Pauls Footsteps #405

“All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature, we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.” Eph.2:3-4 NLT 

Footsteps #405. In Ephesians 2 Paul goes back and elaborates on some key ideas from the poem in chapter 1.  2:1-10 is a magnificent passage on God’s grace and then in 2:11-22 about this new multi-ethnic family of Jesus. He begins by telling the story of how these non-Jewish Christians came to know Jesus. Before hearing about Jesus they were physically alive but were spiritually dead. They were trapped in a purposeless life of selfishness and sin. They were deceived by the dark, spiritual forces of evil. But, amazingly, God in His great love and mercy saved them. He forgave all of their sins and He joined their lives to Jesus’ resurrection life. He brought them back to life too. So now, having been created as new human beings through Jesus, they have the joy of discovering all of the new calling, purpose, and tasks that God has set before them. Not only have they been shown God’s grace, but they have also been invited into a new family. Before hearing about Jesus, these non-Jewish people were not just cut off from God, they were cut off from His covenant people, the family of Abraham, and for a really practical reason. The commands of the Sinai covenant formed like a boundary line around the family. They were like a barrier that kept most non-Jewish people away. But in Jesus, the ceremonial laws of the Torah have been fulfilled and the barrier is removed (v15). The two ethnic groups have become, as Paul puts it, “A new unified humanity that can live together in peace.” 

Paul continues in Chapter 3 to marvel at the unique role that he got to have in spreading this good news to non-Jewish people. Even though he is in house arrest in Rome, he is thanking God for the chance he has had to see this covenant family grow so huge. I thank God that he gave Paul the time and means to write these amazing letters we call the Prison epistles. Imagine Christianity without them? Paul closes the first half of the letter with another prayer. This time he prays that Jesus’ followers would be strengthened by God’s Spirit to simply grasp and comprehend the love that Christ has for his people. Read the prayer of Paul that closes Chapter 3 it is beautiful (3:14-21.) 387

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