Sunday, September 19, 2010


This study looks at the destiny of the believer, both in this age and the ages to come, but not in that order.  It is important we understand both, as understanding our destiny should motivate us in the Lord, inspire us, and help us to see things from a heavenly perspective, which the first 6 verses strongly (IMHO) emphasizes.  Seeing things from the heavenly perspective helps us understand the appearances and perspectives of this present age.  Understanding our destiny should give us a stronger sense of purpose and appreciation -- though that is too light a word -- for the grace that has been brought upon us.

Ephesians 2:7-10
 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  ESV

 7 ινα ενδειξηται εν τοις αιωσιν τοις επερχομενοις το υπερβαλλον πλουτος της χαριτος αυτου εν χρηστοτητι εφ ημας εν χριστω ιησου 8 τη γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια πιστεως και τουτο ουκ εξ υμων θεου το δωρον 9 ουκ εξ εργων ινα μη τις καυχησηται 10 αυτου γαρ εσμεν ποιημα κτισθεντες εν χριστω ιησου επι εργοις αγαθοις οις προητοιμασεν ο θεος ινα εν αυτοις περιπατησωμεν

As Paul writes in verse 7 of Ephesians chapter 2, God's purpose for us, our destiny, is that He Himself (ενδειξηται ["he might show"] is in the middle voice, more correctly translated "He might show for Himself [His own benefit and purpose]", emphasizing the personal involvement of God and His desire for us) will show us off to all creation as the testimony of His grace.  Moreover, Paul writes, in the coming ages, which is an interesting notation since it refers you back to chapter 2 verses 1-3, "...following the course of this world..." (the word 'course' is translated from the Greek word αιωνα, which is also 'age', and some translations so represent the word), suggesting there are are perhaps many more ages to come. About such ages we do not know, but in all of them we will be reigning with the Lord and we will serve as a testimony and evidence to the excelling (υπερβαλλον, literally "throw over", over-arching, far reaching above, excelling, excellent)  richness and greatness of His grace in the kindness (χρηστοτητι) that He has for us because of Jesus Christ.

It is amazing, that the Lord of all creation has redeemed us, and we shall reign with Him, and He will use us before all the now seen and yet unseen creation as a demonstration of His great, great love that He demonstrated toward us in Jesus Christ, and this age is just the beginning!

Verses 8-9 are classic among those who have been trained in Evangelism Explosion.  Let's break down, exegetically, anyway:

"...for by grace...", simply the dative is used with noun grace τη γαρ χαριτι, with γαρ, the preposition 'for'.  The use of the dative expresses 'by means of', that grace is the environment of operation of what is to follow.

" have been saved...", which uses the perfect passive participle σεσωσμενοι indicating an operation upon them as believers begun in the past but standing complete in the present and evermore.

"...through faith...", indicating that it is the passage through faith that enables one to be saved in the operational environment of grace.

"...and this is not your own doing...", "...this (is) not out of you..." τουτο ουκ εξ υμων, τουτο pointing to the previous prepositional phrase "through faith", and ουκ εξ υμων indicating that this faith does not manifest itself nor is sourced from the carnality of man.

" is the gift of God...", "of God the gift", or so it reads in the Greek, θεου το δωρον, which puts emphasis on the source, Who is God, and the realization that even faith itself is a gift and not a manifestation from the mind nor will nor desire of man.

"...not a result of works, so that no one may boast."  "...not out of works in order that no one may boast of himself (middle voice. καυχησηται )

What wonder awaits us in the coming age is all a result of the work of God and His excelling greatness in His grace toward us in Christ Jesus.  We cannot begin to imagine what it all means or what it will be like.  So, rather than leave the believers in Ephesus to sit around and ponder such things, Paul pulls them (and us) back into this present age with verse 10, repeated here:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
αυτου γαρ εσμεν ποιημα κτισθεντες εν χριστω ιησου επι εργοις αγαθοις οις προητοιμασεν ο θεος ινα εν αυτοις περιπατησωμεν

Once again, all that we are and hope to be is because of Him, "having been created in Christ Jesus" a more literal translation of κτισθεντες εν χριστω ιησου, which is a reminder that Jesus is the first born of those who are being raised, and we shall be like Him -- but we are created, new creatures, not a makeover we can do for ourselves.  And the purpose of our creation, here and now?  "Good works", but not any good works, only the ones which God Himself has prepared for us BEFOREHAND.  God already had a purpose for each of us, and general purposes for all of us, before we were redeemed, while we were dead in our sins and trespasses!  It is not as though we were redeemed and then God said, "Hmmm, let's figure out what to do with you or what you can do...".  He already has it in place.  Do you see the implication here?  We are not to wait on God to decide what He wants of us, He already knows.  We are the weak link here.  If we do not know what He wants, we need to be on our face communing with Him until we do know.  He already knows, He will not play a shell game with you!  He wants you to WALK IN THE GOOD WORKS HE HAS ALREADY PREPARED FOR YOU!

