Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ephesians 2

We have moved from death to life. We did not earn it and we don't deserve it. Grace is best defined as "unmerited favor". It is by God's unmerited favor that we are saved through faith (2:8-9). Salvation is not something we earn (not by works); it is not something we accomplish (not by works); nor is it something someone else can pray us into or earn for us (not by works). It is a gift from God. God gives this gift through Jesus. Note verse 10: "For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand to be our way of life." It is a common theological error to assume that "being saved by Grace and not of works" means that Christians are not to engage in good works or to strive to live better lives or to strive to become better Christians. Notice we are created for good works. This life in Christ has a purpose and that purpose is to live our lives in such a way that we would make a difference in this world for the Kingdom's sake.

The chapter ends with a description of unity. We are not called to unity. Unity is the consequence of living our lives in Christ. I love verse 19 -- "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are members of the household of God." Insiders and outsiders, men and women, religious or not, educated or not, all races, all nations, all tribes . . . in Christ we are all members of the household of God. All too often we allow our human values and biases to rule our hearts and minds . . . we allow fear of the other, fear of the different, fear of the unknown to control how we are to live and with whom. In Christ we put those fears aside and recognized that through faith we are one people.

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