Engage Church
Engaging God, People, and Culture
blue background.jpg

Ephesians in Christ



Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the
devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about
him went out through all the surrounding country.
LUKE 4:14

Jesus knew he was going to need spiritual strength to fulfill his purposes. Fasting makes us spiritually strong and prepares us to do God’s work.

Fasting is an act of humility and consecration

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.
EZRA 8:21

As we humble ourselves, through prayer and fasting, we receive God’s grace and have access to His heart.

Fasting helps us become sensitive to the Holy Spirit

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
ACTS 13:2

When we deny ourselves of natural cravings and worldly distractions, we become more sensitive to God’s voice. Then we are better able to focus on God and submit to his will.

Fasting brings revival

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Throughout history, God has brought revival and delivered nations from destruction in response to prayer and fasting. Fasting helps us prevail in prayer and intercession.

Fasting is healthy

Fasting cleanses your digestive system from toxins. Doctors consider fasting a cure for certain allergies and diseases. By learning to exercise discipline, fasting breaks unhealthy addictions in our lives.


January 22-READ: Ephesians 2

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God . . .

The late Canadian evangelist Ern Baxter once said, “When Jesus said, ‘It is finished,’ it was finished and you either take it finished or you don’t get it at all. We are constantly trying to improve what cannot be improved. Imagine someone unveiling a great work of art while everyone stands amazed at the beauty of the painting. But an amateur in the crowd grabs a brush and a daub of paint and approaches the painting saying, ‘I think he missed it here.’ The crowd shouts, ‘Keep your hands off that canvas.’ The masterpiece of the cross is a finished work and any attempt to add to it only destroys its power and effectiveness.”

Christ’s work on the cross is enough—a masterpiece of grace and love. It beautifully depicts both our helpless state and his unsolicited benevolence in a way that is both tragic and glorious at the same time. Stare at his masterpiece. The more we see the gospel for what it truly is, the deeper our response of reverence, gratefulness, wonder, and joy. It is impossible to encounter his workmanship and move from the experience unchanged. What’s equally amazing is this same Divine Craftsman is at work on another masterpiece—you. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Will you let him work in and through you to produce what he envisioned for you, even before the creation of the world?


  1. According to Ephesians 2, what was our condition without Christ? What has God done for us? What motivated God to do this for us?

  2.  Read Ephesians 2:8–10. How do good works relate to our salvation?

  3. What one thing will you change today as a result of what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you through this study?


Pray to Understand Your Calling

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers that . . . having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints . . .

Ephesians 1: 16, 18

Heavenly Father, thank you for opening the eyes of my heart so I may fully grasp the hope that is now mine in Christ. I understand that you have called me out of darkness into your marvelous light—you have called me to walk with you. May holiness and faithfulness mark my every step. Help me to remember that not only am I rich in you but that you see me as your prized inheritance.  May your light shine through my life in a way that brings honor to your name. Be glorified in all I think, say, and do. All this I pray in Jesus’ mighty name.



january 23-READ: Ephesians 3

According to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.


In Ephesians 1:19–20, Paul introduced the theme of God’s mighty power, referring to “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead.”

“According to” is a prepositional phrase that means “determined by.” Think of it as a credit limit. Credit cards normally have credit limits that determine your spending power. Once you reach your limit, you have no more spending power. Paul is stating that the credit limit on the power available to all believers is the amount of power released in the resurrection of Christ.

How much power is that?

In the Victors Bible Background Commentary, Lawrence Richards said, “Paul piled up synonyms to emphasize the overwhelming nature of that divine power. The words Paul used include dynamis (intrinsic capability), energeia (effective power in action), kratos (power exerted to control and overcome resistance), and ischys (the vital power inherent in life).”

In Ephesians 3, Paul again piled on synonyms to express the immensity of this power available to us. He started with the root word, ekperissos, which means “superabundant in quantity, excessive, and beyond measure.” It is the same word Luke used to describe the twelve leftover baskets after Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. It is a word that means more than enough of whatever you need. He then added the prefix, huper, which means “over, beyond, and above.” And just in case we missed his point, he added an extra huper! That’s the extent of the Holy Spirit’s power at work in us.


  1. What habits and routines can you build into your lifestyle to help you “be filled with all the fullness of God”? (v 19)

  2. How did Paul describe God in Ephesians 3:20? Prayerfully consider if you’ve somehow limited what God can do in and through you.

  3. What one thing will you change today as a result of what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you through this study?


Pray to Experience His Power

That you may know . . . what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places . . .

Heavenly Father, give me a greater revelation of your immeasurable power. You are a mighty God. Increase my faith and help me break through any limitation I may have set on you and on what you can do. Thank you that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is actively at work in me right now. I choose not to rely on my own ability, but I depend on your Holy Spirit to live out your holy calling. I confess that apart from you, I can do no good thing. May your life and power overflow in me, and may I become a more effective witness to the watching world around me. In Jesus’ name, we pray.



to conclude-READ: Ephesians 6

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:13

On July 20, 1969, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Lunar Module onto the moon’s surface. As 450 million listeners tuned in around the world, he uttered these now-famous lines, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

Armstrong and his partner Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon for a little over two hours despite the extreme temperatures that get as high as 200 degrees C (392 F) during the day and as low as -200 degrees C (-328 F) during the night. However, in that hostile environment, the astronauts were shielded by their complex A7-L spacesuits which used a combination of insulation, reflective surfaces, and an ice sublimator to regulate temperature. If they stayed in their suits, they could fully explore their surroundings. 

In Christ, we are protected from the hostile spiritual atmosphere around us. We can walk in his strength. We can stand firm against the enemy’s schemes and face the spiritual battle head-on knowing our fight is not against flesh and blood. Our victory is assured in Christ because the battle has been won for us at the cross. 


  1. Read Ephesians 6:10–20. Identify all the weapons and armor God has given for spiritual warfare.

  2. Why does Paul’s call to prayer follow his discussion of our spiritual battle and armor? How does prayer relate to this battle?

  3. What one thing will you change today as a result of what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you through this study?


Pray to Experience the Fullness of God

So I ask . . . that you . . . know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3: 13, 16, 19

Heavenly Father, I am overwhelmed by all that you have for me in Christ. Help me grab hold of all you have given me—your grace, your peace, your comfort, your strength. Not only do you satisfy the yearnings of my soul, you abundantly provide beyond what I currently know I need. Teach me to abide in Christ so I may be filled with all the fullness of God.