Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Partnering 2 Remember: Ephesians, week 1

This is it!  We have finally arrived at the week when the ladies' Bible studies begin at church along with our journey into memorizing the book of Ephesians!  I am so excited I can barely sit still.  (Catch me after lunch, during the early afternoon sitting still is no problem, trust me.)

Before diving into the memory work there is a bit of "Arts and Crafts" to accomplish.  Putting together our Memory Journals is rather straightforward, if a tad time-consuming.  The following photos will give you an idea how to format your journals.

 I began with the Memory Plan page, just on the inside of the cover.  The next three pages I put in the Helps to Memory: "Why Memorize Scripture" by John Piper, then the two pages covering method.  do take the time to read these, as they will give you the tools for memorizing this fabulous book.
Finally, the text of Ephesians.  Put each page, in order, on the left page, leaving the right page blank for notes.  Your notes will be divided into two sections: a daily list for ticking off how many times you repeat the section, and a larger area for your reflections on the text you are memorizing.  In order for this to sink deeply into our hearts we need to do more than mere rote memorization, we need to focus on what Paul is actually saying.  As you read and recite each verse, think about its meaning.

For example, who is Paul writing to?  He is writing to the saints in Ephesus, who are faithful in Christ Jesus.  As we read further we will see that their faithfulness is, in part, due to their being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.  Think about that- if we are saved, it is because the Creator of the universe CHOSE US before he created the universe.  And why did he choose us?  To be holy and blameless before him.  Holy and blameless.....  We are chosen for a high calling.

Keep reading.

He predestined us- in love... God is Love- in his love he predestined us for adoption as sons.  And this was through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, and to the praise of his glorious grace...  Pay attention to the prepositions here as they progress through the idea....

And at last we get to the crescendo of the passage.  Our blessing and chosen-ness is "to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved."  Our being blessed and chosen by God for salvation in Christ results in praise to him for his glorious grace- for bestowing this grace upon unworthy, unlovely, even dead sinners such as we were before our salvation.  (Don't worry, Paul will get to all of that soon!)

So, we can truly know that God has saved us for our good and his glory.  What glorious truths we are going to hide in our hearts as we work through this magnificent book!

A final couple of notes on memorization:

Pay attention to patterns.  Paul begins with twice in the first verse referring to our Lord as "Christ Jesus" before switching up and moving to "the Lord Jesus Christ" (twice) and then "Christ" and "Jesus Christ."  This may seem tricky at first, but as you get the flow of the passage it will smooth out.

And last, I would personally like to have a word with whoever placed the beginning of verse 5 after onlythe first two of the sentence.  Transitions from one sentence or idea to the next can be tricky, so think about where Paul is going with his thought.  But, really, focus when there is an odd break such as we have between verses 4 and 5.

"In love

he predestined us.....

I hope this helps everyone get off to a good start and I look forward to learning of your progress.

This is good stuff, ladies!

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