Season After Pentecost – Paul speaks to his audience, and we listen in (The Epistles Passage)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:3-4)

The writer of Ephesians (yes, Paul) likes to mix a little theology in with his praise and adoration of God and Jesus Christ.

He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Verses 5-6)

Or is it praise and adoration that he mixes into his theology or exhortation?

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Verses 7-10)

The interesting thing is that when Paul does his mixing of theology/exhortation and praise/ adoration, he really does not say much specifically but implies and infers much. Some biblical scholars say it is the style of those times, to make persuasive arguments not directly but presenting evidence so that only one logical (and it is “logic” as the Greeks conceived, setting forth irrefutable evidence) conclusion. Others say it is just Paul being . . . Paul.

In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. (Verses 11 – 12)

Paul also uses the technique of presenting what he believes, and under girds that again with logical and irrefutable proof. In other letters Paul states what he does and does not believe, and what he does or doe not do. And what some cases, what he does do that he shouldn’t and what he doesn’t do that he should. And concludes with stating what he does/doesn’t do is how others should or should not do.

In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.” (Verses 13-14)

It makes it very difficult to refute his arguments or disagree with his logic. He is “correct” in what he says because there is no way he could not be correct. And that is often why he is taken at face value. And applied in so many situations where in reality what he says is not applicable or appropriate.

Rest assured, beloved reader, I do not disagree with what he says here. We are blessed by God, taken in as children of God which was the plan of the Divine all along. And our redemption and salvation is assured so that we might be pure and blameless as children of the Divine should be. And this is for all people, all who would claim their inheritance and profess allegiance, faith and belief in God and Christ Jesus.

But remember, beloved reader, that Paul is writing in his time for the audience that he specifically set out to address. Take the praise and adoration of God as is comes, for the Lord is worthy of its glory. Take the theology and exhortation as it applies to you. And take the assurance that Paul never meant to harm but only to guide and teach. And be assured the day will come when Paul and I sit together and talk. Selah!


About Carole Boshart

I have blog called "Pondering From the Pacific" and it is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much. Some days roll along smoothly and some days are like rocky shale. But always I cling to my faith . . . . and my sense of humor!

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