Systematic Theology

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Msg #1535 Ephesians’ Introduction

What The Bible Says

Good Samaritan’s Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice

Diagramming sentences is often the best and sometimes the only way of capturing what Scripture contains. The sentences of Ephesians’ introduction are burdensome and run-on. That is not a criticism, it is an observation: when God writes a run-on sentence, “run-on” may be the wrong cliché to assign to it. In any regard, diagramming Paul’s introduction yields a five-seven-and five list of what the Father-Son-and Holy Ghost does in this new dispensation called grace. When the body of this book is analyzed each of these introduction pieces will preach as an explanatory list. There are five things that God the father has done in this new dispensation, “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Be sure the list is expounded “to the praise of the glory of his grace”); seven things the Christ has done in this new dispensation of grace, “that we should be to the praise of his glory” (Again, take particular note of the purpose); and lastly, five things which the Holy Spirit of God does, these being “to the praise of his glory.” Such a powerful introduction commands that our attention be focused on the body of this letter. What God did, what Christ has accomplished, and what the Holy Spirit is doing, all to usher in a new dispensation of grace, is the meat of this letter. Sorry John Calvin and “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” this is not the old covenant refurbished or reformed, it is the new covenant in his blood. The first step in the study of such a dissertation should be in understanding Paul’s use of the word “dispensation.” It unlocks the “mystery” of what Paul is writing to these Gentiles. Now watch this. (Careful, the infamous red-neck’s words before you call the ambulance are always: “Watch this!”)

An Essay for week #35 Aug 30, 2015

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