Friday, December 15, 2006
Isaiah and I have begun memorizing Ephesians. I’ll be posting observations as we work through the text. Since this is a blog and not a Sunday school class nor an academic forum, this will be pretty lax.
What is this passage? This is the preface to Paul’s letter where he highlights several key issues that he will tackle later in the letter.
God’s will –
Note the emphasis on God’s sovereignty in these few short verses. Paul is an apostle by the will of God. We were chosen by God. We were predestined by God. This is all according to the purpose of God’s will. God is not passively sitting by watching things unfold. He is deliberate and purposeful. He is accomplishing his will.
And what is God’s will? 1) That we should be holy and blameless. 2) That we should be his sons. 3) That he should be glorified because of his grace
The subject of God’s powerful will plays a prominent role throughout the letter and is foundational for both the theological and practical sides of the letter.
God’s family –
Twice in this short passage God is described as Father. Once we are called sons. The restoration of God’s family after the fall is the gospel. The family whose Father is God will act live like it. The transition from being sons of disobedience to obedient sons of God our Father will be mentioned over and over in this letter. As we become obedient sons, or heavenly Father is glorified.
God’s place –
Four places in two realms are mentioned in this passage. First we have the physical realm; “in Ephesus” and “the world.” Second we have the spiritual realm, “In Christ” and “heavenly places.” Paul states from the outset that we are currently living in both realms, “To the saints in Ephesus ... in Christ.”
Throughout the letter we are called to live in the physical realm as citizens of the heavenly realm. Living life in both realms requires doing battle. Yet we fight with the weapons of heaven and not of this world.
God’s grace –
Since God is the ultimate author of/in this story, he is credited and praised for all. God’s grace will be shown to be powerful and effective in transforming the lives of his children. We bless his name for the great ways he has blessed us, and his blessings bring us peace (peace with God and peace with man).
One more thing, we named our daughter Gloria Grace after verse six, "to the praise of his glorious grace."