On R. Kent Hughes Book "Ephesians: The Mystery Of The Body Of Christ"

5032 words - 20 pages

EPHESIANS: The Mystery of the Body of ChristR. Kent HughesReligion/Christianity/Biblical CommentaryThe Apostle Paul and the 'Saints' of the church in EphesusBOOK REPORT by WMNot knowing what to expect when I ordered this book I was comforted to see that it was, when all was said and done, an expanded bible commentary on the book of Ephesians.Whereas most theologians divide Paul's letter to the Ephesians into two section, some divide it into three, but they all then seem to break it down to a line by line analysis. Mr. Hughes divides the segments of his book into an analysis, not line by line, so much as by logical thought or point groupings. As such his book segments into 30 chapters each delving into a grouping of passages from this letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the 'Saints' at the church in Ephesus.The Book of Ephesians tells us of the mystery of the union of between Christ Jesus and the Church. Through the Holy Spirit's movement in them, the bodies of believers join together and celebrate in the guarantee that there is something other than this earthly way of life. Christ is the Head over the Church, relating this body of believers to the "heavenly places," with the assurance that someday they will rule and reign with Him forever.As one would surmise he gives the usual commentary espoused in most books of this genre, no surprise there. Wherein he strays from the pack though is with his generous use of quotes of notable theologians and his utilization of vividly descriptive written stories to illustrate Paul's point.A. Celebration of Blessing (Ephesians 1:1-3)Ephesians - carefully, reverently, prayerfully considered - will change our lives. It is not so much what we will do with the epistle, but what it will do with us. Paul's celebration of self is centered in the fact that he is "an apostle of Christ [Messiah] Jesus by the will of God. Paul's celebration moves from self to others with his simple designation, "To the saints…the faithful in Christ Jesus," for the designation is a celebration in itself. Applying the privileged word "saints" to pagan Greeks was mind boggling to those with a Jewishbackground. Paul celebrated himself, his mission, his deliverance from himself. He also celebrated the "saints." In all of this Paul celebrates God.H.P. Spafford, who composed one of the Church's great hymns as he sailed over the watery grave of his family, drowned on the Ville du Havre: "When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, "It is well, it is well with my soul."B. Celebration of Election (Ephesians 1:3-6)We are indeed seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Why? We are His people. How? He chose us. This choosing was before time as we know it. The reasons for God's choosing were only "in himself." This choice gives us great reason to rejoice, for it brings: sanctification - a holiness in conformity with that of God; adoption - we become the actual sons...

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