Christ our Peace: Ephesians 2.11-22

These days, Paul is often seen to be something of a conservative, playing around with ideas of freedom and equality, but not willing to apply them in any way that would disrupt the status quo. There’s some truth to this assessment — and we will have to reckon with this aspect of Paul before this … Continue reading Christ our Peace: Ephesians 2.11-22

Bad Influences in Ephesians 2.1-3

The focus of Ephesians 2.1-10 is on how God has lovingly included us in the salvation plan enacted through Jesus of Nazareth. But before we get to that message, the first three verses describe our ‘natural’ state of affairs ‘outside of’ Christ, which he describes as ‘death in sin’, subject to the influence of spiritual … Continue reading Bad Influences in Ephesians 2.1-3

And You Too: Ephesians 2.1-10

In Ephesians 1, Paul wrote of God enacting a plan for the world’s salvation in and through Jesus of Nazareth: by raising Jesus from the dead and glorifying him, God has placed him in a position of authority over all kinds of spiritual forces. All this, Paul writes, is for the benefit and blessing of … Continue reading And You Too: Ephesians 2.1-10

A Question of Power: Ephesians 1.15-23 (Part II)

In the last post, we saw how Ephesus, and Asia Minor more generally, was a place that took spiritual power of all kinds — gods and goddesses, angels and demons, blessings and curses, and all of the spells, incantations, potions, amulets and charms one could use to manipulate them — very seriously. This likely provided … Continue reading A Question of Power: Ephesians 1.15-23 (Part II)

A Question of Power: Ephesians 1.15-23 (Part I)

After having spent a few posts on the blessing in Ephesians 1.3-14, it’s finally time to move on to the next section. Here, in 1.15-23, Paul returns to his normal form, with a prayer that both intercedes on behalf of the letter’s recipients and outlines some of the theological themes for the book to come: … Continue reading A Question of Power: Ephesians 1.15-23 (Part I)