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Ephesians Satan

How do we give the devil a foothold?

footholdEphesians 4:26-27 says, ‘“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.’

The Devil

The word “devil” only occurs again in this letter in 6:11 in the context of spiritual warfare against the “powers”. Paul, the author of Ephesians, believed that the “powers” were closely associated with the “devil”. Although the believers had been raised with Christ and seated in the heavenlies (2:6) they were still engaged in a struggle with the “powers” (6:12). 4:26-27 provides an example of one of the devil’s strategies (6:11) and how this warfare was to be fought against by believers.

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Ephesians Prayer

How to pray for power

powerA lot is said about power these days.  Power evangelism.  “Powerful” church services.  There is even a power-Bible.   Is praying for power wrong for Christians?  Does it conjure up images of witches and warlocks mixing potions and reciting spells, while requesting power from some evil, occultic being?  Is prayer for power legitimate and biblical?

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Christian Worldview Ephesians Racism

Multi-colour churches and the defeat of racism

I often get very discouraged by the racist views expressed on so many news and social media sites. It seems that some (sad) people are hell-bent in making any and every issue about the amount of pigmentation of another’s skin. Sadly racism is also sometimes seen in the church; this was especially true of the apartheid years in South Africa. The Bible teaches that there is only one race, the human race. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve.

Within this “brotherhood” of humanity, we have different languages, and cultures, and ethnicities; but only one race. The New Testament tells us that God has acted in Jesus to call people from all nations to be part of His kingdom. The church, being the geographical outposts of the kingdom all around the world, must be demonstrating to the physical and spiritual world the death of racism. The apostle Paul reminds us of this in last half of Ephesians 2 and makes a startling statement in 3:10.

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Ephesians

You were zombies

zombieIn Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul describes the Ephesian believers’ hopeless condition before they had come to experience the power of God in Christ Jesus which had transformed their lives – this of course is true for all believers. According to the Paul they were (spiritually) “dead”, which figuratively describes the state of being lost or under the dominion of death and also denotes an inability to communicate with the living God.

This condition was due to their “transgression and sins” and therefore the recipients needed to be made “alive” (2:5) in Christ. Ephesians 2:1-10 can therefore be described as a continuation and application of the theme of the power of God’s actions in Christ. Before God had made the believers alive in Christ, the believers were influenced by the environment (“the age of this world”, 2:2), by a supernaturally powerful opponent (“the ruler of the realm of the air”, 2:2) and by an inner inclination towards evil (“in the desires of our flesh”, 2:3). Of particular interest to my series of posts is the second influence mentioned above.

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Ephesians

A praise-song for Africa

praise singer
Praise singer for Jacob Zuma

A key figure in the Xhosa tradition is the imbongi or praise singer. The praise singers traditionally live close to the chief’s “great place” (the cultural and political focus of his activity); they accompany the chief on important occasions – a praise singer preceded Nelson Mandela at his Presidential inauguration in 1994. The praise songs generally give tribute to and acclaim to the actions and adventures of chiefs and ancestors. The apostle Paul ended his prayer in Ephesians chapter one with a kind of praise-song.