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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16 - Ephesians: God's Adopted People Walking Down God's Way

Today’s Reading: Ephesians

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading


Jesus broke down the barrier between God and the Gentiles. The appropriate answer is walking in faith down God's Way.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Paul to the believers in Ephesus:
Long ago God decided to adopt us through Jesus. God embraced us when we wanted the world. Through Jesus' Sacrifice everyone has an equal claim on "Christian"—which angers some Jews. God can do anything!
Run God's Road as one. Live honest, temperate, and forgiving lives. Love like Jesus. Expose the darkness. Sing loudly because of the Spirit, not alcohol. Treat each other well, especially wives, husbands, children, parents, servants, and masters.
Be God-Strong in this life-and-death struggle over our souls. Use all of God's Equipment. Help each other.
Jesus' Grace be with everyone.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God's Plan to set all things right was set before Adam and Eve brought death into the world.

How awesome to serve a God who wanted to set things right even before they needed to be set right! God's Plan is awesome because God knew He would die because of our mistakes and yet created everything anyway.

The Church is Christ's Body on Earth.

Our purpose is to show Jesus to the world. We want to help them set their relationship right with God by being ambassadors of God.

God brought outsiders in—which angered His Chosen People.

Paul is in prison because the Jews were angry that he taught God's Message through Jesus to Gentiles. They wanted an exclusive claim on God and would not share. Yet Jesus treats everyone as equals. There is now one group.
We love splitting everyone into two groups—the church and the world. However, there is no difference between the two. The world can be part of the church. This is why Paul mentioned that the church is central to the world. There may be many who do not want anything to do with God but it is their decision, not God's.

The answer for being sought by God is to walk down His Road.

In chapter four Paul transitions from theoretical to practical. Since we are all included, we should be unified as we walk down God's Way—in the same direction, not looking and acting alike. We must mature or be left behind. This means we must get rid of the old life. The truth is, we already know what we need to do to set things right. We must choose to do it.

Wives must respect husbands like the church respects Jesus. Husbands must love wives as Jesus loves the church.

A few weeks ago we read how husbands have authority, not priority. Adam was created first but men now are born to women. We are interdependent. Today Paul uses the church's relationship with Jesus as a template for marriage. Jesus gave Himself for the church, His Body, to set its relationship with God right. The church, in return, respects and submits to Jesus. No husband should beat his wife because Jesus would not beat Himself. No woman should disrespect her husband because the church would not disrespect Jesus. We cannot argue against the first without also arguing against the second.

Children and parents have a responsibility to make sure children become mature Christians.

Paul does not put the onus on children or parents alone. They share responsibility. Children must honor their parents. Parents must guide their children with gentleness.

We are in a battle for our soul.

Paul uses warfare imagery at the end of the letter. He wants to make sure we understand that this is not a pleasant, intellectual discussion. This is war. We must be prepared with both defensive armor and offensive weapons. Both come from God.

Behold the awesome mystery of God!


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