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Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Categories: Ephesians, God, good works, jesus

Church, Body of Christ II

Follow the lead of one another because of your respect for Christ.

Wives, follow the lead of your husbands as you follow the Lord. The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church. The church is Christ’s body. He is its Savior. The church follows the lead of Christ. In the same way, wives should follow the lead of their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives. Love them just as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her. He did it to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her with water and the word. He did it to bring her to himself as a brightly shining church. He wants a church that has no stain or wrinkle or any other flaw. He wants a church that is holy and without blame.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives. They should love them as they love their own bodies. Any man who loves his wife loves himself. After all, people have never hated their own bodies. Instead, they feed and care for their bodies. And that is what Christ does for the church. We are parts of his body.

Scripture says, “That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one.” (Genesis 2:24) That is a deep mystery. But I’m talking about Christ and the church.

A husband also must love his wife. He must love her just as he loves himself. And a wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:21-33, NIrV)
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Categories: Christ, Church, Ephesians

Church, Body of Christ

God placed all things under Christ’s rule. He appointed him to be ruler over everything for the church. The church is Christ’s body. It is filled by Christ. He fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:22-23, NIrV).

Categories: Christ, Church, Ephesians

Ephesians 3:8-21

February 19, 2013 1 comment

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (NIV).

Categories: Ephesians, love

Obedience

In Ephesians 6:5-7, Paul explains that obedient service is doing the will of God.

Categories: Ephesians, paul, will of God

Sword of the Spirit

The sword of the spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

One Goal for 2011: Understanding Prayer

January 1, 2011 1 comment

I will be reflecting upon prayer in addition to my other study for the next 21 days.

Even though I spent from October 24 through November 21, 2009 studying about prayer in depth, and I made it a 2010-2011 goal to pray at least twice daily, I don’t pray that much.

My sense is that on some level I don’t believe that it makes a difference, or that my motivation is selfish, or that there’s some other block which makes me behave as though I believe that my prayers useless.

One powerful challenge is when people who are nonbelievers get through difficult times and say, “I did it, and I didn’t pray!”  This is a valid criticism.

Coupled with the times that people do sincerely pray and don’t get the answer they are seeking, it makes prayer seem to me more like wishful thinking than anything more.

As I was putting my kids down to bed tonight, and I began to pray silently for each of them, Paul’s words in Ephesians 6 came to mind:

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 (v. 12, NIV).

I believe that many most people feel a sense of struggle and concern for themselves and their loved ones.  This can be true of spiritual believers and nonbelievers alike.

Maybe the thing holding me back from praying more often is my focus on specific issues and not the bigger picture of evil (or lack of wisdom) in our world.

If I really believed in the existence of “the rulers,” “the authorities,” “the powers of this dark world”, and “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” that Paul writes about, then I think I would “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NASB, cf. Ephesians 6:18).

So ultimately, do I really believe in this stuff Paul is writing about, or do I believe that the world no longer has room for such superstitions?

I want to say that I really believe Paul, but my prayer life as I observe it today indicates otherwise.

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