Welcome to Expositing Ephesians

THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED to one of the chief passions of my life and ministry, The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians. I believe this epistle is at the very core of the Christian life. I spent years in the study of it and then three and one half years expositing it from my pulpit. I hope this blog will be a blessing to you as I share that exposition. I also hope you will tell others about this blog. Please check for new posts each Monday .

Monday, May 28, 2012

NEW BOOK: "Truth on Tough Texts: Expositions of Challenging Scripture Passages"

* * * A N N O U N C I N G * * *

Just Published - The premier book from Sola Scriptura Publications

Please forgive the brief interruption of our exposition of Ephesians, but I would dare impose upon you to consider a new book just published by an equally new publisher. We will get right back to our exposition in our next post.

Was Matthias God's choice to replace Judas (Acts 1:15–26)? What is the identity of those "sons of God" referred to in Genesis 6? Are the "angels" of the seven churches real angels or pastors (Rev. 1:20)? Is there a so-called call to ministry (Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:1)? Is "deaconess" a valid church office (1 Tim. 3:11)? What is the “sealing” of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13–14)? Is "regeneration" absent from the Old Testament, being a New Testament doctrine only (Isa. 57:15; Eph. 2:1)? What do other terms that appear in Scripture mean, such as: "fall away" (Heb. 6:4–6) "old man" (Rom. 6:6), and "new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17)?

Those are just a few of the "tough texts" we find in Scripture and just a few of those addressed in this 598-page book (including four indexes), all of which originally appeared in the monthly publication, Truth on Tough Texts, which was launched by the author in August 2005. We hope this book will be a blessing to many. It has been a passion of mine for some time and has been requested by readers of the monthly articles. Available in both hard-copy book (all orders are postage paid) and the Kindle Edition (delivered free, of course).

For more information, endorsements, and ordering, please see our website:

Your support will be a blessing and encouragement in this new publishing ministry.

All proceeds go toward publishing other books to God's glory.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Is Peace Truly Possible? (2)

Continuing our thoughts on Ephesians 2:14a—For [Christ] is our peace—when has the world truly known peace?

In recent years, we have all witnessed the warfare that has raged in the Middle East, despite scores of so-called “cease-fires” and “peace initiatives.” In 1948, the less than worthless United Nations ordered a cease-fire on June 11 to end the war that followed Israel’s declaration of its independence. Less than a month later, fighting broke out again. A second truce took effect on July 18 but lasted only into October. An Armistice was signed on February 24, 1949; it lasted seven years before war exploded again in late October 1956. Eight days later, on November 6, another cease-fire came by way of the United Nations. UN troops were based in the region to guard the truce until they withdrew at Egypt’s request in May 1967, just before the infamous Six-Day War began in June. Egypt agreed to yet another UN-ordered cease-fire with Israel on June 8, the fourth day of the war, with Syria coming to terms two days later. Peace was again shattered three years later in August 1970, followed by another cease-fire initiated by the United States, followed by a new conflict on October 6, 1973, and on it went.

Attending a 1974 state dinner in the Saudi Arabian royal guest palace, US President Richard Nixon heard King Faisal express himself clearly with regard to the Middle East problem with these words: “There will never be a real and lasting peace in the area unless Jerusalem is liberated and returned to Arab sovereignty, unless liberation of all the occupied Arab territories is achieved, and unless the Arab peoples of Palestine regain their rights to return to their homes and be given the right of self-determination.” Which means that there can never be peace in the Middle East because the Arab nations do not now have nor have they ever had any legal right to the land they claim is theirs.

Such a state of affairs makes the claim that “peace in the Middle East is the legacy of Jimmie Carter” almost laughable. As a witness for the US, he signed a Peace Treaty on March 26, 1980 between Egypt and Israel that supposedly ended the state of war that had existed for 31 years. We have since seen how empty that treaty was.

On another note, I was also reminded of the motto of the Apollo 11 flight, “We come in peace for all mankind.” This motto was on the plaque that was planted on the surface of the moon, symbolically in the Sea of Tranquility, by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in July 1969. The irony of this is that the race for the moon was actually motivated mostly for military superiority, as the US feared if the Soviets got there first, they would use the moon as a launching pad for nuclear weapons.

Further, during the Cold War, there was the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction,” which held that the way to keep peace was to match the enemies’ number of nuclear weapons, assuring that nuclear war would annihilate both sides. This theory was tested during thirteen days in October 1962 when the world held its breath during the Cuban Missile Crisis. What about disarmament? Men have talked many times of it through the ages, but few have really meant it. Someone has wisely said, “When nations talk about reducing armies, every nation wants the last sword.”

Even today, there is the tongue-in-cheek motto of the military, “Peace through superior firepower.” While that’s certainly an uneasy and frightening method of keeping the peace, in man’s depravity it’s actually the only way. But even that was tested on September 11, 2001 when Islamic fanatics high jacked jet liners and flew them into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, and intended to fly a fourth into another target but were thwarted by six brave men, at least one of whom, Todd Beamer, was a Christian.

Yes, peace seems to be an elusive dream. But is it? While it certainly is elusive, it’s not a dream, even though most history makes it appear so. Peace is possible, but it’s found only in one way, that is, in one person. It comes not through a diplomat, but through a Savior, the only Savior, Jesus Christ. It comes not through negotiations, but through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. We’ll look deeper into this wonderful truth next time.