Our destiny is to reign with Him, we begin learning how to do that now.  Commune with Him in prayer, learn of the ways He has prepared for you, walk in them, be ready to reign with Him.

Grace and peace,


Sunday, September 12, 2010


There is only one word to describe the manner in which a person is redeemed from a deserved death: grace, unmerited favor.  Above all, this word underscores Ephesians 2:4-6.  There is also something wonderful I find about this passage, and it represents, I think, the whole idea of the Scripture being God-breathed.  These next three verses only make sense when taken in the context of heaven's perspective, and Paul could not have written them, which are harmonious with all of Scripture, without the help of the Holy Spirit to guide his thoughts and pen...

4  But 1 God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus  ESV

4 ο δε θεος πλουσιος ων εν ελεει δια την πολλην αγαπην αυτου ην ηγαπησεν ημας 5 και οντας ημας νεκρους τοις παραπτωμασιν συνεζωοποιησεν τω χριστω χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι 6 και συνηγειρεν και συνεκαθισεν εν τοις επουρανιοις εν χριστω ιησου

There are two durative verbs in this passage, and the rest are punctiliar -- the action happened and is not continuing.  The two durative verbs are ων, the present tense participle of the verb "to be", translated "being", and the second one is the accusative voice of the same, οντας, which is translated/interpreted as "when we were".  The first part of verse 5 should more correctly read "and us being dead in trespasses..."  Paul, using the durative form of participle in its present tense, emphasized our everlasting condition prior to what he was about to describe -- just as God being rich in mercy is an everlasting quality of God, so is us being dead in our trespasses and sins our everlasting condition, until something wonderful happens...

I think somewhere along the way of this blog, I spoke of the richness of the Koine Greek, its use of prepositions and creating compound words to add strength to the ideas being conveyed.  What we are about to see are examples of this characteristic of Koine Greek, beginning in the middle of verse 5:

συνεζωοποιησεν τω χριστω

WHAM!  BAM!  There it is -- our salvation, or at least the first of its three elements.  "He made (us) alive together with Christ".  The three words are combined into one: with, life, make.  It is a new verb, in the aorist (punctiliar) form, past tense.  Punctiliar, or aorist, does not automatically mean past tense, rather, the prefix augmenting the verb tells us its time relationship:

συνεζωοποιησεν:  συν ('with', as in side by side), ε (prefix augment indicating past tense), ζωο (from the word ζωη, meaning 'life'), ποιησεν (third person singular active of the verb "to make", punctiliar/aorist by its ending σεν)

τω χριστω literally "the Christ", but in the locative form was would be required of the the preposition συν

One time occurrence of this action, in the past, not repeating.  For me, this is being written from the perspective of heaven: when Christ was made alive, the Body, the Possession, the Called Out Ones, the Elect were made alive with Him in the same action.  Interesting that Paul immediately adds "by grace you are now saved (perfect passive participle of the verb "to save"), as if to underscore this simultaneous "being made alive" was God's work entirely, not ours in any way.

I said there were three elements to our salvation, the first being that we (the Body, the Elect, the Possession, the Called-out Ones, and henceforth hereafter) were made alive together with Christ.  The second element is that we were raised with Him, and thirdly, seated with Him in the heavenly places.  These other two elements are represented by compounded words/verbs in much the same way as the first element:

και συνηγειρεν και συνεκαθισεν εν τοις επουρανιοις εν χριστω ιησου

I think you can recognize similar linguistic characteristics in the words in bold as I previously described.

συνηγειρεν συν ('with'), η (since the word 'to raise' begins with a noun, the past tense augment merely lengthens the vowel), (ε)γειρεν (third person singular active of the verb "to raise", punctiliar/aorist by its ending εν)

συνεκαθισεν συν ('with'), ε (past tense augment), καθισεν (third person singular active of the verb "to sit", punctiliar/aorist by its ending σεν)

Note the use of the aorist past tense in these verbs, meaning these actions are already completed, and they occurred for the Redeemed, the Elect as the events occurred for Christ.  Being raised up and being seated with Christ are not things to which a believer must "hope" will happen, from Heaven's perspective, it has already happened!

Our salvation, by grace -- unmerited -- is solely the work of God in every way: He is the One Who made us alive when we were lifeless; He is the One Who raised us up with Christ into a new life; He is the One Who seated us in the heavenly places with Him: all of these things are already done, finished, completed for the Body, His Possession.  What a great love with which He has loved us!

Grace and peace, my brothers and sisters,