Monday, April 4, 2011

A Parenthetical (Ephesians 3:1-13)

At this point in the letter Paul begins to pray, or he continues to pray depending on how you read the text.

(But did you notice that major point he was making back in chapter two? It is the same point he had referred to back in chapter one when he was praying in verses 9 and 10 about the mystery God had made clear to him. It was not new information exactly, but no one had seen it before because it was hidden in what God had said before. This whole idea that God’s plan was to bring unity back to creation and to humanity.

The point is that there really is no longer a division in the people of God. In the strictest terms, we are wrong when we refer to the Jews and the Church—there is only God’s people, the bride of Christ, the new Jerusalem. It is all the same thing. That is not to say that all nations cease to be distinctive and that there is no variety in God’s people.

But is it not wrong to make such a large distinction between Jews and Gentiles after what Christ has done? A lot of this has certainly come about recently in the history of Biblical interpretation with the lens of dispensational teaching. A lot of emphasis must be laid on the Jewish believers if one thinks that the church will have no more role in end time events, but there is clearly still a people of God active on earth. The question that must be raised is: will believing Jews at the end of time not be church? Not only that, but why does Christ emphasis in His letters to each and every one of the churches that they will have to overcome and endure tribulation?

But I digress.)

So Paul continues his prayer in verse 14…

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