Dear Hope Family,
I certainly enjoyed our journey through John’s Gospel from Advent through Easter. Getting a glimpse of Jesus by means of his own words and actions is crucial to renewing our trust, hope, and intimacy with the living God.
We now turn from the firsthand accounts of Jesus’ earthly presence and ministry to the continuing ministry he is carrying out in and through his people, the Church. The Scriptures have such wonderful and timely reminders of the identity and activity and lasting legacy of the church – perhaps none more succinct and inspiring than Paul’s letter to the churches in and around the ancient city of Ephesus. As we seek to grow in grace and flourish as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ here in Winston-Salem, we are going to spend the spring and summer months feasting upon the beauties and wisdom of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
John Stott in his commentary on Ephesians writes, “Nobody can emerge from a careful reading of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians with a privatized gospel. For Ephesians is the gospel of the church. It sets forth God’s eternal purpose to create through Jesus Christ a new society which stands out in bright relief against the sombre background of the old world. For God’s new society is characterized by life in place of death, by unity and reconciliation in place of division and alienation, by the wholesome standards of righteousness in place of the corruption of wickedness, by love and peace in place of hatred and strife, and by unremitting conflict with evil in place of a flabby compromise with it.”
Please join me in praying that God will use our time preaching and reflecting upon this portion of his Word to form us into this “new society which stands out in bright relief against the somber background of the old world.”
Grace and peace,