Monday, May 03, 2010

Explicitly Trinitarian Good News (Ephesians 1)

THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT are in full-gospel-action in Ephesians 1. We've been in this for a couple of weeks with our church.

When the implicit is made explicit I find myself more personally engaged, especially when adoption is on the agenda it matters what the Father does, what the Son does and what the Spirit does. I want to see what's going on.

In Christianity we're not talking about the unspecified actions of some vague first-cause god here but the three persons of the Triune God overflowing in self-giving love to catch us up into relationship with them. There is perfect unity but each person also plays particular parts...

An attempt at explicitly Trinitarian good news:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Father who has blessed us in Christ 
with every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
even as the Father chose us in Christ (by The Spiritbefore the foundation of the world... 
that we should be holy and blameless before the Father
In love the Father predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ
according to the purpose of the Father's will (that is in Christ by The Spirit)
to the praise of the Father's glorious grace (that is in Christ by The Spirit)
with which The Father has blessed us (through The Spirit) in (Christ) the Beloved. 
In Christ we have redemption through Christ's blood, 
the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
according to the riches of the Father's grace (that is Christ, by The Spirit)
which the Father lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight (by The Spirit)
making known to us the mystery of the Father's will (that is, Christ by The Spirit)
according to the Father's purpose, 
which he set forth (by The Spirit) in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, 
to unite all things in Christ
things in heaven and things on earth. 
In Christ we have obtained an inheritance, 
having been predestined according to the purpose of the Father 
who works all things according to the counsel of the Father's will (that is, Christ by The Spirit), 
so that we who were the first to hope in Christ 
might be to the praise of the Father's glory (that is, Christ by The Spirit). 
In Christ you also, when you heard the word of truth, 
the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Christ
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit
who is the guarantee of our inheritance 
until we acquire possession of it, 
to the praise of the Father's glory (that is, Christ by The Spirit).


  1. doesn't the Spirit have to have more say in it if it's going to be explicitly Trinitarian?

  2. Well, yeah I'd think so - I'd love some pointers as to where I we see the Spirit more in this bit of Ephesians.

  3. In recent years I've become fascinated with doctrine of the Trinity. The love that each member has for each other and how they honor one another amazes me!

  4. Dave,

    I think the Spirit might be there by implication in the first sentence - 'every spiritual blessing.'

    If so, we'd have the Father blessing us in the Son by the Spirit.


  5. Pete - good call. I wonder if its worth saying something more explicit about the Spirit in making known Christ too.

  6. well.. every time you have a Father/Son couplet - i think the Spirit is in there too

    blessed us in Christ with every SPIRITual blessing
    chose us in Christ via the Spirit