Saturday, May 22, 2010

Some Favourite Passages From Ephesians

"You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived... But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ —by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus." - Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-7

"Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21

I remember a conversation about the freedom of the will and cooperation with God that was once happening between a Catholic and a Reformed guy, and the Reformed guy quoted Eph. 2:1 and said "how much can a dead person cooperate?". It was funny, even if unaccurate (as our Roman Church teaches that God takes the initiative to make us alive in his grace).

I like the line also in Chapter 3:

"through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him."

What a difficult verse to exegete after 1517. The gospel coming through the church, but the gospel of "confidence through faith" and in this case, clearly a 'fiducia' faith, a personal trust. Sometimes I wish I was born in 3rd century Corinth, the theology would be alot more simple. Although I would probably have become apostate at the first sign of persecution. As Flannery O'Conner once wrote, if they made it quick I could be a martyr, though I don't have the longsuffering to be a saint.

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all" - Ephesians 4:4-6

People always tell me you aren't allowed to make this dichotemy between the Church and the Gospel, but I'm having alot of trouble with it. Eventually one ideal will be sacrificed on the altar of the other.

I know it's out of context to understand it this way, but I like to imagine 4:32 as a declaration: "God in Christ has forgiven you.".

Anyway, early morning Mass tomorrow, enough Gospel, time for some Law (jk).

1 comment:

  1. The church is the people of the gospel, not the gospel of the people.