Temple of the Trinity: Blogging Through Eph. in 150 Words or Less, Part 15

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IMG_3322[18] For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [22] In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18-22 ESV)

How exciting it is to think that we will be a temple for the Trinity! The Lord will dwell in us as he dwelt in the Tabernacle (Exodus 40) and in the first Temple (1 Kings 8). He will reside in us in the fullness of the Trinity’s glory. His glory never will leave that temple.

Ephesians by Eric RedmondMaybe even more exciting is that the Lord presently is building believers into that Temple. We therefore are seeking practical unity across ethnic lines while yet under construction (Eph. 2:11-17). The picture of what we will be is buffering until he comes.

The Trinity on Each Page: Blogging Through Eph. in 150 Words or Less, Part 14

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TrinityQ. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?  A. There are three persons in the one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. (Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English)

In Eph. 1:3-4 and 1:13, the full Trinity participates in the work of salvation, choosing the redeemed for salvation in eternity past, redeeming us effectively through the death of Christ, and sealing us until final redemption appears. All three Members give divine wisdom for believer to live out the practical aspects of being assured, wealthy, and empowered in Christ—to do works that only can be done in the power of the Spirit (1:17; 5:18-20).

The Three appear when speaking of our access to God and the Temple to come (2:18,20); they work to reveal the love of God in Christ, deeply, to the believers (3:14-17); the Three are the basis of the unity in the local body of Christ (4:4-5).

“Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” for their working for us and in us.  #ephesiansEphesians by Eric Redmond

A Prayer for Today’s Worship: Blogging Thru Eph. in 150 Words or Less, part 13

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May the Name that is above every name be exalted in worship today. May our hearts overflow with thanksgiving, love, and fear before you, God, our Father. May the Spirit who has redeemed us fill us with power, joy, wisdom, and meekness.

Lord, would you be pleased to make your presence known among your people today, that we might grow closer into the likeness of the temple into which, in Christ, you are building us to be a dwelling place of the Spirit. Would you give us grace to put to death the sins we treasured when we were children destined for your wrath. Would you draw each heart to you in song and prayer without hindrance or fear of the faces of people.

Today, kindly and powerfully scatter your enemy and his schemes of war against us. In us, magnify and glorify Christ – crucified, raised, and returning – that billions without him, both near and far, might hear the Gospel and know Christ in mercy.

Authority of the Church: Blogging Thru Eph in 150 Words or Less, part 12

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Church in SocietyOn page 22 of the KTB Ephesians Study Guide I write,

AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH. Throughout the history of Christianity, church and earthly authorities have existed largely in con ict with one another. This is true whether we speak of governing authorities that separate church and state jurisdictions or general secular authorities that promote worldviews rejecting the message and morality the church proclaims. Nevertheless, Scripture dem- onstrates that Christ calls the church to be an expression of his rule in the pres- ent world. Yet this means of expression combines moral courage with humble citizenship, unity with love, and holiness with wisdom, so that transformed lives give evidence of the power of the gospel.

Ephesians by Eric RedmondWe would provide a wise witness in the world if we walked in the authority Christ provides to the church.

 

The Message that Stands: Blogging Thru Eph in 150 Words or Less, 11

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LighthouseWe hear many messages in our society. Political messages and their spin seek our votes and corporate trust. Retail advertising messages seek to get us to purchase the next must-have product. Cultural message wish to convince us of a progressive or regressive position on social change. Social media sells the ideas that vanity, egotism, attention-grabbing, and speaking and bearing all without shame are to be valued above moderation, mystery, cordiality, and meekness.

From many corners we hear that the United States is great, without any reference to problems related to economic inequalities, systemic injustices, and moral vicissitude. Never mind those blights; the message seems to be that Uncle Sam is standing tall, the Bald Eagle soars, Lady Liberty’s torch shines bright, and Old Glory will wave strong until the world’s end. Ephesians by Eric Redmond

Above those messages, “the word of truth—the gospel of your salvation” stands (Eph. 1:13). We do well to call everyone to give attention to this message.

