SLASB Ephesians Sampler - Flipbook - Page 4
L E T T E R S O F PAU L
H O W D O P E O P L E from incredibly different backgrounds live, grow, and function
together in the church? How can God welcome everyone if the Old Testament is all about
the Jews? The early church struggled a lot with the inclusion of both Jews and non-Jews
(Gentiles) in the new people of God, the church.This topic pops up often in Paul’s letters, and
it’s an important part of Ephesians.
In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, Paul gives a powerful description of how Christ
has broken down the barriers that separate people and has brought them together as one
body with one Lord. This has been God’s plan all along. With the help of his Spirit, people
from very different backgrounds can live in unity and peace as God’s new family.
In the first half of Ephesians, Paul describes the amazing things that God has done
through Jesus Christ. He reminds the believers of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness in
offering salvation to all people. The division of people into different categories no longer
matters in the new family of God because what we have in common is much more
important than what separates us. The identity of all believers is based on Christ and the
new life he gives.
In the second half of Ephesians, Paul describes what this new life looks like. Believers
are supposed to live as Christ lived in the world. This way of life shows up in unity, love,
God‑honoring relationships, and an ability to fend off the attacks of God’s enemy, the devil.
As you read, how do you see Paul describing the church? In what ways do you see the
church today continuing to struggle with unity?
Jesus dies and is