Larry's Lines

Christian Articles to Edify Folks

Thoughts From Ephesians – Number 13

November 20th, 2017

As we had in Eph. 2:4, we have the word “but” here in Eph. 2:13. This is a word of contrast. It changes the tone and emphasis of the passage with which we are dealing. He informs the Ephesians and us that we, who have been estranged spiritually from God, are now, through the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross, are now in fellowship with God.

In verses 14-18 Paul emphasizes how Christ is the means by which God was able to bring Jew and Gentile together, making peace. Paul stresses the importance of the work of Christ in salvation. He shifts from “you” to “we” and “our” in this section because both Jew and Gentile alike now have the same hope: Christ’s atoning death. There are at least three things the Savior has done for ‘us” through His reconciling work on the cross.

He has brought us peace. (Eph. 2:14a) Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker. Paul tells us that peace is found in a person, the Lord Jesus. We have this thought described in the Old Testament (Isa. 9:6; Mic. 5:5), affirmed in the Gospels (Luke 1:79; 2:14; 19:42; John 14:27), and explained in the Epistles (Rom. 5:1; Col. 1:20; 3; 15).
He has made us one. (Eph. 2:14b-16) Christ’s death tore down the dividing wall and His blood obliterated the long-standing division between Jew and Gentile. There was literal wall in the temple dividing Jew and Gentile but Paul may also be referring to the fact that at the cross Christ fulfilled all the shadows and types of the ceremonial law system. A person is only accepted by God through the work of Christ. He did this to demonstrate the work of Christ and that He might reconcile us to God. Jesus’ death ended the hostility.
Christ preached peace (Eph. 2:17). Christ proclaims peace through His followers today. The only true peace comes from the Prince of peace. The whole world needs the gospel. Let’s be faithful in sharing it.
Christ has given us access to God (Eph. 2:18). Those who respond in faith obedience to Jesus’ work and message now have access to God. In this passage we see all three parts of the Godhead in view.

This is what prayer is all about. The ongoing benefit of Christ’s reconciliation is that we have access to God. We can come to God in and with boldness. Jew and Gentile alike can approach the Throne of Grace freely.
-Larry Miles, August 12, 2015, Camp Cilca, IL

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Thoughts From Ephesians – Number 11

November 18th, 2017

In Christ, We Are God’s Workmanship (Eph.2:8-10)

We were not  saved   on our  won  merit. We  did to deserve  mercy, rather we deserved  judgment.  Salvation  is  entirely  by  grace, although we  must  appropriate  that grace  by  obedience to the  commands of God.  But we must  realize that  we  can  never  earn our  salvation.  We can  never be saved  by  law keeping.  this  does  not  mean that we  do  not obey  His  commands.  We can  never  put our trust  in anything that  man can accomplish on his own.

Verse  9  back ups that  fact  we cannot earn our salvation.  To say  we  can  earn it smacks of arrogance.  Grace  eliminates all such  arrogance. There is only One who should be exalted in salvation, and that is God.  Our  only  boasting must  be in the Lord.

Paul says it well when he writes, “What do you have that  you  didn’t receive? If, in fact you did receive it?” (1 Cor. 4:7) And since we have received this  salvation, “The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:31).

We can never  work our way  to heaven but once  we are Christians we  ned to be the  best  workers He  has.  Works  are not the root of our salvation, rather, they are  the fruit of salvation. We must have a  living faith, a  functioning  faith. Because we are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus, people should  see our  good works.  Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see you  good works and  give  glory to your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

So let us live out  our faith daily and  walk in the Lord. Once we were in darkness, being controlled  by the world, the  flesh, and the Devil. But God made us alive through an obedient faith  in Christ, and now we are walking in Christ  doing  good works.

Larry Miles, May 1, 2015 in Mangum, OK

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Thoughts From Ephesians – Number 10

November 17th, 2017

With Christ, We Are Spiritually Alive (Eph. 2:4-7)

In  Ephesians 2:4-7 Paul describes the  character of God, and the work of Christ. It is the  “after” picture as a  result of  God’s gift.  “But God…”  starts  off the   text.  This is in contrast to the  previous  verses. Praise  God that the text of Paul’s teachings  did  not  end  with verse 3.

“God is  rich in Mercy.” The  Old Testament describes God as  rich in  faithful love,(Psalm 103:8), as One  who delights in faithful love (Micah 7:18). The  word  “rich” denotes that God never  runs out of  mercy.

Guy Orbison, Jr. writes, “Because  of His Great  Love with  which  He loved us” employs the  agape term for  love which  carries no emotional aspect but means  to see the highest good in the object  of love and to treat  people better than they  deserve.” 

God showed this great  love when we were in our  sins. Romans  5:8 reads, “But God demonstrates His own love  toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We have  been made alive in Christ.  Paul says that we have  been seated  with Christ in the  heavenly places.  That  reminds us of Eph. 1:3 where we  have  been  promised   all blessing  in Christ.

The  final  work of grace in verse  7 is future oriented. The reason  God has  showed  us such  grace is so that we might be  the  demonstration of His grace forever.  Ponder the  idea of grace for  “ages to come. Instead of wrath we have  everlasting grace.

-Larry Miles, May 1, 2015 in Mangum, OK

 

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Christian Articles to Edify Folks