Ephesians – Gifts

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Read Ephesians 4:5-13

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 4:1-12 (NLT)

We haven’t yet reached the full and complete standard of Christ, but God has given gifts to his people, his Church to bring us ever closer in this life, as we await its fulfillment in the next. Listen as Jason describes the proper functioning of the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in creating and maintaining a transformational Christian community.

Ephesians – Unity in the Body

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Read Ephesians 4:1-6

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Ephesians 4:3 (NLT)

The vision of God is unity in the body of Christ. Within the church, we are called to a higher standard of relating to one another. We are called to be both honest and humble, truthful and gentle with one another as we reconcile our differences so that trust and relationship can be maintained. Listen as Jason gives a more detailed explanation of what this looks like in real life today.

Ephesians – Vision

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Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)

The Apostle Paul challenges us in these verses to have eyes to see, to have vision for what God can accomplish. Listen as Jason shares his experiences of what God has done and is doing, and urges us not to limit in our own minds what is possible for God.

Ephesians – Rooted in God’s Love

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Read Ephesians 3:14-19

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)

Paul’s prayer is that we would be empowered by the Holy Spirit, that our lives would be “more of Christ and less of us.” God’s promise is that as we trust him more, we experience more of his love. And as we experience God’s love, we can express it also, sharing God’s love with those who don’t know him yet.

Ephesians – God’s Wisdom on Display

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Read Ephesians 3:7-13

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:10 (NLT)

God’s wisdom is not our wisdom. The way we (through our sin) have wrecked his world shows that. But God’s plan since the Fall in Eden has been to use a community of believers to show again that his wisdom is best, and best for all of us.

Ephesians – Belonging

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Read Ephesians 3:1-6

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 3:6 (NLT)

The key is “Do you belong to Christ Jesus?” Have you been accepted, welcomed into the family of God? Listen as Jason talks about what that looks like.

Ephesians – God’s Temple

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Read Ephesians 2:19-22

We are carefully joined together in [Christ Jesus], becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Ephesians 2:21 (NLT)

It’s not about a building any more, it’s about a people. We are God’s temple. God will bear testimony to the world through how his Church lives with one another and then lives with the world, how we are being transformed by the Spirit into people who think and act very differently than those around them. So, what does your transformational journey look like these days? Listen to Jason’s observations on the transformational power of Christ.

Ephesians – Unity

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Read Ephesians 2:11-18

Together as one body, Christ reconciled both [Jews and Gentiles] to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. Ephesians 2:16 (NLT)

Even today in the Church there is hostility between people of different denominations, even different churches. While the importance of doctrine cannot be denied, doctrinal differences should never keep us from recognizing God’s work in others, and praying for them rather than denouncing them.

Ephesians – The Gift of Faith

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Read Ephesians 2:8-10

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 (NLT)

Faith is a gift of God’s grace. It is not due to anything I have done or can do. This is not something we just pay lip service to, and then go on our merry way being good in our own strength. Rather, we must always remain in awe of the fact that when we were helpless and guilty, God alone made us right with him again.

Ephesians – I used to be…but now…

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Read Ephesians 2:1-7

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) Ephesians 2:4-5 (NLT)

Each of us was dead (absolutely, completely, for sure dead) in our sins; we deny or excuse that to our peril. But God loved us so much that he not only forgave us through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, but also gave us new life in Christ, so that the life we now live is to the praise of his glory.