Showing posts from January, 2007

Ephesians 2 - Entry into the Body of Christ

Ephesians 2 -

Chapter 1 introduced use to the big picture of God plan for the world through the Church. Chapter 2 begins to provide the details of what is happening. Chapter 1 was the why and chapter 2 is the how.
This chapter could easily be divided into two parts. The first part describes salvation offered while an enemy with God. The second part describes salvation offered to man who was outside God’s covenant. Because of the ethnic makeup of the church in Ephesus, there was some tension between Jew and Greek. Each of these parts are somewhat directed to each group respectively, in order to show that all are in need of salvation regardless of ethnic or cultural background.

I. Saved while enemies with God (1-10) This portion of the chapter seems more directed to Jews than the Gentiles. Not that it does not apply to Gentiles, but it is a reminder to the Jews that their ethnicity did not guarantee salvation.

A. What you were (1-3)
1. Dead.
2. Walked with the Devil

Ephesians 1: Intro to the Body of Christ

This chapter opens like many of Paul’s letters. First the opening, then a thanksgiving to God, and finally a pray for the church.

I. Opening (1,2) -”the saints” Paul is writing to merchants, slaves, men, women, tradesmen, artisans, rich and poor; yet he calls them saints. Amazing! This is not a congregation of monks, but they are called saints because they are faithful.

II. Thanksgiving (3-14)

A. Vs.3 “We Bless God for He blessed us”

Every service in the Orthodox church begins with the blessing of God, because our life is a life of praise and worship to God. Chrysostom makes much of the term “spiritual blessing” as opposed to thanking God for material blessings. Chrys. “You are made immortal, you are made free, you are made a son, you are made righteous, you are made a brother, you are made a fellow-heir, you reign with Christ, you are glorified with Christ; all things are freely given you.” Then he asks, “What more do you need?”

B. God Chose the Church (4-6)

- “in Him” This phr…

Intro to Ephesians

Two weeks ago I began our Ephesian study. Once again our base text for the class is Fr. Lawrence Farley's Prison Epistles.

The introduction is history rich. We spent most of the day in the book of Acts going through chapters 18-20. This passage gives the origin of the church.

Here are some highlights about Ephesus itself.

It was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. In the first century there were approximately 400-500K people. It was a coastal city that provide a lot of trade for all of Asia Minor. It became a hub for the whole province and then a hub of Christian evangelism in the early centuries. Even though it was on the coast, its harbor had to be dredged regularly, and today is filed in with sediment. The town of Melitus often provided an easier access to the city. The big claim to fame was the Temple of Diana (Artemis) that was part of the city. The temple itself is considered one of the seven ancient wonders. It could hold up to 25,000 people in the city. …

Orthodox Sermons to Go!

It's been a little while since my last blog. In class, we just started the book of Ephesians. So this week, I will post our Introductory lesson as well as the lesson on Chapter 1.

In the meantime I wanted to share a link to some excellent Orthodox sermons. The sermons are given by Fr. Jon Braun at St. Anthony's Orthodox Church in San Diego. Fr. Jon was part of the Campus Crusade group that came into the Orthodox church in the late eighties. He is a great communicator and excellent teacher. The link will give you several of his current sermons as well as an eight week series he did on the book of Leviticus. His series on Leviticus is particularly good. He goes through the various sacrifices and rituals of OT worship and shows how they are fulfilled in the person of Christ. He also calls it a Eucharistic primer, and shows how our the Divine Liturgy is a fulfillment of those sacrifices.

Here's the link: Orthodox Sermons