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Ephesians His Grace
Week 36 Day 1
Reading: Ephesians 1:5-7 “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” NIV Thought: Adoption: The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Greco-Roman culture. It means to formally and legally declare that someone who is not one’s own child is henceforth to be treated and cared for as one’s own child, including complete rights of inheritance. Throughout the Greek world the wealthy and influential practiced adoption. Sometimes just a simple declaration in the marketplace turned a slave into a son. This reminds us of Gal 4:7 where Paul says: So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Grace: In simple terms is God's unmerited favour and supernatural enablement and empowerment for salvation and for daily sanctification. Grace is everything for nothing to those who don't deserve anything. Grace is what every man needs, what none can earn and what God alone can and does freely give. Sometimes we are like the poor European family who saved for years to buy tickets to sail to America. Once at sea, they carefully rationed the cheese and bread they had brought for the journey. After 3 days, the boy complained to his father, “I hate cheese sandwiches. If I don’t eat anything else before we get to America, I’m going to die.” Giving the boy his last nickel, the father told him to go to the ship’s galley and buy an ice-cream cone. When the boy returned a long time later with a wide smile, his worried dad asked, “Where were you?” “In the galley, eating three ice-cream cones and a steak dinner!” the boy said. “All that for a nickel?” replied the father. “Oh, no, the food is free,” the boy replied. “It comes with the ticket.” There is always enough Grace – it’s not cheap, but it’s paid for. Prayer: Thank you Lord that you have rescued me from slavery and made me your child. May I live today as a child of the King of Kings. Thank you for your grace which was sufficient for my salvation and is sufficient for my daily living. May your grace flow out of me like a river to those I come into contact with. Amen.
Reading: Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” NIV Thought: By some accounts there were 60 million slaves in the ancient Roman Empire in Paul's day and these individuals were treated like chattel (like a piece of furniture or a prize
cow, mere property), bought and sold like any other commodity or property. Redemption: The Greek word for redemption used here lutron = ransom and has several interpretations including: to loosen what is bound or loose any person tied or fastened. It is also the ransom or price paid for a slave who is then set free. It also means to release, to buy back or to deliver one from a situation from which one is powerless to liberate themselves from or for which the penalty was so costly that they could never hope to pay the price. 1 Peter 18,19 says: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed (lutroo) from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” Blood refers to blood as the basis of life or what constitutes the life of an individual (see Lev 17:11). The shedding of Christ's blood (death) was the penalty price for sin. What was foreshadowed in the Levitical system was realized at the Cross when the Son of God laid down his life in death and ransomed men from sin. His precious blood paid the ransom price for our redemption. Prayer: Thank you Lord for redeeming me. Thank you for your blood which was so freely given to purchase my salvation. Remind me today that you died for all and that my mission is to share with others the good news of your gospel.
His Incomparably Great Power
Reading: Ephesians 1:18-19 “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” NIV Thought: Paul is praying that we would obtain some glimpse or insight into seeing and understanding 3 things: 1. The hope which he has called you, 2. The riches of his glorious inheritance, 3. His incomparably great power for us. The word “power” used here is the Greek word dunamis. This has the basic meaning of “being able,” of “capacity”. It refers to inherent ability. It conveys the idea of effective, productive energy, rather than that which is raw and unbridled. Paul does not pray, “Lord, give them power.” He prays, “Lord, help their spiritual eyes see, and appropriate the power they already have resident within.” The incomprehensible, dynamic power of the resurrected Christ is already in us. If we lived our life today in the full knowledge and understanding that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us and is available to us to use would our days to different to what they are? This power is also incomparable or surpassing which means literally to throw beyond the usual mark and figuratively means to excel or surpass. It refers to a degree which exceeds extraordinary. God's power goes far beyond all other power. The power of Christ applied in the believer’s behalf cannot be defeated because the Creator's power exceeds that of all created beings. Furthermore, the present tense indicates that it is continually surpassing power! There will never be a day when it is not sufficient to accomplish what God purposes in us. Prayer: Thank you Lord for the power that dwells within me. May I apply today that power to every area of my life. May I live like the champion I am and not the loser that Satan tells me I am. I draw on your power Lord right now to live an abundant life. Amen.
