The First Recorded Humble Brag?

Okay, I don’t really think that what Paul writes in Ephesians 3:8 is a humble brag but it is a sort of shocking thing for perhaps the greatest Christian who ever lived…or is it? Here it is:  “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ…”  On the surface this sentence sounds silly.  Paul is “less than the least of all the saints”?  Really?  The guy who has a miraculous conversion and then who loses just about everything he has in prestige […]

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A Mystery

The beginning of Ephesians chapter 3 is a little slow…not a lot to discuss.  (How’s that for an opening sentence to grab your attention??)  Let’s read the first seven verses:  “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of […]

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Building Material

Here are the last three verses of chapter 2:  20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.  The previous verse said that those in Christ are now fellow citizens and members of the household of God.  Paul continues this connection with the saints of old by reminding the Ephesians (and us) that they are “built” on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.  Paul uses […]

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Have Dual Citizenship?

There is a lot of discussion about citizenship today.  Most of us were born here in the United States by birth are citizens of this country.  Some people in this world have dual citizenship, having been born in one country and also having gone through a process in another country to become citizens of a second nation.  Those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior are citizens of another “nation”. Let’s read Ephesians 2:19:  “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”  When we allow Jesus to […]

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Peace

Peace is a word that any person, at least any sane person, would want.  We want peace in our world.  We want peace in our family.  We want peace in our workplace.  We want peace with our God.  Peace is not a word which describes the absence of differences or the absence of trouble.  Rather, peace rises above those differences and above such trouble.  That kind of peace, a Person of peace, is Who we read about in Ephesians 2:14-18:  14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having […]

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Getting Together

The next several verses speak to the reconciling power of God.  One of the ways that God reconciled people then and today is in the area of ethnicity and race.  In the first century the Jews and Gentiles were separated by contempt for one another. The word “Gentile” was used to refer to anyone who was not Jewish.  These two groups of people were separated by religion and by ethnicity much of the time. However, as the gospel of Jesus Christ spread outside of Jerusalem and into Gentile areas of the world, many Gentiles became followers of Jesus.  This caused quite a […]

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Get to Work

Today’s verse is Ephesians 2:10 which ends the first section of this letter and allows us to see how our journey continues in our daily life.  Here is the text:  10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.   The Christian experience certainly doesn’t end with salvation. Salvation takes us from death to life but that life is not only eternal life.  Rather, salvation equips us to really live here on earth.  Each person who has been saved by grace is described as “His workmanship”.  Another way to translate […]

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Saved by Grace

A very familiar two verses are the topic for today, Ephesians 2:8-9:  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.  These verses are in this collection of ten verses to begin Ephesians chapter 2 where I mentioned a few days ago that I thought they were an excellent text to use in sharing the gospel with someone.  In verse 7 Paul wrote that God could use us to show the exceeding riches of His grace and in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  I thought I’d […]

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Saved, Seated and Shown

Ephesians 2:5-7 is where we are at today:  5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. After reminding us that we are dead in trespasses and sins Paul states that because of God’s great love and mercy He has made us alive together with Christ.  He has saved us from death and sin.  But then he writes that God has seated […]

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Wanted: Even Though You’re Dead

As we begin Ephesians chapter 2 I would like to mention that I think that verses 1-10 of chapter 2 provide one of the best passages of scripture to present the gospel to someone who is unfamiliar with the Bible.  The entire gospel is presented in these verses and because they are together, there is no fear from someone you are talking with that you are “skipping around” through the Bible and only picking certain verses.  We begin today with the universal truth that without Christ, everyone is dead in trespasses and sins.  Here is what we read in the […]

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