Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ephesians: All of Grace

For several years, Ephesians has been my favorite epistle (with John as my favorite gospel account). For it's in Ephesians that Paul sets down the doctrinal basis for living the Christian life of grace. And although he touches on the profundity of predestination in other letters, somehow Ephesians portrays the Lord's secret counsel most completely.

Of the six chapters, the first three deal with the lofty grandeur of God's plan for believers from eternity past, in Christ Jesus; the second half of the book then takes the foundation and builds upon it. Chapters 4,5, and 6 apply the truths of chapters 1,2, and 3.

A major theme of the book is the Church. Paul deals with 7 elements of God's past plan in forming the Church.
1. His Method: Election
2. The Objects of His plan: the Elect
3. The Time of His Plan: Eternity Past
4. The Purpose of His Plan: the Holiness of the Elect
5. His Plan's Motive: Love
6. The Result of His Plan: Sons and Daughters in His Son
7. The Goal of His Plan? His own Glory!

As we'll see in future studies, contrary to the common belief of many that the ultimate purpose in the universe is the salvation of man, Ephesians (as well as other letters) teaches that the highest purpose is God's glory.

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