“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”
~ Ephesians 1:1 ~
The letter to the Ephesians is the long-awaited “perfect is come” (1 Cor. 13:10). The doctrine in Ephesians contains the “deep things” “prepared” and “ordained before the world unto our glory”. Paul did not speak these things to “babes in Christ”, but to those that are “perfect”. It is the fulness of the Spirit’s helping and intercessory ministry for our knowledge infirmities (Rom. 8:26). The unsearchable riches of His grace, judgments, wisdom, and ways alluded to in Paul’s doxology in Romans (Romans 11:33-36) are contained in the lofty epistle to the saints at Ephesus. The fulness of God’s purpose in Christ, His purpose that we are called unto, that which is “of Him, and through Him, and to Him” enlightens the minds of them that believe the lines within this book. The power of the risen Christ made known in Romans wasn’t simply to redeem us but, as revealed in Ephesian superlatives, was the exceeding greatness of His power to work all things after the counsel of His own will according to the working of His mighty power. It is not only God’s will that you be saved, but to come to the knowledge of the truth, that you, may know your predestination, election, and calling. Moreover, Ephesians presses upon us that we may know “the hope of His calling”, “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”, and “the exceeding greatness of His power” that we may be “strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man”, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” to breach worldly vanity, be weaned from the course of this world, and “be able to comprehend…the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.” In truth, Ephesians grants to us “to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
This short letter does not simply reach back to your redemption, but to that which is “of Him”, that which was “before the foundation of the world.” It does not simply detail that God has made Christ be “wisdom” unto us, but to the fulness of that which is “through Him”, that is, “all wisdom and prudence” and “the manifold wisdom of God”. It does not simply look ahead at the day of redemption, but to that which is “to Him” for “all ages, world without end.” It doesn’t marvel at our purpose in this world but illuminates God’s “eternal purpose in Christ” and our obtained inheritance in it all. It doesn’t have us look at just “time past”, nor only “but now”, but to Him “in Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord”.
Such magnificence and such a splendid glimpse of glory was the supply of expectation and hope for Paul to endure, with great strength and confidence, the worst “the prince of the power of the air”, and his “principalities and powers”, with their “spiritual wickedness” could bring against him. All their attempts would be in vain as they would encounter the whole armour of God adorned in Paul’s inner man. The full brunt of their onslaught would be matched and conquered by truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation as Paul stood and did not faint. This was not only to Paul’s glory, but as he would test the armour, he would echo to all those that would hereafter believe in Christ, the battle cry, “faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.” For he would pen that which is greater than David knew when he faced Goliath – the mystery of Christ and the whole armour of God. The sting of death and victory of the grave once held in power by the prince of the power of the air may have physical bearing upon these earthen vessels, but it is the glory of God’s full armour that shines through the cracks of the Adversaries beating upon these vessels. Every affliction doth evidence the outward perishing, but also the inward renewing. Such life in the face of suffering and death is God’s armour sealed by His Son’s resurrection. Death where is thy sting? grave where is thy victory? These are our mocking taunts boldly had by the One at God’s right hand. These things are to be the minds stay, to be put on by the believer, to not faint and do the work of the Lord to the finish. An unmovable, steadfast stand results to the chagrin of the Adversary. In turn, with the revelation of God now given, the enemies tribulations work for the believer’s glory: even more, boldness to preach the gospel and its mystery, to make all men see the fellowship of the mystery, and to make known to the heavenly places with their corrupt principalities and powers that we are coming for you! We are coming for the heavenly places! We are coming for the governmental positions! God’s inheritance and calling is, through Christ in us He will bring their deliverance, their reconciliation, and their redemption. It is a matter of time and as we redeem the time, we know, that time, is “at hand”. This and these all by the riches of God’s grace and by His manifold wisdom! O, that all things will work out to the praise of His glory; known and revealed in the words of this epistle – God’s Word!
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher
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Great words of grace!!