• Ephesians 1:3-14 The Mystery of His Will (Hyde)

    That final plan is to sum up all things in Christ (vs. 10). The meaning of "summed up" in Greek comes from accounting where you sum up a column of figures. Paul uses this word to say that one day the universe, and all that has happened in it, will be explained (summed up, tallied), and Jesus is the bottom line.

  • Ephesians 1:3-14 Destined in Love (Wagner)

    We are not a club. We are not a business. We are a community of believers who share one common denominator. We are all redeemed and "destined in love." We are all different. We are people who at sometime or another "have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." But, the glue that holds us together is grace.

  • Ephesians 1:19-22 Ascension Power (Gerhardy)

    We thank God that Jesus is more than just a powerful king – that kind of absolute power could be too scary. But Jesus is our loving Lord. He knows our weaknesses and lack of commitment to doing what God wants us to do. That's why he died for us.

  • Ephesians 2:8-10 Saving Grace (Anders)

    Philip Yancey points out the contrast between the life of Jesus and the modern church. People like the prostitute in this story flocked to Jesus, but they avoid the church like the plague. Somehow in the course of 2,000 years, we have managed to turn that upside down.

  • Ephesians 2:11-22 Breaking Down the Dividing Wall (Anders)

    Don Harbuck said, "The wall is everywhere. All of us know about it. No age or age group has gone unshaped by its pernicious power. Its menacing power moves the length and breadth of human existence. What wall is it? Paul calls it the dividing wall of hostility. It is the wall that separates and fragments and isolates.

  • Ephesians 2:11-22 Halted Hostilites (Donovan)

    Just a year after we returned to the States, we watched as people tore the Berlin Wall to shreds. The East German government was kaput. If I had ever doubted the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho — where the walls came a-tumblin’ down — well, I doubted it no longer.

  • Ephesians 2:17-22 The Household of God (Entrekin)

    The early church wasn't perfect, but when they had a pot luck supper, they knew to invite everybody. They respected one another, they took care of strangers, the poor and the refugees, and they kept coming together. People noticed, even their enemies. Emperor Julian said, "Christians support not only their own but ours as well."

  • Ephesians 3:1-12 The Life I Have Chosen (Hyde)

    What if you were traveling along, filling out your days with what you think is truly important. You've made plans, set goals, have a distinct purpose in everything you do. And suddenly, there's a collision. Except, this time it isn't a total stranger. It's God. That's what happened to Paul.

  • Ephesians 3:14-17 The Fullness of God’s Reign (McLarty)

    In 1961, J. B. Phillips published a little book entitled, Your God is Too Small. He could just as well have written, Your view of Christ is too narrow. We think of Jesus as one of us and that his kingdom looks something like a slice of Americana, only bigger.

  • Ephesians 3:14-21 Flattening Fences (Leininger)

    Robert Frost says "Something there is that doesn't love a wall." The message of Ephesians is a big AMEN! Are there still divisions that we experience in the church today? Unquestionably. Is there any real reason for them to continue? Paul says NO. Is it really possible? Experience says YES.

  • Ephesians 3:14-21 Grounded in Love (Wagner)

    To stand tall as people of faith like the giant Redwood trees, we need to be "intertwined with others in the faith"--and to include people who are different from ourselves. And hopefully, we will see the forest through the trees by seeing ourselves as a small, but vital part of a much larger faith community.

  • Ephesians 4:1-16 Summer School (Molin)

    Christians don't always get along. Catholics are at odds with Lutherans, Baptists struggle with Presbyterians, Episcopalians fight with everybody. And that's just between denominations; many congregations have factions that divide people over petty issues in their church. Paul says it shouldn't be this way.

  • Ephesians 4:2-10 Goodness Gracious (Bowen)

    As the Apostle uses it, "grace" means "gift." And gift which never turns into possession. Nothing we can commandeer, take control of. It is perpetual gift. Like life itself. Hard to accept that, bathed as we are in a culture that exalts the autonomous individual.

  • Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2 Had Any Good Church Fights Lately? (Molin)

    Because the Church consists of flawed and sinful people like us, there will always be disputes, disagreements and differences of opinion in the Church. It's not a sin to disagree! It's not ungodly to hold a position different from your neighbor, or your friends, or your spouse, or your pastor.

  • Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2 The Rules (Butler)

    See, if I found the most perfect greeting card that managed to say everything I wanted to say and expressed it in a beautiful, classy, funny way . . . it wouldn't mean one single bit unless Mark could look back over the last 15 years of his life and ALREADY KNOW WHAT I MEANT.

  • Ephesians 5:8-14 Live in the Light as Children of Light (Anders)

    Paul sums up that very idea in verse 8 when he says, "For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."Notice that this reference does not say, "You were IN darkness" but rather "You WERE darkness." Jesus put the idea this way in Luke 11:34.

  • Ephesians 5:15-16 Slow Down (Gerhardy)

    "Hurry Sickness is defined as a "modern malady caused by rushing about: a compulsion to do everything quickly, or a chronic feeling of being short of time, attributed to the fast pace of modern life and causing symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia" (Encarta - Dictionary).

  • Ephesians 5:15-20 How to Live (Anders)

    First, Paul says, "Watch carefully." I certainly have a new appreciation for those words after the wreck. When you have driven for 40 years without a wreck, as I had, you begin to assume you can drive your way out of any dangerous situation.

  • Ephesians 5:20 Happy Thanksgiving (Sellery)

    Perched between a cruel sea and a hostile shore, the Pilgrims paused in their struggle to survive to set aside a special day of thanks. In these uncertain times, let's follow that example of sustaining faith. Let's make a special effort to acknowledge God's gifts, great and small --giving thanks for his blessings and placing our confidence in his goodness.

  • Ephesians 6:10-20 Dressing For Success (Molin)

    It's one thing to stay in here, and be the church where hymns are sung, and hugs are given, and hope is proclaimed. But what about out there? What about where living is dangerous, or when the values of our faith collide with the values of the world? How then shall we live?

  • Ephesians 6:10-20 There Ain’t No Rear to This Battle (Donovan)

    There are plenty of forces that threaten to pull us off the track. Young people have it the hardest. Teenagers have an almost desperate need to be accepted. So when someone says, "Hey, come on man," it isn't easy to resist. It isn't easy to "Just Say No." And it doesn't get easy. It isn't easy for adults either.

  • Ephesians 6:10-20 The Armor of God (Donovan)

    Paul was writing to prepare us to face great powers of evil. He envisioned a spiritual warfare between Christians and very personal forces of evil. Christians being crucified and thrown to the lions. But those days are over. Is there a message in this book for us? Do we face the same quality of evil in our day?