Ephesians 2:8-22 – July 4
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Made Alive in Christ
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Under Construction | Becky Newman
Paul describes the church as being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (vs. 20). Jesus is the chief cornerstone; if His stone is removed or not part of the building, the whole thing falls. Believers are the stones placed on top of the foundation; if they fall, it may impact the stones near them, but the building will remain standing. This church is not a physical church with walls you can touch like the one I go to every Sunday. This is a spiritual church that unifies all believers in their belief of Jesus and in their mission to glorify God to keep “being built together”. No arguments over what color the carpet should be or if the music is too loud with this church.
I am one of the stones. But I am not just a stone; I am also His masterpiece perfectly being crafted to be the only stone that fits into this spot in His church (vs. 10). I’m a work in progress, still under construction, but I am not alone. I have believers around me, all under construction but all a piece in God’s church, all masterpieces, all needing grace while we’re being built. And I have those who have gone before me to stand on — my husband’s grandma, my grandma, my old babysitter, my friend and mentor Mark, the divine mentors of the Bible, and ultimately Jesus. I am part of Your church, a full-fledged member.
Thank You, Lord, that You have chosen me to be a piece in Your church, to be Your masterpiece. Help me to do it well, to encourage others while we’re “being built”, under construction, to point and lead other “pieces” to You, and to have grace and patience and perseverance as Your Spirit chips away at the rot and filth to make a beautiful and perfect piece that is part of the larger orchestrated mosaic. I love You. I love Your creation.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.