Ephesians 6

S: Ephesians 6:1-9

O: The interesting thing about this passage is that Paul speaks about 2 types of relationships (actually 4 if we include yesterday's reading of Ephesians 5 into the mix.) He speaks of the relationship between a husband and wife, the relationship between Christ and the church, the relationship between children and parents and the relationship between masters and slaves. All of the leaders in these relationships illustrate God's character traits. God's traits as a Husband, as a Parent and as a Master.

U: We are relational human beings and He is a relational God (the Trinity). His 2 greatest commandments is about our relationship with Him and people. God's perfect order of how healthy earthly relationships should look like is a picture of His relationship with us.

L: All of us fit into one, two or three of these relationship categories of a husband/wife, parent/child or supervisor/employee. Some of us may not have had an ideal upbringing or a good relationship with our parents; some of us may have a marriage full of conflict and major issues right now; we may also have a boss who is very difficult to work with. We may not know what healthy human relationships look like. However, we are His children, His bride/church and His slave. We serve a loving and merciful Lord who is forgiving and long-suffering/patient towards us. If we treated our earthly relationships as if we were submitting to Him instead of people ("serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord not people" v. 7) through mutual respect, obedience, submission, love and forgiveness, our earthly relationships would be much more enjoyable. God is the author of peace and order, not chaos and confusion.

Ephesians 5

S: Ephesians 5:21-33

O: The above passage speaks about a husband and wife's role in a marriage and it's parallel to Christ and His relationship to the church.

U: As I was reading this large ( something learned in Higher Learning), I had a revelation that I've never had before. In verse 31 of Ephesians 5 it states, " 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church."
God's original design for marriage and the words uttered by God in Gen. 2:24 (same words as Eph. 5:31) were already a prophecy of the Messiah to come. God creating Adam and Eve as marriage partners was a look at the future messiah and a picture of His relationship with the church. Isn't that awesome?!

L: On the surface, this passage looks like rules to follow in a marriage relationship. The deeper meaning points to Jesus Christ and His love for His bride. His bride is us the Church. He laid down His life for us and that plan was carried out before Creation, before man came into existence and before the fall. The very first human relationship/partnership, which was also the very first marriage, was actually foretelling a greater relationship that was going to occur thousands of years later. I think that's amazing how ALL of Scripture points to Christ. It wasn't God's plan B to send Christ AFTER he saw how evil and sinful humans were. It was plan A all along even before the fall of man. This means that He conquered death and evil long before it existed.
We should just fall on our knees and praise Him for that. That's the only life application appropriate because it should bring us comfort and even more confidence that the God we serve is awesome and His love for us is greater than we can ever imagine or comprehend.

1 Peter 1:18-20 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen BEFORE the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. (NIV)

Ephesians 4

S: Ephesians 4:11-16 "11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

O: The purpose/job that Christ gave to apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, (according to Paul's letter to the Church), was to equip the saints and mature the Body of Christ from infants to mature adults in the faith. Paul never said that Christ appointed them to do the work for the saints, but rather to EQUIP them.

U: Synonyms for the word "equip" in google dictionary are "prepare, qualify, suit, train and ready". The definition is "to get one ready/prepared for a particular purpose, situation or task."

L: There are various opportunities at DSC that the pastors, teachers and leaders of the church have put into place to equip us to grow in spiritual maturity. These opportunities for growth include GROW groups, Higher learning, one on one discipleship and the new Catalyst program. We are to not only grow in maturity for the sake of our own personal spiritual growth, but for collective maturity as the Body of Christ. Are we taking advantage of these opportunities for growth? If not, this is an encouragement to do so as it will not only benefit your own walk with Christ but the Body as a whole.

Ephesians 3

S: Ephesians 3

O: "The book of Ephesians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison). Paul wrote it about 60-62 A.D. The key personalities of Ephesians are the Apostle Paul and Tychicus. It was written to encourage believers to walk as fruitful followers of Christ and to serve in unity and love in the midst of persecution." (Bible hub.com)

U: I think it is so interesting how Paul, despite imprisonment, is the one encouraging the believers to stay strong in the midst of persecution, instead of the one being encouraged by them. In verse 13, he tells them not to lose heart over what he is suffering and prayed a covering of spiritual strength over them. Paul knew his purpose, which was to minister to the Gentiles; He was thankful for the opportunity to be used by the Lord; and most importantly, the cost of being a disciple of Christ was overshadowed by His understanding of Christ's amazing love and grace towards him.

L: We cannot be effective ministers of the Gospel until we really understand Christ's amazing love and grace towards us. That's what will sustain us through the opposition the world will continue to throw at us. In addition, we cannot comprehend the depth of His love and grace until we realize what a sinner we are. In verse 8, Paul says that he is the LEAST of the saints. He didn't highlight the fact that he was being imprisoned for the faith nor did he complain that his life was worst off since he had surrendered it to Christ. Instead, he praised Jesus for the opportunity for a sinner like him to be used by Him and to suffer for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. What is our attitude when we have to suffer for the sake of the Gospel? Do we complain about it or see it as a blessing? I pray that we would see it as a blessing just like Paul did.

Ephesians 2

S: Ephesians 2: 8-9-"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast."

