Ephesians 2

SCRIPTURE:

2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

NIV

OBSERVATION:

We live in a fallen world.  The ruler of this age is Satan and it’s fascinating to see him called the ruler of the kingdom of the air.  In some ways the media had done more to destroy our civilization than anyone else.  The kingdom of the media air, can bring porn to every TV in your house, soft porn disguised as “premium channels” and news that is ever more biased and driven to manipulate public opinion rather than simply inform us of the facts. In Biblical times the demons were thought to inhabit the space between heaven and earth, the air, and so this designation made sense for them.  With what’s “on the air” in our times it makes sense to me to but in a different way.  Media is a tremendous source for trouble and evil in our day.  I have no idea if I’m right about this or not.  Certainly evil is not limited to broadcasting!

For the Christian everything is a gift.  Even the faith to believe is ultimately a gift from God and we are entirely products of his design and craftsmanship.  What good works we do we were designed by God to do from before the beginning of the world.

We are full members of the family of God in which the distinction between the Jews (Our elder brothers and sisters in the lord) and the gentiles have been erased in Christ.  We too are the sons and daughters of God, and in no way are we second class citizens.  In Old Testament times the non Jews were further from God but that is no longer true. Now we are fellow citizens and our faith is built on Jesus who is the cornerstone of our faith and the one in whom all the Old Testament prophets and apostles found their fulfillment.  Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament even as he crafted by his life, death and resurrection the culmination and fulfillment of the Old Testament prophets.

APPLICATION:

It’s very important to remember that we live in a world that has fallen into sin and that evil is largely calling the shots in our times.  We need to be realistic about how easy it is to fall into the trap of narcissism and selfishness, as Satan did, and to live for our pleasures rather than to live for Jesus and our fellow humans. 

Having said that its also very important to remember that our salvation is assured as we grow closer and closer to God and that this salvation is a gift.  Everyone can have this gift from you and me to Nancy Pelosi and Charles Manson alike.  We can do nothing to merit a gift of this magnitude but we can succumb to the evil in the world and find ourselves rejecting God because we want what we want when we want it. We live such insular lives today and its easy to live subtly apart from others by having our noses buried in our I Pods, Computers, Television, Cable TV, Walkmans, Cell phones, and the internet and not realize that we have lost an authentic sense of community.  Our techno toys can sometimes make other people seem, unnecessary. 

Maybe the best application I can make is to do the little things like skipping “drive thru’s” of any ilk and instead go into the store and speak to a person, in person!  I need to remember that the content of what’s “on the air” can be quite bad and counterproductive and therefore I must be very selective in what I expose myself to that is floating around out there “on the air.” Jesus would not drift thru life being oblivious to others by immersing himself in his favorite music, TV, internet sites and email 24/7.  I know more and more people who do.  I don’t have to take after them.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the precious blood of Jesus who has redeemed me and made me fully a part of your family.  As I walk among my brothers and sisters, whom you love and were made in your image: May I be wary of the evil that exists in our present culture without becoming cynical or unloving of people ensnared by our media culture.  May my walk in you inspire others to consider carefully all the messages and the source of too many messages today and insist on entertainment that is wholesome and information that is true.

In the name of Jesus I pray

Amen

S.O.A.P.     SCRIPTURE, OBSERVATION, APPLICATION, PRAYER

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