If you are anything like me you will be familiar with the temptation to fly through familiar verses in the Bible under the assumption that
“I already understand… because I’ve read it at least a hundred times…”
Others abstain from “headiness” because Holy Spirit informs their understanding. This is certainly true provided our understanding conforms to scripture. Still, we must always keep in mind that God’s word is truth John 17:17.
Our ability to hear God comes from the word of God Rom 10:17
We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15
Having determined that Ephesians 1:3-14 is one long sentence in the original Greek we considered how punctuation in different translations might impact our interpretation.
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 to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will Eph 1:4-5
Is it “…holy and blameless before him in love.”? Or “In love, he predestined us for adoption…”?
You might accuse me of more hair splitting. However, establishing literary context requires us to consider linguistic differences. At the very least it highlights our human propensity to assume.
We asked the question; who are we, us, and you? Jesus came first to fulfil God’s covenant with Israel. Mat 10:5-6 The gentiles were then grafted in Rom 11:11:36 We determined that in Eph 1 Paul is establishing the unity of Jewish and gentile believers.
…making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he outlined in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Eph 1:9-14
“We” are the Jewish believers. “You” are the gentile believers.
Would it surprise you to learn that the final words of Jesus “It is finished” did not mean “everything is finished”. The promised Holy Spirit given in Acts 2 is not our full inheritance but a guarantee of what is still to come.
Guarantee (an earnest KJV) arrhabṓn: money which in purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid.
There is an eschatological shadow of things to come in the book of Ephesians. Some people shut down when they hear that word. Others become energized and obsess over the wrath of the dragon in hope of anticipating the antichrist and his mark etc. But Jesus framed the end times in the context of childbirth. Mat 24:3-31 That birth is the reset of all creation back to its original state – the birth of His plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven, and things on earth. Eph 1:10
Like the rainbow we thought we saw in full, one day we will come full “circle” and realize the full possession of our inheritance.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Cor 13:12
2 thoughts on “Our Inheritance – Maranatha”
Good thoughts. Reading a/out punctuation is hard. Semmantic analysis, sentence structure, cultural & societal context, audience & author all play a part in interpretation. Whew. Good to know it’s His love letter to each of us. : )
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