learning from the letter to the Ephesians
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! [Eph.3.20f]
The letter to the Ephesians was almost certainly written towards the end of Paul’s ministry while he was a prisoner in Rome. It represents the mature reflection of a man who had lived and breathed the gospel for long decades: and as such the letter provides a concise and distilled summary of the substance of his message.
It’s a message which had clearly been tested, and proved its mettle, in the face of real hostility, and in the furnace of great cultural diversity: and it’s a message, too, whose fruit in the lives of believers had already been amply demonstrated by the time this letter was written. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to find that for succeeding generations of believers it has been both a hugely encouraging, and at the same time a powerfully formative book of the Bible.
As we study this letter together, accordingly, both on a Sunday morning and in the Community Groups, may the Lord Himself use it to shape each of our lives at the individual level into the likeness of Christ Himself: and may He also use it to fashion in us, as a local congregation, a fellowship of believers pulsing with the grace of the Spirit of God and portraying in our communal life the glory of the gospel.
The very structure of the letter underlines the essence of that gospel. What God has done for us in Christ (chapters 1-3) is followed by how we then are to live for Him (chapters 4-6): as those who have been freed from the slavery of sin (that’s what the Lord has done for us in Jesus), we now learn to live as free men and women (that’s what we seek to do through the enabling power of God’s Spirit).
Enjoy this study and expect to be changed!
w/b 26 February 2017 Immeasurably More 8