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Why Memorize Ephesians

For What It's Worth
Two ways Ephesians helps us recognize the riches we have in Christ
By Zach Dietrich

Recently, I heard a news story about a sketch purchased at a garage sale for $30. The owner suspected it may have been drawn by a notable Renaissance artist, so he reached out to an expert for confirmation. The expert was initially reluctant because – contrary to my Antiques Roadshow-loving wife’s hopes and dreams – sketches like this rarely ever turn up at garage sales.

But reluctance turned to electric excitement when the expert confirmed the piece was indeed a sketch by artist Albrecht Dürer and valued at – drumroll, please – $10 million! I pity the person who sold the drawing. Can you imagine learning that the sketch stored in your attic and then sold for $30 was a priceless treasure?

We have the same problem spiritually. Believers in Christ have spiritual wealth beyond comprehension, but we lack the eyes to see it. It takes spiritually opened eyes to see our spiritual treasure in Christ.

This year, the Soteria Bible reading plan introduced a Scripture memory plan, and it’s not a small one. Memorize the book of Ephesians! Why Ephesians? Let me share two reasons from Ephesians to memorize Ephesians.

First, chapters 1-3 of Ephesians can be summarized with one word: wealth. Not material wealth or a prosperity gospel but the spiritual riches we have in Christ. The next time you read or listen to Ephesians, note how many times Paul talks about your wealth in Christ. Ephesians begins with Paul exulting, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing” (1:3). He also says, “In Him we have obtained an inheritance.”

Paul told the Ephesians that one of the purposes of their salvation is “so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” And, he prays “that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints” (1:18). Just think. When you meditate on Ephesians, Paul’s prayer for your life is being answered.

Second, memorizing Ephesians will teach you to pray. As I read the New Testament, or the Bible for that matter, I am more and more impressed with how much of the Bible is a prayer. I don’t simply mean that it tells us to pray but that it is a prayer. If we would learn to pray, we would do well to make the prayers of the Bible our own. And Ephesians is rich in the language of prayer. Ephesians can shape and strengthen your prayers.

Let’s overview Paul’s prayers in Ephesians. Overwhelmed with our wealth in Christ, Paul begins Ephesians with 12 verses of doxology, praising God for our great salvation (1:3-14). And then he prays that the Ephesians will have spiritual eyes to see the greatness of their salvation (1:15-19). Not only does Paul pray for the Ephesians, but he also asks them to pray for him in Ephesians 6:18.

I want to be able to pray the way Paul prays in Ephesians 3:14-19:

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Make an effort to memorize all of Ephesians – or even just a few verses of it – this year. Don’t relegate the riches you have in Christ to the garage of your mind. Treasure them like a priceless piece of art.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

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