Ephesians

The Glory of Closing Words: Part 2

Ephesians 6:23-24, “Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”   In the last devotional I mentioned that while we often blow past the opening...

The Glory of Closing Words: Part 1

Ephesians 6:21-22, “So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage...

Preaching Boldly, As We Ought

At the end of his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul makes one request for himself from the church: “make supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I...

Serving from the Heart

Ephesians 6:5–8, “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere...

It Takes Faith to Submit

John Piper,“If our marriages are going to tell the truth about Christ and his church, we cannot be...

Be Filled with the Holy Spirit

Be Filled with the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 5:18-19, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,  addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,”  “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18)....

Using Time Well

Using Time Well

Ephesians 5:15-16, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." Paul begins Ephesians 4 with an appeal to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called." He spends...

Children of Light

Children of Light

Throughout Scripture, divine activity, and human response are carefully balanced. The two are never opposed to one another but are always presented as working in conjunction with one another. A classic verse that demonstrates this reality is Philippians 2:12: “work...

Imitation and Love

Imitation and Love

Ephesians 5:1–2: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” One unavoidable pattern we see in life is children adopting the habits of their parents....

Blessed as a Blessing to Others

Blessed as a Blessing to Others

Ephesians 4:28, ESV, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” One of the great misconceptions about humanity is the belief that all people are basically...

Be Angry and Do No Sin

Be Angry and Do No Sin

Ephesians 4:26-27, ESV, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” - We live in troubled times. . In a culture that is experiencing division and outrage on issues regarding politics, race, gender, and...

The Truth-Telling Family: Reflecting the Character of God

The Truth-Telling Family: Reflecting the Character of God

Ephesians 4:25: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” I want you to see something today, and I pray that God gives you a heart to bear His word of truth. There is an essential...

Changed by the Gospel

Changed by the Gospel

I have a system for putting my baby to sleep. First, I pace the house with him cuddled tightly in my arms. Once his eyes shut, I gently sit down and snuggle him on my chest. Once he stops sucking his soother (a great indicator that he’s finally given way to deep...

You Have Not So Learn Christ!

You Have Not So Learn Christ!

Ephesians 4:20-22, “But that is not the way you learned Christ! —  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires.”...

How You Walk Matters for Eternity

How You Walk Matters for Eternity

Ephesians 4:17-19, ESV, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to...

Speaking the Truth in Love: The Characteristic of a Mature Believer

Speaking the Truth in Love: The Characteristic of a Mature Believer

There is much discussion today regarding what the church is “to be.” What does a biblical church look like? How does a biblical church operate? We have been asking such poignant questions since the book of Acts. However, among the many answers that are varied and...

“Tossed To and Fro”: The Necessity of Sound Doctrine

“Tossed To and Fro”: The Necessity of Sound Doctrine

In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul is preeminently concerned with the unity of the body of Christ––how they function as one unit, how they strive for one mission, how they reach one goal. From the beginning of chapter 4, Paul takes up the task of identifying this “one...

The Work of Ministry

The Work of Ministry

Ephesians 4:12-13, “To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”...

The Gift of Leadership

The Gift of Leadership

Ephesians 4:11, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers…”.   As part of the overflow of his amazing grace toward his people (Eph 2:1-10), Jesus gave five offices to the church, four of which are mentioned in Ephesians 4:11...

Christ’s Descension and Ascension: His Glory, Our Privilege

Christ’s Descension and Ascension: His Glory, Our Privilege

Ephesians 4:8-10: “Therefore it says, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ (In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?  He who descended is the one who also...

Christ’s Gift

Christ’s Gift

Eph. 4:7, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.” Maintaining the unity of the Spirit, the unity of the body of Christ, takes grace. God through Christ has given that to us. God is a gracious God. When Moses asked God to...

One God and Father Over All

One God and Father Over All

Eph. 4:5-6, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” The Holy Spirit called us to one hope. Within that hope, we have one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. We have one faith, the gospel. And we have one...

One Hope Which Belongs to Your Call

One Hope Which Belongs to Your Call

Eph. 4:4, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call” Paul implores us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling and part of that is maintaining the unity of the Holy Spirit. The unity comes as we understand...

