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Posts tagged with: Ephesians

A person holding balloons with hearts for eyes

Enlightened Eyes

The Apostle Paul prays that not that God will do anything new, but instead that the Ephesians will see what God has already done.

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Ruins of a temple of the Greek god Asclepius.

Being God’s Temple

We who call ourselves Christians are to live in the world in such a way that God is truly and obviously present. We are to be the “temple” of the living God, the “place” where God can be found in this world. We are to do this in our private lives and our public lives, in our families and our workplaces, in our neighborhoods and schools.

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The Cornerstone

If Jesus Christ is your cornerstone, then many of the choices that can confuse your life are removed from the range of possibilities. You will not, for example, have to spend much time worrying about whether or not to get revenge on a colleague. You won’t have to choose a life of conspicuous consumption in order to convince yourself that you matter. You won’t believe that racism is acceptable or insignificant. Building your life upon Jesus and orienting your life in the direction of his kingdom allows you to live with greater freedom, confidence, and significance.

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A red United Kingdom passport

You are a Fellow Citizen

In a day when “spiritual” people are less and less inclined to be actively involved in any religious community, when millions of Christians seem satisfied to remain disconnected from other believers, when COVID-19 keeps us from being in physical proximity with other believers, we need to hear the good news of Ephesians 2:19 and consider the implications for our lives. Because of Christ, we are fellow citizens with God’s people. We belong, not just to God, but also to the community of those who have pledged their allegiance to God through Christ.

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A wooden cross on a mountaintop

Consequently

As you go about your business today, consider how the cross of Christ impacts your feelings, choices, and relationships. When you deal with a difficult relationship at work, what difference does the cross of Christ make? If you’re wronged by someone on your team, how is the cross relevant to you? If you’re aware of racial injustice in your workplace or community, what might Christ be calling you to do? Jesus died on the cross, thus forging reconciliation among divided peoples. Consequently, how will you live today?

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Kennedy children visit the Oval Office in 1962

Amazing Access

According to Ephesians 2, we have amazing access to God the Father. Through Christ, we are free to approach God just as we are, without pretense or pretending, without feigning or fear. As it says in Hebrews 4, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” What an invitation!

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A cut-out ornament of a dove

Being People of Peace

Jesus was, to be sure, a unique preacher of peace. He alone forged lasting and pervasive peace through his death on the cross. As followers of Jesus, we too have been called into the ministry of preaching peace, or, as Jesus puts it, peacemaking (Matthew 5:9). In our words and deeds, in our desires and intentions, we are to be people who commend, embody, and foster the peace of Christ, the peace that is full of justice and flourishing. We are to do this, not only in church and family, but also in every place God sends us: in our offices and shops, in our classrooms and boardrooms, in our neighborhoods and nations.

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Two women joining their hands together to form a heart, with the sunset behind them

More on Why Christ Died

Remember that reconciliation is not just deciding to get along with people in the future. True reconciliation through Christ addresses the fundamental problem that divides us, namely, our sin. As we experience genuine reconciliation with others, we will necessarily deal with our sin and its implications. We will seek forgiveness and, where needed, restitution. We will strive to experience the peace of God in which justice and mercy are essential facets.

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Two men bumping fists on a subway car

Why Did Christ Die?

According to Ephesians 2, the hostility-ending, peace-making work of Christ isn’t incidental. It’s not extra credit that comes after personal salvation. Rather, it’s central to the central work of Christ, his death and resurrection. We will not fully experience the power of the cross until we have been reconciled with God by grace through faith, and with each other by the unifying sacrifice of Christ.

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A white woman and African American man holding hands

Breaking Down the Walls of Separation

Jesus Christ died to demolish the walls that separate us from one another. Shouldn’t this keep us from building new walls of separation today? Shouldn’t we be committed to tearing down the walls that keep us apart today?

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A brick wall partially knocked down

Tear Down That Wall!

In 1987, the American President Ronald Reagan issued a challenge to the leader of the Soviet Union: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” That wall, of course, was the Berlin Wall that divided Germany into East and West. Almost 2,000 years earlier, Jesus tore down a wall. This was the “wall” that divided Jesus and Gentiles, and, by implication all hostile peoples. By tearing down the wall, Jesus made reconciliation possible. God’s peace and justice would prevail.

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A group of people holding hands in prayer

Peace in a Person

If we want to be people of pervasive peace, if we desire to know the peace of God that passes understanding, if we want to experience the end of hostile injustice, if we want to be peacemakers in our part of the world, then we need Jesus Christ. He is, indeed, our peace. Not only will he give us the gift of peace, but also he will use us to infuse his peace into our world.

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A Lego figure of Superman standing on a miniature cliff

Not Your Average Superhero

Superheroes save us by using their super-human powers. Jesus saves us, but not in this way. He is not your average superhero. Rather, Jesus sacrifices his life on the cross, shedding his blood so that we might be reconciled to God and to each other. Through Christ we can know the fullness of peace: peace with God and peace among people.

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A hand reaching up seen against the background of an arena

Atheists in the Bible

According to Ephesians 2, apart from Jesus Christ we are without hope and without God in the world. But through Christ we can know God intimately. And through God we can have hope even in times that feel hopeless.

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A group of people hiking along a mountain path

Knowing God in Community

Most Americans assume that we can know God in any way we choose. We don’t like the idea that spirituality is best when shared with others. Yet, biblical revelation shows that we will experience God most deeply and truly when we share this experience with others. Community is essential to mature, vibrant faith.

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