, they’re expected not to be an embarrassment to the nation, they’re expected to educate themselves, and all the different ways in which they are expected to live their lives.

This is the Church. We are in the household of God. We are royalty as members of the body of Christ, members of the bride of Christ. And we have been given the untold wealth of Christ in Him. We are to comport ourselves according to that position and identity.

In our parable the older son takes to his training, but the younger son decides he doesn’t want all of that. He just wants to do things his own way, and he becomes an embarrassment to everybody.

They’re both still members of the family. Nobody’s kicked out. That’s how it is with the Christian. One is walking worthy; the other one is not walking worthy, and he becomes an embarrassment to the family. This is what we get from these two phrases.

In the phrase of Paul being a prisoner of Christ Jesus, it brings to focus that he is a prisoner because of Christ, because of his proclamation of the mystery doctrine; that now in Christ there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. That’s the cause of his imprisonment.

He phrases it that way and it wraps around those 14 verses at the beginning of Ephesians 2. It has to do with who he is as an apostle and what his message was as an apostle. We’re still talking about everything related to that identity—who he is as the called. Because that’s his calling as an apostle—not for salvation, but as an apostle.

He used that phraseology to bring that focal point in the first part of Ephesians 3. But in Ephesians 1 he is talking about what our responsibilities are as those in Christ, for how we live.

Now, instead of using the phrase “a prisoner of Christ Jesus,” he said, “I am a prisoner in Christ Jesus.” This is his position in Christ, as well as our position in Christ, and that entails a certain way of behavior.

Slide 9

That is brought out in two verses in 1 Corinthians.

We don’t follow the standard of ethics for the Christian life in order to be saved. We follow it because in our salvation we are given a new identity, and therefore part of that identity is there is an expectation for us to live a certain way.

However, God in His grace and love knows that we’re going to have a very difficult time doing that, so there’s no penalty that if you fail, you are kicked out of the family. But there is the constant strong encouragement and admonition that we have to live up to who we are in Christ.

God’s not playing games with that either. This isn’t something that, “Oh well, you know I’m really busy with my career. I’m really busy with all of my hobbies and all of the different organizations I’m involved with. I just don’t have time to bury myself in the Word of God all the time.”

Well, you have to live consistent with who you are in Christ and not with who you are in the devil’s world. 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For you were bought with a price …”

Who is he talking to here? Remember those lovely, spiritually mature, attractive, kind, generous, loving Corinthian believers? They were none of the above! They were self-absorbed, arrogant, and were committing every known sin because they just haven’t learned enough yet; they’re not focused on the Lord, and they’re just living like everybody else in their culture.

Corinth was a melting-pot city that was a port town, and every sin was available. They were still committing all of those sins, from sodomy and homosexuality to adultery to lying to arrogance to being divisive. All of these were part of their life, and they just weren’t changing, 1 Corinthians 2–6.

Paul reminds them you were bought with a price. Christ died for you. He paid the penalty. When you trusted in Him, you are no longer your own. You are Christ’s. He redeemed you not with precious things such as silver and gold, but with His precious blood.

1 Corinthians 6:20, “For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

We have a new owner. We didn’t become neutral. We are to live a certain way. 1 Corinthians 7:23, he reminds them, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”

Now let’s put these two thoughts together. On the one hand, both of them have one thing in common: you were bought with a price. Because we’re bought with a price, we’re supposed to glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are God’s.

But if we don’t, the alternative isn’t that we have some sort of moral, ethical freedom—“Woo! I’m going to be saved anyway, so I’m just going to do whatever my sin nature wants me to do, and I’m not going to try to deal with it”—we become a slave of men.

We have the illusion that if we are grace-oriented, we can do whatever, which is an aberration, that we can sin with impunity, and we can’t. Because the reality is, as Paul describes it in Romans 6, we either live as a slave of righteousness, or a slave of our sin nature; there is no other option.

This is why Romans 6 is so important, that we have to consider ourselves to be dead to sin. That means that we’re not going to let sin dominate our lives, and that really starts with our mental attitude. It starts with the way in which we think and not going into mental attitude sins because things don’t go the way we think they ought to go.

That, again, takes us back into Ephesians 3 because when Paul started this, “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles …” he pauses, and it looks like he goes on a long rabbit trail from Ephesians 3:2–13.

But he is showing “I’m right where God wants me to be as a prisoner in Rome. This isn’t taking away from the gospel ministry, this isn’t somehow hindering me from doing what God wants me to do; this is what God wants me to do.”

When he comes to the end, Ephesians 3:13, “Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart in my tribulations …” Just because I’m going through suffering, you have to think correctly about suffering in your life, and that is that God has brought into your life for a reason.

One reason is that it may be divine discipline because of sin in your life, in which case you need to deal with that. You need to confess sin; you need to move forward and straighten things out.

