Ephesians 2 really resonated with me when I read through this chapter – and indeed the book itself. God’s Word is amazing how it speaks to us. What we draw out of a particular passage of scripture may have spoken differently to us in the past, and in the future may touch us, guide us or rebuke us in different ways!
I have just reached the earthly milestone of my 50th birthday and as I look back on my life and into the ever-shortening future of life on this earth, I was struck by how God has given us life through Christ.
All we need to do is accept Him and then we are given so much more than this fleeting flash of the current life. Christ has breathed new life into me and taken away the burden of trying to keep up with the repetitive sins, instant gratifications and lusting for wealth and power so idolised by the world. He has given me the freedom to say no to Satan and to live my life free from the impossible task of achieving ultimate health, wealth and power.
I now have the freedom to cast my burdens and future on Christ. That makes me alive now and gives me the hope that I will be alive for all eternity with Christ. Our God and Father has given me, and every believer, the free gift of grace and the certain hope that Christ has paid the price for my sins. This hope gives me the freedom to do good works.
It is this freedom to do good works that also resonated with me when I read the second part of this short chapter (verse 11-22). In particular, I think of our South African context and legacy of apartheid which divided communities along racial lines, and the new divisions which are dividing us along class and wealth lines. God’s gift of grace cuts through all human barriers and it is through Christ we are all, as believers, reborn into God’s family as equal brothers and sisters.
Paul makes the point to the Ephesians, who were predominantly Gentile, that Christ has made Jew and Gentile equal. Christians, together with Christ as the foundation, form the new temple.
I have also been very challenged by our recent sermon series on the church and church unity, and this passage serves to admonish me again to work hard on being truly loving to my church family. As I write this blog, my mind wanders to the time when Christ returns and we are able to enjoy the recreated earth and heavens, and a time when we will live in perfect harmony, embracing our uniqueness as individual perfect humans. I guess that the challenge to me, as a believer right now, is to truly love my fellow believers and to project to the world just a hint of the glory and unity to come!