For the first-centuries followers of Jesus living in Ephesus, there were many reasons to first and foremost see themselves as Ephesians. Like the mantra from another movie, you could almost here the people of that city shouting, “We. Are. Ephesians!” From the grand temple to Artemis (the goddess of fertility) to the massive amphitheater to the strategic ports and roads serving as trade routes for the Roman Empire, the people of Ephesus had much to proud of, from a worldly point of view.
But for the small group of followers of Jesus living in that city, the apostle Paul reminded them that they were much more than citizens of Ephesus. Because of their faith in Jesus, they were citizens of heaven, members of God’s eternal family and God’s eternal kingdom. He wanted them to understand all of the blessings God had poured out on them and how those blessings should impact their lives.
The same is true for us today. We may live in a certain city in a certain country, with certain organizations vying for our allegiance (sports teams, corporations, brands, etc), but we are not simply identified by the world’s descriptors. As followers of Jesus, let us see who we are in Christ, what we have in Christ, and how we respond to God’s blessings. We draw these truths from Ephesians 1:1-14.