Ephesians 1: 3-10–We live in a society that carefully parses identities. African American, Native American, Caucasian, Latino, cisgender, LGBTQ, gen X, millennial, etc. – we have categories into which we place others and ourselves that mark our place in our culture. That same boundary marking exists in religious circles where people are identified by their affiliation – Protestant, Catholic, mainline, fundamentalist, charismatic, progressive, etc. And, categories can overlap to create increasingly narrow subgroups – African American gen X charismatic or millennial Caucasian Protestant mainline progressive.
The New Testament offers a simpler way of identifying people – those who follow Jesus and those who do not. Those who commit themselves to follow Jesus come from various backgrounds and find unity in Jesus because they submit themselves to him and take on his identity as their own, new identity.
So, we talk a lot about Jesus and our need to be like him. This lesson will use Paul’s letter to the Ephesians to remind us of Christlikeness’ place in God’s purposes and how it should find expression in our lives.