Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"The church is the cosmic showcase of God's mercy"

Jesus is head over the church (1v22+5v23). Through the church the wisdom of God is manifest (3v10) and God is glorified unimaginably through in the church (3v21). The church submits to Christ (5v24) and Christ loves the church (5v25). Christ so loved the church that he gave himself up for her (5v25). And Jesus will present the church spotless (5v27) as a bride on her wedding day. Christ (5v29) nourishes and cherishes the church. And marriage is given to teach us about Christ and the church (5v32).

And we see: God has blessed the church in Christ with every blessing (1v3). He chose the church before the foundation of the world to be blameless (1v4). He lovingly predestined the church (1v5). The church has redemption by Christ's lood and the forgiveness of sin (1v7). God revealed his will to the church in Christ (1v8). In Christ the church obtains her inheritance (1v11). In Christ the church is sealed with the promised Spirit (1v13).

The church was dead in sin and under wrath (2v1) but God in reich mercy and great love, loved the church, saved and raised the church and seated the church with Christ (2v6). God's rich grace and kindness toward the church in Christ will be made known to her in the coming ages (2v7).

The church was previously separated from Christ (2v12) and from one another but are now one new people (2v14). Through Christ the church has access in one Spirit to the Father (2v18). And the church is built together to be a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (2v22).

God has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (4v11) to equip the church for ministry as Christ's body until we attain maturity. He does not want the church to be childishly tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about every win of doctrine but rather to grow up into the head - Christ. So the church is to put away falsehood and speak truth to one another (4v25). The church should then imitate God has beloved children (5v1). The church is to put on the full armour of God (6v11), as Christ's body with him as the head, to stand against the devil, wielding her sword (6v17) praying in the Spirit (6v18) and remaining alert and persevering (6v18). Persevering until, we, the church, come into our inheritance with Christ.

Title, Piper. Post, me reading Ephesians.

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