Imitate God

Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love just as Christ loved us and gave himself on our behalf, an offering and sacrifice as a soothing aroma to God.
But sexual immorality, or impurity, or greed must not even be mentioned among you as is fitting among holy ones, neither obscenity, or foolish talk, or course jesting, which are not proper, but rather thanksgiving.
For know this for certain, that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (being an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no one deceive you with baseless arguments, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon all those who are disobedient. Therefore, do not be partakers with them. For you were formally darkness, but now you are children of light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
(a translation of Ephesians 5:1-10)


What Does it Mean to be “Sealed” by the Holy Spirit?

For my Greek Exegesis II class I did a word study on “sealed” (σφραγίζω) as it is found in Ephesians 1:13.

I’ll post my conclusion first, and if you want to know where I got my conclusion, you can read the rest.

The meaning of “sealed” becomes quite clear after having examined the context so thoroughly, for Paul has repeatedly shown the believers at Ephesus that their hope is in what God has done and not what they have done or will do. So this sealing is their hope, their security – for God himself has placed his stamp on them, and there is no one greater than God, therefore they are secure, and can be sure that all these blessings are theirs in Christ. It is by the Holy Spirit that they will be enabled to do what God requires of them, so what else do they require, for if God is for them, who can be against them (Rom. 8:31)? It is not the believer’s role to earn or lose salvation, but rather it is to walk in that Spirit which they have been sealed with.

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Who Was the Letter of Ephesians Written To?

Ephesians CodexMuch debate in these modern times surrounds the intended recipients of the letter of Ephesians, mostly because of a textual issue in Ephesians 1:1. Therefore, it is worthwhile to take a look at this issue more in-depth, for if the key phrase ἐν Ἐφέσῳ was not in the original autograph, figuring out who the intended recipients were becomes much more difficult. Continue reading →

Who Wrote the Book of Ephesians?

Ephesus - Who Wrote the Book of Ephesians?In my Greek Exegesis class I wrote an introduction to the letter of Ephesians – authorship is one of the topics I covered in my paper, so here it is:

There are many ideas as to who wrote the letter of Ephesians. Some say Paul wrote it,[1] others say a later follower of Paul,[2] and there are even others who do not know who wrote it but are just convinced that it is an apocryphal writing.[3] Continue reading →

Do we confuse descriptive with prescriptive?

“We consider passages on slavery, like those in the OT describing incest, as descriptive rather than prescriptive. That is, a passage instructing a slave to serve their master well is not condoning the system of slavery, but instructing us how to behave if we find ourselves in that situation. And yet, how much of the complementarian view is based on the very same kind of admonition? If, as I am constantly reminded at every Christian men’s event, submission passages imply that God’s design was for men to be above women, why then can we flip that on its head with the slavery passages? Two words … Double. Standard.”

Just some thoughts in response to my friend’s post. This is an important question – and one that is essential to look at Biblically, because we all tend toward our own theological system, we must go back to the Word and get our theology from God, not Calvin (or get our pastoral theology from Jesus not Calvin as one of my professors always says). Continue reading →

“Make it your habit to not get drunk”

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18)

Since I have a Greek exam coming up this Tuesday – I need to study Greek, so I thought I would use my blog to talk about what I need to know (sorry, this is somewhat technical, and boring – but it is a tool that is wonderful to have in order to better understand God’s Word).

The topic is Ephesians 5:18 – some say that grammatically Paul explicitly states “stop being drunk with wine” (implying that the Ephesians were drunk a lot). This comes mainly from an understanding proliferated by Dana and Mantey
You might possibly have even heard someone use this in a sermon (in fact I did just the other day in our seminary chapel).
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