Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ephesians Part 2, 2:11 - 3:21

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Having introduced the concept of a revealed mystery, Paul expounds on it, with some urgency.

In fact, he claims it is his special calling... (all scriptures today from the ESV)

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  (3:8 - 10).

And look at his summation of that mystery:

This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.  (3:6)

Paul has reminded them of what their life was like before they believed in Christ, in chapter 2:11 - 12, using words like  'separated' and 'alienated'  and 'strangers', 'having no hope', before introducing the glorious grace word, 'But'.

'But now in Christ Jesus,' Paul says, things have changed.  Jesus 
1) has made both (Israel and Gentiles) one
2) has broken down the wall of hostility
3) has created in himself one new man instead of two
3) has made peace
4) has reconciled us both to God
5) has preached peace to those near and to those far
6) has granted access in one Spirit to the Father
7) is building all into one dwelling place for God

(2:13 - 22)

His prayer for the Gentiles is that they may be strengthened with his power through the Spirit, that Christ would dwell in their hearts, that they would be rooted and grounded in love,  and that they

may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (3: 18 - 19)

Now, in teaching this to my girls, I emphasized to them the fact that we are included, in Christ, into the very family line of God, sharing in the inheritance, part of his kingdom.

But as I'm writing this out here, it has occurred to me that we, historically, have not walked in the unity that Paul so fervently preached.  One group or the other has found reason to believe the other was excluded.  And we have not seen the fulfillment of Paul's prayer, because we have not embraced the unity.

What do you suppose would happen if all the people of God grasped Paul's revelation?

History would change at that point.

Look again at 3:10... so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

Maybe, just maybe, one of the expressed purposes of the church is to walk in exactly that unity... 

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