I have been reading Ephesians for the last few weeks, and contemplating on the implications of this Book. I came to the realization that Ephesians is a Book about Unity in the Spirit. Of course I know that the lenses in which I look at scripture through is coated with this idea, but it is hard for me not to see this. Chapter by chapter, I will show you what I saw while reading this book.
Ephesians Chapter 1 begins this idea, and lays out the framework for what Paul will be addressing in his letter to the Church in Ephesus. He mentions predestination and that He chose us before the foundation of the world. Before the foundation of creation, a blank canvas per say.
Paul starts this chapter with, “And.” This is an odd way to start a sentence, but perhaps this was just due to the grammar differences between Greek and English, so will move on. And you were dead in your trespasses and sin. This is where I started picturing the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel. He also speaks about blood, which blood is the fluid in which live is derived from. Later Paul gets into the “house” being fitted together, which is a euphemism for Body.
This chapter Paul emphatically speaks about Grace, and the power that He was given to impart to the Gentile Church. He preaches this light in the Life of Christ. I picture the breath coming into the body still being fitted together. He also talks about how every family’s name is derived from Jesus, so this body receives a name in this theory of mine.
The body is now complete, and the learning and the mission of this body is revealed in Chapter 4. Basic theology is being expounded for the purpose of preserving the unity of this body in Spirit and Peace. We also see that Jesus ascended to the right hand of our Father in Heaven. Which I picture a General being promoted over a legion of newly formed soldiers, or the Head of the Church taking His rightful place. Then we get into one of the most controversial sections in scripture. “11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” I remember years ago a Pastor who visited a Church I attended, spoke about this section of scripture. Ever since every time I read this section I am reminded of it. He used the illustration of a fully formed hand. He said the Apostle was like the thumb because it covered all of the other “offices” in this section. The Prophet was like the index finger, for he points to areas which need to be addressed in the Body. The Evangelist was likened to the middle finger, because it reaches further than all of the other fingers on the hand, (on most people). The Pastor was compared to the ring finger, because he is to fall in love with the local assembly, he marries the assembly and supports them when they need support. And finally the pinky finger was used in analogy to the Teacher, because he digs. (Picture someone digging in their ear.) This hand was meant to build up the Body in unity, until we attain full maturity in the Body of Christ, which hasn’t happened yet.
Therefore be imitators of God! God is a triune being, or better said a Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (I have always pictured Father as the Head, Jesus as the Flesh, and the Holy Spirit as the Spirit that unifies in the Trinity. We all try to fully understand the Trinity, but I think the concept is so foreign that we have a hard time understanding the idea of three in one.) If we are imitators of God, shouldn’t that mean that we stand in unity as does the God we serve is in unity? Paul gets into a little more teaching on how we should conduct ourselves, how we should speak to each other. How not to be given to drunkenness, how men should love their wives and wives be subject to their husbands. He also speaks of unity of a Husband and a Wife, how He should wash her in the Word as He would bathe his own body.
The start of this chapter tells how we should conduct ourselves as leaders of the Church, household and masters of slaves. The Body is fully formed here and Paul is revealing how important it is for us to conduct ourselves in Love. Then he gets into the full armor of God, the clothing of the soldier so to speak. Our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but with the powers and principalities of the air, which are constantly trying to destroy the unity which God established.
Finally brethren, don’t think for a minute that God is okay with the disunity we have placed ourselves in. We have allowed the principalities of the air to fill our minds with ideas of disunity, with being emotionally hurt, theologically hurt, etc. Which has lead us to the state we are in today.
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