Paul wants the Ephesians to know such things as:
- The hope of His calling (Ep 1:18a)
- The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ep 1:18b)
- The wonderful grace of God as expressed in “personal” salvation (Ep 2:1-10)
1. Realize our one-sided thinking causes conflict
Imagine that you are building a resort in the Philippines. As a group, decide on the following:
- The location of the resort. Is it going to be in the mountains, or by a lake, or near the sea?
- The ‘theme’ of the resort. Is it going to be for couples or honeymooners, or something for families, or something like a detox or clinical facility?
- The facilities in the resort. Are you going to have separate bungalows, one big building? Are there going to be sports courts? What about a pool?
- The type of food you are going to serve. Are you going to stick to a cuisine, or will it be anything goes, depending to the mood of your chef?
Were you able to vocalize your ideas properly in the activity? Were you able to make your ideas heard? What did you feel when you had to listen to the ideas of other people?
There are times when we think that we are always right. This might arise from a number of reasons:
- Out of arrogance
- Not being used to being around other people
- Not being exposed to the right ‘doctrines’
- Not being open to new things
This can apply not only to ideas or principles, but also to the way we live our lives. For example, letting ingrained habits take control over us so much that we do not want to leave what is comfortable.
We have to be open to the fact there are other people in the world, that they might more mature than we are, that we might be wrong more often than we are right, and that we have to make way for other people’s insights.
Do you recall a time when you did not let anything else into your life, or did not let anyone else speak into your lives?
2. Realize Christ brings peace (v. 13-18)
Something positive to open ourselves up to is Jesus Christ, and the fact of his divinity. This is a true and unwavering fact. He is the prince of peace, our salvation, and the only true way.
It is ok to have things in your life that gives you comfort, but you also have to realize that it is Christ who is the source of all peace in the world and in our hearts.
Psalm 46:10 (my favorite verse) tells us that we should “be still and know that [he] is God”.
This peace is offered both to those who are “far away” and to those who are “near”. It is offered to everyone who is willing to receive. Everyone is entitled, God does not take favorites. We are individually special in His eyes in our own unique ways.
Peace here also pertains to ‘world peace’, meaning everyone in the world. Therefore we have to bring this peace to everyone we meet. This is the point of evangelism, to ensure that God’s message is brought to as many people as people. This will result in a strong church; the more believers there are, the more exponential is the growth of His Church. There shouldn’t be anything that we will allow to affect us so strongly that we will fall into a depression, or be greatly angered to the point where we give ourselves up to our blind rage.
Are there still things in your life that you have not yet completely let go to God? Things that, if they were taken away from you, you will feel that you will have lost everything, and will fall down into a complete mess?
3. Realize we are united in Christ (v. 19-22)
As members of one Church we are therefore one unit, one family under God. We should remove any remaining vestiges of feeling alone and lonely and uncared for, because we are always assured of being loved in this family. This should resonate with us especially as foreigners in an alien land, a different country, with little or no family, at least not one in a traditional sense.
As a united community then, we should always be concerned with one another, caring for one another, sharing what we have, and being accountable to one another.
Share your experiences and emotional well-being ever since you joined this Bible-based community.