August 11-16, 2014

EPHESIANS – In Ephesians, Paul sets forth clearly the doctrine of justification, that we are saved alone through faith in Jesus Christ. Eternal salvation is God’s free gift of grace. In the last 3 chapters, Paul discusses how we all are to live, children and adults alike, in God’s Kingdom of Grace.

Monday, August 11, Ephesians 1
v. 5 — The word, “predestined,” means decided upon beforehand. God, therefore, chose us to be saved even before the world began (v. 4).
v. 22 — God’s Son, Jesus Christ, controls everyone and everything. He rules particularly in the interest of His church, using even heathen rulers to serve His purpose. An example of that you find in Ezra 1 and Luke 2:1-12; (Micah 5:2.)

Tuesday, August 12, Ephesians 2
Vv. 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 — Can you make a decision to come to faith? It is utterly impossible. As Paul points out to us, we come into this world dead in sin. How we become Christians is clearly stated in vv. 4, 5, 8, and 9. He, God the Holy Spirit, makes us alive with Christ (I Cor. 12:3). Our salvation, therefore, is not by our works. It’s God’s free gift of grace.
Vv. 8-9 — Underline and memorize. How are we saved? Is it by works or by God’s grace alone?
v. 10 — From eternity, we are also called to a life of good works which we do out of love and thankfulness for what Jesus has done for us.
v. 20 — The foundation and cornerstone of the church is no human being, such as the Pope. That conflicts with Scripture. Jesus Christ is its chief Cornerstone. (Cf. I Peter 2:5,6)

Wednesday, August 13, Ephesians 3
v. 12 — Through Christ we are given the privilege of approaching God directly with freedom and confidence. We do not need to go through human mediators. Jesus has granted us access to the Father! Use that privilege confidently in prayer.
Vv. 14-21 — We all have a vast amount we can learn about the love of God. Paul’s prayer was that the Ephesians would continue to grow in that love. Unfortunately, from Revelation 2:4, we see there that they fell from their first love. That happens when we take it for granted and do not continue to grow in God’s grace.
Vv. 16-19 — Here we observe a wonderful change in us as Christians. The Holy Spirit inwardly strengthens us. As Christ lives in us, we are built up in His love. That love here is the most prized love of all. It’s Christ-like love. Its effect in us is described in I Cor. 13:4-7.

Thursday, August 14, Ephesians 4
Vv. 8-10 — Those whom Jesus took captive were the enemies He conquered on Calvary’s cross: sin, death, the devil and hell. The lower earthly regions Jesus descended to would be this earth and the grave. High above all the heavens means He rules over everything and His dwelling place is far above the massive universe He created. Read also I Kings 8:27, 30.
v. 13 — We Christians are to become mature, not stay as children spiritually. St. Paul describes what our lives are to be like and are not to be like in vv. 17-32. Underline v. 32.

Friday, August 15, Ephesians 5
vv. 8-10 — How do you find out what pleases God? We do that by studying God’s Word. This chapter and chapters 4 and 6 give you many opportunities to examine your life in the light of God’s Word. We need to change it if it doesn’t pass God’s directives. Are you especially following God’s directives in vv. 21-33?
Vv. 21-33 — In these verses Paul describes the loving, submissive and respectful life between husband and wife.

Saturday, August 16, Ephesians 6
Vv. 1-9 — To live the way God expects us to live isn’t easy. The answer to that life which brings us peace, happiness and security is found in putting on daily our spiritual battle armor, so aptly described by Paul in vv. 10-18.
v. 4 — Exasperate means to make angry. Who has the main responsibility for training the child? (church, government, father)
vv. 10-18 — St. Paul in these verses uses the armor of a soldier of his day and compares that to the spiritual armor we are to wear in remaining faithful to God.

What does faith in the Savior do to fear in your life. Look at v. 6 and Rom. 10:17.

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