Read for This Week’s Study: Ephesians 1:1-6:24 .
Memory Text: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10, NKJV).
Visitors to London climb on board the London Eye, a Ferris-Wheel-like attraction. From 450 feet above the River Thames you can see it all: Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and the many historic palaces and cathedrals. For New Testament scholar Nicholas Thomas “Tom” Wright, “the letter to the Ephesians stands in relation to the rest of Paul’s letters rather like the London Eye. It isn’t the longest or fullest of his writings, but it offers a breathtaking view of the entire landscape. From here, as the wheel turns, you get a bird’s-eye view of one theme after another.” — Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters (London: S.P.C.K. [Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Publishing], 2004), p. 3.
In Ephesians, Paul is not focused on issues of local concern. The letter reads as though Paul were addressing believers everywhere and Christian churches wherever they exist. The letter’s timeless feel allows the “breathtaking view” Paul offers to invade our own world and thought. As we review each chapter, let’s keep this question in mind: What important truths embedded in Ephesians should continue to shape our lives as believers?
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 30.