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Ephesians 2:17-22


Darlene

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Lord,

 

First and foremost, thank You for birthing this study in Ephesians...I am learning so much.

 

Second, thank You for the obstacles that are trying to interfere with it. That which the enemy seeks to destroy and end, broadside and dishearten me, You continue to give strength and clarity about the essence of what this study REALLY is about. It's all about You because I'm learning more and more about You.

 

I can't help but feel excited inside as I watch You be victorious time after time after time.

 

I love You Lord...please bless the reading of today's Word, and let me, and us, learn exactly what You want us to learn.

 

17. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

 

Calvin wrote, "And came and preached peace. All that Christ had done towards effecting a reconciliation would have been of no service, if it had not been proclaimed by the gospel; and therefore he adds, that the fruit of this peace has now been offered both to Jews and to Gentiles. Hence it follows, that to save Gentiles as well as Jews was the design of our Savior’s coming, as the preaching of the gospel, which is addressed indiscriminately to both, makes abundantly manifest. The same order is followed in the second Epistle to the Corinthians.

 

“He hath committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ. For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21.)

 

Salvation through the death of Christ is first announced, and a description is afterwards given of the manner in which Christ communicates to us himself and the benefit of his death. But here Paul dwells chiefly on this circumstance, that Gentiles are united with Jews in the Kingdom of God. Having already represented Christ as a Savior common to both, he now speaks of them as companions in the gospel. The Jews, though they possessed the law, needed the gospel also; and God had bestowed upon the Gentiles equal grace. Those therefore whom

 

“God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”

(Matthew 19:6.)

 

No reference to distance of place is conveyed by the words afar off and nigh. The Jews, in respect of the covenant, were nigh to God. The Gentiles, so long as they had no promise of salvation, were afar off— were banished from the kingdom of God.

 

And preached peace; not indeed by his own lips, but by the apostles. It was necessary that Christ should rise from the dead, before the Gentiles were called to the fellowship of grace. Hence that saying of our Lord,

 

“I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

(Matthew 15:24.)

 

The apostles were forbidden, while he was still in the world, to carry their first embassy to the Gentiles.

 

“Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans, enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5,6,)

 

His apostles were afterwards employed as trumpets for proclaiming the gospel to the Gentiles. What they did, not only in his name, and by his command, but as it were in his own person, is justly ascribed to none other than himself. We too speak as if Christ himself exhorted you by us. (2 Corinthians 5:20) The faith of the gospel would be weak indeed, were we to look no higher than to men. Its whole authority is derived from viewing men as God’s instruments, and hearing Christ speak to us by their mouth. Observe here, the gospel is the message of peace, by which God declares himself to be reconciled to us, and makes known his paternal love. Take away the gospel, and war and enmity continue to subsist between God and men; and, on the other hand, the native tendency of the gospel is, to give peace and calmness to the conscience, which would otherwise be tormented by distressing alarm."

 

Interesting thought...the message of the gospel is peace...peace given to mankind through the work that Jesus did on the Cross, so that we might have a relationship with our Creator. In the absence of that relationship, is torment...as if we were created to have a need for an 'umbilical cord' between us and God, and without that cord, I'd be gasping for air, dying, without that life giving union.

 

Clarke's comment is, "And came and preached peace] Proclaimed the readiness of God to forgive and save both Jews and Gentiles. See the note on ver. 13."

 

Wesley note, "And he came - After his resurrection. And preached peace - By his ministers and his Spirit. To you - Gentiles. That were afar off - At the utmost distance from God. And to them that were nigh - To the Jews, who were comparatively nigh, being his visible church."

 

This makes me think about the scripture in John 3:16, where the Lord states, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have eternal life". God's plan then, from the beginning was to bring both Jew and Gentile together into one 'world', because He loved them. For whatever reason (which I don't fully understand) there was a 'season' of time when it appeared that Israel was His only chosen people. Christ, who is God and of God, gave the fullness of God's original intention to save and love the 'world' and not just a small, select group of people that were only a part of that nation because they just so happened to be born into it.

 

This is helpful to me, because 'old tapes' left me feeling 'less than' from the Jews, because I was a 'Gentile' and not originally born a Jew. Perhaps it's my competitive nature, or insecurities or what have you, but I get sensitive thinking (abstractly, not literally) "oh, and you...you can come too". I need or want to feel as if I can stand solidly, instead of an afterthought (I don't really mean the words as harsh as they may appear in the written type). I guess if I follow this thought process all the way around, I believe in Him because I really do believe that He did die for me...that I was 'planned', and not an 'accident'. Nobody goes through what He did if He didn't really love me, and us.

