Day 82 – December 16, 2023: Ephesians 1-6

We find ourselves for the first time reading an entire letter of Paul to one of the churches. Let’s remember who Paul is. He is the Pharisee that upon Jesus’ death began persecuting the church and Christians. On his way to Damascus Jesus meets him in a vision, since the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ had already taken place, and tells him to stop fighting against him, and to join him in proclaiming the fact that Jesus brought the kingdom of God to earth. He goes blind, receives his sight back and joins Jesus’ side.

Most of the New Testament is written by Paul, who was Saul and then upon his conversion became Paul. What Paul wrote were letters to these churches that he either founded, like this church in Ephesus, or that he had heard about and wanted to commend, like the church in Rome in his letter to the Romans. His letters are filled with theological truths and take a little more time to read for understanding than the Old Testament stories or the Gospels with the life of Christ. This letter to the church in Ephesus, or Ephesians which describes the person who lives in Ephesus, gives us much to consider.

I do want to highlight 6:10-17 which underlines what we can do in order to be equipped for the work of God. Putting on the armor of God allows us to be protected from the influences of the world, and it also brings us closer to Christ. Both of these things are positives which push us to a following of Jesus that is not inconsequential. Chapter 4 which provides us with a vision for unity in Christ is equally compelling. Ephesians 4:4 and the surrounding verses remind us that as a body, as a church, we are unified with others across the world in our service to God. This is so key to not see ourselves isolated. Just imagine how important this was for the church in Ephesus as well to understand this.

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