Reading Paul, Hearing Jesus (GEPC)
Paul has no axe to grind with the Ephesian church. He simply wants to encourage them and let them know how he is doing. With that freedom, Paul writes some of the most inspiring and instructional passages in this letter.
Monday, April 14
Read Ephesians 1:1-14. Paul begins his letter with a greeting and an extended blessing of God. How does this serve as a fitting way to open his letter? Do we give God first billing when we address other Christians? What would it look like if we did?
Tuesday, April 15
Read Ephesians 1:15-23. Paul knows the Ephesian church rather well. Therefore, nothing he writes is without some knowledge of the situation there in Ephesus. Go through the reading again and consider why Paul might have written what he did.
Wednesday, April 16
After reviewing Ephesians 1, read Mark 13. Twice Jesus mentions the “elect.” Who are the elect? Why is it not possible to “lead them astray?” Do we determine who the elect are? How could a misunderstanding of predestination lead to becoming judgmental?
Thursday, April 17
After reviewing Ephesians 1, read Revelation 2-3. Ephesus also gets a letter directly from Jesus. Of all 7 churches, Ephesus is in the best position. That said, what did Jesus have against them? How do we keep our “first love” from fading?
Friday, April 18
After reviewing Ephesians 1, read Isaiah 11:1-10. God promises that the Spirit of wisdom and understanding will rest on the shoot that comes from the stump of Jesse. Who is that? Why then does Paul say the church in Ephesus has the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation?”
Saturday, April 19
After reviewing Ephesians 1, read John 10:17-42. Jesus lays down his life, only to take it up again. What does Paul say about Jesus’ resurrection? Why would that be an encouragement to the Ephesian Christians? To us?
Bethel Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN – bethelstpaul.com