It recently occurred to me that these articles are a simplified commentary of the first three chapters in the Book of Ephesians. Perhaps now is a good time to read those passages in their entirety before we move on. The first chapter reveals to us the glorious reality of our salvation, we have entered into the shalom of salvation, by royal command, by imperial decree, by the mysterious outworking of grace, that rewarder of the unworthy!
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world (vs 4)
He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ (vs 5)
In him we were also chosen (vs 11)
When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (vs 13)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people (vs 18)
But there’s more, there has to be a purpose to this. Paul describes this in verses 8-10:
With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
To bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.The function of all functions, God’s grand purpose! God’s masterplan!
And how does He do this? The shalom of unity. We are not a collection of random islands, there is something that connects us horizontally, as well as vertically.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
And, as this passage reminds us, there are no longer foreigners and strangers. Gentiles, the far people, are now at one with the Jews, the near people. It’s the biggest mystery of all, this shalom of oneness, because the Gentile Church has done all it can to ensure the failure of what Jesus himself brought about … for he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14). But God’s word always finds fulfilment. It’s all a matter of timing.
The end-point though, as stated earlier, is for the Church to attain the following authority:
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:10-12)
We must pray for this outcome. In the meantime, let us reflect and marvel.
This is an extract from the book, Shalom, available for £10 at https://www.sppublishing.com/shalom-239-p.asp
How are we all connected?
Written by: Miriam Emenike
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