[I am embarking on a study of Ephesians, but before I get started, here are some “stream of consciousness” thoughts on the book.]
The Bible is full of mysteries that we can’t fathom. We try to resolve two schools of thought that are equally true, and invariably, we come down on one side or the other. It’s like we know of more of what the Bible says about this, but not a lot about that. Therefore, subconsciously, we root for one side to be true and the other to eventually fall by the wayside. But the more you study the Bible, however, you’re faced with even more apparent paradoxes, and you say to yourself, how can both of these concepts be true? While we once may have been settled, now with new information we are experiencing serious cognitive dissonance. We seek harmony, but grow even more perplexed, and that puts us, as someone has said, “with feet firmly planted in the air.” Well, that’s exactly where we need to be! For example, we need to be settled with, say, the fact that he chose us, and, yes, we chose him.
I don’t know why, but I’ve always been led to Ephesians to resolve my questions about salvation. For one, it goes down real easy. I mean, you can’t read the first chapter without getting goose bumps and the really good feeling that whatever is true, I’m in! Then I like the fact that Paul, bless his soul with all those run-on sentences, chimes in with long prayers for me to “get it.” I appreciate that. I also like the “lavish” amounts of “grace” alluded to relentlessly. It seems to be a recurring theme that’s constantly reminding us that it’s nothing we did, or will do, to experience this new life in Christ. Very cool.
You don’t have to be a theologian to capture some huge theological concepts in the first fourteen verses. First, as in Romans 5:2, where we are “introduced into” the matchless grace in which we stand, here is revealed a blessed God who has blessed us with every imaginable, and unimaginable, blessing, “in Christ,” just as he chose us to be “in Him” “before the foundation of the world.” Right off the bat we are led into one camp, only to be registered in another school of thought in verse 13, with the inclusion of “having also believed.” I love it, standing in thin air.
Whatever the case, what else is necessary if we have “every spiritual blessing” in the heavenly places? But, there’s the rub–and this is how my mind works–I want my blessings in the here and now! I am reminded, though, that we’ve been “rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14) It’s “no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20). Even in suffering, the benefit of those “light afflictions” are added to that “eternal weight of glory” on deposit above. (2 Cor. 4:17) So, our here and now really is in the “great bye and bye!”
This concept is mind-boggling alone when we’re faced with the cares and concerns of this world, and for this reason, deposited in us was the “Holy Spirit of promise, who was given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
And there’s more to say, and I’ll get there in the “bye in bye.”