Friday, May 19, 2023

Ephesians | Session 17 | 3:20-4:7

In our study today from Ephesians 3:20-4:7 we see Paul giving a doxology at the end of chapter 2, inviting us to walk deserving of our calling, describing how and why, and assuring us that God has given us everything we need to do it.

Exceeding Abundantly 
Verses 20-21: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. This is a doxology which is defined as a spontaneous exclamation of praise. Apparently, Paul got a little beside himself as some would say. It is interesting that the words exceeding abundantly is one word in the original and only used by Paul. It literally means to an extent which cannot be expressed. 

Chapter 4 
Prisoner of the Lord 
Verse 1: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, Just as in Paul's other epistles, he transitions from the doctrinal to the practical with the word therefore (Romans 12:1; Colossians 3:5). In other words, now that you know the mystery, the manifold wisdom of God, this is how you should live. 

The word beseech means to call or invite. The word worthy is axios which means to deserving or due reward. The word vocation speaks more of a calling than a career as it is commonly used today. Paul also uses the word therefore a lot to express in lieu of all that I have previously stated. 

Unity of the Spirit 
Verses 2-3: With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  In these verses he goes on to tell them five things regarding walking worthy. It is to be done in: 1. lowliness (humility); 2. meekness (gentleness);  3. longsuffering (patience); 4. forbearing (self-control or refraining); and 4. endeavoring (concerted effort). And he concludes that it is possible because of the common love and the bond of peace that we share. The word bond speaks of a uniting principle. 

One Body and One Spirit 
Verses 4-6: There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  In these verses he goes on to tell them seven reasons why they should walk worthy. These include because there is only one body, and one Spirit (2:18, 22); one hope of your calling (rapture/return, Titus 2:13, the point is that it should be unifying); one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Galatians 2:16); one God and Father who is above, through, and in you all. In other words, we are in this thing together. There is no second body, Spirit, calling, Lord, faith, baptism, God and Father. Any faults in the church today is man's fault and not God's. 

Given Grace 
Verse 7: But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  The point is that God has given every believer his favor for each of us to live as we ought to and to walk worthy (verse 1). Does this mean that he has given more to some than to others? I believe that he is simply saying that every one of us have been given enough grace to fulfill God's purposes and callings in our lives (Romans 12:3; John 1:16). 

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