Other reasons he may bring suffering in your life is because you’re associated with somebody who is in rebellion against God and they’re under discipline and you get suffering by association.

That’s not just because you’re married to somebody who’s not spiritually focused, it’s not just because you happen to be working for somebody in a company involved in things that they shouldn’t be and God’s taking them through a little discipline.

But it also applies when you have a federal government that is making a lot of bad, evil decisions, and those of us who are living in that nation are going to suffer by association. There are a lot of different reasons for suffering by association, which sort of brings to mind the coming inflation, but I won’t get distracted by that.

We have to handle it by trusting in God. Now God multitasks, so that even when we’re suffering for discipline, we’re suffering for blessing. God is going to use that to teach us and to mature us and help us to grow.

That’s Paul’s is focus in Ephesians 3: when he said that he is now a prisoner in Christ, he brings us back to the focus of our identity in Christ.

Slide 10

Ephesians 4:1, “I beseech you … or I exhort you, I encourage you.”

He did the same thing in Romans 12:1. He went through the positional realities in Ephesians 1-3. In Romans he walked us through all the things God did to save us, to sanctify us.

Then he said, in light of all of this, this is how you’re supposed to live, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice wholly acceptable under God, which is your reasonable service.”

We didn’t get saved so we can live life the way we want to, we got saved so that we can live out God’s plan and purpose in our life. That has to do with what I brought up last time, that this is our calling; our vocation as believers. We have a new position, and that is to determine how we live.

I bet there’s not a person here who didn’t have a job, maybe now, maybe prior, that you were expected to comport yourself a certain way because you work for that company, and because you represented that company, you had to dress a certain way.

I’m reminded of back in the early years when IBM first started, and I think this was true up through the 70s at least, if you worked for IBM and you were a man, you showed up in a business suit, you always wore a white shirt and a conservative tie. That was the dress code and everybody had to follow it.

Things have changed culturally, but in the Church, we have those forces that are part of the culture that are pushing our culture to greater and greater informality. Now there’s nothing wrong in informality per se, but there is a time and a place for informality, and there’s a time and a place for formality.

We have to understand another historical principle. I think it was Oswald Spengler who observed that in cultures that are in advance, the lower classes imitate the upper-classes. And he goes through and demonstrates that all through history. But once a civilization goes into decline, the upper classes imitate the lower classes.

Most of you’ve probably seen some good historical dramas of the Victorian Era. Even the prostitutes on the street tried to wear a hat and gloves. They may have been picked up in the gutter and they were dirty, but they tried to dress like the aristocracy dressed.

Today we have people who dress like they’re from the ghetto, because we take our values from below and not from above. That’s not how Christians are supposed to act. I’ve always emphasized this, that when we come to church on Sunday morning, and I’m not saying everybody should wear a business suit or tie and everything, but we are coming to worship God. We’re not just going to a neighborhood Bible study.

Worship is something that is significant, and how we comport ourselves at church says a lot about what we think about the God we worship. If you take a look at what is popular in Christianity today, people go to worship services like they’re going to a rock concert, dressed the same way. It doesn’t matter. Some of you haven’t been at some of those churches, but that’s pretty standard. We just see this degradation of quality,

Paul is emphasizing here that we have to understand that there are high standards of behavior for those who are the called, and we will get back to that next Sunday morning.

Closing Prayer

“Father, we thank You for Your grace. We thank You for Your love for us. We thank You that You have provided a salvation that is not dependent upon anything that we do, and that we all recognize that we still struggle with our sin natures.

“We still have spiritual warfare. We fight with our sin nature, with the world system, and with the devil. But You have already secured our victory, and we are in You, and as a result of being in You, we have this new identity as members of Your royal family, members of Your body, members of the bride of Christ, that we are to live consistent with that position.

“We know that we fail many times and that’s why Your grace and Your forgiveness is so necessary. It doesn’t justify failure, but it makes us realize that when we fail, it’s not devastating, but it’s an opportunity for us to recover and to continue to press on to pursuing life as You would have us live it, that we have been bought with a price. We are Your servants and that is our purpose in being in Christ, is to serve You, and we need to live accordingly.

“Father, we pray for anyone listening, anyone here that’s never trusted Christ as Savior, that’s never realized “Yes, indeed, Christ died for you—fill in the blank with Your name.” He was thinking about each one of us and our sin when he was there on the Cross and paid the penalty for every one of us, so that’s not the issue.

“The issue is, are we willing to trust Him to save us? The instant we say, “Yes, that’s true. I believe Jesus died for me,” at that instant God the Father in His omniscience knows exactly what you think, what you believe, and you’re saved, and you have eternal life, and it can never be taken from you, and now is the opportunity to pursue the development of that life that we have in Christ.

“So Father, we thank You for all these blessings that we have in Christ and Your Word that tells us about them, and we pray that You would strengthen us in our resolve to walk with You, to know Your Word, and to be able to glorify You in every area of our life. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”