The Worthy Life

The Worthy Life

Ephesians 4:1-3, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in...

Walk in a Worthy Manner

Walk in a Worthy Manner

Ephesians 4:1, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” Paul makes an admonition to the Ephesians to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which they have been called. He does this on...

The Anchor of Our Souls

The Anchor of Our Souls

Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).  ...

God’s Gift to Us

God’s Gift to Us

Ephesians 3:8-9, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.”...

Resolved to Remember

Resolved to Remember

Ephesians 3:6 , “This mystery is that the gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” What do you make of that sentence? Does this thrill your soul? Possibly, your greatest duty today is to...

The Mystery of Christ

The Mystery of Christ

As with all words of Scripture, this letter from Paul is recorded that we might encounter our God and understand His good purposes. Paul writes this letter so that those who read it “will be able to understand (Paul’s) insight into the mystery of Christ.” In writing...

The Revelation of Mystery

The Revelation of Mystery

Considering how common streaming services and DVR are today, it’s hard to believe it was just a couple decades ago that if you wanted to watch your favorite television program you had to be in front of your TV at just the right time. If you missed the regularly...

Showered With the Grace of God in Christ

Showered With the Grace of God in Christ

Ephesians 3:1-2, “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you,” Would we go to prison for someone else? The Apostle Paul did. He opens...

Christ, the Cornerstone

Christ, the Cornerstone

Ephesians 2:20-21, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” I’m a sucker for reviews. As I scan through them, I find...

Building Together

Building Together

Ephesians 2:22, “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” My kids love building with Legos and wooden blocks.  We went through plenty of days in frustration while they were learning what works and what doesn’t. During...

An Invitation To The Outcast: The Lord Will Take You In

An Invitation To The Outcast: The Lord Will Take You In

Ephesians 2:19, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” We all know what it feels like to be excluded, left out, and disregarded. We often attribute the experience of being...

One New Humanity

One New Humanity

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood at Brandenburg Gate at a ceremony commemorating the 750th anniversary of the City of Berlin. In his speech he uttered some of the most famous words every said by an American President, “Mr. Gorvacbev, Tear Down This...

Brought Near Only by the Blood of the Lamb

Brought Near Only by the Blood of the Lamb

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13 ESV) I brought my knees in close as I stared at the test on the bathtub ledge. My expected cycle was late and my boyfriend and I were getting nervous. At...

Therefore, Remember

Therefore, Remember

“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and...

We Are His Workmanship

We Are His Workmanship

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). By the grace of God, Paul masterfully displays in Ephesians 1:1-9 how every Christian and the body of Christ as a whole...

Our Faith Is Not by Works: No One Can Boast

Our Faith Is Not by Works: No One Can Boast

Ephesians 2:9, “not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” “How can you be totally sure, right now, that God is pleased with you?” The question was posed by a popular Bible teacher on the television screen. I was in the midst of a weekly women’s Bible study in...

Saved by Amazing Grace

Saved by Amazing Grace

Today is a day to celebrate the grace of God.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). Let those words sink in deep. Grace saves. We can take no credit for all we have and all we are in...

God Deals With Us According to Christ

God Deals With Us According to Christ

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the...

We Were Children of Wrath

We Were Children of Wrath

“in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the...

Death to Life

Death to Life

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,” (Ephesians 2:1 NKJV) You were dead. The Greek word dead (nekrous) literally means ‘corpse’ or ‘dead body’. Paul is reminding the church of Ephesus they were powerless, trapped in their trespasses and sins....

The Fullness of Him Who Fills All in All

The Fullness of Him Who Fills All in All

There is this strange dissonance, a tension in the Christian life that exists when we talk about ourselves, especially in Reformed circles. On the one hand, we want to acknowledge the dignity of mankind, made in the image of God to reflect His glory, but on the other...

Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians

Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians

Ephesians 1:15-16, “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” What does it mean to you when a fellow brother or sister in Christ...

Inheritance and Glory: How We Are Christ’s and Christ Is Ours

Inheritance and Glory: How We Are Christ’s and Christ Is Ours

Ephesians 1:11-12 “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,2 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Do we...