 

Anyway, color me screwy, but that's just sometimes how I think. And that was some of the thought processes I was struggling with the other day while I was doing the study that I lost, knowing in my head, but not grasping in my heart when it was talking about the Jews being His people, and then the Gentiles being admitted into that ability to have a relationship.

 

I think that people many times are who they are in the todays because of experiences and influences in the years preceeding. It's important to me, in the human sense, to be self contained...to keep up walls that I don't let down. Oh, I can let a bunch of walls down and go to lengths in alot of ways, but the reality is, the essence of who I am, of what my heart truly desires, of the needs that I really do have, are not made known to others because of trust, or lack thereof. Over the years, I have gotten really good at not asking anything from anyone that stems from those most secret places in my heart. I'm sure that will change some day when the time is right. I find it interesting though, that I can talk about that truth about me, but it doesn't make me feel vulnerable because I'm secure in the knowledge that 'just because I tell you about it doesn't mean you can get to it'.

 

THE POINT IS, in trying to explain all that, is that when that day came, and I was nothing more than a disolved mess on my knees on the floor, and felt that way towards the Lord, there was that most vulnerable and secret place in my heart that was scared to death that my disbelief that He would help was true. I was a few days from checking out forever so this experience in my life rocked my world. There was nobody 'there' but Him and I, and as the days and weeks started to go by I told Him how I was afraid I was of Him, how afraid I was to trust Him, believe Him, hope, and all those things...I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Obviously, it never did...He proved me wrong over and over again...He flooded me with His peace and love, even in my disbelief, until I began to believe and have hope.

 

I have real issues with 'just words'...things like "oh Jesus saved me", "I'm a Christian", "blahblahblah about spiritual things, whatever they may be". I came from such an extreme place, that when I read scriptures about how the 'veil was rent in two', I comprehend in my soul...because that's what the Lord did in my life, my heart, my soul. He rent it in two, that which was diseased and about dead, and filled it with Him, and His life, and His peace and His hope. It's living and breathing, and full of His life. There is nothing the enemy could ever do to touch at least that part of me because I've already jumped off the cliff into His arms and I'd never believe anything else.

 

I dunno if I'm explaining this well, but the point of all that is it's part of the reason that I was struggling with those verses...it's way too easy for me to shut down and walk away (without using any reason or thought). It's been important to see in His Word that we were planned on from the beginning of time, regardless of when that was revealed.

 

What a book I've written in trying to explain one little point, but it's been an important one to me. Geez I need to go preview what I've written, I have no idea...lol

 

Moving on...

 

18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

 

Calvin writes, "For through him we both have access. This is an argument from the fact, that we are permitted to draw near to God. But it may be viewed also as an announcement of peace; for wicked men, lulled into a profound sleep, sometimes deceive themselves by false notions of peace, but are never at rest, except when they have learned to forget the Divine judgment, and to keep themselves at the greatest possible distance from God. It was necessary, therefore, to explain the true nature of evangelical peace, which is widely different from a stupefied conscience, from false confidence, from proud boasting, from ignorance of our own wretchedness. It is a settled composure, which leads us not to dread, but to desire and seek, the face of God. Now, it is Christ who opens the door to us, yea, who is himself the door. (John 10:9.) As this is a double door thrown open for the admission both of Jews and Gentiles, we are led to view God as exhibiting to both his fatherly kindness. He adds, by one Spirit; who leads and guides us to Christ, and “by whom we cry, Abba, Father,” (Romans 8:15,) for hence arises the boldness of approach. Jews had various means of drawing near to God; now all have but one way, to be led by the Spirit of God."

 

I really got alot out of Calvin's commentary when he wrote about this verse being an announcement of peace...and about how sinners assauge their conscience with things that are wrong when they have distanced themselves far enough from the Father. They deceive themselves by that distancing and by reasoning in their minds until that God consciousness is put to sleep. His words "stupefied conscience" rang true.

 

I know that for me, when I was 'unsettled', I avoided the things of God. It's neat for me, to see laid out in words, what has been happening in my life when he also writes about a 'settled composure that leads to desiring and seeking the face of God'. That is where I am at, and I never thought to refer to it as a 'settled composure'.

