In this episode, Chad and Keith lay out a basic outline for the book of Ephesians and introduce some of the key ideas we will be discussing from that book in the coming series.
Intro (Keith): Welcome to the Kanakuk Institute podcast, where we continue to equip leaders with biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry.
Chad (00:13): Well welcome back in to the Kanakuk Institute podcast. I am Chad Hampsch, in studio with Keith Chancey. We are so excited to continue on to another series. Just as you guys engage with us here on the podcast, we are always going to take the Word of God, and then practically apply it to everyday life. We’re going to be looking at the book of Ephesians, and so, Keith, as you think about the book of Ephesians, obviously there’s so many amazing themes that we’re going to look at in the book of Ephesians, but what comes to your mind about the book of Ephesians and how have you seen it impact your own life?
Keith (00:48): What a great book! What a powerful book the book of Ephesians is and I just think about Paul being in prison an all that he went through and just thinking about us today and how we’ve got to be a voice in our world that is not just out there calling ourselves “Christians,” but men and women that our minds are connected to our hearts and what we believe that we want to change the world. And so, when I think of the book of Ephesians I just think of “Life-changing”. You know, Chad, there was something that happened recently that I thought was really kind of an interesting story. I was at Kanakuk camp, and I was scuba diving. I like to scuba dive, and I grabbed my scuba gear and I go down in the lake. I had lost an iWatch, worth about maybe $200 bucks at most, but I’m willing to risk my life to go find this at the bottom of the lake. So it was where we were cliff jumping, I go down in the water, and I don’t know how deep it is. And I go down 30 feet, and then it goes down 40 feet, 50 feet. And before long I’m at 80 feet on the bottom of the lake. Well that’s quite a dive right there. And I’ve got my flashlight and I’m looking at the bottom trying to find my iwatch, which is so important to me, you know. And as I’m looking, all of a sudden, my light goes out. As the light goes out, I go, “I don’t know what to do now.” I mean, I’m at the bottom, can I just continue feeling around, so I do. I continue feeling around. Now it’s total dark, 80 feet, it’s blackout. And as I’m looking around, not looking now, I’m just feeling around. I’m going right. I’m going left. I’m going in circles. And all of a sudden, I go, “You know what? I’ve been down long enough. I can’t find it. I’d better go up. About that time, I start to go up, and I hear “clink,” and I go “Oh my gosh.” Somehow, I’ve crawled into a cave, and I’m in a cave. Well my heart immediately begins to go, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” I mean, in a normal situation, my heart rate would probably go 200 beats a second. And I said, “Lord, please protect me.” And long story short, I’m trying to figure out how to get out. As I start trying to back up, I’m connected on a stalactite. I’m not just trapped, but now I’m confined. And I take off my gear at 80 feet in a cave in pitch dark, and I start backing out with my belly to the ground, dragging my gear, hoping I’m going the right direction. And all of a sudden, as I’m reaching my hand up, I realize, I’m out of the cave, I put my gear back on, and I start going back up, I’ve got no air left in my oxygen tank. And I have to equalize at 30 feet, 15 feet, and somehow, someway, there’s air. I make it to the top. I get out and I go, “I will never do that again God. God thank you for rescuing me!” It was unbelievable. Well that day showed me something. And all I could think about was the book of Ephesians. In verse 3 of Ephesians 1, it says that, “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, and he chose us.” You know what? He chose me before the foundation of the earth, and he’s equipped me with every spiritual blessing. You know what Chad? I could have died that day. But you know what? I absolutely believe that I would be in heaven. Absolutely. No doubts. But God chose that day not to take me home, but to give me another breath, another day, another moment, and here I am, you know, months later. I have survived. But in surviving, the thing I think about Paul is that we don’t want to just survive. We want to impact for the kingdom. And so today, as we’re going to look at the book of Ephesians, I can’t tell you how excited I am about this book. I realized that day, God could have taken me home, but am I making the most of my life? Am I stuck in the dark, with no flashlight, going in circles, and in fear inside of a cave? Am I letting this pandemic worry me? Or am I seeing the light that is the true light of Jesus Christ guiding me out and giving me hope for another day.
