Manual EXPLORING EPHESIANS A Devotional Commentary

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Galatians -- Commentaries Bible. Ephesians -- Commentaries Summary Publisher's description: Galatians and Ephesians are two of the brightest pearls in the writings of Paul.

Exploring Galatians and Ephesians (Devotional Commentaries)

Galatians focuses on justification by faith as the basis of Christian liberty, and ends with a discussion of Christian ethics since we have been justified, how then shall we live? Ephesians says even more about holy living, focusing on the grace of God that not only provides individual salvation but brings the redeemed together into a new community in Christ, the church, and empowers us in the cosmic struggle between good and evil. Both books tell us how we are saved in Christ, how to walk with Him in daily life, and how to live together as Christians.

And both will transform us as we let the Holy Spirit speak through them. Contents Book 1. Exploring Galatians: Introduction to the letter of Galatians 1.

Introducing the threat to Christian liberty 2. History : Paul's authority as an apostle of liberty 3. Theology : justification by faith as the basis of Christian liberty 4. Ethics : the responsibilities of liberty 5. Wrapping it up Book 2. Exploring Ephesians: Introduction to the letters to the Ephesians 1. Saying hello 2. Doctrinal affirmations 3. Practical exhortations 4. Saying ggodbye. Notes Includes biblical text translated by the author. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"?

Avondale College Library. Open to the public ; None of your libraries hold this item. It is one of the great warnings of the Christian life that if we keep them to ourselves we lose them. Paul says that he was made a servant by the free gift of the grace of God.

ISBN 13: 9780828018968

He did not think of his service as a wearisome duty but as a radiant privilege. It is often astonishingly difficult to persuade people to serve the Church. To teach for God, to sing for God, to administer affairs for God, to speak for God, to visit those in poverty and distress for God, to give of our time and our talent and our substance for God, should not be counted a duty to be coerced out of us; it is a privilege which we should be glad to accept.

He did not expect the way of service to be easy; he did not expect the way of loyalty to be trouble-free. Unamuno, the great Spanish mystic, used to say, "May God deny you peace, and give you glory. Maltby used to say that Jesus promised his disciples three things--that "they would be absurdly happy, completely fearless, and in constant trouble.

To suffer for Christ is not a penalty; it is our glory, for it is to share in the sufferings of Christ himself and an opportunity to demonstrate the reality of our loyalty to him. I therefore pray that you will not lose heart because of my afflictions on your behalf. Paul saw himself as a man who had been given a double privilege.

Exploring Galatians and Ephesians by George R. Knight

He had been given the privilege of discovering the secret that it was God's will that all men should be gathered into his love. And he had been given the privilege of making this secret known to the Church and of being the instrument by which God's grace went out to the Gentiles.

But that consciousness of privilege did not make Paul proud; it made him intensely humble. He was amazed that this great privilege had been given to him who, as he saw it, was less than the least of God's people. If ever we are privileged to preach or to teach the message of the love of God or to do anything for Jesus Christ, we must always remember that our greatness lies not in ourselves but in our task and in our message.

Toscanini was one of the greatest orchestral conductors in the world. Once when he was talking to an orchestra when he was preparing to play one of Beethoven's symphonies with them he said: "Gentlemen, I am nothing; you are nothing; Beethoven is everything. Leslie Weatherhead tells of a talk he had with a public schoolboy who had decided to enter the ministry of the Church.

He asked him when he had come to his decision, and the lad said he had been moved to make it after a certain service in the school chapel. Weatherhead very naturally asked who the preacher had been, and the lad answered that he had no idea; he only knew that Jesus Christ had spoken to him that morning.

That was true preaching. The tragic fact is that there are so many who are more concerned with their own prestige than with the prestige of Jesus Christ; and who are more concerned that they should be noticed than that Christ should be seen. That is something which we would do well to remember. Sometimes the history of Christianity can be presented in such a way that it sounds as if the gospel went out to the Gentiles only because the Jews would not receive it. Paul here reminds us that the salvation of the Gentiles is not an afterthought of God; the bringing of all men into his love was part of God's eternal design.

He calls it polupoikilos Greek , which means many-coloured. The idea in this word is that the grace of God will match with any situation which life may bring to us. There is nothing of light or of dark, of sunshine or of shadow, for which it is not triumphantly adequate. In Jesus we have a free approach to God. It sometimes happens that a friend of ours knows some very distinguished person. We ourselves would never have any right to enter into that person's presence; but in our friend's company we have the right of entry.

That is what Jesus does for us with God. In his presence there is an open door to God's presence. Perhaps they might think that the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles will be greatly hindered because the champion of the Gentiles is in prison. Paul reminds them that the afflictions through which he is going are for their good. I pray that you may have your root and your foundation in love, so that, with all God's consecrated people, you may have the strength fully to grasp the meaning of the breadth and length and depth and height of Christ's love, and to know the love of Christ which is beyond all knowledge, that you may be filled until you reach the fullness of God himself.


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To him that is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power which works in us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations for ever and ever. It is here that Paul begins again the sentence which he began in Ephesians and from which he was deflected. It is for this cause begins Paul. What is the cause which makes him pray?

ISBN 13: 9780828018968

We are back again at the basic idea of the letter. Paul has painted his great picture of the Church. This world is a disintegrated chaos; there is division everywhere, between nation and nation, between man and man, within a man's inner life. It is God's design that all the discordant elements should be brought into one in Jesus Christ. But that cannot be done unless the Church carries the message of Christ and of the love of God to every man. It is for that cause that Paul prays. He is praying that the people within the Church may be such that the whole Church will be the body of Christ.

We must note the word used for Paul's attitude in prayer. The ordinary Jewish attitude of prayer was standing, with the hands stretched out and the palms upwards. Paul's prayer for the Church is so intense that he prostrates himself before God in an agony of entreaty. His prayer is to God the Father. It is interesting to note the different things which Paul says in this letter about God as Father, for from them we get a clearer idea of what was in his mind when he spoke of the fatherhood of God.

It is not true to say that Jesus was the first person to call God Father. But there are two closely interrelated words which have a certain similarity and yet a wide difference in their meaning. There is paternity.

Paternity means fatherhood in the purely physical sense of the term. It can be used of a fatherhood in which the father never even sees the child. On the other hand there is fatherhood. Fatherhood describes the most intimate relationship of love and of fellowship and of care.

When men used the word father of God before Jesus came, they used it much more in the sense of paternity. They meant that the gods were responsible for the creation of men. There was in the word none of the love and intimacy which Jesus put into it. The centre of the Christian conception of God is that he is like Jesus, that he is as kind, as loving, as merciful as Jesus was.

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It was always in terms of Jesus that Paul thought of God. The essence of the Old Testament is that God was the person to whom access was forbidden. When Manoah, who was to be the father of Samson, realized who his visitor had been, he said: "We shall surely die, for we have seen God" In the Jewish worship of the Temple the Holy of Holies was held to be the dwelling-place of God and into it only the High Priest might enter, and that only on one day of the year.

The centre of Christian belief is the approachability of God. Gee tells a story.