Ephesians – a keynote for Christian living
Ephesians is a very profound work in the Bible. Apostle Paul wrote it while he was in Prison. Some Bible scholars call it “The Alps of New Testament”, “The Grand Canyon of Scripture”, and “The Royal Capstone” because of its grand theme and the revelation about Jesus. The entire book is divided into three sections with each section having a Key Word.
- Believer’s Position in Christ (Chapters 1-3) – SIT
- Our Life in this World (Chapter 4-6.9) – WALK
- Our Attitude to facing our Enemy (Chapter 6.10-24) – STAND
Of all Paul’s books, Ephesians contains the highest of spiritual truth concerning Christian life. As the book abounds with spiritual riches yet at the same time it is full of practical tips for Christian living. It is very important to understand the key truths explained by the keywords (SIT, WALK, STAND) and in their order to enjoy a successful Christian life.
According to Paul in Ephesians,
- Christian life starts – as we Sit with Jesus in the heavenlies
- We are then challenged to Walk a Christian Life in this World
- Finally, we are to hold our place of victory by Standing against the enemy
Sit (with Christ in the heavenlies)
God of our Lord Jesus Christ….raised Christ from the dead and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
The Christian life does not begin with walking or standing; it begins with sitting. This is the keynote to a successful Christian living. Ephesians 2:6 – And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Thus we begin our journey with rest in Christ.
Christianity begins not with a big DO but with a big DONE. Jesus is the treasure and until we draw from him, we cannot provide anything to ourselves or others. The most ignorant mistake that Christians do is to start Walking before Sitting. Walking implies effort and God says we are not saved by works but by his grace.
What does sitting mean?
When we stand or walk, we bear all our weight on our legs and we expend a great deal of energy. We also grow tired. But when we sit, we are relaxed and there is no strain on our muscles. Similarly in the spiritual realm, to sit down simply means to rest all our cares and worries onto our dear Lord Jesus. We should learn to let him bear all our burdens. (1 Peter 5:7)
If we read the creation story, we find that God worked and he rested. But, it was God’s divine plan that Adam should start his journey from Rest (Seventh-day was Adam’s first day). Christianity simply means that God has done everything for us in Christ and we just need to enter into that enjoyment through our faith.
How can I receive the power of the Holy Spirit?
Even the biggest gift from God – the Helper (Holy Spirit) is given to us only when we rest in the presence of God. It is not scriptural to think that we need work hard and pray harder to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus died for us on the cross and we receive forgiveness of sins; because He was exalted to the throne, we receive the power of the Spirit (Acts 2:33). We should never forget that we receive the Holy Spirit not because of our efforts but because of the exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Walk (as a testimony before men on Earth)
Eight times we see the word “Walk” in the book of Ephesians. We need to make it clear that our Christian experience does not begin by walking but with sitting. Every time we reverse this divine order, the result is a disaster. Though we begin by sitting, the next stage is walking. When we have rested well in Christ and have gained the necessary strength, then we go to the next stage – Walking.
Walking is the practical outworking of our sitting with Christ in heavenlies here on this world. We are to bear the stamp of our relationship with Jesus. Ephesians explains the following about walking.
- Asked to walk worthy of our calling with all lowliness and meekness – Ephesians 4:1,2)
- Should not walk as the Gentiles with vanity of mind, but with a renewed Spirit (Ephesians 4:17,23)
- We should walk in love as Christ loved us (Ephesians 6:10))
- Walk as the children of Light – pleasing to Lord (Ephesians 5:8,10)
In summary, we are to put to practice all that our dear Lord has commanded us to do. But you may say, I cannot do it. They are impossible and more difficult than the law of Moses. Jesus also wants our righteousness to exceed that of the Pharisees and scribes (Matt 5:20). How do we do it then?
How can we meet Jesus demand?
The secret is “to rest in Jesus”. When we sit forever with Christ, only then we may be abe to walk continuously before men. When we forsake our place of rest in Him, and immediately we are trapped and begin to lose our testimony. When we abide in Christ, there is power to walk worthy of him on earth. Just because Paul could see himself seated with Christ, he could walk before men as the greatest testimony for Christ.
It is very important to understand that when Jesus placed such a demand on us, he was actually placing it on himself and was confident of himself. When we are confronted with a difficult situation we don’t have to go to the tree of knowledge but Christ. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to produce what is of Christ in us. Allow yourselves to be continually made full.
Stand (against our enemies)
Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil
After we have learned to Sit with Jesus in the heavenlies and Walk worthy of Him in this world, the next step is to Stand for Him before the enemy. We need to understand that every Christian is in a battle whether he likes it or not. There is not middle ground. We have to either choose God or Satan. No Christian can hope to have victory in this great battle without learning first to rest in Christ.
Weapons of Spiritual Warfare
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10). The keyword here is – STAND. We are advised to clothe ourselves in a battle dress when fighting on God’s side. The Greek word for Stand is “Holding your Ground“. Holding our ground is possible only if we have already make it ours. Yes, dear friends, what Adam has lost, Jesus has redeemed it with his own blood. We now stand on a victory ground.
If we study in detail, we find that all the weapons of warfare described in Ephesians are purely defensive in nature. Even the sword can be used for defense as well. In the defensive warfare, the ground belongs to us and we simply have to protect it. In offensive warfare, the ground belongs to the enemy and we fight to claim it. Jesus has done the offensive fight and our job is just to hold it tight.
We do not fight in order to win because in Christ we have already won. The moment we begin to feel that we need to win, we have lost as only when we lose do we need to win. Satan’s primary object is not to get us to sin, but simply make it easy for us to do so by getting us off the ground which the Lord had redeemed for us. He does this by assaulting our rest in Christ and our walk in the Spirit.
Power in the name of Jesus
None can be saved without knowing the name of Jesus and none can be effectively used by God without knowing the power in that name. Today, God has committed all authority to His Son, so that in the very Name itself there is power. It is the sword that we should learn to wield correctly against the enemy. The right person who can train us how to use the word of God is the Holy Spirit. He is the only person who can take what belongs to Jesus and give us – including the power in his name.
Though God commits himself to all the works done in the name of Jesus, there is an authorization required to using his name. It is not something that can be worked up at a time of crisis. It is the fruit of obedience to God and based on our standing with him (based on our rest in Christ). We cannot use God’s Word and Name as a rubber stamp for our motives and agendas. To have God’s commitment to our works we must first submit ourselves to him.
Christian life consists of sitting with Christ, walking by Him and standing for Him. We begin our life by drawing from Jesus as we sit with him in the heavenlies and use that strength to Walk before men as God wants us to be and to defend the ground that Jesus has conquered through his obedience to God on the cross by shedding his precious blood. Our Christian life is made very simple when we understand this truth and walk in it.
This GospelSummary extract is taken from “Sit Walk Stand” written by Watchman Nee. This is a true masterpiece reading and a must-read book for all Christians who want to understand the secrets of a successful Christian living. It gives us a deeper insight into – our position in Christ, how to live a practical Christian life and how to fight our spiritual battles. I strongly encourage you to find this book in one of your nearest bookstore or order online from amazon using this link: Sit, Walk and Stand by Watchman Nee.
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