Ephesians 2:1, 10 (NLT) – Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus…
“Paul was under no illusions about the degradation of mankind…Yet he refused also to despair because he believed in God. True, the only hope for dead people lies in a resurrection. But then the living God is the God of resurrection. He is even more than that: he is the God of creation.” [John Stott, The Message of Ephesians]
1. What is the condition God has rescued us from? What is the current condition of our campuses, our cities?
2. What is the hope for their rescue, just as it was for us?
May we see the condition of those who need life around us, and respond in prayer that believes in our living God, the God of resurrection and creation.
God, would you open our eyes to see the world around us? Fill us with your great love for our campuses and our cities, and with faith in You for those who are in desperate need of life. I bring __________ to you today….
Let’s proclaim who our God is as we sing “Way Maker” by Leeland (Click here).
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NRSV) – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
“..this new creation is to be active and productive like the Creator…Salvation is not from works, but it surely is for works, that is, living obediently and productively.”
[Klyne Snodgrass, Ephesians, NIVAC]
1. According to this verse, what role does good works have in our salvation and life?
2. Where do these good works in v. 10 come from?
3. What good works has God prepared for you to do today, this week?
As God’s masterpiece, we are not just a beautiful painting that sits on a wall, but we have a life to live, doing good works that God prepared long ago for us. Our new way of life is one with Jesus, participating in the things He is doing, living a life of Jesus’ love in this world.
Father, thank you that you have already prepared things for me to do today – ways for me to think, times to pray, praises to sing, people to love…. Help me to walk with Jesus today in good works.
Let’s worship to “This Beating Heart” by Matt Redman (Click here).
Ephesians 2:7,10 (NLT) – So 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 Jesus.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus…
“God’s purpose in doing all this is that he might have a display case in which his own grace — the glory of his character and being — can become evident…Each one of us will be a vivid demonstration of the grace and the perfection of God’s character. The glory of his Person will be visible in us throughout the coming ages — especially as it is manifested, says Paul, by his kindness toward us.”
[Ray Stedman, https://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/ephesians/on-display]
1. According to these verses, what is the best display of God’s skill and kindness?
2. What are some specific things in your life God has skillfully shaped or transformed by His grace and kindness?
We are on display as examples of who God is and what God does. As His masterpiece, the imprint of His grace and kindness is all over us. That frees us to know who we are and leads us to worship God.
Father, thank you for your grace and kindness that has skillfully created us into Your masterpiece. We are Yours!
Let’s worship to “Here I Bow” by Bethel Music (Click here).
Ephesians 2:6 (NLT) – For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
1. What does it mean to be united with Christ Jesus?
2. What area of your life do you feel is beyond God’s control and power?
3. How does being united with Christ address that feeling?
There is a recent area in my life where I began to question if things would ever change. I was stuck in viewing myself as separate from Christ, powerless and change felt impossible. But this truth of being raised with Jesus and exalted with Him in victory over sin has rescued me into faith.
God has joined us to Christ so solidly that what happened to Jesus has also happened to us. His victory is now our victory. His power over sin and death is now our power over sin and death – because we are united with Christ. And this is our present reality!
Father, sometimes this reality feels so different from our daily experience. Help us to live in the amazing truth of the Gospel each day, that You have raised us to life.
Let’s proclaim this reality as we sing “Raised to Life” by Elevation Worship (Click here).
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NLT) – But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that 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!)
“In giving his gift of salvation, God revealed a heart and soul full of mercy, love, grace and kindness. If God has done all this to change our death to life, what a wonderful and loving God he shows himself to be! God is for us.” [Klyne Snodgrass, Ephesians, NIVAC]
In the past I felt I had to be perfect for others to love me. Once when I was young I opened a present of erasers and my grandmother said, “She doesn’t need erasers!” I felt that my value was in being perfect and was afraid of making mistakes. What a wonderful relief that God doesn’t only accept perfect people; He is instead rich in mercy towards us, and we can come to Him unafraid. God is truly for us!
1. In what areas do you need to experience relief that God is for you?
2. How does God’s rich mercy that embraced us even when we were dead encourage you to trust He is for you?
Father, thank you that You have revealed Yourself to be rich in mercy and love towards us. You are truly for us!
