Mark R Lindsey

How does God Lavish? Interrogating Ephesians 1:8

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Ephesians 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
1. What exactly is lavished on us?
— the riches of his grace (but that’s hardly concrete)
— in Titus 3:5 the Holy Spirit is also described as being poured out on us
>> God’s grace seems to be key here
2. Are we told how the lavishing is accomplished?
— See Ephesians 1:9 — by making known to us the mystery of his will
— Colossians 2:2 says riches are the full understanding of the mystery that is Christ
— Romans 9:23 talks about making known (revealing) God’s riches of mercy.
— Ephesians 3:8 preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ
— Ephesians 3:10 through the church, the wisdom would be MADE KNOWN
— Ephesians 3:16 According to the riches, God strengthens us to comprehend the enormity of Christ’s love
— Ephesians 2:4,7 God’s richness of mercy, because of great love, made us alive with Christ in order to SHOW the immeasurable riches of his grace
— There is something intrinsic to the lavishing about the making known, and the comprehension and the understanding
— APPLICATION: In the great commission we’re told to go and make this message known, to the extent of making disciples. That might mean that missions and preaching and teaching are mechanisms of lavishing!
>> The lavishing is in the forgiving and the redemption, but especially in the MAKING KNOWN to us
3. Why is grace depicted as being lavished upon or poured over us?
…Why did the grace have to be lavished upon us? Why not just “grace in appropriate measure for your sin”?
— in Eph 1:5 the grace belonged to God; and it is praiseworthy because he predestined us for adoption.
— Here the grace is overflowing onto us
— Romans 5:15,20 Grace abounds through Jesus’ resurrection
— Romans 5:21 grace reigns through righteousness leading to eternal life. (It’s like righteousness is the mechanism for grace in this case.)
4. In all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will…See eph 1:9 &N
5. Why is it important to emphasize wisdom and insight?
…What is particularly wise about what God was doing? Or why might one consider it unwise?
— Jesus’ work and resurrection is called wisdom; Isaiah 52:13
— Jesus says “wisdom is justified by her deeds”; in explanation of eating with sinners Matthew 11:19
— Paul extols God’s wisdom and inscrutability after explaining how he wields disobedience for our good; Romans 11:33
— Human wisdom doesn’t lead to repentance; but for those who believe, God reveals his wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:21
— If the human rulers had understood God’s wisdom, they wouldn’t have crucified Jesus. 1 Corinthians 2:7
— All treasures of wisdom and knowledge are knit together in Christ. Colossians 2:3
— Insight: God revealed the mystery long kept secret; it is the foundation of the good message. But God knew it all along, Romans 16:25
— Luke 1:17 — God will turn the disobedient to the wisdom [insight, φρόνησις phronēsis] of the just
>> God’s wisdom, and the secrets God has kept, are essential to God’s plan

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