July 29



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Ephesians 1-3

We are in the Church Stream reading from the New King James Version.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord, you met Abraham, you met Moses, you met with David – and you meet us just as quickly as we call your Name.  Amen

1 – Paul is so extremely excited to send greetings and instruction to the great Ephesian church and tell about the redemption we have in Christ Jesus that he is near the bursting point.  He is that joyful!  He writes most of this first chapter as a single sentence (sort of can’t even pause to take a breath) – he’s elated to share Jesus.  And get this – he is writing this letter from a prison in Rome.  My husband and I saw this prison a couple years ago. Paul’s love for Jesus is his “food” in life.  It’s very evident that Paul wants the Ephesian church to be elated with Christ the way he is.  The Ephesian church was the most spiritually mature church in the new testament era, yet Paul wants them to “fly” higher still.  His prayer for the Eph. church is beautiful like his prayer for the Colossians and the Philippians
 2 –  Here Paul lays out the plan for unity – for reversing the curse since Adam/Eve left the Garden.  The “salvation through grace” truth is pivotal for realizing and receiving salvation.  (BTW, remember that EVERY false cult botches this concept of grace and fails to understand it nor do they teach it properly).  We are saved by embracing God’s goodness not trusting in our own “goodness” <—> goodness that doesn’t really exist. Christ is our reconciler, our peace, our unifier.  Gentiles were not 2nd class believers. In Christ, all were unified. The Holy Spirit gave access to all.  The title of stranger/alien/foreigner was over with. Newly converted Gentiles were as cherished as Abraham and all his relatives.
3 – The mystery of God, which was once revealed to very few, was now open to all who would receive it. The mystery revealed was Christ Himself. Christ embodies who God is and this Christ is known through the Holy Spirit – all this was not the property of a private, exclusive club anymore.  The mystery and endless riches found in Christ, His power in and over all Creation, the marvelous testimony of a unified worldwide Body of Christ, the fellowship in Christ – all this is a heavenly testimony.  The wonder of it all merely drove Paul to pray for the church in Ephesus and us here today all the more.  Let’s join Paul in praying for the endless, unshakeable, growing Church that Jesus Christ our Savior founded on Himself.  Don’t let the 19+ century time lapse bother you!
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The impression that the wild terrain of the scriptures left us with this week is more or less, “wow, God will meet you anywhere.”  He met the priests in the stringent duties they were performing and more joyfully so in all the feasts they were to maintain.  He is with Jehu during the gory task of ridding the country of Baal – whether Jehu acknowledged it or not. The ridding of Athaliah’s darkness, Joash repairing the Temple (klutzy as he was!) – God was in the midst of it all even if to merely reveal to us today the grief it is to let a country slouch into paganism.    The pure joy of the Psalms; God is certainly and clearly in the middle of such praise.  The Lord is powerfully (though painfully) with Jeremiah as he is being tormented, then protected during the siege of Jerusalem, then guarded though the city is in ashes, then during the aftermath of a very sad stage of Jewish history.  Obadiah tells of God’s work for His people and the crumbling of her enemy Esau. God’s prophecy is active and guarding even still. The Luke narrative showed Christ operating and meeting and revealing and sending and empowering and exhilarating and and and – that was a run of stories whose implications are endless; God met all types of people in all places.  Ephesians told of the mystery of redemption. The moral of the narrative is that God wanted to meet and gather souls of all nations just because of love; a God who is love.  It’s so good isn’t it?!

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