Lamb for Adam and Eve: Thru Eph in 150 Words or Less, 10

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Lamb 2As far as Adam and Eve knew, when God began to question them, they were dead in their sin, which in actuality they were. They had followed the prince of the power of the air and the passions of their flesh. They could not have known there was a mercy option for them; it had not been revealed, even though the option existed from all eternity.

God, who is rich in mercy, with the great love with which he loved these two persons who were naked before him in sin, made them alive with the death of an animal that provided their skin-coverings. By grace they were saved, and their guilt and shame before God was removed. They had nothing of which they could boast. They were the Creator’s workmanship alone. Their story is paradigmatic of salvation throughout Scripture.

I think the slain animal might have been a lamb. I can’t be certain, but in light of Gen. 3:15, it makes good sense.

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Spinning for All Eternity with the Sun through the Son: Thru Eph in 150 Words or Less, Part 9

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10f0.15“[A]s a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:10).

As I watch the news story about our Sun spinning, I marvel even more at the grace toward believers that will unfold in eternity (Eph. 2:7)! All things in the universe will be united together in Christ, in a sense we do not fully understand as finite creatures (3:20-21). Simultaneously it will involve the Spirit dwelling in us corporately (Eph. 2:21-22), being filled with all of the fullness of God (1:23; 3:19), receiving back from the Lord good for the good we do on earth (6:8), and being one flesh like Adam and Eve (5:31-32).

As one married 25 years, I am very excited about the marriage of Christ to his Bride – including our spinning with the Sun through the Son – and the unspeakable, everlasting joy this means for us.

Ephesians by Eric Redmond#ktbeph #ktbephesians #ephesians #biblestudy

We, the Praise of God: Thru Eph in 150 Words or Less, Part 8

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13782250_10154298492874898_344675783549758266_n“So that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:12

It is quite incredible that God, of his own free will, due to no merit in us, before there ever was a world, in Christ, chose to make believers “to the praise of his glory.” Without Christ, the hopeless will be to the terror of his wrath, as each of us should be.

A GM might be praised for acquiring a player that leads a team to a championship. The praise only will last as long as the team continues as a dynasty. For all of eternity, God will be praised for the great change he is making in us by acquiring us though Christ, and God should be praised for all that and more.

Ephesians by Eric Redmond

In Deep Prayer: Thru Eph in 150 Words or Less, Part 7

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praying 3Even in his prayers Paul communicates rich theology. I ask in the study guide, “If the Ephesians already show love like Christ, what does Paul’s prayer for them tell us about demonstrating Christ’s love?” (p. 18.)

It would seem that there is more to walking in Christ by faith with love – Eph. 2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15 – that goes beyond the initial act of justification. Yet in order to be faithful in walking, the Trinity (1:17) must act graciously to reveal more and more of the depths of the hope, riches, and power we have individually and corporately as believers.

Epistemologically, if Paul found it important to pray this prayer continually for 10 – 12 years, the truths the Ephesians needed to know come only by a unique working of the Spirit. How then should we be praying for our own congregations? Imagine what the results might be.

Ephesians: A 12-Week Study. Also available at wtsbooks.com. #ktbeph
Ephesians by Eric Redmond

A Shower of Grace: Thru Eph in 150 Words or Less, Part 6

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smiling-for-a-reason1“[A]ccording to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us…” (Eph. 1:7-8, ESV)

“Which he lavished upon us” is an interesting translation, (see too NET and NASB).  NLT uses “showered.” “Abounded to us” sounds unusual in the English, although that is what one sees when reading the Greek. But the sense the synonym – lavished – is correct: Through Christ, God has put His grace, as rich as it is (!), in all of its fullness, upon us lavishly, such that we are purchased to be Christ’s very own by means of his death on the cross—the redemption price, providing release from the penalty due to us for our sins. Whew!

Praise God in the highest for his glorious grace (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14)! We cannot boast of anything. We have contributed nothing to salvation—except the cause for the very need to be showered by Christ’s grace.

Ephesians by Eric Redmond#ktbeph #ephesians

 

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