Let’s respond in thankfulness as we sing “Love Won’t Give Up” by Elevation Worship (Click here).
Acts 5:15 – As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
“The head of the church is a victorious and powerful Lord. On this basis, Christ can impart to the church all of the empowering resources it needs to resist the attacks of powers and to engage in the mission of filling the world that God has called it to.”
[Clint E. Arnold, Ephesians, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary]
In our verse today, we see that the very presence of Peter had power. If one could get into proximity of his shadow, then resurrection power could be experienced. Like Peter, we are called to be agents of resurrection power who have the ability to change the atmosphere of every room we walk into.
1. What does Acts 5:15 tell us about the potential of every believer?
2. What does Acts 5:15 tell us about the potential of the corporate gathering of believers?
The resurrection power we have is greater than any depression, sickness, or attack of the enemy. They must flee in the presence of the Spirit.
Father, we thank you, because your resurrection power in us causes a change in every room and every situation we step into. Let every oppression flee in the presence of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Acts 19:11 – God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
“The church exists in a unique relationship of solidarity with the risen and exalted Christ. Through this union, the church not only receives God’s power, but it represents the ongoing presence and ministry of Christ on the earth.” [Clint E. Arnold, Ephesians, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary]
In our verse today, we read about the activity of God in Ephesus during Paul’s missionary journey there. Artifacts like aprons and handkerchiefs which contacted Paul had became vehicles of God’s power! It is no wonder he is desperately praying for the church to know “his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Eph 1:19).
1. What does Acts 19:11 tell us about the boundaries of the power God has given to us?
2. How is this consistent with the ministry of Jesus?
Father, thank you for pouring out your Spirit on us and calling us to more than just an ordinary life. May the expressions of your power in us be uncontainable. Spill out into those around us as we are filled by you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s be soaked God’s presence with “In Over My Head” by Bethel (Click here).
Acts 4:9-10 – If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
“The church is a community of power… not intrinsic power, but a power that comes from God, defined by the resurrection of Jesus and his exaltation as Lord over every other power.”
[Klyne Snodgrass, Ephesians NIV Application Commentary]
When we think of the fruit of the Spirit, we probably think of Galatians 5:22-23. However, a fruit of the Spirit is also resurrection power! The Spirit produces in us not only love, joy, peace, etc… but also works of power!
1. How does it change your self understanding, knowing that “resurrection power” is a fruit of the Spirit?
2. How does it change your ministry to others, knowing that “resurrection power” is a fruit of the Spirit?
Father, thank you for making us powered up people with the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Let our minds take in the full implications of this new powered up life! In Jesus name, Amen.
Let’s worship to “Hosanna” by Hillsong (Click here).
Exodus 14:21-22 – Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
Ancient Israel was caught between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea. They were panicking. From their perspective, they were as good as dead. What solution of deliverance could be found? However, when Moses obeyed the LORD and stretched out his hand over the sea, the LORD sent power in the form of a strong east wind that separated the sea. Their situation crossed from death to life.
1. How long did it take for the power of God to turn the sea into dry ground?
2. What do you think it felt like to wait during that time?
When God rescues his people from death to life, sometimes it’s not in the timing we would desire. Sometimes there’s a need to wait. But rest assured that God’s resurrection power is at work.
Thank you Jesus for sending your Spirit of resurrection power in us. As we pray and seek you to act in our lives and in those around us, help us to trust and not doubt as we wait to see you move.
Let’s worship to “Won’t Stop Now” by Elevation Worship (Click here).
Romans 8:11 – And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
The Spirit is in the business of resurrection. And that’s good news! Resurrection power is not an isolated one time event for Jesus alone. The Spirit is looking for opportunities to replicate his resurrection power in life of every believer. Sure, this applies to bodily resurrection, but it’s even more than that. Think of all Christians’ testimonies that speak of how the Spirit brought new life to a situation that looked lifeless and hopeless. The same can happen to you and I today!
1. Is there a situation you know of that looks lifeless?
2. How does it change our perspective to have the power that raised Jesus from dead living inside us?
Father, thank you for giving us hope in every situation, for you have an answer to even bodily death itself. Let your resurrection power come upon all areas of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Spend time worshipping to “Overcome” by Elevation Worship (Click here).