Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus has so much instruction for the Lord’s church. Paul’s words from the book of Ephesians is vital to the health of any church. In the middle of Paul’s life, and that of the church at Ephesus, there is constant spiritual warfare against them. Likewise, we need to be aware of the warfare against Christianity in our day as well. And like the church at Ephesus, we must rise above our circumstances to fight the good fight of faith!
The fact is that our nation is no stranger to contests, conflicts, and competitions. For the last several months we have been watching candidates competing to vie for their party’s presidential nomination. The culmination of this competition will lead our nation to elect a new president in November of this year.
This month is the beginning of what has come to be called March Madness. During this month a host of games and tournaments will be held to determine the nation’s best college basketball teams. The process will lead us from The Big Dance, to the Sweet Sixteen, to the Elite Eight, to the Final Four. The culmination will be the best two men’s teams and women’s teams playing for the National Championship.
During this month we also recognize someone else who was involved in a contest—well actually, a war! On March 17th we recognize St. Patrick’s Day. This Catholic Saint was a Roman born in Britannia in 387 AD. He was taken captive and enslaved by the Irish at the age of 16. He eventually escaped his captors, only to return to Ireland years later, not as a slave, but as a missionary! Throughout his life he faced many hardships that caused him to question his faith, solidify his faith, and to humbly serve his Lord Jesus Christ. During his tenure he led thousands to faith in Jesus Christ. He was a man who, like so many other servants of Jesus, knew both tragedy and triumph.
The Apostle Paul, like St. Patrick, could speak from experience about the difficulties of living a life devoted to Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul encouraged the church in their constant spiritual warfare. Within this warfare Christ’s followers were instructed to live in unity with one another, to speak the truth in love to one another, to refrain from any kind of immorality, to use their time wisely. He encouraged husbands and wives to allow their marriage to be a witness of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church. He encouraged dads to train up their children in the ways of the Lord. He also instructed us in how to win the spiritual battles that rage all around us.
As members of Scotsdale Baptist Church, and more importantly the members of God’s family, I pray that we will ALL heed the words from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. If God is going to use us to win the spiritual warfare all around us, then we must commit to suiting up, and fighting the good fight of faith. I am thankful to be on the battlefront with you! May God bless you and strengthen you, my precious church family!