Turning to the book of Ephesians is like zooming out as far as possible on Google maps.
The epistle is an absolute satellite view of God’s eternal purpose for the church. But you live day to day in the details of street view, negotiating intersections, cross-walks, and traffic lights. The zoomed out perspective helps orient you. It lets you see the beauty of a composite whole that is bigger than your struggles. Something all the time related to, but beforehand unimagined about, your plod across the contours of daily life. When you see this view, you begin to realize the shapes of continents- significant land masses that defy indifference. All of a sudden your search for direction is conceptually tied to this cosmic panorama.
Ephesians presents three “continents” to define our Christian world- the spirit of man, the economy of God, and the Body of Christ
While each of these is distinct, added together they form a connected whole in which your Christian life will take on new dimensions and greater meaning.
Every chapter of Ephesians reveals these three big items and their relation to God’s eternal purpose. The key item though is our spirit. This is the epicenter, origin, hotbed where everything starts.
Without the spirit, the experience of the Triune God collapses into doctrine and the reality of the Body of Christ degenerates into a social group.
The problem is there is widespread ignorance or disuse of the human spirit. So, what has recently impressed me is that every chapter of Ephesians also identifies areas of resistance to the exercise or engagement of our spirit. It’s a great study to do. But for now I just want to list out what I’ve found so far. Feel free to do your own digging.
Chapter 2: culture and tradition (v. 15)
Chapter 3: the power of the soul (v. 16)
Chapter 5: the intoxication of worldly enjoyment (v. 18)