I hate depression. It saps my joy like a leach sucks out blood; it puts a weight on my heart that Hercules couldn’t lift; and it cripples me from accomplishing anything meaningful in life. Thankfully, God has promised that He has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), and depression is not outside that promise. So we are going to look at some of the antidotes God has given us in the book of Ephesians that can bring healing and life back to our tired souls. Continue reading Depressed? Take 6 Chapters of Ephesians and Call Me in the Morning
Today I want to address the age old question of what Paul refers to as being “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” in Ephesians 2:8-9. When I first became a Calvinist I fell into the same trap as many others of seeing Calvinism all over the place. So when I came across a verse that says, “faith…not of yourselves,” I thought, “Yes! Faith is from God, not our free will! Let me add this to my list of cross references!” This is the common interpretive mistake of letting systematic theology guide our exegetical theology instead of the other way around. It is true that other scriptures teach that faith is a gift from God (Phil. 1:29). It is true that the analogy of Scripture ought to be brought into consideration during Bible study. Yet every text must be examined by themselves to determine the original meaning the author intended. This is what we shall do now with Ephesians 2:8-9. Continue reading What is the “Gift of God” in Ephesians 2:8-9
Over Thanksgiving my wife and I traveled to see some friends at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. While visiting, I was given the privilege and responsibility of teaching a lesson at one of my friend’s youth group. He is currently taking them through Ephesians, so I picked up where he left off—chapter 3.
For the longest time I thought I had Ephesians down line by line—it’s a simple book, right? But when I initially sat down to prepare my lesson I was shocked. I had always simply thought of chapter 3 as a continuation of the anti-dispensationalism lecture Paul started in 2:11. But when I read it this time, I set down my Bible and thought, “What could I possibly preach from this?” Continue reading What is Happening in Ephesians 3:2-13?