Ephesians 1-6

The construction of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, started in 1882 and remained unfinished today. Its architect Antonio Gaudi knew that he would not be able to complete the construction during his lifetime, so he left detailed drawings and models for subsequent craftsmen and architects to advance the construction adhering to his vision. 

Just like Gaudi’s design plans are essential for the completion of Sagrada Família, the Bible contains God’s detailed design for his people and his creation. We read the Bible in order to know God and to participate in his plans. If we do nothing after hearing the word of God, we totally miss the point. 

The book of Ephesians contains the heart of the Christian faith. God’s ultimate plan for the world is to unite all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10). On the cross, Christ restores relational brokenness between God and human beings, and among people. In addition, Christ unification affects all things, everything in heavens and everything on earth. God has a wider, deeper purpose for the cosmos, he is putting all things back together in Christ.

God implements his plan through the church (Ephesians 3:9-10).  

  • Church unites sinners to God by proclaiming the gospel;
  • Church unites estranged people together by living out the gospel in a unified community;
  • Church witnesses to all of heaven and earth the wonder and truth of God’s plan.

Faith is not only a private matter about isolated individuals being saved, God gives us his word for a bigger purpose to unite all things in Christ. To equip the church, God gives us apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers (Ephesians 4:11-13). These five roles do not represent all the leadership roles within the church, but they overlap considerably in terms of proclaiming the word of God and applying the word of God to peoples’ lives. God equips the church through his word, so that the church can participate in his plan. 

Our starting point is to listen to God, knowing his plan. Then, put into practice what you hear, over time you develop new habits and you will be transformed to the likeness of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-16). You will start to attract others to Christ because of the counter-cultural lifestyle and choices that you make, and the embracing community that you build. Then, you become a participant in God’s plan for the world.