 

Clarke writes, "For through him] Christ Jesus, we both - Jews and Gentiles, have access by one Spirit - through the influence of the Holy Ghost, unto the Father - God Almighty. This text is a plain proof of the holy Trinity. Jews and Gentiles are to be presented unto God the FATHER; the SPIRIT of God works in their hearts, and prepares them for this presentation; and JESUS CHRIST himself introduces them. No soul can have access to God but by Jesus Christ, and he introduces none but such as receive his Holy Spirit. All who receive that Spirit are equally dear to him; and, whatever their names be among men, they are known in heaven as children of God, and heirs of eternal glory."

 

This is a very sweet and touching description of the Trinity. Each is critical to bringing it to it's conclusion of being accepted and right before the Father. The Holy spirit prepares for presentation, Jesus does the introduction, and the Father approves and accepts. I can't think of anything I'd want more than to be accepted and approved of by the Holy Father.

 

Wesley notes, " For through him, we both - Jews and gentiles. Have access - Liberty of approaching, by the guidance and aid of one Spirit to God as our Father. Christ, the Spirit, and the Father, the three-one God, stand frequently in the same order."

 

19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

 

Calvin writes, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers. The Ephesians are now exclusively addressed. They were formerly strangers from the covenants of promise, but their condition was now changed. They were foreigners, but God had made them citizens of his church. The high value of that honor which God had been pleased to bestow upon them, is expressed in a variety of language. They are first called fellow-citizens with the saints, — next, of the household of God, — and lastly, stones properly fitted into the building of the temple of the Lord. The first appellation is taken from the comparison of the church to a state, which occurs very frequently in Scripture. Those who were formerly profane, and utterly unworthy to associate with godly persons, have been raised to distinguished honor in being admitted to be members of the same community with Abraham, — with all the holy patriarchs, and prophets, and kings, — nay, with the angels themselves. To be of the household of God, which is the second comparison, suggests equally exalted views of their present condition. God has admitted them into his own family; for the church is God’s house.

 

Clarke's commentary states, "Ye are no more strangers] In this chapter the Church of God is compared to a city, which, has a variety of privileges, rights, &c., founded on regular charters and grants. The Gentiles, having believed in Christ, are all incorporated with the believing Jews in this holy city. Formerly, when any of them came to Jerusalem, being xenoi, strangers, they had no kind of rights whatever; nor could they, as mere heathens, settle among them.

 

Again, if any of them, convinced of the errors of the Gentiles, acknowledged the God of Israel, but did not receive circumcision, he might dwell in the land, but he had no right to the blessings of the covenant; such might be called paroikoi, sojourners - persons who have no property in the land, and may only rent a house for the time being.

 

Fellow citizens with the saints] Called to the enjoyment of equal privileges with the Jews themselves, who, by profession, were a holy people; who were bound to be holy, and therefore are often called saints, or holy persons, when both their hearts and conduct were far from being right in the sight of God. But the saints spoken of here are the converted or Christianized Jews.

 

Of the household of God] The house of God is the temple; the temple was a type of the Christian Church; this is now become God's house; all genuine believers are considered as being oikeioi, domestics, of this house, the children and servants of God Almighty, having all equal rights, privileges, and advantages; as all, through one Spirit, by the sacred head of the family, had equal access to God, and each might receive as much grace and as much glory as his soul could possibly contain."

 

Wesley writes, "Therefore ye are no longer strangers, but citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem; no longer foreigners, but received into the very family of God."

 

My heart just feels overwhelmed at the moment over how it is ALL about Him...about Jesus, about how, without His sacrifice, I'd have none of these rights and priviledges. He really does deserve the rewards of His sufferings (which is a saved people through Him), and like I've said before, although I have a hard time accepting all the pain He went through for us, I'm so desperately grateful that He did, so that I could be His child.

 

20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone;

 

Calvin shares, "And are built. The third comparison illustrates the manner in which the Ephesians, and all other Christians are admitted to the honor of being fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God. They are built on the foundation, — they are founded on the doctrine, of the apostles and prophets. We are thus enabled to distinguish between a true and a false church. This is of the greatest importance; for the tendency to error is always strong, and the consequences of mistake are dangerous in the extreme. No churches boast more loudly of the name than those which bear a false and empty title; as may be seen in our own times. To guard us against mistake, the mark of a true church is pointed out.

