Saturday, February 11, 2012

No Barriers....Ephesians

This is two weeks wrapped up in one....
Last weeks verses were Ephesians 2:1-10 and this weeks are verses 11-22.

There is soooo much in these verses. So much to expound on again and again.  This is just a start....

Ephesians 2:1-10 --> Paul starts out telling the Ephesians some pretty gloomy news, he is reminding them of who they were outside of Christ.  Dead in their transgressions, following the ways of the world, ruled by Satan, doing whatever they wanted to fulfill their sinful desires and thoughts, just like everyone else they were objects of wrath (refers to those who are to recieve God's wrath because of their rejection of Christ).  How horrible does that sound?  That is who we are apart from Christ, plain and simple..truth.  There is absolutely no hope in following the ways of this world. 
 - It is by grace you have been saved.  (vs. 5)
And theeeen the next verse starts with a "But".  A good "but"! :) A "but" that brings the best news a person could ever want to hear.  "But" because God loves us (yes even you) He made us alive in Christ, no longer dead in our transgressions! Christ gives us a hope, a future.  When we accept Christ, we no longer live under the power of sin, we are a new creation and do not live the same way we did before we accepted Christ.  And all of this is made possible because of Christ.  How humbling, mind-boggling, and just plain awesome! Hard to wrap my head around, that he loves me that much, me, and you and everyone else.  Does my life reflect my gratefulness to God for his gift?  Am I an example to the world of the kindness that Christ has shown to me? When others look at me do they see Him?

(vs. 8-10) We cannot and never will be able to earn our salvation. Salvation is a gift given to us by God because of his love and mercy.  He created us to do the works he prepared for us to bring Him glory.  We are His workmanship, created carefully and thoughtfully, each one of us.  God took great care in creating us, with the purpose of serving and bringing glory to Him in everything we do.  Thank you Lord for creating me carefully and thoughtfully and purposefully.

Ephesians 2:11-22 --> In these verses Paul is telling the Ephesians to not take their salvation for granted. He is reminding them that they too were once without Christ and hope.  How precious is the gift of salvation!  Am I continually thankful for my salvation?  Do I live my life, daily, remembering the gift God has given me?    

Because of Christ death we can have a relationship with Christ and be "brought near to Him".  I can have a relationship with the same God that I read about in the Old Testament and the same God of Paul, Moses, Job, David, etc.  WHAT!? No way! He is the same God and yes, I can have a relationship with him, he does love me, and created me to glorify him.  I have to keep preaching that to myself.  Awesome! 

God has created a "oneness" between all believers.  Regardless of culture, location, social group, language, up-bringing -- we are all linked together in Christ.  Christ broke the barriers between us.  We become one body, children of God, children of one household -- God's household with Christ himself as the head. God is building us into his home, his temple. 
"The kingdom of faith is now your home country. He is using us all, irrespective of how we got here." 

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