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Thoughts From Ephesians – Number 12

November 19th, 2017

Alienation: Who We Once Were (Eph. 2:11-12)

Verses 11-12 follow the  pattern of  verses  1-3. They  paint  for us the dark picture of  what  life  apart from  Christ involves.  Praise  God that  our Father loved us  so much that He sent His  Son to  redeem us.

Paul wants his readers and us to  remember  how separated they were from God’s people and  His blessings and  what it  took to bring them back into a  right  relationship with Him.

“You were  Gentiles in in the flesh.” Paul is  highlighting the physical difference  between a  Jew and a Gentile.  In  verse 12 Paul goes on to  elaborate on the pre-Christian past of the  Gentiles.  Paul  gives  us  5  ways that the  Gentiles were separated.

Guy Orbison, Jr., writes these  words, “[1] separate-no national hope of a  Messiah and  what the ‘anointed One’ would  accomplish; [2] excluded from the  commonwealth-Israel was the  covenant name and the Gentiles were  not  included; [3] strangers, i.e. is foreigners to the covenants-they had no access to the arrangements and promises  God made through the  chosen people; [4] having  no  hope-no expectations of future glory or  exaltation by  God; [5] and  without  God in the world– no meaningful relationship with  the  living God.”

Before  we became  Christians we were in the same tragic position as these Ephesian Gentiles.  We need to  reflect  and remember how things  were  outside of Christ. By remembering where we came  from, we will live with  constant gratitude toward God and love towards  His people. Praise  God for the  word “but” in  verse  13.

-Larry Miles, May 2, 2015 in Mangum, OK

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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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