 

Foundation, in this passage, unquestionably means doctrine; for no mention is made of patriarchs or pious kings, but only of those who held the office of teachers, and whom God had appointed to superintend the edification of his church. It is laid down by Paul, that the faith of the church ought to be founded on this doctrine. What opinion, then, must we form of those who rest entirely on the contrivances of men, and yet accuse us of revolt, because we embrace the pure doctrine of God? But the manner in which it is founded deserves inquiry; for, in the strict sense of the term, Christ is the only foundation. He alone supports the whole church. He alone is the rule and standard of faith. But Christ is actually the foundation on which the church is built by the preaching of doctrine; and, on this account, the prophets and apostles are called builders. (1 Corinthians 3:10.) Nothing else, Paul tells us, was ever intended by the prophets and apostles, than to found a church on Christ.

 

We shall find this to be true, if we begin with Moses; for “Christ is the end of the law,” (Romans 10:4,) and the sum of the gospel. Let us remember, therefore, that if we wish to be reckoned among believers, we must place our reliance on no other: if we wish to make sure progress in the knowledge of the Scriptures, to him our whole attention must be directed. The same lesson is taught, when we consult the word of God as contained in the writings of the prophets and apostles. To shew us how we ought to combine them, their harmony is pointed out; for they have a common foundation, and labor jointly in building the temple of God. Though the apostles have become our teachers, the instruction of the prophets has not been rendered superfluous; but one and the same object is promoted by both.

 

I have been led to make this remark by the conduct of the Marcionites in ancient times, who expunged the word prophets from this passage; and by that of certain fanatics in the present day, who, following their footsteps, exclaim loudly that we have nothing to do with the law and the prophets, because the gospel has put an end to their authority. The Holy Spirit everywhere declares, that he has spoken to us by the mouth of the prophets, and demands that we shall listen to him in their writings. This is of no small consequence for maintaining the authority of our faith. All the servants of God, from first to last, are so perfectly agreed, that their harmony is in itself a clear demonstration that it is one God who speaks in them all. The commencement of our religion must be traced to the creation of the world. In vain do Papists, Mahometans, and other sects, boast of their antiquity, while they are mere counterfeits of the true, the pure religion.

 

Jesus Christ, himself is the chief corner-stone. Those who transfer this honor to Peter, and maintain that on him the church is founded, are so void of shame, as to attempt to justify their error by quoting this passage. They hold out that Christ is called the chief corner-stone, by comparison with others; and that there are many stones on which the church is founded. But this difficulty is easily solved. Various metaphors are employed by the apostles according to the diversity of circumstances, but still with the same meaning. In writing to the Corinthians, Paul lays down an incontestable proposition, that “no other foundation can be laid.” (1 Corinthians 3:11.) He does not therefore mean, that Christ is merely a corner, or a part of the foundation; for then he would contradict himself. What then? He means that Jews and Gentiles were two separate walls, but are formed into one spiritual building. Christ is placed in the middle of the corner for the purpose of uniting both, and this is the force of the metaphor. What is immediately added shews sufficiently that he is very far from limiting Christ to any one part of the building."

 

I full believe and agree when Calvin writes, "for the tendency to error is always strong, and the consequences of mistake are dangerous in the extreme", and this scares me in a healthy way. It is so easy to fall into error, especially these days...I see it all around me, and I don't want to be one of its casualties.

 

I think that is one of the reasons that His Spirit had been burdening my heart for a while, to not only read, but study His Word. He will lead and reveal, if I will take that first step to follow.

 

I believe with all that I am, that my answers, my guidance, my protection, my hope, is found in His Word.

 

Clarke comments, "And are built upon the foundation] Following the same metaphor, comparing the Church of Christ to a city, and to the temple, the believing Ephesians are represented as parts of that building; the living stones out of which it is principally formed, 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5, having for foundation - the ground plan, specification, and principle on which it was builded, the doctrine taught by the prophets in the Old Testament, and the apostles in the New. Jesus Christ being that corner stone, or akrogwniaiov, the chief angle or foundation corner stone, the connecting medium by which both Jews and Gentiles were united in the same building. Elsewhere Jesus Christ is termed the foundation stone. Behold I lay in Zion a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, Isa. xxviii. 16; but the meaning is the same in all the places where these terms, foundation and corner stone, occur; for in laying the foundation of a building, a large stone is generally placed at one of the angles or corners, which serves to form a part of the two walls which meet in that angle.

 

When, therefore, the apostle says that Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone, it means such a foundation stone as that above mentioned."

 

Wesley states, "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets - As the foundation sustains the building, so the word of God, declared by the apostles and prophets, sustains the faith of all believers. God laid the foundation by them; but Christ himself is the chief corner-stone of the foundation. Elsewhere he is termed the foundation itself, 1 Cor. iii, 11."

 

God laid the foundation, Christ was set as the critical main cornerstone, and His Word is what sustains our belief in it. Interesting.

