Ephesians 2(a)

I thought we had a terrific gathering last week studying Paul’s teachings. It is always a great joy to see the people of God in fellowship with one another gathered together around a table(s) for a common meal (although I don’t think that tortellini is sacramental) and taking in the great benefit of a group study where each one of us brings his own unique perspective to the conversation.   

This week we are looking at Ephesians 2. Within this chapter, Paul speaks of the church as the inheritor of the promises of God, and more specifically of how Gentiles become part of God’s eternal covenant. In reading through this chapter, Paul makes a distinction between “salvation” which comes by grace, and “justification” which comes by faith. Salvation is God’s rescue of us from sin and death whereas “justification” is the outward declaration by God that someone is forgiven and is a member of God’s eternal covenant family.  Under the Old Testament, God’s salvation was reserved for those people who were the descendants by blood of Abraham (i.e. the Jews), and whose justification was based upon circumcision and obedience to the law. Whereas, under the New Testament, membership in God’s covenant family is open to all people who in and because of God’s grace have been chosen, destined, and called by God (as set forth in Chapter 1) by the blood of Christ, and whose outward sign of justification is faith in Christ. So as you read through Chapter 2, think about these broad themes of what it means to be outside of God’s covenant community and, more importantly, how we are brought within that community, which is the Church.

Dinner is 6. We are having gourmet hot dogs and baked beans. And, as always, please feel free to ask someone to come with you on Tuesdays. Hope to see you here.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God — not because of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

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