Showing posts with label Ephesians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ephesians. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ephesians 6

Children must obey their parents in the Lord. Parents must bring up their children in the Lord. Servants must be obedient towards their masters, as to Christ. Masters have a duty of taking care of slaves too.

Speaking of Spiritual warfare, Paul suggests there is a need for spiritual bodybuilding. He knows it is not easy to maintain these standards. He wants us to have full protective covering, and tells us whom we are fighting against.
Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

We should have the belt of truth buckled around our waist, breastplate of righteousness in place, our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. We should take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Finally, wear he helmet of salvation hold the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying to the Holy Spirit, we are told to be always be alert.

Paul is sending Tychicus to the Ephesians as an encouragement. He signs off by by wishing them Peace and Grace. 

Ephesians 5

Paul encourages Ephesians to be imitators of God, and walk in love, just as Christ gave up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

He then mentions a long list of items which we should avoid - fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, greed, filthy or foolish talk, coarse joking. God does not open His kingdom for such individuals. All we are supposed to be people of thanksgiving.
Ephesians 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person - such a person is an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 
We are told not to be sons of disobedience. Walk as children of light, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Walking in the light means walking in wisdom. We should be very careful to live wisely. Do not be drunk with wine, but filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18-20 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul then gives 'Instructions for Christian Households' - the part which is usually read during wedding ceremonies.

Wives must submit to their husbands, as to the Lord. As the church is subject to Christ, so is the wife subject to the husband. Husbands must love their wives, as Christ loves the church, cleansing and purifying her. The mystical union between Christ and the church is replicated in the mystical union of marriage. A husband must love his wife as himself.

Ephesians 4

Unity is a Christian fact. Christians are bound together by a common faith, a common life, common loyalty, common purpose. All Christians serve One Master. We are supposed to walk worthy of our calling, with gentleness and lowliness, to keep the unity of the Holt Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Christ granted spiritual gifts to the church – some are prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, working together in the unity of faith and in the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
We are encouraged not to walk as Gentiles do - walk, in darkness of understanding and lewdness. We are taught to put on the new man and put off the old man within ourselves. The new man we put on is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Paul teaches us that the conduct of the new man is ethically scrupulous too – along other instructions, he tells us about anger management, not to steal, speak corrupt words, or be bitter to each other.
Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 3

In the Old Testament, God's promises were mostly confined for the Jews. Once Jesus Christ arrived, things changed. The gospel Jesus Christ was largely a mystery. It was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Holy Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. The mystery is that through the gospel, everyone - Israelites and Gentiles are members of the same body in Jesus Christ.

By God's gift of grace, Paul became a servant of God and he was told to preach to the Gentiles about the boundless riches of Christ. We can approach God through Christ.
Ephesians 3:12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Paul then prays for the Ephesians and tells the readers that his present sufferings should not discourage them. At the time of this writing, approximately AD 60, it is believed that Paul was under house arrest in Rome. During those days, Romans held their worst criminals under custody awaiting sentence.

In his prayer, Paul hopes the church to have understanding. More than anything, he prays for them to have love, to be strong, so that Christ makes home in their hearts. Then God will will them completely.

To God be the glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.

Ephesians 2

Not so long ago, we were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn't lose His temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, with incredible love and immense mercy, He embraced us. It is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. 
We have been saved by faith, the gift of God, and not by our works. We are God’s workmanship. Jesus Christ reconciles Jew and Gentile, now fellow citizens in the household of God. He is came with the message of peace.
Ephesians 2:17-18 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
We then become members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 

Ephesians 1

About Ephesus
Ephesus, located on the west coast of present-day Turkey was second only to Rome in size and importance in the first century. It used to be a commercial, political, and religious center. Ephesus happens to be one of the seven churches in Asia cited in the Book of Revelation. According to Acts 19, Paul spent time in Ephesus during his third missionary journey (Acts 19:1-20:1).

Paul starts his letter with a salutation and he goes on to explain the eternal purpose of God. Even before He laid foundation to the world, He chose us in Christ, - predestined for adoption as His children. For this purpose, He freely gave us the one He loves. The goal was to bring unity for everything in heaven and on earth.

Through the mystery of God’s will, we have obtained an inheritance. The Holy Spirit is the seal of our inheritance. For this reason, Paul prays that they know God, and understand what He has given them. Paul is praying on their behalf.
Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
God's power is that same one with which He raised Christ from the dead and gave him the authority to put all things under his feet, including the church.
Ephesians 1:22-23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.