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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Friday, 21 September 2012

A couple of privileges (Eph. 3:1-12)


These verses mention two privileges about which we should remind ourselves continually. First, Paul said he was commissioned to preach among the Gentiles ‘the unreachable riches of Christ’ and to pass these treasures on to the believers. These treasures are ours.

The word translated ‘unreachable’ is a wonderful word picture. It is used in the Greek translation of Job 5:9 ([God], who does great things and unsearchable, marvellous things without number’) and 9:10 (who does great things beyond searching out, and marvellous things beyond number). The idea is that of tracks on the ground which a hunter sees as he pursues his prey, but a prey which proves elusive.


Paul is not saying that the riches cannot be found; rather he is saying that we have these riches but we can never find their fullness because there will always be too much for us to appreciate. But the point is that we already have them. The riches have been described in chapters 1 and 2 of Ephesians: adoption, redemption, inheritance, resurrection, etc. Paul does not mean that they should not be searched, but when we do search we will never make a full discovery of all that is there. We are to be explorers of the riches of God and we are not to lives as spiritual paupers.


Second, we have security in the presence of God. We have boldness (not presumption or pride but confidence) and access (permanently) because of what Jesus did. Although we are sinners, the safest place we can be is in the presence of a holy, gracious Father because Jesus has fulfilled what was required of him in order for us to be blessed.


This security we have by faith in Jesus Christ. Just as he is central to the eternal purpose of God, is central to the creation activity of God, is central to the church drawn from the nations, so he is to be central in our lives. We are to say with Paul, ‘To me to live is Christ, to die is gain,’ for to die is to depart to be with Christ. The people of God in heaven and on earth are united in the centrality of Jesus Christ.

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