When I was ten years old I found a book on my parent’s bookshelf titled “This Present Darkness.” The cover was intriguing to me. From a faraway vantage point, you could see a small town in a valley and on the top of a hill there was a little white church with the smallest amount of sunlight hitting the steeple, but the rest of the sky was hues of purple and dark blue with an ominous looking claw-shaped cloud descending on the town.
On a page before the novel begins, there is a verse from Scripture:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness…” -Ephesians 6:12
Once I started reading the book, I couldn’t put it down (I even started writing a screenplay of the book in 5th grade). And because I wanted to understand everything about this Christian fiction book, I also started to read the book from which the Scripture verse came— the book of Ephesians, one of Paul’s letters to the early church.
Since I was 10 and first opened the book of Ephesians, it has been one of my favorite books of the Bible. It’s definitely the most read book in my Bible as I go back to it often in my devotions.
So obviously I’m looking forward to our summer in Ephesians and have great hopes for what God will do through this time of preaching, study, and discussion.
In one of the resources we are recommending for Connect groups (or individual study), “Ephesians For You”, the writer Richard Coekin says in the introduction, “Ephesians is a spectacular epistle. Both times I’ve preached through it over the last decade, it has profoundly reformed and united our church under God, and especially rekindled our reverence for Christ. ...Properly understood, this epistle is God’s spiritual remedy to radically improve the spiritual health of your church and every ministry within it.”
Wow! That’s what I’m praying for us this summer!
For us as a church family to experience the full effects of studying Ephesians together, we need to hear everyone’s voice, not just the Teaching Team. I want to encourage all of us to take part in this church-wide study by joining a summer Connect group and diving into Scripture in the context of Christ-centered community.
When Jesus was left behind in Jerusalem by his parents at the age of 12, it was because he was hanging out in the temple courts listening and participating in the discussion of Scripture. Teaching is good and necessary when it comes to God’s Word, but Jesus shows us throughout the gospels that it is also meant to be discussed by all kinds of people…not just the religious professionals.
I want to hear your voice in this discussion and I can’t wait to see all that God does!
We're looking forward to spending the summer studying the book of Ephesians and we hope you'll join us!
Zach Van Dyke is one of the Teaching Ministers at Summit Church. If you'd like to get in touch with him to ask him questions about the book of Ephesians, a sermon, or how you can get your hands on that screenplay he wrote in 5th grade, you can email Zach at firstname.lastname@example.org.