Ephesians Study, pt2
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Ephesians 1: Identification
Ephesians 2: Separation
It is interesting how Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, presents this. The first thing he does in chapter 1 is talk about who we are in Christ, what our inheritance is, what He gave us. Paul gives us the prize first. Then in chapter 2, he challenges us to live worthy of that prize.
Notice the description that Paul uses starting out chapter 2. This is God’s description of what He saved you from. God saves you from something and God saves you to something.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Salvation is not just a mental assent. God has given you a new spirit. You no longer have a spirit of disobedience. According to Romans 8, you now have a spirit of obedience. You’ve been separated from the world to God. You have been separated from your sin to righteousness, that you might live righteously.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Let’s look at parts of this:
For we are His workmanship: His special creation. His designed object.
Created in Christ Jesus: We were born the first time, created by our parents with God’s blessing. But now we are created anew, the second birth in Christ Jesus.
For good works: You don’t get saved by works, but when you get saved, you do good works. The best way to live righteously is to do what is righteous.
If you follow the outline of Ephesians 2, Paul tells us what we were saved from and now tells us what we are saved for.
For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law…
Paul is painting a picture of the tabernacle where there was a division that no one could get through. Now in Christ, Jesus broke down that wall.
The cross has done more to alleviate racial segregation and prejudice than any social engineering program past, present, or future.
The separation between the Jew and the Gentile is greater than any racial tension we have. That is why when Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman, she was shocked. That’s how bad it was. The Jew and the Gentile couldn’t eat together or worship together or intermarry or…or…or.
Now Jesus comes along and says this is His plan: I have this Church where I’m going to bring every tribe and every kindred and every nature and every tongue together. They are not all just going to go to Heaven, but they are going to bring Heaven to earth. They are going to fill local churches across this globe so that the world could look at it and know the only thing that could bring all these different people together is God.
God has separated us from the world, from an ungodly culture, from the customs of man. He separated us from religious duty, and now He has knocked down the wall and joined us together.
Paul goes on at the end of the chapter to say that because of all God has done in knocking down the wall…
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Let’s look at parts of this:
You are no longer strangers and aliens: The greatest human tragedy is rejection. It’s people feeling like no one loves them. The church should be a place where people feel like they could belong if they chose to.
Fellow citizens: You are equal. There are people going around preaching that Gentiles are like step-children to God and there are “real Jews.” A real Jew is a believing person, no matter what their nationality or their DNA is.
Are of God’s household: Not just God’s house, but His household. This is describing a family. You are family in His house. You are no longer a stranger. You can eat whatever you want out of the fridge.
You are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit: Why is God knitting us together? For a habitation of God’s Spirit.
Read Ephesians 2. Let this soak in. See why God has saved you. He separated you to become these things, to get a vision for the Church, to get a vision for your church.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!