Eph 2 — By Grace Through Faith, One in Christ
Thoughts about serving others
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.
One Reply to “Oct 3 — Ephesians 2”
One of the most significant verses of scripture is found in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.” This alone is worth dwelling on this morning. I love the way Paul builds up to this with his word tense to support his conclusion: we “used to live” as sin, we “were dead in [our] transgressions”, but it is “the spirit who is now at work in” us (2:1-2 rephrased). Lord remind me everyday of the great change that has happened in my life and help me to so show others for I know “this is not from [me], it is the gift of God” (2:8b). Help me “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do” (2:10). It’s not enough to know we have been saved through faith, we are here to “do good works” for Christ!
Verses 11-18 repeat the discussion of unity (see 1:10), this time focusing on Gentiles coming into the faith. “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (2:14). Christ is for all, Jew and Gentile, those raised in the church and those who are far from church. But even further, Paul speaks to the Jews by letting them know we no longer need the priests to petition our prayers to God, “For through [Christ] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (2:18). This significant concept was probably a stumbling block for the devout Jew then and even to this day as Jews struggle to accept the notion that Christ really did come.
Unity. We are in this together and we have lots of room for others! We “are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (2:19). For those considered poor or lowly, this is an incredible statement when compared to the governing rulers in the area–poor vs rich. We’re all part of the family, we share in the inheritance! For the poorest, it can be an unbelievable gift, too much to even imagine. For those with great wealth who consider their fortune with great pride, this is a huge stumbling block. One of the things that makes Shoreline attractive to many is we don’t have a dress code that stratifies those who attend. For the most part, you cannot judge wealth by appearance–as it should be–since worldly wealth is so temporary. Those that get this truth will have a great impact on the kingdom of God here on earth. But let’s remember that Christ Jesus is “the chief cornerstone, in him the whole building is joined together” (2:20-21). It’s not about us, it is about Jesus Christ! Praise be to God!