Redemption Tour

Redemption Tour

Ephesians 1:7-10, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making know to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he...

Adopted by God

Adopted by God

Ephesians 1:5-6, “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Adoption is the gospel. Seems like a pretty bold claim to...

Chosen for Holiness

Chosen for Holiness

Ephesians 1:4, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” R.C. Sproul said, “To be a saint means to be separated. But it means more than that. The saint also is to be involved in a vital process of...

The Blessing of God in Christ

The Blessing of God in Christ

Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” I am persuaded that one of Paul’s goals in Ephesians, particularly in the first three chapters, is to stun his...

Who, What, Where, and Why of Ephesians

Who, What, Where, and Why of Ephesians

Ephesians 1:1-2, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” At first glance, the first two verses of Ephesians come...

Submission and Authority

Submission and Authority

Earthly obedience is not a subject we hear about very often in our churches. Of course, most of us see the continual call towards obedience of the Lord and His ways, but when it comes to how we are to think of obedience in our temporal, earthly relationships, it is a...

Marriage and the Glory of Christ

Marriage and the Glory of Christ

The Christian life is a life of worship. It’s a life focused on God and lived for the glory of God in Christ. Therefore, Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-21 not to be drunk with wine but rather to be filled with the Spirit who will teach us to speak in the words of...

Worship and the Call to Submission

Worship and the Call to Submission

Worship and the Call to Submission Ephesians 5:22-6:9 is one of the most beautiful and controversial portions of the New Testament. On the one hand, it paints a vivid and captivating picture of the love of Christ for his people. But on the other hand, it calls his...

Be Filled with the Spirit

Be Filled with the Spirit

“Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). That’s a bit of an odd command, isn’t it? On the one hand, it is odd because it’s hard to understand how Paul can command us to manage the level of God we have within us! But on the other hand, it’s not odd at all because in the...

Walking as Children of Light

Walking as Children of Light

Ephesians 5:1-17 is filled with commands. In fact, depending on how one counts, there are twelve or fourteen of them! The first half of this chapter could, therefore, seem like a call to Christian legalism, but the main command that hangs over them all both removes...

The Good Life

The Good Life

The invitation to “the good life” is ubiquitous. Whether it is the newest car, the retirement plan that will lead to an easy street or the latest iPhone; we are told that the good life is out there if we will just put in the effort (and money) to make it happen. While...

Mission Possible

Mission Possible

Last year, at this time, God opened up the door for me to serve as pastor at Grace Baptist Church. One of the questions that was asked at the Q&A time during my candidating visit was “What is your vision for the church?” I answered that my vision is that we would...

Walking Worthy

Walking Worthy

Ephesians is one of my favorite books of the Bible (I have 65 other favorites too) as it is equal parts theology and practice, giving the theological foundation and the principles for living that are built on that foundation. While there are practical applications in...

Paul’s Greatest Desire

Paul’s Greatest Desire

Ephesians 3:14-19 HCSB, “For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that...

By Grace, Through Faith

By Grace, Through Faith

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk our readers through the book of Ephesians in order to help them understand what it teaches and how to apply it to our lives. This series is part of our larger commitment to help Christians learn to read, interpret,...

In Him: Sealed for an Inheritance

In Him: Sealed for an Inheritance

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk our readers through the book of Ephesians in order to help them understand what it teaches and how to apply it to our lives. This series is part of our larger commitment to help Christians learn to read, interpret,...

In Him: Redeemed

In Him: Redeemed

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk our readers through the book of Ephesians in order to help them understand what it teaches and how to apply it to our lives. This series is part of our larger commitment to help Christians learn to read, interpret,...

The Glorious Blessing of Adoption

The Glorious Blessing of Adoption

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk our readers through the book of Ephesians in order to help them understand what it teaches and how to apply it to our lives. This series is part of our larger commitment to help Christians learn to read, interpret,...

Introduction to Ephesians

Introduction to Ephesians

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to walk our readers through the book of Ephesians in order to help them understand what it teaches and how to apply it to our lives. This series is part of our larger commitment to help Christians learn to read, interpret,...