Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ephesians, Chapter 2

As I wrote in the introduction to chapter one, Ephesians does the job of tackling the big question of, "Why am I here?" Chapter two gets underway by giving that reason right from the start. We are here to be made alive in Christ. It is only in that way that we can accomplish our full potential and do what we were placed on this earth to do. When we accept Christ and we keep our focus on Him (going back to the discussion on Galatians here) We are fulfilling our purpose in life. As we go through Ephesians we will see that Paul had an idea for more specialized areas that that focus could manifest itself in, but for now it is important that we see that we are awakened and fully alive when we have Christ.

"4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." – Ephesians 2:4-5

I love this because not only does it show why we are here, but it also shows Christ's boundless love for us. Let's face it: God and Christ do not need us. They are supreme, omniscient, omnipotent beings that can accomplish whatever they want to do. They could view humanity much like we view fish in an aquarium if they so chose. They did not choose to do so though, and because of that they provided away for us to become so much more. What's more as we see in the next verses it is not anything we do on our own.

"8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." – Ephesians 2:8-10

We see here that Christ is the answer as well to the question of why we are here. We cannot save ourselves by anything we do. Writing this blog to spread His message, tithing every Sunday, Giving money to the poor, visiting the sick, or anything else I do means nothing unless I have faith in Christ. Christ does indeed want us to do good works, as that is part of the package once we accept Him, but the important part is that we accept Him. We are not required to do anything else other than that, even though doing those other things can lead to a more fulfilling life and they come about because we have Christ in our hearts. Because of free will we don't even have to accept Christ, but we know the consequences if we don't.

"14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility." Ephesians 2:14-16

Another thing I love about the Bible is how it references back to itself, and we see here that Paul refers back to his letter to the Galatians. He references his argument that Christ fulfilled the law and removed it as an obstacle for coming to God. He also shows that God no longer is this high, far off concept that the Israelites once viewed. He doesn't need to live in some temple, but instead He can live in our hearts and transform us because of Christ Jesus. I can't tell you how radical of a view this was in that day. Paul once again shows and brings home his message that we are built anew when we have Christ in our hearts, and once that happens we are prepared for the roles He has in store for us. Later we will see exactly what those roles could be.


  1. If God doesn't need us, why did He provide a way for us to come to Him?
  2. How does being made alive in Christ make gifts such as charity work more fulfilling?
  3. If salvation is all we need in Christ, why are good works still important to having a life with Him in our hearts?

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