OBSERVE: Within these chapters we observe the following:
INTERPRET: Paul was a minister of the gospel according to God’s grace. Though he was the least likely to be in this role, God gave him this calling to share Christ with the Gentiles. He sought to bring light to everyone, regarding the plan and grace of God.
The first three chapters of this letter are primarily doctrine; while the last three chapters provide a practical approach on how to live. It is chapter 3 that begins the transition from a Christian understanding of salvation, grace, and the power of Christ; into a practical guide for Christian living. To ease the transition, Paul refers to his own calling by God and prays for the spiritual strength of the Ephesian church.
Beginning in chapter 4, Paul puts the doctrine into practice. Paul begins by emphasizing the ultimate unity of all Christians. Paul makes it clear that spiritual gifts are given to us through the grace of God. These gifts are then used to build up the church as a unified body. Paul also begins to explain how knowledge of God’s truths should translate into real life action. Paul urges the church to live in ways that reflect the grace that they’ve been given.
APPLICATION: God’s grace is an undeserved gift that is epitomized at the cross. Grace is an undeserved gift that keeps on giving; as we continually seek to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Grace is not only a quality of the nature of God, but it is an acting of God that works in us to change our capacity for obedience, work and even suffering.
God’s grace empowers us to live in ways that glorify God. We are to set our minds on spiritual things; putting on the new self of godly living. As we focus on Christ and what he has done for us; he will build up the church as one unified body. As believers; the Holy Spirit will equip us with spiritual gifts. These spiritual gifts will help us minister to other believers and to make a difference to the world around us.
REFLECTION: Have you be prepared to receive the spiritual gifts that God wants to grace you with? Have you discerned your gifts by testing them within your church body?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father; I pray that out of your glorious riches you may strengthen me daily with power through your Spirit; so that Christ may dwell in my heart. I also ask that you will help me; along with all of your holy people; to grasp how wide and long and high and deep your love is. AMEN.
SONG: Ephesians 3:14 20- A Scripture Song
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.