“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
The book of Ephesians holds both the theology of what Christ has accomplished on our behalf, and what He gives us the power to do in light of His grace.
We will see that whatever good we do, begins with what Jesus has already done. It is as we understand this more deeply that we are given the ability to do what God calls us into.
June 5, 2016
Zach Van Dyke
Do you know how to face a challenge greater than yourself? What would you do if you believed God has a purpose for you that was greater than you could accomplish on your own? How would you tackle that challenge? The introduction to the letter to the Ephesians points us to the source of our strength (God's Word and God's Will) as well as the strength of the message we have been given (grace and peace).
June 12, 2016
Paul says we’re blessed with every spiritual blessing, but that doesn't always feel true. Nevertheless, we've been redeemed and forgiven and guaranteed an inheritance through the Holy Spirit. We've been chosen by God for his purpose, and we've been chosen for the sake of others not at the expense of others.
June 19, 2016
Paul doesn't pray that followers of Jesus would get or have power, but rather that they know the power they already have — the same power God used to raise Jesus from the dead. And the resurrection isn't just a story about Jesus that we should know. Rather, it's an invitation to live with the power we have from God. When we do that, the church becomes what it should be for the sake of others.
June 26, 2016
Ephesians 2:1-10 is one of clearest explanations of the Gospel in all of Scripture. Paul has taken us into the “heavenly realms” and talked to us concerning the blessings that we have as believers in Jesus. Themes of adoption, redemption, enlightenment, and inheritance are beautifully and profoundly rendered. Now Paul brings all of us into the Gospel story.
July 3, 2016
The word "family" may be connected to very positive, very negative, or just plain complicated feelings for you. For better or worse, "family" is how Paul describes the church in the second chapter of Ephesians. He begins to describe how we're supposed to be, what we're supposed to do, and how we're supposed to do it. Whether your perception of family is positive or negative or somewhere in between, we're going to look at what Paul meant and why it matters that we live in community.
July 10, 2016
Zach Van Dyke
In week six of our Ephesians series, we will see that the church is the way grace becomes known to the world. This is through its diversity, through who it empowers to lead, and in its suffering.
July 17, 2016
There’s something about family that makes life meaningful. Our well-being — emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually — hinges on the health and security of our families. The apostle Paul writes to the church in Ephesus about an eternal mystery that’s been revealed. And it’s all about family! The good news is that salvation is not for an exclusive group of people, nor is it about some special knowledge or spiritual discipline attained by individual. It’s about a Savior who has come to bring us home.
July 24, 2016
Zach Van Dyke
In Ephesians 4:1, Paul writes, "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." In Christ, we are being made new and each of us are invited into that process. While we cannot outwork the work Christ did on the cross for our behalf, grace is opposed to earning, not effort.
July 31, 2016
As new creations in Christ, each of us has an internal compass of sorts. Willful disobedience to God puts us in a downward spiral and can break that compass. But Paul tells that we've already shed the old self—we did that, so we should stop doing things indicative of that old self. Instead, we need to keep putting on the new self.
August 7, 2016
Paul begins and ends this section with the call to serve others—to be at your best for the sake of others. This is the pursuit of holiness and it requires a catalyst for change—an exposure to light.
Holiness isn't how we get to God; salvation is a gift. But holiness is how we serve others well. It's how God gets seen as good and right and true. And it's how we're good and right and true, and how we live our purpose to display his character for others.
August 14, 2016
Zach Van Dyke
Paul writes in Ephesians 5 that we are to "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." This week, Zach will help us to look at the premise, the purpose, and the point of marriage. Together we'll see that in order to experience marriage the way God intended it, we have to say yes to the Jesus question.
August 21, 2016
In Ephesians 6, we see Paul turn from marriage to parenting, or more accurately, the parent/child relationship. He instructs the believers in Ephesus as to how they should relate to their parents/children. And it’s interesting that he begins, in this letter at least, with the children.
August 28, 2016
Within the application section of Ephesians, Paul addresses practical issues that early believers dealt with: What does a Christian marriage look like? How should a Christian parent his children? And this week—what should our attitude be toward our work? Jim Keller navigates through Ephesians 6:5-9, helping us ask ourselves about our work ethic.
September 4, 2016
Zach Van Dyke
For the past several weeks, we've been looking at what it looks like to live as people who've answered "yes" to the Jesus question. Paul ends his letter by saying as we pursue life after saying "yes" to Jesus, we do so in a context with powerful forces against us. As C.S. Lewis says, "Christianity is a fighting religion." To end our study of Ephesians, we'll look at that fight: why we're fighting, who we're fighting, and where we find victory.