Monday, December 6, 2010

Ephesians


Lately I've been trying to do an in depth study of Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. I've been going slowly section by section, praying verse by verse and then writing out what I'm seeing as I read - basically writing my own commentary. It is amazing the depth of truth you begin to see when you actually spend some time and energy in one place in Scripture - and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

Recently a friend gave me the gift of a commentary on Ephesians. It is Charles Hodge's commentary from the Crossway Classic Commentaries series edited by Alister McGrath and J.I. Packer. This is a really excellent series and includes commentaries on various books of the Bible by J.C. Ryle, Luther, Calvin, John Owen and Spurgeon among others.

I was reading Hodge's excellent introduction to his commentary and I was impressed by something he wrote as he argued against the theological liberals who even at his time were trying to cast doubt on all the books of the Bible. Ephesians did not escape the attacks of these liberals who made various arguments contending that the book had not really been written by the apostle Paul as it claims to be. Hodge does an excellent job of taking apart the arguments of these men. The quote that really stood out to me comes from a section where Hodge is arguing for the genuineness of the letter as truly being written by Paul the apostle. Hodge wrote of Ephesians:
Finally and mainly, the letter reveals itself as the work of the Holy Spirit, as clearly as the stars declare their maker to be God. In no part of the sacred Scriptures are the self-evidencing light and power of divine truth more concentrated than they are here. Had it been first discovered in the nineteenth century in a forsaken monastery, it would command the faith of the whole church.
After spending a good amount of time in this letter recently all I can say to that is "amen."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,

By happy coincidence, I am also at Ephesians in my reading right now. This may be my favorite epistle. I enjoy how much discussion of unity Paul employs--it is perfect for Advent.

I particularly love chapter 2. "But now in Christ Jesus you who were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility...For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father."

I hope you have a good week. I get to renew my ACLS tomorrow--which, fortunately, I don't use much in outpatient care:)

Take Care,

SP

Matt Perkins said...

Hey SP,
I hope your ACLS renewal goes well tomorrow. I'm glad you're also in Ephesians. I'm going through it very slowly so I'll probably be concentrating most of my energy on Ephesians at least through December. I'm trying to read one chapter from the OT and a Gospel daily though too. Your comment about Ephesians made me think about something Hodge wrote though. In his preface he wrote that one of Paul's principle objects was to, "lead them to enter into the spirit of the Gospel as a system which ignored the distinction between Jews and Gentiles and united all the members of the church in one living body, destined to be brought into full conformity to the image of Christ."
Have a good week!

Carson Clark said...

Matt,

Hello. Just came across your blog. Really enjoyed the read. I look forward to future posts.

Hope you don't mind, but I wanted to tell you about my own blog. I'm an aspiring clergy-writer who's new to the Anglican tradition, and am trying to find Anglican readers. The title of my blog is "Musings of a Hard-Lining Moderate: The assorted thoughts of an evangelical Anglican."

I write about theology, culture, politics, movie/book reviews, pet theories... anything that comes to mind. Right now I'm doing a series on the doctrine of Scripture, which was prompted by the crisis in the global communion. I also recently wrote a post on the value of the christian calendar.

Anyway, Don't know if you'd be interested, but here's the link: http://bit.ly/dXh2qd. Have a great day.

Grace & Peace,

Carson

Matt Perkins said...

Carson,
I checked out your blog, looks pretty interesting. I hope to stop by from time to time. May the Lord bless you bless you and your church brother.
Matt