Underestimating Reality: Reflections on Ephesians


Ephesians: The Precious Letter to the Church 

We have spent the past months in a sermon series through Ephesians. This letter is precious to God’s people. The letter of Ephesians was John Calvin’s favorite and F.F. Bruce regarded it as the “quintessence of Paulinism’ because it ‘in large measure sums up the leading themes of the Pauline letters, and sets forth the cosmic implications of Paul’s ministry as apostle to the Gentiles”. Peter O’Brien, in his Ephesians commentary remarks that “whether it is because of its magnificent sweep of God’s saving purposes from election before the foundation of the world to his summing up of all things in Christ, the place of the exalted Christ within those purposes and believers’ relationship to him, God’s victory in Christ over the powers, the grand presentation of the church, its language of worship and prayer, or the scope and depth of its ethical teaching, Ephesians has had a profound influence on the lives of many.”

Personally, the Holy Spirit inspired letter of Ephesians has radically shaped my life, marriage, and ministry. This began five years ago in the North Shore of Boston as a first year seminary student and newly married man. Amidst the excitement of finally being married to my high school sweetheart I found myself in a surprising season of spiritual dryness filled with doubting the Gospel, God’s word and the centrality of the Church. In God’s mercy I started meeting with a group of guys to share our gospel stories and I was reminded of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit led me on an extended season of meditating and applying the letter that changed everything: Ephesians. God through the letter of Ephesians has helped me see the truth about Himself, His glory, our sin, our salvation, the purpose of the Church, discipleship, marriage and Gospel mission, just to name a few of God’s glorious truths. In 2014, the extended season in Ephesians has continued. It has been my aim to have God’s word be the foundation of Generation Church in these early days and for as long as God gives us life.

The beauty of God’s word is that it’s always timely and timeless. After years of meditating and now preaching and teaching through Ephesians I’ve been reflecting again on what God has been teaching me and our church family through this precious letter to the Church. What I continue to see in these early days of church planting in a Western context in Rhode Island (both in my life and in the Church) is that we dangerously forget or underestimate the reality of the purpose and power of the Church, sin, the devil and ultimately God revealed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I’ll be writing more about these realities in light of Ephesians in the days to come but for now I want to encourage everyone to continue to read through the whole letter of Ephesians in one sitting. It shouldn’t take you longer then 20 minutes. Also, read Acts 18:18 through Acts 20 to get some helpful context. If we can be on social media for more then 20 minutes or watch some new shows on Netflix or watch the drama of a World Cup soccer/futbol game for 90 minutes we can feast on the drama of Ephesians.

If you have never read the Bible before or it has been a long time, I want to encourage you to contact us. We would love to take you out to coffee (or your choice of drink) and spend sometime meditating and applying God’s word together in community through the Holy Spirit.

You will never regret it.

With you in Christ,

Pastor Stephen