Bible Reading Plan
This week the Bible Reading Plan turns to Ephesians. Ephesians may not have been written by Paul himself, but later in the manner of Paul—a common practice in those days. Ephesians is less a letter to particular people, and more a sermon to churches in general—a glorious and inspiring sermon.
Here are things to look for as you read:
- When Ephesians was written, churches were made up increasingly of Gentiles (non-Jews), some of whom began to dismiss the Jewish heritage of the gospel. Meanwhile, some Jewish believers found Gentiles to be sub-par Christians. Ephesians will have none of this! Christ came specifically to make Jews and Gentiles one body.
- Ephesians also opposes a common worldview of the time called “Gnosticism,” which believed in a split between body and spirit. One form of Gnosticism taught that it doesn’t matter what you do with your body, provided your spirit is right with God. Not so, says Ephesians! Christ came in the flesh and with him we aim at the highest standards of morality--including family, bodily life. We do not have to accept Ephesians’ rigid gender and social roles to agree that how we treat one another matters to God.
- What challenges to unity do churches face today? How might Ephesians help heal our divisions?
- What do you take to be the highest standards of morality, when it comes to bodily and family life? What has shaped those standards?
Blessed reading of Ephesians,