The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is less anchored in the actual circumstances of a particular faith community than some of Paul’s other letters are. Instead, Ephesians reads almost like a sermon, with Paul hitting head-on some of the most important theological issues of the early Christian church. Despite its relative brevity compared to other New Testament texts, Ephesians is dense with insight, inspiration, encouragement, and hope for a church seeking to discern the shape of faithful living in a messy world.
The Same Power
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church is simple: that they would see and experience the power of God at work among them and through them. At a time when so much seems to be out of control and we so often experience feelings of powerlessness, could there be any better prayer for the church today?
Sunday, November 1, 2020
For Protestant Christians, this portion of Ephesians forms a theological center of gravity for the whole of the Gospel: we are saved by grace. And despite the many complications Christians have constructed around the notion of salvation, it really is almost this simple. And that is Paul’s point as he writes this letter to the church. God’s gracious power is at work in us, rescuing us from the messes we make of ourselves and of this world.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
When the resurrection power of God is at work in God’s people, we—who once were dead—are rescued and made alive in Christ. And having been saved by the grace of God, our life together as a Christian community takes a different shape: instead of being characterized by division and contempt, it is defined by humility, peace, and unity.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Paul uses Light and Darkness to help the church understand its relationship to the world. But we need to be careful not to assume that the divisions between the two are perfectly clear, nor that living as Christians in the world is a simple matter of sheltering ourselves from the world. The days may be evil but God is good, and that has profound implications for who God is calling the church to be.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.