Ephesians Introduction // A Universal Call to Holiness

I think one of the biggest lies we can ever believe is that the universe is indifferent and that there is no purpose or meaning to life. There’s an entire philosophy that revolves around this called “existentialism” and the appeal of this particular way of thinking is that the only way to create meaning in life is through our choices. Life literally becomes what you make of it.

Aside from making people believe that there is no such thing as evil, I think that existentialism is one of the best-selling lies that the devil ever told to the world. It’s basically the same temptation he gave to Adam and Eve: that they can become like gods and grasp at knowledge because what else is there?

The Letter to the Ephesians is a testament that contrasts the philosophy of existentialism. Instead of appealing to self-centered individualism, it puts an emphasis on a sense of community and unity There is a meaning and a purpose to life and it all centers God: it’s to live a life unified with Christ in one church, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God. In other words, we are all called to be saints.

“But aren’t saints all the same?” You may ask.

There’s a beautiful paradox to the universal call to holiness and sainthood that answers that question. Bishop Robert Barron puts it this way: “We might think of God as an absolutely intense white light that, when refracted in creation, expresses itself in an infinite variety of colors. The saints reflect particular colors, and that is precisely why their variety is so important in the life of the church.” By becoming one with Christ and following the call to holiness, we paradoxically maintain our individuality. By losing ourselves in Christ, we end up finding ourselves in Him.

Think of this letter to the Ephesians as a guide to sainthood. It starts with a mission statement, gives us guidelines for living a good and holy life, and instructs us about how we should treat other people as well as ourselves.