26. Eph 6:21-24 Pulling Together the Overall Message of Ephesians that will Change your Life
- The New Creation has already begun, but the Old has not yet ended. We are living in the overlap, which is tough,
- but if we understand it will be a source of immense power and joy.
Please open the handout showing this passage by Clicking here,
or download the PDF of the page here.
- I made a website to collect all our Ephesians sermons and notes
- Easy to remember: ephesians.ca
The big-picture message of Ephesians is life-changing if you truly grasp it.
- Demonstration with a person who has a bag over their head
- But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,
- for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
1. The Big Story
- God never patches up the old
- He always does something new
- And then invites the old to come in
- All the people of the earth were corrupt except one family (Noah)
- God decided to start again with just that family
- All were invited, but only 8 went into the ark
- The old world was destroyed and a “new world” began
The Nation of Israel:
- The Nation of Israel became hopelessly corrupt
- God took the whole nation into captivity
- Then invited all those who had a heart for him to return to start a renewed nation back in Palestine, with a new temple
- Only 42,000 accepted the invitation
The New Creation
- God ultimately will not patch up this creation
- He has started something new in Jesus
- And is inviting us to join Jesus
- Sabbath: God created in 6 days, then rested
- “Rest” was to enter into the pleasure of his creation (not because he was tired!)
- “And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I am working.’” [John 5:16–17]
- Not resting in the Old any longer, but working on the New!
- God was working on something New and so was Jesus
2. Already Here!
- Until a century ago it was highly unusual for people to put charts or diagrams in books, especially if they were serious academic book
- It was seen as a sign of being a poor writer if you couldn’t do it with words and needed a picture.
- Sure there were charts and visual symbols in the ancient world, but never as part of a book
- However, in 1930 a remarkable Christian book was published by Princeton University, that included a diagram that has been incredibly helpful to countless people ever since.
- It has been copied and polished, but here is the original:
- Pauline Eschatology, Vos, p.38
- We can add a few things to the chart:
- Old Creation, New Creation
- First Adam, Last Adam
- Dust of the ground, the Spirit
- The really important thing is that the new has started before the old has ended
- They both exist in parallel!
- In Ephesians 5 we read:
- …“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
- Look carefully then how you walk,
not as unwise
but as wise,
16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
- Therefore… be filled by the Spirit,
- then as Paul begins to develop the story, it goes something like this
- This world is broken, fatally damaged, poisoned
- Sin has come in and spoiled everything
- the environment
- There is really no hope for it
- God is not going to patch it up to keep it going, but eventually will destroy it
- God has started a new creation in Jesus
- A new kind of being
- When Jesus rose from the dead, his new body was not made of dust, but of Spirit
- Colossians calls him the “firstborn from the dead”
- He was the first of the New Creation
- We get from the old to the new by being joined to Jesus
- He died in the old, and rose in the new
- But for now we still have to live in the old!
- How do we do that?
Image source: “Wikimedia Commons”
- We have one foot in the old and one in the new
- Actually the outer is the old and inner is the new
- That really is the main theme of Ephesians!
3. The New Creation in Ephesians
The New Creation in Ephesians
- Εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ εὐλογήσας ἡμᾶς
ἐν πάσῃ εὐλογίᾳ πνευματικῇ ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις ἐν Χριστῷ, Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us
in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
- εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν, ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, as a plan for the fullness of the times, to bring together under one head all things in Christ,
- πεφωτισμένους τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τῆς καρδίας ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εἰδέναι ὑμᾶς that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know
- καὶ τί τὸ ὑπερβάλλον μέγεθος τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe
- ὑπεράνω πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας καὶ δυνάμεως καὶ κυριότητος far above every ruler and authority and power and dominion
- καὶ συνήγειρεν and raised us up together
- ἵνα ἐνδείξηται ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος τῆς χάριτος so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace
- αὐτοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν ποίημα, κτισθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐπὶ ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works
- αὐτὸς γάρ ἐστιν ἡ εἰρήνη ἡμῶν, For he himself is our peace,
- τὸν νόμον τῶν ἐντολῶν ἐν δόγμασιν καταργήσας, cancelling the law of commands and regulations,
- ἐποικοδομηθέντες ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ προφητῶν, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets
- ἐν ᾧ πᾶσα οἰκοδομὴ συναρμολογουμένη In him the whole structure, being fitted together,
- ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε In him you are also being built together
- ἵνα ἐξισχύσητε καταλαβέσθαι σὺν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίοις that you may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
- γνῶναί τε τὴν ὑπερβάλλουσαν τῆς γνώσεως ἀγάπην τοῦ Χριστοῦ, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
- Τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳ ὑπὲρ πάντα ποιῆσαι ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ ὧν αἰτούμεθα ἢ νοοῦμεν Now to him who has power to do all things far more abundantly than we ask or think,
- ἀποθέσθαι ὑμᾶς κατὰ τὴν προτέραν ἀναστροφὴν τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον to take off the old self, belonging to your former behavior
- ἀνανεοῦσθαι δὲ τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ νοὸς ὑμῶν, to be renewed by the Spirit in your mind,
- καὶ ἐνδύσασθαι τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν κατὰ θεὸν κτισθέντα to put on the new self created after the likeness of God
- ἦτε γάρ ποτε σκότος, νῦν δὲ φῶς ἐν κυρίῳ· For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
- Βλέπετε οὖν ἀκριβῶς πῶς περιπατεῖτε, Watch carefully then how you walk:
- ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν, ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν. making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
- ✽ἀντὶ τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος [τὸν] πατέρα καὶ [τὴν] μητέρα “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother
- τὸ μυστήριον τοῦτο μέγα ἐστίν, This mystery is profound,
- ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν ἡ πάλη πρὸς αἷμα καὶ σάρκα, For our struggle is not against blood and flesh
- διὰ τοῦτο ἀναλάβετε τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, Because of this take up the complete armor of God
- ῾Ίνα δὲ εἰδῆτε καὶ ὑμεῖς τὰ κατ’ ἐμέ, τί πράσσω, So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing,
- ὃν ἔπεμψα πρὸς ὑμᾶς εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο Whom I have sent to you for this very purpose,
- Εἰρήνη τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς καὶ ἀγάπη μετὰ πίστεως Peace be to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith,
- ἡ χάρις μετὰ πάντων τῶν ἀγαπώντων τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, for ever and ever.
Translation and structure by Andrew Fountain
- Let’s look at the passage (and your handout):
- Why it gives me hope
Joined to Jesus - umbilical / dependence
- I ask God to enlighten the eyes of your heart so you see
- The love and security he has called you into
- The incredible richness of your future
- The power available to you
- I ask God to help you walk in the truth of your true status
- Your beloved is higher than the highest
- Don’t tell yourself lies, or allow others to tell you them
- I ask God to help you focus on what he wants you to do, and you have nothing to fear!