 

21. In whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

 

Calvin writes, "In whom all the building groweth. If this be true, what will become of Peter? When Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, speaks of Christ as a “Foundation,” he does not mean that the church is begun by him and completed by others, but draws a distinction arising out of a comparison of his own labors with those of other men. It had been his duty to found the church at Corinth, and to leave to his successors the completion of the building.

 

“According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth on it.” (1 Corinthians 3:10.)

 

With respect to the present passage, he conveys the instruction, that all who are fitly framed together in Christ are the temple of the Lord. There is first required a fitting together, that believers may embrace and accommodate themselves to each other by mutual intercourse; otherwise there would not be a building, but a confused mass. The chief part of the symmetry consists in unity of faith. Next follows progress, or increase. Those who are not united in faith and love, so as to grow in the Lord, belong to a profane building, which has nothing in common with the temple of the Lord.

 

Groweth unto an holy temple. Individual believers are at other times called “temples of the Holy Ghost,” (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16,) but here all are said to constitute one temple. In both cases the metaphor is just and appropriate. When God dwells in each of us, it is his will that we should embrace all in holy unity, and that thus he should form one temple out of many. Each person, when viewed separately, is a temple, but, when joined to others, becomes a stone of a temple; and this view is given for the sake of recommending the unity of the church."

 

Clarke shares, "In whom] By which foundation corner stone, Christ Jesus, all the building, composed of converted Jews and Gentiles, fitly framed together, sunarmologoumenh, properly jointed and connected together, groweth unto a holy temple - is continually increasing, as new converts from Judaism or heathenism flock into it. It is not a finished building, but will continue to increase, and be more and more perfect, till the day of judgment."

 

Wesley writes, "On whom all the building fitly framed together - The whole fabric of the universal church rises up like a great pile of living materials. Into an holy temple in the Lord - Dedicated to Christ, and inhabited by him, in which he displays his presence, and is worshipped and glorified. What is the temple of Diana of the Ephesians, whom ye formerly worshipped, to this?"

 

I guess that's part of the work we're to be doing...increasing the height and breath of God's temple, comprised of souls whom Christ 'fitly frames' together in the building of this temple that is nothing short of arms and hearts faced upwards, in faith, worshipping the Living God.

 

22. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 

Calvin writes, "In whom ye also are builded together, or in whom also Be Ye Builded together. The termination of the Greek verb, óõíïéêïäïìåῖóèå, like that of the Latin, cooedificamini, does not enable us to determine whether it is in the imperative or indicative mood. The context will admit either, but I prefer the latter sense. It is, I think, an exhortation to the Ephesians to grow more and more in the faith of Christ, after having been once founded in it, and thus to form a part of that new temple of God, the building of which through the gospel was then in progress in every part of the world.

 

Through the Spirit. This is again repeated for two reasons: first, to remind them that all human exertions are of no avail without the operation of the Spirit; and secondly, to point out the superiority of the spiritual building to all Jewish and outward services."

 

Clarke states, "In whom ye also are builded] The apostle now applies the metaphor to the purpose for which he produced it, retaining however some of the figurative expressions. As the stones in a temple are all properly placed so as to form a complete house, and be a habitation for the Deity that is worshipped there, so ye are all, both believing Jews and Gentiles, prepared by the doctrine of the prophets and apostles, under the influence of the Spirit of Christ, to become a habitation of God, a Church in which God shall be worthily worshipped, and in which he can continually dwell."

 

Wesley has no commentary on this verse.

 

Heavenly Father,

 

This has been a day of study that has been indicative of some deep digging on my part. I know that You find it pleasing that I am willing to dig, to lay aside the earth that is attempting to hide Your truths underneath...so that You can solidly and perfectly 'etch in stone' what that truth really is...

 

As I was reading and writing this all out today Lord, it seemed to me as if we are all climbing and scaling the mountain that leads to You. The terraine and surface of this mountain is different for each of us. What might be a level plateau for me, might be a dangerous and rocky place for another, as we struggle to climb closer to You through Your Word. But Your Spirit secures us safely against this mountain that we climb...the goal of reaching the top has already been achieved and won by Christ. With You in my sites, with Jesus convincing me I've already made it even though it's rough going, and with the security and safety of Your Spirit's arms wrapped around me, keeping me from falling, I climb.

 

I want You, I need You and I know I am Yours.

 

Holy Spirit, please take these words that I have written, perfect them, annoint them and present them before the Father, that He might bless them and use them to bring Him the glory only He deserves. I'm feeling especially inadequate today, but I've laid it out best I know how and I trust that You will complete it.