Chad (05:09): So, the book of Ephesians, we’re going to be looking at spiritual blessings, and Paul, as you guys know, we’re looking at a book written to the church in Ephesus, and Paul is a very unique character in the Bible. I know probably, the majority of you all already know this, but anytime we jump into a book, we want to make sure we give you all the accurate context of what’s actually happening. And as most of you all know, Paul was originally Saul. Saul was trained by one of the leading Jewish teachers of his day, and Saul was a persecutor of the early church. He saw them as a deviation from what God’s design in the Old Testament was, and so Saul persecuted the church. He was on the road to Damascus, and Jesus appeared to him in a shining light, blinding him, which would lead to one of the greatest and most important conversions in the history of the church. Saul becomes Paul and now this Jewish scholar brings all that knowledge to the fullness of Jesus Christ, and so that’s what we’re going to look at here in the book of Ephesians. Keith, the book of Ephesians maybe more than any other New Testament letter just breaks down so simply. There’s really kind of just two parts, and then we’ll look at those two parts in more depth here in a second, but walk us through kind of the two sections of the book of Ephesians and why does Paul approach scripture so often like he does here in Ephesians?
Keith (06:40): That’s a great point to make. When you look at chapter 1, 2, and 3, what you see is in chapter 1, you see God giving a calling to the church of Ephesus, and in that calling, He says, “guys, you need to understand redemption, the blood of Christ.” In chapter 2, you need to understand the grace of God. And then in chapter 3, you need to understand the power of the Holy Spirit. So in that calling, we are equipped, as men and women, to be able to make an impact for Christ from the calling that we, believers, have received everything we need through the blood of Christ, and that from that blood we’ve received his grace alone that he gave to us salvation, and through his grace alone he gave us the Holy Spirit that guides us, comforts us, and all those things that the Holy Spirit does. So that is our calling. That’s chapter 1, 2, and 3. And then in chapter 4, 5, and 6. Because our calling has been heard and we have received that calling, now our conduct is changed. And that’s where we get chapter 4, 5, and 6. In chapter 4, we are called, and our conduct is changed in that we are more unified. We have a unity. We walk together. We understand what our purpose is. It’s to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. That’s chapter 4. Then in chapter 5, we understand what love is, what real love is. What marriage is. What the church is. We understand this. It’s unbelievable that our conduct is changed. And then in chapter 6, this one’s just phenomenal. We have victory. And the victory of putting on the full armor of God. You see, Chad, what’s so great about this, and all of us, our listening audience. When you understand your calling, your conduct will change. And it’s no longer behavior modification in that you have to do something or you’re trying to stop whatever that sin is that you’re doing. “I just can’t stop doing this.” Well, we have all felt that at some point because we’re trying to do something without the Holy Spirit giving us the strength to do it. We can’t do it in ourselves! That’s why salvation is so important, and that’s why what Paul said in Galatians 2:20 “For I have been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live. It is Christ who lives through me. The life which I live now, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.” And so now, I can understand this book of Ephesians in light of that I have been made different in Christ. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I have a hope that I could never have before because of the blood of the lamb.
Chad (09:24): So, again, just to recap. We’re looking at the book of Ephesians, the first three chapters are focused on calling. The second section of chapters, chapters 4, 5, and 6 focus on conduct. And it seems like Paul and really all the New Testament authors do this. They constantly help us understand we can’t really change our conduct, we can’t change our behavior until we first understand our calling, our belief, what it is about the character of God that we need to understand. And so, just from a practical standpoint, if you’re listening, we have all been through phases in our life where we’re trying to change something about our lives. Some kind of behavior issue we have, some kind of sin struggle we have, and we constantly have to go back and go, “Is this a problem with my behavior or is it more importantly something that I’m believing. Am I believing a lie in a certain area of my life?” So, Keith, we kind of looked at the overview a little bit. There are several themes that are just really fun in the book of Ephesians. What themes are you excited about for us to kind of dig in in the coming weeks?
