Monday, November 4, 2013

Trinity in Ephesians II

I love the story behind the story...

Paul helped plant the church in this very influential city. His love for the community was tangible. His leadership stamp was evident. His ongoing influence with her did not stop when he had moved on - even when he was in prison. His investment was ongoing.

That is why this letter is so exquisite. I am pretty certain that this was not the first time he was to teach them on any of the subjects he covered. For 2 years he taught the core group daily. One could speculate with some accuracy that these timeless truths were rooted and grounded in the foundation of the church.

Yet he covers them one more time. Amazing. He is not held captive to teach the latest, coolest conversation. I remember when Terry Virgo [great British apostle, now in his 70s] heard the new buzz word "missional" he asked what it meant. He listened humbly then responded by saying "Oh you mean being evangelistic".

The first mention of the Trinity is found in chapter 1:11 - 14

Father: Paul anchors the Father part of the conversation around the eternal, perfect plan and purpose of His will. "made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose... as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth... according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will". This is an amazing mystery. Paul bleeds the sovereign nature of our God. Without apology, he boldly declares that there are not many plans for the universe. Just one. There are not many dreams to consider - just his. There are not many wills to honor - just his. He is going to renew all things. [Rev 21:5]

Son: Many of the great gospel foundational pieces are declared in this chapter. "blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing ... chose in him before the foundation of the world... In love he predestined  us for adoption as through Jesus Christ... first to hope in Christ. In him you also when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in him..." Oh what a glorious salvation.

Spirit: Paul now adds the Holy Spirit in the grand final seal of this glorious salvation. "In him you also when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." This is a most essential part of this story. The Holy Spirit is the guarantor. He makes sure that that he began in us he will bring to fruition / completion.

The Father planned it, the Son purchased us for his Father and the Holy Spirit placed a seal on us who believe. A most beautiful trinitarian waltz of redemption - and that set in before time began.

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