Tag Archives: Ephesians 2

December 7, 2017 Bible Study — To Him Who Is Able To Do Immeasurably More Than We Can Ask Or Imagine

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading. I am pleased that more people have been reading my blog, but am somewhat disappointed that so few bother to click the link and read the Bible passage which I am commenting on. Perhaps some of you are reading the passage in other formats. If so, that is wonderful. I have been blessed by reading through the Bible each year and promise that if you do so you will be as well. My wish is that each of you will read a portion of the Bible for yourself each day, even if it is not the passage which I am commenting on.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Ephesians 1-3.

    There are three themes which Paul writes about in today’s passage to which I want to bring your attention. Paul reminds us that we have been saved by the gift of God’s grace, which we receive through faith. We do not have anything to boast about because our salvation is a freely given gift from God, even the faith through which we receive it is a gift from God. Even though we have been made righteous through God’s grace we have no basis to consider ourselves better than anyone else because that righteousness is not a product of our own actions. Rather it is a product of the Holy Spirit acting within us. Paul goes further to indicate that the Holy Spirit created this righteousness within us in order that we might do good works. Our good works do not make us righteous, they are our response to being made righteous.

    One of the results of the Holy Spirit working within us is that the dividing walls of hostility which come between members of various human defined groups are destroyed. If the Holy Spirit is truly working within us we will be united with those believers whom the world teaches that we should hate. Anyone who accepts God’s grace becomes a member of the Body of Christ, no matter what their background. This is but one of the things which the power of God can accomplish. Throughout this passage Paul writes about the amazing power of God. Power which is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. Joining together into one Body those who were taught to hate each other is but one aspect of the ways this power can work beyond our power to imagine. I want to come back to what Paul says here about God’s power. God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. We need to remember this when we pray about the things we struggle with. We are not even able to imagine the solutions to our problems which God has. One of our failures of imagination is seeing problems where God is providing blessings.

September 23, 2015 Bible Study — Happy Anniversary to My Lovely Wife

For today, One Year Bible Online links here. Today my wife and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. I am so grateful both to God and to her for these 15 wonderful years. I pray to God that we have many more together.

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Proverbs 23:29-35

    If you spend your time trying all the latest wines, beers, or mixed drinks, you will suffer for it. I don’t think there is anything I can say to add any clarity to what is said here.

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Psalm 67

    Yes, I will make this my prayer today. May God’s saving power be known to all people throughout the entire earth. May they come to know and praise God. Then, and only then, will there be peace on the earth.

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Ephesians 2

    None of us have any place to boast about our salvation. It was a free gift from God given to us when we were still enmeshed in sin. He did not give it to us as a reward for our righteous behavior, because if salvation was a reward for righteous behavior no one would receive it. No, God recreated us in, and through, Jesus so that we could do good things. The good things we do are not ours to boast of, rather they are God’s doing. I do not do good things because I am a good person. Rather the good things I do are a product of God’s Spirit working through me.
    God, having given us salvation, is now joining us together into a Temple in which He may live. The purpose of this unity is to bring glory to God. We are not called to unity to make people feel better about themselves. We are not even called to unity to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Those are both valuable things, when done in service to the purpose for which God is bringing us together. That purpose is to glorify God. We do not bring glory to God, by proclaiming that sinful behavior is not sinful. However, we need to remember that we are called to confront ALL sinful behavior, not just sinful behavior we find distasteful.

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Isaiah 41:17-43:13

    As I read Isaiah recounting God’s call for the idols to tell us what they had done long ago, I am reminded that scholars and archaeologists frequently question the historical accuracy of the accounts in the Bible. In the early nineteenth century, it was the accepted “truth” that the Assyrian Empire had never existed, that the Biblical writers had invented it to make points about God’s power. Even after the discovery of Nineveh there were those who questioned the accounts given here and elsewhere of the Assyrian siege and withdrawal from Jerusalem, but those have now been confirmed. The idols worshiped by the skeptics had failed to reveal what had happened long ago, just as God had said that they would. Yet the Bible told us of those events. There is a similar call for those idols to tell us what will happen in the future. Before 1948, those who do not accept the Bible and God’s power would have told you that Israel would never again exist in Palestine. Yet, here in Isaiah, God proclaimed that one day He would bring His people back to the land He had promised Abraham.

    There is another theme in this passage which I want to touch on because it struck me as I read this. At the beginning of Chapter 42, we are told of God’s chosen servant, who will not shout, or raise His voice in public. This is a prophecy about Jesus. However, I felt the Spirit talking to me. We are not called to shout, and scream, and stamp our feet. We are called to calmly, gently, and firmly work to bring justice.