Category Archives: Ephesians

Why Do We Exist?

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:11-14

We exist, our very being, in order to be the “praise of his glory.” We are sealed for eternity by the Holy Spirit for the very same purpose…that we will be “to the praise of His glory.” We exist to bring glory to God. In these particular verses it is a bit more specific than that. The “we” in verse 11 could well point to Paul and his Jewish-Christian contemporaries (the first to put their hope in Christ) and the “you” in verse 13 could point to Gentile Christians. Or it could be a general statement of “we” those who were Christians before the Ephesians and the “you” being the Ephesian Christians both Jew and Greek. Nevertheless, it all works out in verse 14 when Paul uses the pronoun “our” in verse 14 to bring all of those people under the blessing of redemption and the status of being God’s possession…that still all exist “to the praise of His glory.”

You exist to bring glory to the Creator of the universe. When we live as Christ lived we do exactly that. Christ was solely interested in bringing glory to His Father and He knew that He did so through obedience to the will of his Father. The same is true with us. When we live in line with the will of God we bring God praise resulting in his good pleasure.

Unity Is Not Made Be Erasing All the Lines

I have been working through Ephesians for our Wednesday night Bible class and one of the big principles in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is God’s desire and design for unity. Paul begins this letter by talking about all that God has done for us through Christ in order to reconcile the world to himself.Continue Reading

It’s All About God – Ephesians 1:1-14

Before we can get into the beautiful and powerful description of who God is and what God is doing in us through Christ that we find in Ephesians 1, we first have to tackle the headings. NIV headings: This is where the NIV committee that assigns headings has themselves all tied up. The heading forContinue Reading

Ephesians: Purpose, Background and Structure

A few weeks ago, I started a Wednesday night series on the book of Ephesians. I chose to teach Ephesians because I think Christians today need some help with two things: reclaiming and re-imagining our identity in Christ and how that identity calls us to live. It turns out that is exactly how Paul structuredContinue Reading

The Greatest Commandment: God, Others, and Self

Sometimes I hear the greatest command summed up as “love God and love others”. That misses the only person in the whole world who isn’t included in those two categories, self. But Jesus did include loving yourself in the greatest commandment, “37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with allContinue Reading

Praying Like Paul

I am touched and motivated by this prayer by Paul in Ephesians 3:14-21. We prayed this payer over our LIFE group tonight, “14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen youContinue Reading

Freeing Up Time to Overcome the World – Get Rid of Foolish and Harmful Talking

Brian’s comment got me thinking…what if we took these words from Paul (below) seriously…if all the hurtful, harmful and attacking things said by Christians to other Christians on the internet (even in person) were put aside and that time used for real, useful and biblical kingdom purposes? I cannot help that more lost people wouldContinue Reading

Exchanging Sensuality for Sensitivity

The world we live in tries to immerse us in the endless pursuit of passion and sensuality. Sensuality is not a word we use often but it is a worthwhile word to understand. It means “unrestrained indulgence in our sensual pleasures.” (Dictionary.com). While that is seemingly appealing from a worldly point of view it isContinue Reading

How to Make Bible Study Practical – Perspective Issues 1

It is important, whether young or old, that we continue to tool and equip ourselves to study the Bible. So what I have to offer here on studying the Bible may be old news to some of you but hopefully there will be something for everyone. One of the driving forces in my Bible studyContinue Reading

New Small Group Lesson Series – Paul’s Prison Letters

I just posted a series of 16 lessons on Paul’s prison letters. We are wrapping these lessons up in our LIFE groups and I wanted to share. You can find them here, in the small group lesson page or in the Bible class archive

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