 

In Jesus Name,

 

 

 

Link to post

Whew, a lot in here today.

 

Quote:
This makes me think about the scripture in John 3:16, where the Lord states, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have eternal life". God's plan then, from the beginning was to bring both Jew and Gentile together into one 'world', because He loved them. For whatever reason (which I don't fully understand) there was a 'season' of time when it appeared that Israel was His only chosen people. Christ, who is God and of God, gave the fullness of God's original intention to save and love the 'world' and not just a small, select group of people that were only a part of that nation because they just so happened to be born into it.

 

This is helpful to me, because 'old tapes' left me feeling 'less than' from the Jews, because I was a 'Gentile' and not originally born a Jew. Perhaps it's my competitive nature, or insecurities or what have you, but I get sensitive thinking (abstractly, not literally) "oh, and you...you can come too". I need or want to feel as if I can stand solidly, instead of an afterthought (I don't really mean the words as harsh as they may appear in the written type). I guess if I follow this thought process all the way around, I believe in Him because I really do believe that He did die for me...that I was 'planned', and not an 'accident'. Nobody goes through what He did if He didn't really love me, and us.

 

I got to thinking of how this world started with obviously knowing God during Adam/Eve. By the time of Noah, the thrill of debauchery had claimed all but Noah? Yucky time to live. There is reference to 'In the days of Lot' (and his uncle Abraham) ...... Seems like no one knew the One True God anymore. Must have made God so saddened. So he starts with this one maleable man, Abram. I've heard that He intended for Abraham's decendants, the Hebrew people, to be the heralds for Him. He'd always intended to reclaim the whole world. But He had to start somewhere. That the Hebrews were to be a nation, consecrated to Him for the purpose of leading the rest of us all back to HIM. Like a pattern within a pattern [what do they call that in science? Fractals? ] God set their nation up to have the Levites as the consecrated tribe. So too, the Hebrews were to be the consecrated nation for leading the rest of the world. And so they were, somewhat. But they had those nasty years, learning to be faithful...getting overrun, in captivity, wandering in the desert, etc. [Patterns within patterns: we all do that individually to this day...lest we think *they* were particularly hard-headed. lol ] Even through those times, God made sure that His nation was spreading word of Himself. Didn't the life of Daniel catch the attention of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon? And Nehemiah impressed King Artaxerxes of the Mede/Persian empire enough to get a leave of absence (was his cup bearer) to go home and rebuilt the walls of Jeruselem.

 

Then came stage two. The bigger picture with Christ as the Perfect Bridge back to the Father and the Holy Spirit as the urging and communicator and energizer. With that, any who believed on His (Jesus) name would have the Holy Spirit - resulting in direct and constant access to God. Something that was not available before. That is SUCH a significant deal!!! Then all who 'house' His Spirit become His heralds. No longer matters about the Jew/Gentile or man/woman or free/slave. And we all become individual temples and a vital piece of the corporate one, as they mentioned.

 

Sometimes Gentiles are referred to as 'grafted in' or 'adopted'. Adopted is a dear term to me, cuz personally I KNOW that DH and I could not POSSIBLY love our DD's any more if they had been born to us. They didn't even come as babies either. Half grown but they are OURS!!!!! So from that I am not in the least bit put off by being Gentile and 'adopted in'. Not in the least bit are we a second thought or second best. Nope! Never! Uh, uh!

 

 

Another thot that struck me was after reading this:

 

Quote:
Wesley writes, "On whom all the building fitly framed together - The whole fabric of the universal church rises up like a great pile of living materials. Into an holy temple in the Lord - Dedicated to Christ, and inhabited by him, in which he displays his presence, and is worshipped and glorified. What is the temple of Diana of the Ephesians, whom ye formerly worshipped, to this?"

 

The term 'universal church' ....in the very best sense of this phrase. All of us who are a temple/dwelling place for the Spirit are truly a universal church. But what struck me is the other 'universal' movement now going on. The movement to create universal government. Not a government authorized by God but just one more Tower of Babel being attempted by human effort. As such, it will not line up with our 'universal church' which (when we're behaving like King's kids) is under the direction of the Spirit. We're gonna be on opposite sides on this one. As they say on Star Trek...."Battle stations, everyone!"

 

 

Oye, I've been reading this all evening with 4 phone calls and a nap thrown in also.

Thanks, Dar.

 

MtRider [past bedtime....again!]

 

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