Tag Archives: Ephesians 2

President Biden on Unity

The White House

I watched part of President Biden’s inauguration speech today. He made some good points, even though I would disagree with the way he would apply some of those points. The President spoke of the importance of unity. “Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things—important things.”

I can’t help but wonder if Biden’s speechwriters were influenced by the letter to the Ephesians. Regarding anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, and violence, the Holy Spirit commanded through the pen of the apostle Paul, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Regarding joblessness, do we not all have work to do in the Lord’s church? “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Regarding hopelessness, Paul wrote, “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at the time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13).

The President affirmed, “With unity, we can do great things—important things.” I wholeheartedly concur! “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Did Paul—inspired by the Holy Spirit—tell us to strive for something in the church that is impossible to achieve? “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 92/260: Read Ephesians 2

“And you He made alive.” Have you ever considered the force of this statement? You were dead in sins…dead to God. Yet He didn’t give up on us. Through Christ and through the power of the cross, He made us alive.

Jesus was no stranger to raising folks from the dead. He raised the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7). In Luke 8, we read of Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, begging for his daughter to be healed, as she had not yet died. While Jesus was on the way to the house, someone told Jairus that his daughter was dead, but that didn’t stop Jesus. And, of course, He brought His personal friend Lazarus back from the grave in John 11.

As we see in Ephesians 2, God has power over spiritual death as well. “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”

Here’s the question for us: what are we doing with this new life that God granted us? How are we living? Who are we proclaiming? Why did He do it, if not to spread His love to others so He can accomplish the same in them?

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Ephesians 1:22-23. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Pray

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s love and mercy, and for the forgiveness He grants through Christ’s blood.

Our Relationship to the World

Paul wrote that Christians were “not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10). He reminded the Ephesians that before their conversion, “you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).

How did those Christians become Christians? “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?…So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:14,17). It has been said that every Christian is a walking sermon, so we should carefully consider our conduct when we are in the company of those who are outside the church. Our example and influence could be what leads them to Christ, but it could also be what drives them away.

With these things in mind, let us consider the Lord’s teaching as it refers to His disciples’ relationship to the world: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

How have you let your light shine so far in 2017?

Alive in Christ

I answer some interesting phone calls at the 911 center. Just a few days ago, I spoke to a confused individual who was trying to figure out whether he was alive or dead. After determining his location, my co-workers sent police and an ambulance to help him. The officers wanted him to come downstairs to his front door to meet them, to which he said, “Well, if I’m a ghost, I can just float down there!” I agreed with his logic, and suggested that he try walking through the door without opening it. “If you can’t float through the door, you’re not a ghost,” I advised.

While the incident was amusing and sad at the same time, many Christians live in the same state of doubt, unsure whether they are alive or dead spiritually. When a person obeys the gospel, God moves him from a state of spiritual death to life.

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together in Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1-7).

Don’t be confused anymore. If you have obeyed from the heart the gospel and are striving to live faithfully for the Lord, you are alive in Him!