Responding to Ephesians 1 (Part 1)
The last two Sundays at CBC have been, can I say, challenging. I have referred to it as swimming in the “deep end of the pool.” We have tackled a difficult topic that not everyone agrees with how it is nuanced. Election/Predestination has always caused that kind of reaction so we are not experiencing anything new.
In the next two E-Bulletins I am going to try to help us get a grip on how Christians ought to respond to truth, even hard truth. I will be simple and brief. There are two responses to God’s truth, and both are found here in Ephesians. WE will look at one this week and one next.
First, we should praise and glorify God. WE should praise and glorify God particularly when we are facing difficult challenges and find our selves in trying circumstances. While Paul was chained to a Roman guard he wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). So as we wrestle through difficult passages of the Bible that we may or may not immediately grasp, remember to praise and seek to glorify God.
Most of us need a clearer understanding of God. That has been the focus of Ephesians 1:4-6. We need to understand that at the very heart of the biblical revelation is God Himself. Dr. George Peters wrote a number of years ago that:
The Scriptures are emphatically theocentric (God centered) in considering the universe; history of humankind; and the nature, life and purpose of man. Clearly the word states that all things are from Him, and through Him and to Him and in the end God will be all in all (Romans 11:36; 1 Cor. 15:28). Only a theocentric perspective of the Bible gives us the right direction and can save us from humanism in any form … God is and remains the final cause and source, the supreme initiator and actor, the ultimate perspective and goal of all existence, being, events and processes. The Majestic first statement in the Bible “in the beginning” – reminds us that God is and remains the fundamental and ultimate basis of all that is and comes to pass … God is God and not man.
This was Paul’s view of God when he penned the first chapter of Ephesians. Because it was, he began this wonderful epistle with an avalanche of praise. So, however you feel about a particular interpretation of scripture, remember to so live and think so as to praise and glorify God.
See You Sunday,
* This Week’s Text – Ephesians 1:7-10 – “I am Redeemed by the Son”