O: Our good works does not reserve us a spot in Heaven. It is through our faith in His only Son Jesus that we are able to enter His Kingdom. This gift is by God's grace alone.

U: We must humble ourselves (by realizing our sin and desperate need for a Savior) so that He can be exalted! God gets all the glory!

L: Thank You God for Your grace and mercy. Thank You for wanting a relationship with me...a no good, dirty sinner. Your grace provided me a way to be freed of my sin. Thank You for Your gift of Jesus whose bloodshed cleansed me of my transgressions. No amount of good works that I do can ever repay You. I am humbled by Your love for me. It is You alone who gets all of the glory. Amen!

28 Days - Day 10

Jesus modeled what it means to be humble before God.  He who had every right and position made Himself nothing so that the Father’s will would be accomplished.  In Ephesians Paul tells us that we are God’s handiwork, His masterpiece…He is working on us to make us into the image and likeness of His Son.  If that is the case then we must reflect the nature and character of Jesus.  That means we must humble ourselves and choose God’s way instead of our own.  Prideful people choose their way over God’s because they believe that their way is better for them, but as Jesus demonstrated we must give up our rights and position and humble ourselves before God.

Peter puts it this way…

1 Peter 5:5-6 (NIV)
5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 

Just as God exalted Jesus because of His humble submission to the Father so too God will lift us up in due time.  


Lord break the pride and self-centeredness that I am so prone to and help me to walk humbly before you.

Ephesians 2

One of the greatest proofs of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer is the good works that God produces in him.  Paul is speaking to believers.  He is not showing them how to be saved, because no good works can ever save us.  Our salvation is by the grace of God.  But although no good works can produce salvation the truth is that good works are produced by salvation.  In other words, although good works have no part in our gaining salvation, good works have a great deal to do wtih living out our salvation.

Paul tells the Ephesians, and us, that we were saved so that we can do the good works that God has prepared for us to do.  It is possible because the same power that created us in Christ Jesus empowers us to do the good works that God has prepared for us.  Just we as were given everything necessary for salvation we have also been given everything necessary for faithfully living the life of a child of God - good works included.  So let us be about the work that God has called us to.  You can do it!

  • Philippians 2:13 (TLB) 13  For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.

Ephesians 1

To Know God and His Calling

As believers we must grow in our knowledge of God.  John MacArthur says that to know God personally is salvation.  To know Him increasingly is sanctification and to know Him perfectly is glorification.  It is not enough to know God only as Savior but we must must also get to know Him as Father, Friend and Guide.  And the better we get to know Him the more satisfying our lives become.  

As we get to know Him He begins to reveal to us His calling.  He has saved us for a purpose.  We have been called from darkness into His marvelous light.  Our calling from God is filled with hope - an assurance of the future.  We have the future assurance of the return of Jesus and that the present life is not the end of our existence.  That hope should be a force in our lives encouraging us to be pure, obedient and faithful.  The fact that we will see Christ and be like Him should motivate us to live for Him today.

I pray that you will know God and the hope of His calling.

Day 19

Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

Anger, whether righteous or unrighteous, can lead to sin.

Paul tells us as Christ-followers that we are new creatures in Christ...the old man is dead and we have been made alive in Christ.  The problem is that while we are now new creations we are still living in this garment of flesh that is prone to sinning.  Sometimes we allow the flesh to dictate our actions instead of letting our new nature dictate our actions.  We let old habits go unchecked instead of developing new habits in keeping with our new life.  One such habit is the tendency to hold unforgiveness or a grudge.  Paul tells us that this is allowing the garment to dictate the action instead of us dictating what we should do.  A child of God, who has experienced the love and grace of God, will not harbor unforgiveness but will choose to forgive and not give the devil a foothold in our lives.  He is never satisfied with a foothold - he wants total body domination.  When we get angry and stay angry, hold grudges or harbor unforgiveness we end up taking the dead man out of the grave and performing CPR on him, trying desperately to revive him.  Sure we are not perfect as long as we live in this mortal body but we must crucify (kill off) the old habits and allow God to form His thoughts and character fully in us.

Is there someone that you have unresolved conflict with that is causing you to walk in sin?  Why not do something about it today?

Ephesians 6

 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

Our family life and vocational life are spiritual issues.

Paul has just spent time giving the church practical advice for spiritual growth and development.  Don't forget that you have a new identity, he reminds us, we are now children of God.  This new identity breaks down any barriers that were erected that kept us from being unified.  As children of God we are one body under Christ.  Therefore forgiveness and reconciliation should be trademarks of our life together.  And we must live together in community and assembly.  Having this new nature we are now called to live a holy and separated life from this world.  To live this holy and separated life we must not recognize that it is a battle and if we are to succeed we must put on the armor God has provided to protect us.

One of the things that the Holy Spirit pressed on my heart today was that our family life and our vocational life are spiritual issues.  We cannot separate those from our Christian walk.  How we treat our families (nuclear and extended) should be an outflow of our new nature - one of love and reconciliation.  How we work should be an act of worship remembering that our boss is God himself, not the human being who oversees you.  In worshipping God in these mundane moments we are witnesses of God's love and power to those around us.  

Do my actions reflect my new identity in Christ?