Hello there, sweet friends! How ARE you today? I am so looking forward to coming around Scripture together in this Ephesians study. Let's move forward with expectant and open hearts and minds, ready to receive what God has for us.
Ephesians has been called "the distilled essence of the Christian religion" and rightly so...in only six chapters, Paul magnificently writes about God's good grace and His instructions for living.
Ephesus was a port city in what is now modern day Turkey. Previous to writing the letter of Ephesians, Paul had visited several times, even living there for two whole years preaching and teaching. He loved this city (if you want to dive into the whole backstory of Paul and Ephesians, check out Acts 19) and cared deeply for the people who lived there. Paul wrote this letter while he was imprisoned in Rome, probably around 62 AD.
Ephesians is one of my favorite books of the Bible, so I'm going to share some of my thoughts as I read through it for this study. I encourage you to grab your Bible, too! Don't be afraid to highlight or underline, or even write notes in the margin! It's ok to get your Bible messy like I talked about yesterday :) If you don't have a Bible handy, you can read Ephesians online here or download the She Reads Truth Bible app here.
Ready? Let's do this!
1:1 - PAUL. Don't skip over this introduction, friends! Think about it...Paul's very name is a declaration of the Gospel. Here he was, a man who used to hunt down Christians and kill them, now imprisoned for victoriously proclaiming the Name of Jesus. There is so much grace contained in those four little letters.
1:4-5 - God chose us. God adopted us. We are wanted.
1:6 - ...and it's for His glory that we are chosen and adopted! God's end-goal isn't to give us shiny happy feelings about being chosen and adopted. Those are great truths and there's nothing wrong with happy feelings, as long as we don't stop there. God's endgoal is HIS glory.
1:7-10 - "Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving." - A.W. Tozer. It gives God pleasure to give us grace...to grant merit where it is undeserved and to forgive the debt that we cannot repay. God enjoys giving lavish and extravagant grace!
1:11 - God is able to take even the most crazy, sinful situations and turn them around for His good.
1:13 - The Holy Spirit is our helper, teacher, and guide.
1:17-22 - The same power that raised Christ from the dead? Yeah, God orchestrates that power in us. Whatever you feel like is "dead" in your life, God can raise it and make it new.
1:21 - YES. The name above every name. Me. You. The President. Taylor Swift.
2:1-10 - We were... Dead Following the world Disobedient Children of wrath BUT GOD Now we are... Alive! Saved by grace! Seated with Christ! Shown grace and kindness! His masterpiece and workmanship!
We were created by Him and for Him, for the good works He has for us.
2:11-13 - We, like the Gentiles, were once far away from God's Kingdom. BUT GOD brought us near through the blood of Christ. Hallelujah.
Lord, thank you for your immesurable grace that you have given us through your Son. Thank you for Paul, for turning his life towards you and for inspiring the words he wrote in the book of Ephesians. I pray that we would lean into your grace and truth, and that we would live like people who are free in Christ. In Christ's Name, amen.
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As a little gift, I made a desktop and lockscreen with Ephesians 2:4-5! HOORAY! Simply click on which size you need to download and save, friend! Make sure you share this image or the button on Instagram with the hashtags #HeartoftheWord and #HeartofEphesians!
What is God speaking to YOUR heart in this first section of Ephesians?