Keith (10:28): Well, you know, Chad, I think the thing that most changed my life was really understanding the blood of Christ. You know, without the blood of Christ, I have nothing. It’s very, very significant about the blood to be offered for me. That Jesus Christ had to go die on the cross, that he had to be born of a virgin, that he had to be without sin, and that he had to be of the line of David, and that all the things that this Jesus would be, he was. And now, here he is on the scene, and he’s done what no one else could have done. He is of the line of Judah; he is of Abraham. He is the only one that could have ever paid the price for our sins, died on the cross, rose from the grave, and offered all mankind salvation. And so, I get so excited about just talking about the blood, but I don’t want to stop there. I get excited about the grace of God, because for so long, I kept trying to fix myself, and I thought I needed to be good enough, and I thought salvation was about me doing something, when all of a sudden, I realized that it had everything to do with God doing everything for me. He gave me his Grace. He gave me his mercies. And he gave me a new life that I couldn’t take any credit for. And then, you know what Chad, I think the most fun part that I’m excited about, is putting on the armor. A long time ago, I was in a youth ministry. I was running ministry at Denton Bible Church, and I’m working with a bunch of high school kids, and they said, “Chancey, what’s our theme?” And I said, “Don’t fight naked!” And everybody kind of laughs and goes, “What?” And we got these giant pink and green fluorescent shirts, which tells you about the time that it was. And it says, “Don’t fight naked” on the front of it, and on the back it said, “Put on the full armor of God.” And at school these kids would go, “What’s the don’t fight naked thing?” It really caught your attention, but on the back, they saw, “Put on the full armor of God.” But so many people, what they’re doing is they’re fighting naked. They don’t have the full armor of God on. They’re not worded up, they’re not prayed up, and they’re thinking they can do it on their own because they haven’t heard the calling of God, and they’re trying to change their conduct without God.
Chad (12:39): So, Keith, just as we get a little bit practical. We’re not going to get down into the weeds of everything that’s going on in the book of Ephesians today, but just from a practical standpoint, we’re always at the institute talking about discipleship and how we do discipleship well. How would Ephesians be effective in a discipleship relationship?
Keith (13:00): Well you know, It’s really interesting to note that, you know, in Ephesians 4, what’s so good about Paul is that he tells us how we are to do it. And he says, you know, we are to make sure that what we do is that we are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. And so, he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors, teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry. And I think what’s so great about that is that each and every one of us, we have different gifts. And I don’t think that I really ever understood how I am to fit in the body of Christ until I understand everybody else’s uniqueness. That God made you, Chad, as a teacher. He made my friend over here, Tom, as an exhorter. He made my friend Bob, over here, as a merciful spirit. He made me with a gift of exhortation and leadership, and so each one of us were different, but in the process of him making us, he made us all one in the unity of the Spirit to equip to impact our world for Christ. And when I get that, I understand why he made me is that he equipped us, the saints, for the work of the service of Christ to the building up of the body of Christ until we all obtain to the unity of faith.
Chad (14:20): That’s so good. So, just a great reminder, and you know, this book is going to lay it out perfectly for us. This calling, conduct idea, what a great principle for us to use in discipleship, that we start with what people believe, their calling in the Lord, and then, as we get that depth and that foundation built, then we can move forward and see transformation, behavior, and conduct. So, we’re going to be excited to bring this book to you. WE hope and pray it’s going to be incredibly practical for you in everyday life and will be a tool that you can continue to circle back on and be reminded that “I can study my Bible like this. And I can look at every book of the New Testament, every book of the Old Testament, and dig in, and allow God’s work to speak into my life and transform me.” So, that’s what we’re going to start doing, we’re going to work through the book of Ephesians. We’re so excited to bring this to you, and so, we will jump into Ephesians chapter 1 here in our next episode. Thanks for joining us on the Kanakuk Institute podcast, we’ll see you next time.