SLASB Ephesians Sampler - Flipbook - Page 7
you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18I
pray that your hearts will be flooded with light
so that you can understand the confident hope
he has given to those he c alled—his holy people
who are his rich and glorious inheritance.*
19I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who
believe him. This is the same mighty power
20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated
him in the place of honor at God’s right hand
in the heavenly realms. 21Now he is far above
any ruler or authority or power or leader or
anything e lse—not only in this world but also
in the world to come. 22God has put all things
under the authority of Christ and has made
him head over all things for the benefit of the
church. 23And the church is his body; it is made
full and complete by Christ, who fills all things
everywhere with himself.
evil—the commander of the powers in the und
seen world.* He is the spirit at work in the hearts
of those who refuse to obey God. 3All 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.
4But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us
so much, 5that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised
Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace
that you have been saved!) 6For he raised us
from the dead along with Christ and seated us
with him in the heavenly realms because we are
united with Christ J esus. 7So God can point to us
in all future ages as examples of the incredible
wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as
shown in all he has done for us who are united
with Christ J esus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you beMade Alive with Christ
Once you were dead because of your disobe- lieved. And you can’t take credit for this; it is
dience and your many sins. 2You used to live a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for
in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the the good things we have done, so none of us
1:18 Or called, and the rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his holy people.
2:2 Greek obeying the commander of the power of the air.
The Ruins of Ephesus
Ephesus was the leading city of the Roman province of
Asia (part of modern-day Turkey). The gates pictured here
led to the central marketplace. The city was celebrated as
a thriving political, commercial, and religious center, well
known as the “guardian” of the temple of Artemis (known to
the Romans as Diana; Acts 19:34). Paul visited Ephesus on
his second missionary journey and then returned on his third
to live there for more than two years. He was almost killed by
its citizens because Christianity was seen as a threat to the
pagan temple and to the business it produced for the makers
of idols (Acts 19:23-31).
Ephesus became an important center of the early church.
Priscilla and Aquila ministered there (Acts 18:18-19), as
did Timothy (1 Timothy 1:3). It is said that the apostle John
returned there after his exile on the island of Patmos
(Revelation 1:9), and it’s likely that Mary, Jesus’ mother,
also moved to Ephesus and was buried there.
The Christian community was strong in Ephesus, but
at one point God warned the Ephesian church that they’d
fallen away from their love for him and for each other
2:1‑7 Deserving Judgment From the moment we are
born, all of us are lost in sin and cannot save ourselves. This
doesn’t mean that no one can do anything good: Because all
people are made in the image of God, many reflect his character (even unconsciously) by doing good things for others and
having moments of being moral, kind, and law-abiding. But
all people commit s in—no exceptions. No amount of good
actions can erase the fact that we haven’t loved God with
our whole hearts and haven’t consistently loved our neighbors as ourselves. Because none of us live up to God’s perfect
standard (Romans 3:23), we all deserve judgment. But in his
kindness, God offers to swap Christ’s perfect life for our sin so
that we can be considered good in his sight.
2:8‑10 God’s Masterwork We become Christians be-
cause of God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part.
God alone masterminds our salvation. He works powerfully
and creatively in us, using us as his canvases. Out of gratitude
for this free gift, however, our hearts should overflow with
the desire to help and serve others with kindness, love, and
gentleness. While no action or work we do can earn salvation
for us, God wants our faith to result in our lives being changed
and becoming marked by obedience to him and acts of service toward others. Such transformation shows off God’s
goodness to the world.