His Great Love For Us Read: Ephesians 2:4-6
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” NIV Thought: Notice that Paul says that because or as a result of God’s Agape love (unconditional, sacrificial love) we are made alive with Christ. We are raised up with Christ and We are seated in heavenly places in Christ. Art Katz, a brilliant Jewish philosopher decided to travel around the world in search of the real God. One day, while riding a train to Frankfurt, Germany, Art happened to sit next to a young Christian girl who had only a few days previously become a believer. They began to talk about God. A few minutes into the conversation, the erudite Art sarcastically turned to the girl and asked, "What makes you think your Jesus is any different from all the other religions of the world?" The young girl paused a moment and then looked Art straight in the eye and said, "Because Jesus is God. He is Love and He lives in my heart." This was not at all the response that Art had expected. In fact, it caught him totally off guard. Over and over those words echoed in his mind, "Because Jesus is God and He lives in my heart." Finally, Art found himself in Jerusalem, where he befriended a man there who was a Messianic Jew and it was there Art finally found what he was looking for and the God of the universe, who is Agape Love came to dwell at the core of his being. Prayer: I thank you Lord for your love. I thank you Lord that I have been made alive, raised up and I am now seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Help me today in all I say and do demonstrate your Agape love in my words and in my actions. Amen
Reading: Ephesians 2:14-16 “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” NIV Thought: Most of us will remember the remarkable scenes on the News on 9th November, 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. The event was a major monument in world history. Families reunited, barriers broken; a nation divided for so long became one. Jesus alluded to this bringing together of Jew and Gentile in John John 10:16. The Dividing Wall (mesótoichon from mésos = middle + toíchos = wall) means middle wall or partition. Metaphorically mesótoichon referred to the Mosaic Law separating Jews and Gentiles and recalled the common rabbinic idea of the law as a fence dividing the Jews by their observance of it from all other races and thus arousing hostility. What removed the wall was Peace (eirene from the verb eiro = to bind or join together what is broken or divided) means in essence to set at one again or join together that which is separated. Jesus himself is our peace – the one who removed this wall between Jew and Gentile and made one new man out of two reconciling both of them to God by the cross. The cross was a place of violence and a place of suffering and death but it is in the midst of all this a cross of peace. Prayer: Thank you Lord for your Peace which transcends all understanding. May it guard my heart and my mind today. Thank you Lord that your Peace removed the wall that separated me from God. Help me today Lord spread your life changing peace wherever I go. Amen.
Reading: Ephesians 3:10-11 “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” NIV Thought: What was God’s intention concerning the church. Was it to explain to Satan and his legions about God’s wisdom? When comparing Scripture with Scripture, there is no question that "rulers and authorities" refers to angelic hosts. So what Paul is saying here is that God is "educating" the angels by means of the church! What they learn is the "manifold wisdom of God". They knew God's wisdom in creation but the truth of salvation of Jew and Gentile in one body was a mystery hidden from them. They look at the Church to investigate the mysteries of redemption. 1Pe 1:12 speaks of the things which the angels have a passionate desire to stoop down and look into, like the golden cherubim that overshadow the Mercy Seat, ever gazing upon the sprinkled blood that is upon it. Charles Wesley tried to capture this angelic curiosity in the hymn “And can it be” when he wrote: 'Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies! Who can explore His strange design? In vain the firstborn seraph tries To sound the depths of love Divine!' Tis mercy all! Let earth adore, Let angel minds inquire no more. .
Prayer: Thank you Lord that your great plan of salvation is seen in and proclaimed by your church. Thank you Lord that I am part of your church. Help me today to be a walking, talking example of your grace and your salvation so that when people look at me they catch a glimpse of you.
Reading: Ephesians 3:16-19 “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” NIV Thought: Living in the Fullness of God. What does that mean? It is said that nature abhors a vacuum and that is why air or water will automatically flow into an empty place. All unbelievers have a vacuum – an empty space in their lives that only God can fill. I know that my stomach doesn’t like to be empty and when it is it complains, usually in the middle of a meeting when everything is quiet. It rumbles and it grumbles and says fill me up – I’m empty. Likewise when we are empty we rumble and grumble and complain instead of asking God to fill us with his fullness. We need to experience; The Fullness of Power, The Fullness of Provision, The Fullness of God’s presence and The Fullness of Purpose. How do we do this? The key is found at the start of this verse: 1. To be rooted in the Love of Christ 2. To comprehend the Love of Christ 3. To experience the Love of Christ . Be dissatisfied with mediocrity, tear down those barriers to God’s blessing in your life and get yourself rooted in the Love of Christ, come into the fullness of God’s power, his provision, his presence and his purpose. Prayer: Thank you Lord that your desire for me is to live in your fullness. Help me be rooted in your love. Help me comprehend your love and furthermore help me experience your love even more. May my life today be so full of you that I will have no need for the vain things that the world has to offer me.