Ephesians: New life in a new community

This is another instance where I will draw some general comments about the book we are reading instead of focusing in one particular part of our reading.

Ephesians is quite a jam packed book, but it really focuses on three main things:

1) The first half of the book (chapters 1-3) deals primarily with the new life one receives from Jesus when we make the transition into Christian faith. That we go from dead heathenism (that word is not used in a derogative way) to new life in covenant with God because of the Good News of Jesus death and resurrection.

2) The last half of the book (chapters 4-6) deals with how the new life in Christ plays out practically in our daily lives. This section Paul breaks down into three segments of our lives: the church family, our moral life and our family lives.

3) The whole of those two sections takes place with the background focus being the new community that God was creating in the church and how the believer lives as part of that community because of the gospel and then how they should live within that community.

The thing to remember about the four Epistles that we are reading (Colossians yesterday, Ephesians today, and Philippians tomorrow) is that they were all written to new Christians and new churches. These were not written to long established, mature believers. These letters were purposed to help guide people new to the Christian faith, to help them grow; a type of Christian handbook of sorts.

While that is the case, these books challenge even the most mature of us to fully appreciate the new life we have in Christ and allow that life to change us. Paul makes  a point of saying in chapter two that we have been rescued from our dead life of trangressions and sin, a rescue that we did nothing to obtain or earn, but was a free gift by the grace of God. So we must recognize that our new internal life should and must show itself in our physical lives.

One final note: chapter 2 verse 10 contains one of the great statements in the New Testament about our value in God’s eyes. We are his workmanship. We have been created, molded, made to work for God and his purposes. What a statement of value!

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Philippians

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